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St John do it in style


EZRA STUART

St John do it  in style

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ST JOHN FOOTBALLERS surely know how to pay tribute to their departed long-serving parliamentary representative.
With a sense of the occasion, they launched the David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Classic in grand style with a 5-1 drubbing of St Michael South East in the feature match on familiar turf at the Gall Hill Sports Complex on Sunday night.
The St John supporters had their mini-carnival as they jumped and waved in delight after each goal, not the least worried that the game, which started at 9:45 p.m., ended as late as 11:30 p.m.
The star of the lopsided victory, which followed a goalless draw in the first encounter between the evenly matched St Michael North and Christ Church East, was the evergreen Jefferson “Butler” White.
But he had a young supporting cast with him upfront, who tore the St Michael South East defence, marshalled by the white-gloved Jason Sealy and Romar Marshall, to shreds. Damon Sealy started the goal rush from as early as the fifth minute, easily slotting past goalkeeper Ryan Hope.
Six minutes later, St John doubled the score when White played a delightful ball around defender Jhamel Hinds for the advancing Akeem Rouse to collect and guide to the right of Hope into the far corner.
Jaquan Hinds should’ve pulled back a goal for St Michael South East when he got away from the St John defence, but he shot wide after goalkeeper Bernard Howell charged towards him, narrowing the angle.
Diego Ward headed wide from the left side cross by 17-year-old Zico Mascoll, who netted the best goal of the night in the 25th minute to make it 3-0.
Display of skill
After winning the ball on the left side, he weaved his way around three defenders, while cutting into the area before scoring.
Much to the disappointment of their parliamentary representative Hamilton Lashley, watching from the pavilion steps, White compounded St Michael South Easts woes when he dribbled around his marker, switched the ball to his left foot and almost tore down the nets as the ball whizzed past Hope.
Goalkeeper Howell even got his name on the scoresheet, rushing from between the uprights to score a 70th minute penalty after Rouse was fouled by Hinds to make it 5-0.
Ward was denied a sixth goal for St John as his fierce 30-yard shot cannoned onto the right post.
But St Michael South East got a consolation goal in the 85th minute when Halden Payne converted a penalty after Rasheed Greaves was brought down in the area by Howell.
Earlier, Christ Church East suffered an early setback when Corey Nurse limped off with a pulled hamstring.
But they only got themselves to blame as Leonard Rice, Kemar Bartlett and Romario Griffith all missed easy opportunities.
The St Michael North footballers also failed to convert any of the chances they created.
Coach Thomas Jordan played his final card when he introduced experienced Ishmael Primus and Julian “Lil Ju” Gill to join Andre Pinder in attack, but the diminutive Gabriel Layne proved a hard man to beat.
Pinder had a good chance to score in the first half but only managed a weak right foot shot after controlling a cross from fellow six-footer Jamar Grazette.     

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