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Calabar in comfortable win over Eltham but miss out on Walker Cup

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This Manning Cup match report is brought to you: Ensure Active Muscle

Calabr High school cemented their place in the second round of the ISSA/LIME Manning Cup but missed out on the Walker Cup following a comfortable 3-0 win over Eltham High on Monday.

Calabar entered the game in second place in the group, one point behind leaders Hydel, but looking over their shoulders at the late charging St. Jago High. The Red Hills Road based school got the much needed early goal from captain Omar Walcott in the 15th minute to settle the nerves of the team.

With one goal in the bag and Eltham offering very little going forward, the centre half pairing of Jawahni Hinds and Kwame Thompson looked comfortable on the ball and were able to push into midfield to help start the Calabar attacks.

Calabar continued to dominate the game, especially in midfield but was unable to add to their tally in the first half.
Eltham came out on the front foot in the second half and were gifted a chance when Thompson gave away the football but Jermaine Bogle was unable to capitalize on the error and Jashon Nash spared his teammate’s blushes. Four minutes later Calabar had a good opportunity to score again but a free kick on the edge of the area was chipped over the crossbar by Hinds.

Eltham captain Oshane Smith was working tirelessly in midfield but lacked the support of his teammates in the creative department.

With fifteen minutes left on the clock Walcott should have killed off the game after outpacing the Eltham defence but his shot was well saved by Shane Dawkins diving to his left to parry. Roshaud Barrett was unable to capitalize on the rebound and Eltham cleared the danger.

Eltham never gave up however and created two good chances in quick succession. Firstly, Bogle found himself in acres of space inside the box but his first touch let him down and the chance was lost. Then Richie Williams fired a shot across the face of the goal from inside the area, despite being under no pressure from the Calabar defence.

Second half substitute Brandon Webster hit the right upright with a free kick in the 81st minute and Eltham countered with an attack of their own, only to see the ball cleared off the line from a free kick by Leon Seaboine.
With three minutes left on the clock, Hagi Campbell provided the breathing space Calabar wanted when he headed home an inswinging free kick from Webster to make it 2-0.

For the third game in succession, Mario Sailsman came off the bench to score for Calabar. Three minutes into stoppage time, the forward hit a sweetly timed volley into the far corner leaving Dawkins rooted to the spot. The Calabar students poured onto the field to celebrate the goal of the game and their passage into the next round of the Manning Cup.

An elated Bradley Stewart was happy for the win. “We always felt that any kind of result would require us to work hard today. Eltham had nothing to play for but we knew they would fight. We got three goals today and that is excellent, but we have to get better in the second round.”

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