Robert Bailey, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Former champions Charlie Smith High were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Holy Trinity High in their Inter-Secondary Schools Sports (ISSA)/Gatorade/Digicel Manning Cup second-round game at the Constant Spring Sports Complex yesterday.
Shamar Stephenson put Holy Trinity in the 50th minute but substitute Bebeto McDonald gave Charlie Smith a share of the points when he netted in the 90th minute.
The second game between defending champions St George's College and Camperdown High was not played, this after the latter failed to show. A decision on this match will be made tomorrow.
Jerome Waite, coach of Charlie Smith, last year's beaten finalists, was extremely dissatisfied with his team's performance.
"I think the Holy Trinity team came here and they put up a stunning fight against us," said Waite.
"However, I am a bit disappointed with our performance. We created numerous chances and we failed to put them into the back of the net and so the game ended in a draw," he said.
Waite added: "The games are going to get harder as the season progresses. Camperdown will be our next game and we will have to just regroup and hopefully the players will deliver."
Meanwhile, Devon Anderson, coach of Holy Trinity, was pleased with his team's overall effort but unhappy that they gave up a late equaliser.
"Players were unable to keep their concentration at crucial moments of the game," said Anderson. "They were running out of position and Charlie Smith capitalised on this in the final moments of the match," he said.
Charlie Smith dominated the first half and created a number of clear opportunities. However, poor finishing from the likes of Lennox Russell, Ryan Paisley and Shannon Brown let them down.
The speedy and skilful Russell missed an easy chance in the fifth minute of the game, when he fired wide of the target from inside the 18-yard box.
Paisley should also have given Charlie Smith the lead in the 25th minute but his powerful header from 10 yards sailed over the crossbar.
Holy Trinity, who soaked up a lot of pressure from their opponents in the first half, shocked the Charlie Smith spectators when Stephenson arrived at the near post to fire home a powerful shot past goalkeeper Kirk Morgan 10 minutes into the second period.
However, Charlie Smith fought back well but they were once again let down due to poor finishing from their attackers.
Russell's curling shot in the 80th minute was denied by the crossbar. However, they were finally rewarded when McDonald collected a pass inside the 18-yard box from Roger Bucknor. McDonald then turned away from his marker to calmly slot the ball home.