BOTH JAMAICA College (JC) and Clarendon College, firm favourites to come out of the first round of the ISSA Champions Cup, struggled today at the Stadium East field as schoolboy football restarted in earnest yesterday.
Playing against Garvey Maceo, JC could only manage a 1-0 win that could easily have gone differently, while Clarendon benefitted from some good fortune when they got by a game against Charlie Smith, 2-1.
JC coach Davian Ferguson was eager to put the game behind him despite a win and a place in Saturday’s semi-finals.
JC got the game’s only goal courtesy of Phillando Wing’s 12th-minute strike, however, Ferguson thought his team was too defensive after taking the lead and struggled to play in transition.
“The performance was awful, but the result was what we needed. We started the game really well, but I think Garvey grew into the game because we sat back and got a little complacent.
“The energy levels from the boys were also low, and that was a cause for concern. But this performance is something we need to forget about as quickly as possible,” he said.
“Garvey was more aggressive to the first ball and the second ball and our transition was very poor, and they dominated us in the transition,” Ferguson continued.
“Today was a bad day, but the fact that we won the game on a bad day is a plus. So we will have to regroup and refocus and come again for the semi-final on Saturday,” he added.
Dane Chambers, Garvey Maceo head coach, found no fault with his team’s performance apart from their finishing.
“I am disappointed at the boys not scoring, but I am pleased with the performance because they played to their full potential,” he added.
PRAISED FOR COME-FROM-BEHIND WIN
Later, Clarendon coach Lenworth Hyde would praise his players for their come-from-behind 2-1 win over Charlie Smith under trying circumstances.
Hyde explained that as many as 10 players on the team had come down with the flu over the holidays and were not in the best condition.
Clarendon College joined JC, Kingston College, and Dinthill Technical in the semi-finals despite going behind in the game through Andre Gibbs’ 35th-minute penalty.
Timar Dunn would equalise two minutes later with a firmly struck left-footer before Jaheim Rose stole the victory at the death, driving home a penalty in the final minute.
Charlie Smith’s coach, Eugene Williams, said poor officiating cost him the match.
“I cannot feel pleased. The officiating wasn’t what we expect. This is schoolboy football, next to the Premier League, so I am very disappointed,” he stated.