Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica College booked a spot in the next stage of the ISSA/LIME Manning Cup football competition with a 2-0 victory against Bridgeport in Group E of the preliminary stage at Ferdie Neita Park in St Catherine yesterday.
JC stayed perfect with eight wins from as many starts courtesy of goals by midfielder Kevin Blackwood and captain Junior Flemming. The win pushed JC to 24 points with two games remaining. Bridgeport remain on 19, the same as Josť Marti, who defeated Tivoli.
The visitors took the lead when Blackwood fired home a well-taken free kick from just outside Bridgeport's 18-yard area that beat Zachary Whitter in the sixth minute. Bridgeport, boosted by good home support, pressed, but Rayon Swire and Shaquile Folkes failed to beat JC's custodian Sherrick Davis.
JC struck again when Flemming, left alone on a rare occasion by his marker Dushane Lettman, shot past Whitter in the 45th minute to take his team into a 2-0 lead into the halfway break. That was Flemming's 13th goal of the season.
For the second half, JC maintained their discipline and kept Bridgeport from scoring. Lettman, who policed Flemming well for the most part, picked up a second yellow card and was sent off by referee Garfield Gardener.
JC's coach Miguel Coley was relieved that his team had beaten Bridgeport for the second time. "Bridgeport are a good attacking team. It was a very important victory for us, as they are really a good team and have the ability to come back and with the title," he reasoned.
Meanwhile, Bridgeport's coach Tyrone Roberts blamed his team's loss on poor officiating. "We played well. The only problem was that the officiating was poor. We have one game to go and (are) still in contention for a berth to the next round," Roberts said.
Calabar 2 Edith Dalton James 0
Ascot 0 Hydel 1
Jonathan Grant 3 STATHS 1
Waterford 0 St Jago 1
Ecxelsior 1 Cumberland 0
Haile Selassie 0 Norman Manley 1
Bridgeport 0 Jamaica College 2
St Andrew College 1 Ardenne 0
Jose Marti 6 Tivoli 0
St Mary's College 1 Holy Trinity 2
Campion College 1 Innswood 3
Trench Town 6 Meadowbrook 1
Denham Town vs Papine
St Catherine vs KTHS
Clan Carthy vs Wolmer's
Camperdown vs Charlie Smith
St George's College vs Donald Quarrie
Oberlin vs Vauxhall
Eltham vs Penwood
Spanish Town vs Greater Portmore
Home teams are named first and all games start at 3:30 p.m.