Adlam makes instant impact upon return to Sporting
Richard Bryan, Gleaner Writer
Sporting Central Academy held onto a top-six Digicel Premier League placing following a 2-1 victory in their final round two game over Rivoli at Brancourt on Sunday.
The win, their fourth this round, took them to 18 points and 28 overall. Despite missing the chance to earn their first End-of-Round final, the Clarendon team celebrate their best round haul in three years of competing at this level. It was the return of Alanzo Adlam, whose 83rd minute goal ended a prolonged period of frustration for the team, which pleased tmanagement the most.
"This goes to show he belongs here," an elated Brandon Murray, club owner/manager, told The Gleaner.
"He went to Harbour View and scored only one goal, but he is most comfortable in our set-up. He is a natural goalscorer and is the best person for our team at this time."
Singing the blues
Earlier, Murray was singing the blues and crying out for a saviour after the league's leading striker, Devon Hodges, curled home an 11th minute free kick from 20 yards to silence the Clarendon team's faithfuls with his 14th goal of the season.
Later, Hodges would curse his luck when injury forced his substitution in the 81st minute, forcing him to watch helplessly from the sidelines as his team surrendered the advantage in the last 10 minutes of the game.
For Sporting Central, Hodges' goal began 70 frustrating minutes in which they muffed their customary spate of easy chances. However, they were spared their second defeat of the round through former national Under-20 teammates - Adlam and Levaughn Williams.
Return from a loan transfer
Adlam, whose return from a loan transfer to Harbour at the start of the 2009 season was facilitated through the transfer window that opened on January 1, came on as a substitute for Romaine Barnes in the 62nd minute. His previous goal this season had come via a penalty for Harbour View, early in the first round.
His ecstatic celebration on scoring mirrored that of the entire Sporting bench. It was remarkable that, as the shortest player on the field, he rose high to clinically head home Marlon Allen's lofted cross in the 83rd minute, a complete contrast to the efforts of Oneke Ford and François Swaby who had their chances earlier.
Not content with just an equaliser, Sporting went in to overdrive and, aided by the ultra-defensive approach of the visitors, were rewarded through another of their young national guns, Williams, who had missed first-round play due to injury.
His goal was something special as, after collecting a throw from another of his former national Under-20 teammates, Keithy Simpson, on the far right side, Williams turned brilliantly and unleashed a left-footed drive from 25 yards that flew past goalkeeper Leon Goffe before he could react.
Sporting Central Academy 2
Alanzo Adlam 83rd
Levaughn Williams 90th
Rivoli United 1
Devon Hodges 11th
Digicel Premier League summary after the 22nd round of matches on Sunday.
Village United 1 St Georges Sports Club 1 at Elliston Wakeland Centre
GOALS: Village United - Everette Mullings 24th; St Georges - Waheem Walker 69th
Humble Lion 0 August Town 1 at Effortville Community Sports Centre
GOAL: August Town - Marvin Stewart 56th
Tivoli Gardens 2 Portmore United at Edward Seaga Sports Complex
GOALS: Tivoli - Christopher Jackson 65th, 88th; Portmore - Ricardo Cousins 30th, Carlington Smith 63rd
Waterhouse 1 Boys' Town 0 at Waterhouse Mini Stadium
GOAL: Waterhouse - Kevin Lamey 80th
Sporting Central Academy 2 Rivoli United 1 at Brancourt
GOALS: Sporting Central - Alanzo Adlam 33rd, Levaughn Williams 88th; Rivoli - Devon Hodges 12th
Harbour View 1 Arnett Gardens 0 at Harbour View Mini Stadium
GOAL: Harbour View - Kavin Bryan 44th
Digicel Premier League Second Round standings after matches played on Sunday.
Second End of Round final
Waterhouse vs Harbour View at the National Stadium at 7 p.m.