KC overcomes Bridgeport – inches close to Manning Cup semifinal

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ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup,Kingston College,Bridgeport High,Ludlow Bernard,Rashawn Mackison,Fabian Grant,Omar Thompson,Garnett Lawrence,Kaseem Priestly,

Photo: Rashawn Mackison scored a brace in Kingston College's 3-0 win over Bridgeport High on Tuesday.





Kingston College blanked Bridgeport High 3-0 in their second game in the quarter final round of the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup competition on Tuesday, inching closer to a semifinal spot, while effectively ending the Manning Cup campaign of the St. Catherine based school. A brace from Rashwan Mackison scored either side of half time and a second half strike from Renato Campbell gave KC their first win at this stage of the competition after they drew 1-1 with Calabar last Saturday.

With four points from two games KC will need only a draw in their final quarter final on Saturday while Bridgeport who have now lost two games in the round cannot advance, but will still have the Walker Cup to contest next week.

The game which was played at the Spanish Town Prison Oval was effectively a must win game for both teams after Jamaica College had earlier beaten Calabar High 1-0 in the group’s other game, at the Constant Spring Field to seal their semifinal spot.

Bridgeport High came out running hard, not allowing the KC to settle into their passing game but despite the efforts of their midfielders Javoun Bascoe and Ronaldo Banks were unable to create any chances.

Omar Thompson was the first to get a sight at goal for KC when a straight pass through the midfield from Kaseem Priestly to Mackison was laid into the path of Thompson who skied his effort from the edge of the box. A minute late Thompson fired over the bar yet again, from almost the same range.

A left footed effort from Fabian Grant was destined for the top left corner of the goal until Kashwayne Standbury produced a fantastic save to palm the ball away for a corner kick. KC captain Javain Brown got on the end of the corner but his header went just wide of the right upright.

Midway the half Warren Morrison made space for himself but after doing good work to create the shooting chance, fired well wide of the target.

Mackison got his first of the afternoon in the 34th minute when he broke free from his marker Kyle Ming to sweep home a short corner taken by Campbell.

Three minutes before the break Bridgeport had a chance to draw level from a set piece but the free kick from Ming from 24 yards was well wide of the goal.

The second goal of the contest was always going to be very important for both schools and it came for KC from the boot of Campbell after Thompson battled by his marker and picked out his teammate inside the box. Campbell took a touch to bring the ball under control before blasting home from 16 yards leaving Standbury a mere spectator, to make it 2-0 with two thirds of the game played.

With legs tiring under the hot afternoon sun, both teams rang the changes but the next clear opportunity didn’t come until the 82nd minute when KC substitute Trayvone Reid tricked his way by a Bridgeport defender before firing on target. His shot however rebounded into play off the right upright.

The KC fans did have a reason to celebrate for a third time in the contest after Mackison ran unto a beautifully weighted pass from Campbell, took one touch and then steered it beyond the advancing Bridgeport keeper.

"It was a gutsy performance. We needed a response after a disappointing result on Saturday...we implored to all that they needed to give 120% today because a lot is at stake, there is a lot of expectations and a lot of pride. I am humbled by the effort that was made today," said a relieved Bernard.

"After about 30 minutes a soft goal was given up and after that it was down hill from there but we look forward to next season. We are not going to go into any game and take it easy we are going to finish strong," said Bridgeport coach Garnett Lawrence.

Three goals to the good and three points in the bag means KC now occupy second spot in the group with four points, three more than Calabar who has one. KC will face group leaders Jamaica College who have six points, on Saturday needing only a point to be sure of advancing to the semi-finals.