Glenmuir blank Manchester 2-0 to kick start daCosta Cup quarterfinals

By November 08, 2023
Glenmuir's Head coach Andrew Peart. Glenmuir's Head coach Andrew Peart.

Reigning Ben Francis champions Glenmuir High had a positive start in the ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup quarterfinals, as they blanked Manchester High 2-0 in a lively Group A encounter at their May Pen base on Wednesday.

Glenmuir, who are contesting the quarterfinal round for the first time since 2017, got their goals four minutes apart through Ja-son Whyte (51st) and Orane Watson (55th), and are now poised for a semi-final berth, provided they see off defending champions Clarendon College and Christiana High in their next two fixtures.

Clarendon College, who are heavily favoured to retain their title, also started positively with a 4-0 beating of Christiana High to grab an early lead in the group. They enjoy a two-goal difference over Glenmuir, heading into Saturday’s second round of games.

At May Pen, Glenmuir came out more purposeful, as Kyle Gordon paraded his nippy footwork in breaking down Manchester defence, while DeAndre Johnson forced a save from Jevanni Bennett with a stinging right-footer from about 20 yards out, in the early exchanges.

In fact, Manchester’s first real show of quality in attack came in the 14th minute when they got in behind Glenmuir’s defence, but were unable to find the go-ahead goal.

Both teams continued to assert their attacking prowess in the probe to break the deadlock. Glenmuir again went close in the 36th when Gordon found Watson at the top of the 18-yard box, but the latter’s effort was kept out by Bennett diving away to his left.

Manchester responded shortly after and it took a tidy save from Antwone Gooden in goal for Glenmuir to deny Michael Reid on the stroke of the break to ensure the score remained goalless.

However, Glenmuir again came out spiritedly on the resumption and inevitable found the breakthrough six minutes in when Whyte’s well-struck freekick from about 30 yards out, beat Bennett all ends up. It was a goal befitting of his first for the season.

And before Manchester could contemplate a comeback, they suffered a second blow when Watson outpaced a defender and drove a right-footed effort past the hapless Bennett for his sixth of the season.

The tempo of the game fell from there and it wasn’t until the later stages of the contest that both teams again showed some life in attack, albeit, failing to capitalise on the opportunities.

Glenmuir’s Head coach Andrew Peart said the win is just what the doctor ordered.

“It is important because we wanted to start the group very well. At the half we weren’t so pleased with the intensity at which we played, we gave Manchester High a little bit too much room, especially in the middle of the field.

“But second half, we got a brilliant goal by Jason Whyte and then it was about pressing high up the field again that led to the second goal. So I am very pleased in terms of the reaction in the second half and in the end, the result,” Peart said in a post-game interview.

His counterpart Patrick Graham believe his team was lacking in parts.

“First, let me congratulate the Glenmuir team. I believe they showed a bit more fight than us, we surrendered some crucial areas on the pitch when they were in possession and it cost us the game.

“The positive is that after going two-nil down, we showed a little bit more fight and more composure and it shows that we can play whenever we decide to play. So, we just have to prepare for the next two games,” Graham noted.

Meanwhile, over in Group two, Garvey Maceo High and Dinthill Technical registered 4-0 and 2-0 victories over BB Coke and Cornwall College respectively. Much like it is in Group A, Garvey Maceo hold a two-goal difference over Dinthill Technical.

Wednesday’s results

Group A

Clarendon College 4, Christiana High 0

Glenmuir High 2, Manchester High 0

Group B

BB Coke 0, Garvey Maceo 4

Dinthill Technical 2, Cornwall College 0

Saturday’s fixtures

Group A

Manchester vs Clarendon College @ Manchester

Christiana vs Glenmuir @ Glenmuir

Group B

Cornwall College vs BB Coke @ Jarrett Park

Dinthill Technical vs Garvey Maceo @ Ewarton Sports Complex

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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