Reported by Sports Analyst Clyde Jureidini
Harbour View FC had the better of possession at the beginning of the Lynk Cup quarter final 1st leg at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Centre. The Stars of the East looked dangerous on occasions as Cristojay Daley glided menacingly around the penalty area to set up attackers, Kemar Mullings and J’Havier Lynch, but both failed to convert their chances inside the box. The Chapelton Maroons were expected to come out hunting, and they did. Timely passes set the game at a friendly pace allowing the experienced Evan Taylor to play well within his comfort zone.
Lynk Cup Quarterfinal 1st Leg: Harbour View FC vs Chapleton Maroons
The quality of Evan Taylor’s sumptuous free kick in the 21st minute was expertly delivered on the spot to elude Harbour View’s defensive line, led by Ajeanie Talbott and Romaine Brackenridge. Chapelton Maroons defender Osani Ricketts stole the march on all of them to sidefoot home a lofted cross from 10 yards into the roof of the net to lead 1-0. Ricketts beat goalkeeper Romario Palma, who could not intercept the well-weighed free kick from experienced midfielder Taylor. Chapelton Maroons 1 – 0 Harbour View FC.
5-Time all-island cup winners Harbour View FC battled back from that 21st-minute strike at the far post. The response came quickly from midfielder Shawn Daley. Shawn collected a right-sided pass from his creative midfield partner Cristojay Daley in minute 25. He then displaced his attending defender to place the ball delicately inside the far post to the left of the Chapelton Maroons goalkeeper, whose outstretched palm could not make contact despite his best effort. Chapelton Maroons 1- 1 Harbour View FC.
Level Playing Field
Another chance fell at the feet of Shawn Daley, who poked the ball against the far upright only to be ruled offside. Taylor made a variety of creative, diagonal passes to both flanks of the field finding players willing to run, his preference being to 18-year-old David Reid (on loan to the Maroons from Harbour View FC). Harbour View leftback Odorland Harding and retreating forward Kemar Mullings paid them close attention, and aimed to not cause threat to the stand-in custodian Palma who was prompt to respond to each incoming attack.
The ebb and flow of the encounter continued as an even match up, as both teams traded attacks and counterattacks throughout the game. Chapelton Maroons were noticeably motivated to kick at every half chance from distance to test the new Harbour View goalkeeper. Harbour View FC were much more patient, deliberate, and sometimes far too slow to decide where and when to conclude their tactics. The heavily-rotated squad roster showed signs of a lack of match fitness in multiple players.
A fierce drive on top of the area from Harbour View substitute Phillon Lawrence stung the gloves of the Chapelton Maroons goalkeeper, as did a sharp reply that goalkeeper Palma parried over the crossbar in the 90th minute as the game wound down. The quarterfinal 1st leg ended 1-1 with all to play for next Wednesday at the same venue. It promises to be exciting; who will advance to the Lynk Cup semifinal?