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Two on target

Justin Marville

Two on target

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Two St James teams.
One venue. No wins.
Defending champions The City and fellow unbeatens Christ Church West Central are still on course for Kensington Oval after ousting St James South and North  respectively by 1-0 margins in Friday’s “Sweet 16” of the David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Football Classic at Ellerton.
The results assured quarter-final spots for the two tournament favourites, who seem destined for a dream matchup in the final.
It was the fifth win in as many matches for a Christ Church West-Central side that remained the only team to win all their fixtures when Dario Lewis produced a stunning winner in the 59th.
Sent through by a brilliant ball from Shane Cox, Lewis stopped on a dime after gathering the pass at full pace to leave his defender skating by before bending a spectacular right-footed strike past Corey Springer at the far post.
It proved the lone highlight to an otherwise forgettable contest that featured more cards than scoring chances. Exciting buildups were just as few and far between, especially in the first half where Christ Church West-Central struggled to string together three successive passes.
However, St James North couldn’t take advantage of their opponents’ slow start despite earning a couple corners as two threatening headers went well off the mark.
But Lewis wasn’t so lax with his opportunity, although he did miss a chance to put his side up even further towards the death when he failed to tap in a Shane Cox cross at the far post.
Rather unlike Christ Church West Central, though, The City’s strike came within the first few exchanges of a free-flowing, back-and-forth entertaining contest.
St James South goalkeeper Kwame Haynes made a complete mess of a well-struck Jeffrey Williams corner at the near post, finding himself dreadfully out of position and allowing Rohan Hewitt to knock in the ball in the 11th minute.
Haynes wasn’t the only one encountering early struggles in the bars, though, as Andre Small failed to hold on to a similar corner, but Uriel Springer couldn’t make him pay for the gaffe by shooting wide in the box.
St James South’s woes worsened when their coach was removed from the bench following a verbal altercation with the referee. They did manage to survive a couple telling shots from Williams, who struck the crossbar and just missed another strike from distance.
But while luck wasn’t on Williams’ side, accuracy is what failed Dwayne Mars after the hapless City striker twice went wide on certain goals while also being denied on two separate occasions by Haynes.
At Gall Hill, the Gold Coast managed to get some measure of solace through St James Central after they stunned hosts St John 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation and extra time.
Jefferson White put St John ahead in the 12th minute before Christopher Holmes equalized in the 74th.
In the night’s first game at Gall Hill, Jamar Grazette scored the decisive goal in the second half of extra time to give St Michael South Central a 2-1 victory over neighbours St Michael Central.