Charlie Smith edge Calabar

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ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup,Charlie Smith,Calabar,

Photo: Charlie Smith captain Shaquille Notice protects the ball during the Manning Cup match against Calabar. Notice hit a brace to guide his team to a come from behind 2-1 win on Thursday,

Charlie Smith edged Calabar High at the Constant Spring Field in Group K. quarterfinal action of the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup on Thursday. Charlie Smith, led by a brace from Shaquille Notice came from behind to defeat Calabar 2-1 and returned to winning ways in the competition.

Charlie Smith, who were the runners up last season, have been doing good well with a young team and could over achieve if they make it to the semi-finals.

Charlie Smith was off to a flyer in the 1pm affair, Ronaldo McDonald tested the Calabar custodian with a powerfully shot from 25 yards that was tipped over the crossbar inside 5 minutes.

Calabar settled after that, moving the ball well and looked dangerous going forward. They did come close to score in the 21st minute when a Herbert Redman shot from just inside the 18 yard box struck the bottom of the right upright. Calabar looked like they wanted to score before the break and was trying to keep possession and pressure Charlie Smith but Charlie Smith did not make it easy for the Red Hills Road based school.

Like always when you are at the Constant Spring field the rain began to fall but it did not affect the game as it was just sprinkling for most of the time.

Striker Romaine Rollins did gave the Bradley Stewart team the lead in the 30th minute, when he out-muscled a Charlie Smith defender in the box before finding room to fire a powerful shot that went in the back of the net giving goal keeper Eric Robinson no chance.

Two minutes after Ronaldo Wright came close to levelling the score from a free kick from 24 yards that hit the top of the cross bar.

Charlie Smith was brought back on level terms just before the half end when Shaquille Notice heading home from a corner kick.

On the resumption both teams looked flat and failed to make use of the ball when in possession. Notice was giving the Calabar defence trouble and he found room to unleash a shot from 28 yards that Jashal Nash failed to hold, giving the Ninth Street base school a corner in the 70th minute.

Notice gave Charlie Smith the lead in the 82nd minute from the penalty spot. Charlie Smith did look satisfy with the lead eight minutes from time and was just keeping possession in midfield.

Wright produced a gem of a free kick in the 90th minute but he was denied by brilliant goal keeping from Nash from 26 yards. Three minutes of stoppage time was played before referee Odette Hamilton signalled the end of the match.

In the day's other game, Excelsior High spurned four great first half chances to score, including three separate one-on-one chances before falling 1-0 to Jonathan Grant. Charlie Smith now leads the group on goal difference ahead of Jonathan Grant on goal difference. Both have three points while Calabar and Excelsior are yet to get off the mark.