Robert Bailey, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Defending champions St George's College moved closer to securing their spot in the semi-finals of this year's Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/LIME Manning Cup competition, with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Camperdown in Group K yesterday.
In the opening game of the double header which was played at the Constant Spring Sports Complex, the Georgians were led to victory courtesy of an eight-minute strike from national Under-20 representative Oshane Boothe.
The victory moved St George's to six points, ahead of Camperdown and Calabar, who are both locked on three points each. Spanish Town are at the bottom of the group on zero. In the second encounter yesterday, Calabar beat Spanish Town 2-0.
The Neville Bell-coached St George's only need a draw against Spanish Town in their final group game on Tuesday to advance into the semi-finals. Despite his team's victory, Bell said he was not pleased with their overall performance.
"I think this is one of our worse games all season, but thank God, we got the victory," said Bell. "If I were the Camperdown coach, I would be very disappointed. I thought Camperdown had a wonderful game because they really played well."
He added: "I think that when you play against a team that plays well and you don't lose the game, then that said a lot about our character."
The 'Light Blues' stunned Camperdown's supporters early in the game when Boothe arrived at the near post to nod home a well-measured cross from his captain Ryan Miller, past goalkeeper Leon Lee. However, Camperdown went on to dominate the remainder of the first half, but they failed to convert a number of clear-cut chances.
Camperdown's forward Akeem Bradford went close to getting the equaliser in the 25th minute, but his powerful right-footed shot from 12-yards hit the crossbar.
A few minutes later, Camperdown's Rohan Scott received a defence-splitting pass from his captain Hugh Evans inside the 18-yards box but with the St George's custodian Cordell Irving at his mercy, he sent his weak shot wide of the target.
Evans also came close to giving Camperdown the equaliser on the stroke of half-time, but his glancing header from eight-yards struck the crossbar.
Camperdown also dominated the second half, however, they were again let down by poor finishing from their attackers. Substitutes André McCatty and Tajea Brown along with Scott and Bradford were all guilty of missing clear-cut chances for Camperdown.
"We got the tactics right up to the last third and we played well, but we just never got the goals," said Christopher Bender, coach of Camperdown.
Bender added: "I am very disappointed that we never got the win, but I am not disappointed with the team's play because I can't fault them for their efforts as it was 100 per cent."