Former champions Excelsior High school defeated Tarrant High 4-0 at home to get off to a winning start in the ISSA/Flow Manning Cup competition on Monday. Led by a first half brace from Ryan Spence and second half strikes by Voshawn Williams and Malik Mills, the Mountain View Avenue based school eased to a comfortable win in front of a large partisan crowd.
Excelsior dominated the game early but did not show enough composure in front of goal in the first 15 minutes. But Spence got things going for the home team when he met a cross from the left hand side with a well timed left footed strike, beating Damario Riley in goal giving the yellow and green team the lead in the 19th minute.
Tarrant was unable to cope with the high press game of Excelsior and gave away possession easily in midfield. Excelsior rang rings around the Tarrant team in the attacking third, but lacked concentration and failed to punish the indisciplined Tarrant defenders.
Spence doubled his tally from a magical right sided corner kick in the 36th minute, putting Excelsior comfortably in front at 2-0.
Tarrant tried to catch Excelsior on the counter but that did not work as the very organized Excelsior unit ensured they did not gave their opponents much space to play. The half ended with Excelsior leading Tarrant 2-0.
After the break, Excelsior continued to pressure the Tarrant defense and created numerous chances but failed to put the ball in the back of the net. Voshawn Williams drove inside the Tarrant box, getting past two defenders and firing home from close range to give Excelsior a 3-0 lead in the 65th minute.
Tarrant was down and out at this stage and they were starved of the ball by their superior opponents.
The Excelsior supporters were crying for more goals and Mills responded with a 23 yard powerful drive that went past Damario Riley in goal in the 69th minute. Excelsior continued to dominate but was very wasteful in front of goal and Tarrant was taken out of their misery when the referee signaled the end of the game.
"I am happy that we took all three points, as that was our aim, to just ensure we did not give away a point. I am comfortable with the four goals as we played well today.
We are looking to go all the way in all competitions and we will improve on each game we play as the boys try to built their confidence,” said newly appointed head coach of Excelsior, Shavar Thomas.
Excelsior will next be in action on Saturday when they take on Greater Portmore High.