STGC, STATHS battle for last Manning semi final spot
St George's College and St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) will battle in the ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup play-off for a semi-final today at Constant Spring Complex, starting at 2:30 p.m.
Both teams ended on three points apiece with identical goal difference, behind Group G winners Holy Trinity (five points). Hence, the organisers have set a play-off date to determine which team will qualify for the last semi-final spot.
If the game ends in a deadlock in regulation time, the game will enter extra time of 10 minutes each half, and if the deadlock is not broken, the game will be decided on penalty kicks.
That means both teams will come determined to win and join Holy Trinity, Jamaica College and Kingston College in the semi-final battle.
St George's College head coach Neville 'Bertis' Bell said that his team is ready for the battle after not playing since the 1-1 draw against STATHS on October 28.
"It is a very important match. I mean, if we lose the game, that is it for the season. We want to continue. We know it will be a tough game, but we wanted to be here. I told the kids from day one that if we want to get close, we have to beat some of the best teams," Bell, who guided St George's College to five of their 22 Manning Cup titles, told The Gleaner.
"We played them before and maybe the draw was a fair result. They created a couple of good chances against us and our goalkeeper came up big. Their goalkeeper also came up big a couple of times, so I think that first game could have gone either way. They are tough," he added.
"The long delay did not hurt us because we had some injuries, although everybody is still not back. We have been training but have not played competitively since, but we have been working. I have heard ring-rusty, game-stale and such, but I don't think so, we have been preparing and I think it's down to who comes out the best and want it more. We will be alright," Bell shared.
Romario Harding and Nathaniel Campbell have six goals apiece for the Light Blues and they should get support from Arseno Hamilton, Paul Young Jr, and Akeem Robotham.
Phillip Williams, coach of STATHS is fully aware of St George's history in the Manning Cup, but said that the focus is on today's game.
"As you say, history says that they are many-time champions, but we are focusing on this year, one game at a time. We have played them before and have seen where we can beat them. We are just focusing on the match that we have at hand," Williams shared.
STATHS will rely on inspirational captain and goalkeeper Jaedin White, central defender David Smith and attacker Armani Reid to lead them into the last four.