St Michael North progress
St Michael North gave new meaning to the term “cutting it close”.
Needing to win by two clear goals to advance to the knockout round of the David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Football Classic, they defeated Christ Church East 3-1 at the Eden Lodge playing field on Monday night.
St Michael North came into their final game in third position on three points, behind Christ Church East (seven points) and St George South (six), and only victory by a two-goal margin would have been enough to carry their goal difference past St George South’s who had already completed all of their matches.
In the end, a brace from Andre Pinder in the 24th and 62nd minutes, along with a 50th minute strike from Jamar Grazette, was enough to send the home team into the round of 16.
They did have to endure some nervous moments after Theo Rock pulled one back for the visitors in the 76th minute, but they managed to do so quite comfortably.
In the night’s first game, St Andrew somehow managed to hold off a second half assault from St Michael South as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
With St Andrew already assured of a place in the next round, the result was a major blow for St Michael South who needed to secure a win if they were to have any chance of advancing.
Before a massive crowd, Christ Church East dominated the second contest early on as both Lloyd Wilkinson and Dario Small blasted long-range efforts over the bars.
And with St Michael North struggling to find a rhythm, their opening goal was due to a huge slice of luck.
They were presented with a free kick 30 yards out, and Pinder’s seemingly harmless attempt took a huge deflection off the wall, leaving goalkeeper Gabriel Layne with no chance.
They carried that scoreline into the second half before Grazette made it 2-0 after Layne could only parry Pinder’s shot into his path, and he duly obliged by tapping the ball into an empty net.
Pinder then extended that lead by outsprinting two Christ Church East defenders and sliding his effort past the advancing ’keeper.
Rock did manage to score a consolation goal for the visitors, but some stern defending by the home side saw them to safety.