Hydel High led by a hat-trick from star striker Stephen Barnett and one a piece from Nicholas Nelson and Bobby Blake, hammered an overmatched Cumberland team 5-1 at the Duhaney Park play field as action continued in Group B of the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup on Tuesday.
Hydel threatened to run riot on their opponents when Blake opened the scoring with barely four minutes on the clock. A swift attacking move down the right flank saw the player being given the opportunity to shoot as the defenders backed off. Blake took his chance and fired into the far corner to give the home team the lead.
Barnett then had his first chance of the game following good interplay between himself and skipper Omar Palmer, but he shot straight at Devonshae Clarke who gathered at the second attempt.
Dillion James then had a shot on target for Cumberland forcing Kevin Lewis to dive to his right to save.
Brad Tulley was given the freedom of the park by the Cumberland midfielders and he took full advantage popping up in spaces to move the ball around and dictate the flow of play for Hydel. One of the moves saw Tulley combine first with Palmer and then with Barnett as he ghosted into the box and fired off a shot at the near post which Clarke saved with his feet.
Cumberland tried to find a way into the game and a desperate but weak attempt from Shavor Anderson was easily gathered by Lewis.
At the other end, Barnett spurned a few more opportunities before finally getting his name on the score sheet when he slotted past the advancing Clarke to make it 2-0 in the 38th minute.
Neither team produced anything else of note for the remainder of the half with Hydel looking quite comfortable at the interval.
Hydel came out flat at the start of the second half allowing Cumberland to play themselves back into the game.
It wasn’t until the 60th minute that there was another moment of real attacking intent when Nelson saw his left footed effort flash across the face of the goal.
Six minutes later Hydel added to their lead when a perfectly weighted cross by Tulley to the back post, was met by the head of Barnett and the ball flew into the goal with Lewis beaten all ends up.
Cumberland were handed a lifeline when substitute Tephano Taffe gave up possession in the final third and in his haste to win the ball back fouled Raheem Johnson inside the area and gave away a needless penalty. Leonard James stepped up to stick the penalty into the corner of the goal reducing the deficit to 3-1.
But Hydel were never in any real trouble and continued to create opportunities from which they scored two more goals.
Nelson who had worked tirelessly all game was finally rewarded in the 87th minute and then two minutes later Barnett had his hat-trick to round out his teams scoring and that of the encounter.
Barnett was pleased with his overall performance despite missing some easy chances and has set aim at 25 goals this season.
“I’m pretty pleased. It’s the beginning of the season and to get a hat-trick it’s ok. I’m not too fussy about my performance, I’m ok with it,” said Barnett.
“I have set myself a target of 25 goals,” he added.
Hydel coach Geoffery Maxwell who is back for a second stint in charge of the Ferry based institution is pleased with how his team is progressing.
“I think we underestimated the team because after we scored one or two goals we seemed to have taken the game for…easy pickings and we could have paid the price.
Overall I thought the team made a good effort. We are slowly getting into stride and this is what we are trying to achieve.”
Hydel have now won three of their four games played, the other being a 1-1 draw with Greater Portmore for their ten points gained so far.