Academy stuns Scholars

Liverpool FC’s charismatic German manager, Jurgen Klopp, waxed lyrical this week about the importance of half-time team talks. He told journalists in the UK how he used video technology to replay instances from the first 45 minutes to point out to his team where they went wrong.

West Bay’s Ed Bush Sports Complex may not have such high-tech equipment as Anfield does in the English Premier League, but Scholars International coach Collin ‘Dougie’ Rowe certainly had his work cut out after a dire first half against Academy Sports Club on Sunday (20 November).

For the first 45, the team in yellow where lethargic. Forget “soon come”, this was more a case of “never came” as Academy’s young side ran rings around their opponents for much of the opening exchanges.

It seemed only Scholars keeper Jermaine Brown was bothered, barking out orders to the shaky defence in front of him as Academy searched for an opener.

Scholars Int'l keeper Jermaine Brown did his best as his team surrendered two goals.

Scholars Int’l keeper Jermaine Brown did his best as his team surrendered two goals.

The lively Rohann Williams upfront was a constant threat. He even manged on shot on target while fixing his hair. Although Williams looked most likely to open the scoring, he turned provider just after the half hour mark, teeing up Kion Parchment who made it 1-0 with a good finish Brown could do little about.

Scholars had their keeper to thank for keeping the score line at just the one during the first half as Brown twice denied Rhon Royer before the referee blew for the interval.

After the break a different team in yellow emerged. Scholars, likely from a tough talk from the Rowe and the coaching staff, came out strong in the second half.

Michael Brown was central to everything Scholars had to offer. Often grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck in the centre of the Academy half as he dictated play and searched for an equaliser.

It was a surprise when he was substituted with the game still in the balance. Tired maybe, or perhaps he picked up a knock, but to see him withdrawn was a disappointment.

Academy's Finigan Huffington clears his lines against Scholars.

Academy’s Finigan Huffington clears his lines against Scholars.

Not much later, Scholars were dealt a sucker blow.  Royer burst down the left in front of the main stand and while supporters, and Brown in the goal, expected a cross, Royer fooled everyone firing home at the near post to put the game out of reach and secure the points for Academy.

Cue the show boating. Academy’s teenager left siders Romario Dixon and Clayon Forrest seemed to have the ball glued to their feet as Scholars struggled to regain possession and yellow heads dropped.

A late consolation by substitute Carson Fagan should have set up a grand stand finish, but it wasn’t to be.

This is a young Academy team with five teenagers in Sunday’s starting eleven. If they can mature, live up to promise and stay together, they could be a strong force in the coming years.

As for the defending league champions, Scholars, they need a reminder when they next play, soon come is not enough on the football pitch.

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