STATHS march on to Manning Cup semis
St Andrew Technical (STATHS) became the first qualifiers for the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup semi-finals, after a convincing 3-1 win over St George’s College in their quarterfinal group game at Stadium East yesterday.
In-form striker Warner Brown scored twice for the Philip Williams-coached team, who came from a goal down to win the match and secure their second win in the group in as many games to register an unassailable six points.
The result moved STATHS four points clear at the top of Group H with one round of games to go, with Jamaica College (JC) in second place on two points. JC will have to look over their shoulders as both Excelsior, who yesterday held them to a 0-0 draw in the early game at the same venue, and St George’s College, who are both on one point each, can overtake them in the final round.
Wiliams credited his team for the composure shown after falling behind and pointed to their resilience in getting all three points.
“We have been in situations like this before where we had to claw our way back in a game,” said Williams. “But most important were the tactical and personnel adjustments we made, and ‘George’s’ did not adjust to the changes, and we took control of the game.”
Competitive first half
In an evenly contested and competitive first half, St George’s took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Tyrese Gordon curled an unstoppable shot past Richard Laing in goal for STATHS.
However, seven minutes into the second half, STATHS’ leading goalscorer, Brown, produced a fine solo run and an emphatic finish to level the score at 1-1.
Six minutes later, Shamar Daley broke loose and dismissed his marker before firing home to put STATHS 2-1 up.
STATHS continued to have the better of play, and in the 63rd minute Brown’s excellent volley, gave him his second of the game and his sixth in four matches to put the game out of the Georgians’ reach.
St George’s coach, Neville Bell, lamented his team’s poor performance in the second half.
“Credit to St Andrew Technical . They came out in the second half and wanted it more than us,” Bell said.
This is STATHS’ third straight trip to the Manning Cup semi-finals, and they will be looking to go one further and make a return to the final, where they fell to JC in 2017.
The final round of quarterfinal games will be played on Saturday.