Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Excelsior High maintained their grip on Group A in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Gatorade/Digicel Manning Cup after registering a come-from-behind 3-2 home win over Penwood High at Courtney Walsh Oval yesterday.
The Leebert Halliman-conditioned unit, which began the day atop the group on goal difference ahead of Penwood and Norman Manley, were led to victory through a double strike by midfielder Brian Richards.
Richards, who scored six times in his team's 12-0 win over Campion College in their opening fixture, opened his account in the 30th minute before returning to score the match-winning goal in time added.
Fellow midfielder and substitute, Colorado Murray, who netted a penalty in the 88th minute, scored the home team's other goal in their exciting rally.
Penwood, who appeared set to pull off an upset win until they conceded the penalty, had outstanding midfielder Romario Williams to thank for both their goals.
Williams scored the game's opener in the 24th minute, before putting his team ahead in the 78th by converting a penalty kick.
"We got a lot of chances that we did not put away, which in the end made the game close, but having said that, we are happy for the three points," said Halliman.
"We were forced to dig deep and I thought the boys showed lots of guts and courage. I am really proud of them," he added.
Penwood's coach Rupert Nicholas felt his team was hard done by the level of officiating.
"Excelsior played well, but I thought the referee gave us a hard time," he said.
"The penalty that was awarded for handball hit the player in his face, while the last goal was offside.
"But such is the game. We will have to dust off ourselves and try to come again," Nicholas stated.
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