KC edge Hydel
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Striker Arsino Walker and midfielder Devonte Dennis scored a goal on either side of half-time to lead Kingston College (KC) to a 2-1 win over first-time entrants Hydel High, in Group F action of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup urban area senior schoolboy football encounter yesterday.
Walker, who from the opening whistle was a constant thorn in the side of Hydel's defenders, netted in the 19th minute to give his team the lead, while Dennis, after coming on as a half-time substitute, scored in 50th minute.
Hydel, who could have come away with a different result had midfielder Errol McNeil converted a penalty in the 35th minute, got their consolation goal through Patrick Hudson in the 61st.
"Hydel was an unknown factor, so we did not know what to expect," opined KC coach, Trevor 'Jumpy' Harris.
"However, after assessing them we gradually came into our own. It was not an impressive win, but a positive start nonetheless and for this we are grateful," he added.
After a cagey opening 15 minutes by both teams, KC took the lead when Walker capitalising on a failed clearance and let fly a grounder past goalkeeper Lemone Malcolm, much to the joy of the home fans.
Hydel, who previously competed in private high schools football competitions but were allowed to compete this year after ISSA opened their eligibility rules, fought back and 16 minutes later they benefited from a handball inside the area.
However, the resulting kick did not matter as McNeil's effort was booted left of the upright.
Despite their efforts, neither team was able to score until the second half where Dennis, positioned in the goal area, leapt high to flash a header past Malcolm.
The deficit was later cut to one by Hudson when he slotted home from close range. But that was the closest that the boys from Ferry would get.
"For our first outing at this level it was not a bad showing," said Hydel's coach, Corey Bennett, son of the school's principal, Hyacinth Bennett.
"We had opportunities to steal at least a point or a possibly three, which is commendable," he added.
In other matches yesterday, scores were: (Group B) Jose Marti 2, Tivoli 2; Vauxhall 0, Bridgeport 3; (Group D) Mona 0, Norman Manley 3; St Andrew Technical High School 2, Holy Trinity 0; Meadowbrook 1, Penwood 4; (Group F) Eltham 4, Campion 0.