Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
LED by a 89th-minute strike from substitute Patrick Sayles, last year's beaten finalists, Charlie Smith, registered a 1-0 victory over Kingston College (KC) in the top-of-the-table Group G clash of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Gatorade/Digicel Manning Cup football match at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex yesterday.
Victory moved the Jerome Waite-coached Charlie Smith to the top of the standings with six points. They are followed by St Andrew Technical High (four) and KC (three).
Both teams shared much of the possession in the first half, but Charlie Smith created the better clear-cut chances.
Tamar Edwards' powerful 20-yard effort was spectacularly saved by KC's custodian, O'brian Duncan in the fifth minute.
Shannon Brown should have given Charlie Smith the lead in the 30th minute, but his right-footed shot from 10 yards went off target.
Clifford Shaw got KC's best chance to score in the first half, but surprisingly, he hit wide from 12 yards on the stroke of half-time.
Charlie Smith dominated the second half, but they were kept at bay due to solid defending from KC's defensive unit.
Charlie Smith thought they had the lead when substitute Rayon Paisley hit a terrific shot from the left in the 65th minute. However, the ball crashed on to the post.
A few minutes later, Charlie Smith's Lennox Russell's 25-yard effort was tipped over the crossbar by Duncan.
The fleet-footed Russell, who tormented the KC defenders with his fancy footwork and clever off-the-ball movement, struck a rasping 25-yard shot, only to be denied by the crossbar.
However, Charlie Smith did not relent in their pursuits and with time running out Sayles came up big. Lurking at the back post, he was the recipient of a square from Russell and he powerfully headed the ball into the roof of the net.
"I am very happy for the victory," said Waite. "However, it wasn't a walkover for us because it was a very tight game."
Waite added: "I think KC came here and they put up a stunning fight, but Charlie Smith, on the other hand, was the better team on the day."
Donovan 'DV' Hayles, coach of KC, said: "This team is very young and inexperienced. There wasn't a lot of background work that was done with these players, so for them to come out and play the way they did is excellent for us."
|Wolmer's 6||Donald Quarrie 0|
|Calabar 1||Haile Selassie 1|
|STATHS 3||Meadowbrook 0|
|Pembroke Hall 1||Ardenne 1|
|Jose Marti 7||Oberlin 0|
|Bridgeport 1||Innswood 0|