File photo: St. Georges College captain Matthew Wilson.
Many time champions St Georges College kicked off their 2017/18 ISSA/Flow Manning Cup campaign with an emphatic 7-0 drubbing of Tarrant High School at Winchester Park on Monday in the day's featured match. STGC led by a brace from Romario Harding in the 43rd and 47th minute eased pass their opponents in front of a large and expectant crowd.
The 'Light Blues' found life difficult in the first half and were unable to break down a resilient Tarrant back four. Shannon Johnson and custodian Jonathan Currie were outstanding for the greater part of the first half. Tarrant stood firm and were able to put a few passes together but, they lacked ideas in the final third and weren't able to pose a threat to St Georges. The safety lock was picked expertly in the 43rd minute when Johnson, who could do no wrong, made a silly back pass to Tariq Andrews and got his pocket picked by Akeem Robotham. The Georges striker then drove inside the box and cut back the ball perfectly for Harding to fire home. The half ended 1-0 with Tarrant counting their lucky stars for still having a foot in the game. After a stern team talk by head coach, Neville 'Bertis' Bell, St. Georges came out looking hungry for goals.
Harding picked up from where he left off in the first half to score his second in the 47th minute after collecting a slick pass from team captain, Matthew Wilson, on the edge of the box. A St. Georges team that is not as classy as previous years, decided to give the home supporters a treat for their patience. In the 60th minute ace midfielder, Nathaniel Campbell, danced his way into the box, leaving a few players in his wake before unleashing a thunderbolt in the top right hand corner to make it 3-0.
Having lost 11-nil in a similar fixture last year, the boys from Tarrant decided to mount a challenge and hold their heads up. They shuffled things up and introduced David Mardner in the 64th who connected well with the tricky Akeam Brown for a few cameos worthy of the traveling supporters approval, but were unable to get a goal.
Substitute, Raheem Williams, made it 4-0 after tucking home a pass he collected from Robotham. The goals started coming freely as the Half-Way Tree based team gave up and was merely seeing out the 90 minutes. Jaheim Brown in the 85th, Kmarli Robinson 89th and talisman Robotham in the 90+2 rounded of the route.
Recently, during the transfer window, three players from Kingston College moved to the other side of North Street, a move which raised many eyebrows.
The three players who recently made the switch from KC to StGC are Jamar Pusey, Jevon Francis and Jordan Peterkin. These three players where all on the team sheet and all were Instrumental in the 7-0 victory.
Assistant coach Marcel Gayle: "To God be the glory, we have to give Tarrant credit I think they forced us a little to settle in. We got it right after the first goal, came out second half with a different mind set hence the result. They were disciplined from the first, we have much to give thanks for. The was only the first game, there is much more to be done as the season progresses. We got a few players from next door they wanted to play good football and we are grateful for them."
Coach Ricardo Roberts of Tarrant said: "The boys are dejected from this result. They lost interest in the game after the second goal, mainly because they wanted to win so badly or at least come away with a point. They lost shape hence the result. Georges is a good team and they were rotating the players and we were unable to cope with the rotation. This group is a tough bunch of boys and they will bounce back come Saturday," he promised.