Photo: Wolmers midfielder Andrew Daley keeps a watchful eye on the tricky STGC captain Alex Marshall during their Group K M aning Cup quarter final encounter on Tuesday. Wolmers won the game 2-0 to almost certainly book a spot in the semi-finals of the Manning Cup.
Red hot Wolmers’ Boys blanked St. Georges College 2-0 in quarter finals action in the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup competition at the Constant Spring Field on Tuesday, as only one game was possible in Group K due to heavy afternoon rains.
The Vassell Reynolds coached team was registering their fourth straight win in all competitions and their second straight win over a team from North Street inside four day. Wolmers’ had gotten the better of Kingston College 1-0 in the Super Cup competition on Saturday night.
The game between the two former champions was a top of the table clash after both Wolmers and STGC had scored comfortable wins over St. Catherine and Haile Selassie respectively last week. The winner of this game would have positioned themselves nicely ahead of next week’s final round of quarter final games and STGC set about being the ones to do just that.
Brilliant goalkeeping from Shamar Jemison kept Wolmers in the contest despite the best efforts of Alex Marshall and company as STGC dominated possession and created the best opportunities of the first half. Just when it appeared that the teams would go in scoreless at the break, Mickel Graham popped up to scramble home for Wolmers’ in the 45th minute. It was an untidy but effective goal.
The STGC team would know that their entire season was hinged on getting the next goal of the contest but found themselves even further behind just six minutes after the restart when Yonnick Elliot put Wolmers two goal to the good.
The always threatening Alphanso Gooden was released down the left flank and his powerful shot on target was not held by John Wilson in the STGC goal. The onrushing Elliot was then able to slot home into an empty net and put Wolmers’ in a very strong position in the contest.
Former Wolmers’ striker, now wearing the Sky Blue of STGC, Akiiki Jackson, was introduced by Neville Bell and he proved a real threat down the left flank. He almost set up one goal following a mazy dribble into the box, before creating enough space for a shot shortly after but it wasn’t powerful enough to properly test Shamar Jemison.
Sitting deep and playing on the counter, Wolmers came close to extending the lead on more than one occasion as STGC left gaps at the back in the hunt for goals of their own, but the Wolmers’ strikers were unable to make the chances count.
With time running out, STGC captain, Alex Marshall tried his best to link up the plays by dropping deeper into midfield and despite one or two good combinations around the edge of the area was unable to breakdown the resolute Wolmers defence marshalled by skipper Jahwahni Hinds.
The final whistle almost effectively ended the season for STGC while it gave the boys in Maroon and Gold a significant chance of contesting yet another semi-final as they have already booked their spot in the semis of the Super Cup against St. Elizabeth Technical on Saturday.
"I think overall, tactically we played well. We couldn't press for 90 minutes so we sat back deep and it worked for us and we are satisfied based on the fact that this would have been our fourth game in about eight days, I thought we stood up very well," said Reynolds
"This gives us a moral booster (for the semi-finals), we are one foot inside of the semifinals now but anything is possible, we are still not going to get complacent, we still just have to remain focused and go back and work hard for the next game," he concluded.
Neville Bell was a very disappointed man. "I thought we didnt play badly. In the first half we got a couple of opportunities, the goalkeeper (Jemison) made a brilliant save on one of them. Had that gone in it would have been a different game. We are very disappointed. They are a strong team, a tough defending team, but even in the second half we got close to goal but we just couldnt put them in and then he (Jemison) made two saves in the second half. So I thought he was the difference.
"We kept passing until the end of the game. Maybe we shouldn't have maybe we should have been a little bit more aggressive in going to goal, but you are always disappointed when you lose, I am very, very disappointed and it is almost impossible for us to get to the semi-final from here."
The competition continues on Wednesday and will feature another key matchup between defending champions Jamaica College and Hydel in their Group I encounter.