MANNING CUP (JA): XLCR & JONATHAN GRANT SCORES WIN....Jonathan Grant a point away from Manning Cup semi-finals, as XLCR rebound with 5-1 win over Calabar

BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff reporter  Tuesday, November 03, 2015    
Jonathan Grant blanked Charlie Smith High 2-0 and Excelsior High hammered Calabar High 5-1 in the ISSA/Flow Manning Cup Group K double-header at the Spanish Town Prison Oval yesterday.
(L) Thorn Buchanan (right) of Excelsior High and Mario
Salesman of Calabar High collide as they challenge for
possession of the ball during their ISSA/Flow Group K
Manning Cup contest at Prison Oval yesterday. XLCR
won 5-1. (R) Tyrik Sutherland (right) of Excelsior High evades
 a challenge from Devaughn Gordon of Calabar High
 during their ISSA/Flow Group K Manning Cup contest
at Prison Oval yesterday.
Jonathan Grant are now sole leaders of the group on six points, three ahead of Excelsior High and Charlie Smith with one round of games remaining. Calabar remain pointless with two losses in as many games.
In the curtain-raiser, both teams went on the offensive in the early exchanges and it was Jonathan Grant who went to the break in front courtesy of an Anelka Grandison strike in the 32nd minute.
It was a comedy of errors on the resumption as Charlie Smith broke down their opponents' defence on a number of occasions, but poor decision-making denied them the equaliser.
They were later punished when the lanky Tyrone Small slotted in from close range in the 61st minute to secure victory for Jonathan Grant.
Charlie Smith ended with 10 players after Captain Shaquille Notice was ejected for violent conduct in the 78th minute which summed up his team's miserable performance.
Meanwhile, Excelsior High kept their hopes of a semi-final spot alive with a dominant performance against a Calabar High outfit that was by no means short on confidence.
Vashawn Williams in the 15th and 48th minutes, and Thorne Buchanan in the 38th and 57th minutes notched braces, with Captain Christopher Thorpe in the 19th minute getting the other goal. Lenworth Reckford (28th) got the consolation for Calabar High.
Almost there
Williams opened the scoring for Excelsior High with an easy tap in, and was involved in a breakaway chance but collided with the advancing Jashon Nash in goal for Calabar High. However, Thorpe was on hand to slot home the loose ball to make it 2-0.
The Red Hills Road-based team clawed their way back into contention when Reckford converted from the penalty spot after Mikel Graham was brought down inside the area.more

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