Schoolgirls football: Excelsior drub Denham Town 15-1
THE Xavier Gilbert-coached Excelsior High kicked off their quarterfinal round of the ISSA Tip Friendly Society high schoolgirls’ football competition in impressive fashion following their commanding 15-1 victory over Denham Town in Group One action at Excelsior yesterday.
Excelsior went ahead as early as the eighth minute courtesy of a Natoya Atkinson own goal, which was only the start of what turned out to be a goal fest as goals by Ackelia Johnson in the 11th minute, and Ricquanna Richard’s 13th-minute strike made it 3-0. This was followed by an impressive six-goal burst by Cassandra Smith in the 17th, 20th, 23rd, 28th, 35th and on the stroke on halftime.
The second half proved to be much of the same as the Excelsior unit picked up where they left off on the offensive end as their relentless assault on goal created numerous opportunities of which they scored a further six goals. Destiny Powell scored minutes into the second half and Ackelia Johnson completed her hat trick with goals in the 51st and 76th minutes. Ricquanna Richard scored a double with goals in the 56th and 72nd minutes. Smith’s seventh in the 61st minute made it 15-0. Denham Town got their consolation goal with the final kick of the game thanks to Richana Barrett’s superb free kick.
Winning coach Xavier Gilbert was pleased with the performance of his team and felt his opponents didn’t manage the early pressure well.
“I’m very happy to have started this round with a victory. I think in the first half we were very dominant and pushed them (Denham Town) on the back foot from early in the game. I don’t think Denham Town handled the pressure very well and they were all over the place and we capitalised on that. In our last game we were a bit complacent but we were up for today’s encounter,” Gilbert stated.
Head coach of the Denham Town team, Delano Campbell said that injuries were one of the factors behind the drubbing. Coach Campbell also revealed that the tactic to deploy their main attacker Natoya Atkinson in a defensive role was her decision and not one from the coaching staff.
“To be honest, this is one of our worse performances ever. We are nursing a lot of injuries, so we came here today with a depleted squad. Atkinson playing in a defensive position was a move she took on herself and I was very frustrated by that move. She wanted to play more defensively but in the second half she started to try and do what we asked her to do,” Campbell said.