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Vauxhall vanquish Jonathan Grant to lead Group F in Manning Cup

Jeovannie Shorter,Tyane Wilson,Vauxhall High,Jonathan Grant,ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup,

Photo: Tyane Wilson of Vauxhall High turns away from Jonathan Grant captain Jeovannie Shorter during their Group F top of the table clash in the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup competition yesterday. Wilson scored his team’s second goal in a memorable 2-1 win to top the group at the half way stage of the first round.

 

 

 

Vauxhall High school continued their amazing run in the first round of the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup competition when they turned back the more fancied Jonathan Grant High 2-1 on Friday to remain unbeaten and climb to the top of Group F at the halfway stage. The East Kingston based school achieved the home win courtesy of goals from Emelio Rousseau and Tyane Wilson while Tahj Beckford got the consolation for the visitors.

Both teams looked for a fast start on the dry dusty surface, but it was Vauxhall who settled first and dominated the opening stages without challenging their opponent’s goal. It took ten minutes for the first effort to go towards goal, a shot booted over the top from the edge of the area by Wilson after Sean-Paul Desouza in the Jonathan Grant goal, had punched a corner kick clear.

Five minutes later Akeem Mullings did well to create a yard of space for himself but his shot went high over the top as well, as the home team pressed for an early goal. Jonathan Grant found it difficult to get Shacquille Smith on the ball and when he was able to, most of his passes were lateral or backward as he failed to influence the game positively for his team.

Desouza made his first save of the game in the 19th minute after a long cross was swung back to the middle of the goal and headed on target by Mullings. The home fans cheered loudly for their team as the pressure started to build.

But it was the visitors who had a wonderful chance to take the lead on minute 26. Damion Kay broke down the right and centered for Delroy Grant who was free inside the 18 yard box; but the striker fired tamely into the grateful arms of Vauxhall shot stopper, Robert Henry.

A minute later, Rousseau, the left wing back, broke the deadlock when he skipped past two defenders before unleashing a screamer from distance,  that rocketed into the back of the Jonathan Grant net.

Ten minutes before the break Jeovannie Shorter forced a save out of Henry with an inswinging corner kick as the visitors pushed forward with a bit more purpose.

The home team could have doubled their lead on the stroke of half time but Mullings chose to shoot from a tight angle with Wilson screaming for the ball, while unmarked in the six yard box.

The wily Wilson, who had given the Jonathan Grant defenders all sorts of trouble in the first half, changed his boots at the start of the second half to a bright orange pair, but ironically, doubled Vauxhall’s lead with a near post header just three minutes after the restart.

Comfortable with a 2 goal lead, Vauxhall appeared to take their foot off the pedal a bit and Jonathan Grant through captain Shorter and Smith were able to find a foothold in the game, but still failed to trouble Henry to any real degree. A 66th minute speculative effort from distance that sailed both high and wide, underlined the plight of the visitors.

With 20 minutes to play Shorter got down the left flank and crossed to the back post but substitute Michel Beckford was unable to get his header on target.

Five minutes later, Javayn Weise came within inches of putting the game to bed when his shot from just inside the box went inches wide of the upright. The home fans who had filled the school grounds, cheered wildly in support of their heroes as they sensed a famous victory.

But the visitors kept coming and could have had a goal back in the 78th minute had Damion Kaye been able to get his header a foot to the left or right of Henry, instead of straight at him.

Vauxhall went straight up the other end and created another chance of their own, but Mullings who endured a miserable day in front of goal, headed over from close range.

Jonathan finally got on the score sheet in the final minute of the game when a perfectly placed free kick from Beckford, left Henry rooted to the spot and beaten for the first time for the afternoon.

But that goal did little to dampen the spirit of the home fans who ran onto the field to celebrate a massive win at the sound of the final whistle.

Keith McTavish, assistant coach of Vauxhall, attributed the success of his team at the halfway stage to preparation and discipline.

“They work assiduously in training and they started to believe in us (the coaches) and they started to trust us. They saw in the practice matches how they were dominating…so they developed the confidence from there and they know that they could move to a next level.

The style and influence of the legendary Italian coach Arrigo Sacchi has been adopted by the coaches which has led to their defensive strength and their overall success suggested McTavish.

“We do a lot of research and we looked at a lot of coaches in history, we looked at the one Arrigo Sacchi and we have adopted his style of play and that is doing wonders for the team right now,” he explained.

Oneil Thomas, head coach of Jonathan Grant gave an honest assessment of his team’s performance.

“In football you can’t win them all but when we come and we start out slow and the other team at home is pressuring us we have to wake up to the challenge. I don’t think we did that today.

“The second half was a much better…half, knowing that we started to push on them, we started showing what we know we can do and it bring us a goal in the latter part of the game.  But we should have started doing that from earlier it would be better for us,” he concluded.

Vauxhall leads the group with 13 points on the back of four wins and a draw followed closely by Jonathan Grant on 12 (4 wins) in what is expected to be a keenly contested second stage of the first round.

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