Photo: Tyreek Magee of Jamaica College turns away from Kevin Wright of Hydel High during their Group I quarter final game in the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup at the Prison Oval Field on Wednesday. Hydel captain Mallek Campbell is looking on. Jamaica College won the game 3-1.
Defending champions Jamaica College put one foot in the ISSA/FOW Manning Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 3-1 win over Hydel High in Group I quarter final action at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Wednesday.
Goals from Chevany Willis, Duhaney Williams and Donovan Dawkins cancelled out the lone strike by Tray McKay as the champions eased passed the Ferry Based school, despite being forced to play second fiddle for the opening 25 minutes of the game.
Hydel started the game purposefully as they refused to let the champions settle on the ball, challenging every pass and getting into the faces of their opponents.
Nicholas Nelson tested Kajay Johnson early with a free kick from 24 yards that took a wicked bounce just in front of the keeper who had to adjust quickly and push over the crossbar for a corner kick.
Brad Tulley was getting the better of the JC midfield and drew a rash challenge from the captain Oquin Robinson who received a yellow card in only the 12th minute.
It took JC all of 20 minutes to get their first shot on target which came from the boots of Ronaldo Brown but it was easily held by Gawain Small.
Then out of almost nothing JC took the lead in the 25th minute, when Willis received a pass from a corner kick inside the area and fired home from close range before the Hydel defenders could react.
It was cruel on the team that had done most of the work so far in the game, but it did not take very long for them to draw level.
Four minutes later, JC had a free kick 22 yards from goal which was struck unto the upright by Robinson and as the ball ricocheted into play, Hydel was off to the races, counter-attacking quickly and though Johnson parried the initial shot from Nelson, McKay was able to slot home the rebound to make it 1-1.
Stunned by the equalizer, JC reacted smartly and should have gone ahead after Williams broke down the right and provided a delightful cross for Norman Campbell who could do no better than head the ball into the ground and over the open goal.
But Williams would get the job done himself in the 36th minute. A deep floated corner kick from Maleik Howell was flapped at by Small and the ball fell to Brown who headed on target. The ball was scrambled off the line but Williams reacted faster than those around him to bundle home to make it 2-1.
Brown had the chance to put his name on the scoresheet in first half stoppage time but blazed over from inside the box with only Small to beat.
The second half was a more even contest and Campbell got another chance for JC shortly after the restart when he was played in by Brown but he blasted high from 16 yards, before Nelson saw his shot crash into the side netting at the other end.
With Robinson having a greater impact in the second half JC had better control of the game and with more firepower coming off the bench it was only a matter of time before they would add to their lead.
Fresh from his stint overseas at the Manchester City Academy, Tyreek Magee was introduced into midfield and his impact was immediate as he helped push the ball forward.
Dawkins was introduced shortly after and the two would combine to produce the final goal of the game on 82 minutes.
JC received a free kick deep in the opponents half down the right side and Magee floated in a left footed free kick to the back post. Dawkins rose virtually unchallenged to head past Small to seal the contest and almost certainly the semi-final spot for the champions, who now have six points from two games and winless Denham Town High left to play.
“We were efficient as usual, we played a lot of the ball in the right areas which is what we want to do. Once again a counterattacking goal scored on us, so that is something that we have to fix but overall it was a solid performance from the team,” said a pleased Miguel Coley, coach of the JC team.
JC needs a single point from their final group game against out of contention St. Jago High, to advance to the semi-finals.