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Meadows, Reno strike first

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Meadows, Reno strike first on Thu May 20, 2010 7:58 pm



Meadows' Dane Planter (left) battles for the ball against Benfica's Gregory Tape during the Digicel Premier League play-off match at Ferdie Neita Park yesterday. Meadows won the game 2-0. - Anthony Minott

Premier League aspirants Meadows and Reno began their Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) All-Island Confederation four-team play-offs, with identical respective 2-0 victories over Benfica and Cavalier yesterday.

At Frome, Reno, who were demoted from the Premier League last season, were led to victory courtesy of goals from Sheldon Bryan (8th) and Jermaine Perry (74th).

The Wendell Downswell-coached team, who are firm favourites to qualify, will oppose Benfica in their second game on Sunday in St Ann.

In the day's second match at Ferdie Neita Park, Meadows, who made their debut in the South Central Super League this season, comfortably defeated Eastern Conference champions Benfica 2-0.

Meadows dominated the early proceedings, and were rewarded in the 31st minute when Jason Vassell dribbled his way past two defenders and into the 18-yard box before calmly slotting past custodian Ravel Wilson, who was well beaten at his far post.

Lacon Brissett came close to giving Benfica an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, but his point-blank shot went wide of the target.

Meadows, came out looking the better side in the second half, and were rewarded when striker Ross Burton doubled their lead five minutes into the period.

quick pace

Meadows' Ross Burton (left) celebrates his goal against Benfica with team-mate Komoy Simpson, during the Digicel Premier League play-off match at Ferdie Neita Park yesterday. Meadows won 2-0. - Anthony Minott

The fleet-footed, Burton, who tormented the Benfica defenders with his pace and dribbling skills, collected a through pass out of midfield from his captain Dayne Planter, outsprinted two defenders and fired home a powerful left-footed shot past Wilson.

The green and black clad Meadows went on to dominate the match, but were let down due to poor finishing from the likes of Jason Vassell, Kenroy White and substitute Tahile Gordon, who were guilty of missing open chances for the hosts.

Christopher Russell, coach of Meadows, was pleased with his team's performance and thought they played a rounded game.

"It was more of a gutsy performance than anything else, in the first half I thought we put down the ball well and started to play it around, but I have to admit Benfica gave us a run for our money," said Alexander.

"Once we came in our own, I thought we took charge and we made quality passes up front which led to the goals that were scored," he added.

Rohan Alexander, coach of Benfica, was disappointed with his team's efforts.

"It is like we never turned up to play football and the team that turned up is the team that received the glory," he said.

"I feel that the players came into this game overconfident," he added.

Meadows will oppose Cavalier in their next game on Sunday.

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