Photo: Oneilio Willis of Waterford High protects the ball from Rashawn McKinson of Kingston College during their Manning Cup encounter at Waterford on Friday. KC won the game 1-0 to record their second win of the season. Waterford was slipping to their third straight defeat and will now find it very difficult to advance of the second round of the competition.
Many time champions Kingston College recorded their second straight win in this year’s ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup competition with a narrow 1-0 away win over Waterford High on Friday. It was a similar result to last year when the two teams met at that same venue.
On a field not fit for any level of football, KC settled quickly and got into a passing game despite the difficult circumstances, dominating in midfield but failing to create many chances early on. On the few times that they ventured forward, Waterford showed signs of industry but failed to test the KC custodian and captain, Akim Larmond.
It took KC until the 19th minute to get an effort on goal despite their possession, when Dashaun Donaldson’s flicked effort on goal, brought out an acrobatic save from Antowain Carter.
The visitors continued to press and a good combination play between Donaldon and Richard Byfield saw the latter placing a header on target, but it was a tame effort that went straight into the waiting arms of Carter.
Ten minutes before the interval there was a loud shout for a penalty from Waterford for what appeared to be a handball, but the appeals were waived away by the referee.
Then with five minutes to go before half time the KC fans thought their team had gone ahead when a header from Rashawn McKinson went inches wide of the far post, following great work down the right flank from Nickardo Hanchard.
The first goal mouth incident of the second half was a controversial one. KC received a free kick on the edge of the Waterford area and asked for the kick to be taken quickly. The referee said yes and the home team got caught out and almost conceded, but for the sharp reflexes of Carter, yet again. The Waterford players had stopped playing as one of their teammates lay injured on the ground.
But KC was not to be denied as they took the lead on minute 55. A brilliant piece of individual skill from 15 year old Renato Campbell saw him dismiss his marker down the left flank before delivering an inch perfect cross for Byfield, who headed powerfully home from 8 yards.
KC made some changes in midfield and lost their fluency and the home team capitalized and took control of the game. But the visitors defence remained watertight against a Waterford attack that threw everything including the kitchen sink at them.
The Waterford captain Shamar Moore came closest four minutes from time when his free kick from 23 yards went inches over the crossbar, then his teammate Marlon Marsh had a wild swing from the edge of the area that went high and wide on the stroke of full time.
Waterford coach Jermaine Thomas praised his players for a brave effort but continued to rue his team’s inability to finish as the slipped to their third straight loss of the season.
“It’s getting more difficult. I think we are digging ourselves into a deep hole,” he said.
“But again we played well, we have just not been getting the ball inside the goal. We have been creating chances but we are just unlucky I think, but we definitely have to continue and fight. We still have a couple of games to go and we will definitely come out fighting,” Thomas stated.
KC coach Ludlow Bernard was happy with the win and even more pleased with the clean sheet.
“The field was always going to pose a problem for us today but we adjusted well. We played good football right up until the time that we scored. After that a little bit of panic kind of set in and as a result of that we were kind of hasty in terms of moving the ball from the back to up front,” Bernard said.
“This has to be a learning experience for them, they need to understand how to really cope with these types of situations in real adverse conditions,” he continued.
“We did well defensively. Clearly, as much as Waterford were pumping in the balls inside our defense there wasn’t any knockdowns and there wasn’t any clear cut chances at the goal and that was very important that we came away with a clean sheet today,” Bernard concluded.
Camperdown lead the group on goal difference following their 3-0 hammering of Campion on the same day.
Action from this group continues on Monday when KC host Campion at the Stadium East field while Camperdown host Jose Marti at the Alpha Boys Home field.