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St Andrew trip over penalties

Randy Bennett

St Andrew trip over penalties

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The heartbreak hotel has taken up residency in St Andrew.
On a night of high drama, St Michael North silenced a 2 000 strong Belleplaine crowd when they defeated St Andrew 6-5 on penalties in a thrilling and pulsating quarter-final to advance to the semi-finals of the David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Football Classic last Saturday night.
The match wasn’t decided until after 2 a.m. yesterday, with police being summoned to help control the large and over-enthusiastic crowd that stormed the playing field after each penalty kick.
In the end, Roderick Maynard proved to be the villain for St Andrew, thumping his spot kick onto the crossbar to spark wild celebrations among St Michael North supporters.
It was an unlikely result in a match which a previously unbeaten St Andrew side seemed to have wrapped up, after the visitors missed three of their first four penalty kicks.
After goalkeeper Morrison Taylor’s superb save to deny St Michael North’s first penalty kick, by Omar Corbin, Jomo Harewood and Raymond Hope then scored for the home team as they jumped out to a 2-1 lead.
And when Jomo Harris blasted his spot kick high over the crossbar and Taylor produced another good save to deny Fitzgerald Carter, it meant that St Andrew needed to score just one of their remaining two penalties to advance to the semis following Luther Watson’s miss.
But Justin White fired his shot wide, before St Michael North’s Tazieo Riley turned back Ryan Stewart’s fifth attempt to send a hush around the ground and the game into sudden death.
Despite his early heroics, Taylor wouldn’t make another save, and when former national player Adrian Hall powered his penalty past the hapless keeper, it meant that Maynard needed to score to keep his side in the match.
However, despite having Riley well beaten, he couldn’t get his shot past the crossbar, much to the disbelief and disappointment of the home fans, who slowly and silently exited the ground.
It was a fitting end to a gripping contest which had seen the scores level 1-1 after full and extra time.
Hope had given St Andrew much to shout about early on when he put them ahead, thanks to a piece of brilliance.
Romario Holligan fed him a delightful pass on the left flank and after skilfully moving past two defenders, Hope blasted his shot to the left of a diving Riley.
Jamar Grazettes then wasted a good opportunity to bring St Michael North level, but Taylor produced a good save to deny the tall striker who had been played through on goal.
Grazettes would make amends just minutes later, this time calmly slotting his left-footed shot past an advancing Taylor as the two teams went into the half-time break tied at 1-1.
Both sides continued to pour forward in search of that all-important goal, with Harewood forcing a magnificent flying save from Riley just seconds before the final whistle to signal penalties.
In the end, St Michael North proved too much for their eastern opponents and will join the City of Bridgetown, Christ Church West Central and St Michael South Central in the semi-finals.