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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 June, 2004, 20:47 GMT 21:47 UK
Rep of Ire 1-0 Jamaica
Graham Barrett is about to challenge Jamaica's Micah Hyde
Graham Barrett (right) scored Ireland's winner in the first half
Graham Barrett's first half goal earned the Republic of Ireland a deserved win over Jamaica in Wednesday's concluding Unity Cup game at The Valley.

Barrett struck in the 26th minute with a superb low shot from 25 yards after he had been given far too much space.

Clinton Morrison also hit the woodwork in the first half and forced a good save out of Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Rickets before the break.

Marlon King tested Irish goalkeeper Paddy Kenny in the first half.

The Irish started with seven changes from Saturday's 3-0 defeat by Nigeria - the Republic's heaviest for nine years.

Brian Kerr's changes including giving a first start to Sheffield United goalkeeper Kenny while Barrett was included in midfield.

There were several familiar faces in the Reggae Boyz line-up, with Nottingham Forest's Marlon King, Watford midfielder Micah Hyde and Charlton striker Kevin Lisbie all featuring.

The Irish missed a glorious chance to take the lead in the eighth minute after Jamaican keeper Ricketts had failed to deal with a routine cross into the area.

The ball fell to Barrett, who headed it back into the six-yard box but Morrison, who was standing inches from the goal-line, somehow managed to nod the ball onto the bar.

Morrison battled to atone for his miss and he brought a good save out of Ricketts after he had cut inside the Jamaican defence.

John O'Shea missed Saturday's 3-0 defeat by Nigeria
John O'Shea battles for possession with Jamaica's Deon Burton

At the other end, Kenny was well-positioned to save a snapshot from King after some neat play on the edge of the box by the Jamaican.

However, from the next attack in the 26th minute Ireland went into the lead with Barrett scoring his second international goal by firing a low shot from 25 yards past Ricketts.

Jamaican defender Ian Goodison then nearly gifted Morrison a present on the stroke of half-time when he failed to control a cross into the penalty area, but Ricketts was alert enough to pounce on the lose ball.

Brian Kerr sent on Stoke defender Clarke for O'Shea at the start of the second half to win his second cap while Jamaica were unchanged.

The second half was a largely dull affair with the arrival of a streaker giving the 6,000 some unexpected light-hearted entertainment.

King fired wide from the edge of the box as the hour mark approached following good link-up play between Lisbie and Burton.

That was the Charlton forward's last meaningful contribution as he was replaced by Bolton's Jermaine Johnson soon afterwards.

With 15 minutes left, QPR winger Martin Rowlands was given a run-out in place of Reid.

Kerr looked to inject some fresh impetus with a double substitution after 80 minutes when he introduced Matt Holland and Celtic starlet Aidan McGeady, for his full international debut.

But the match petered out in the closing minutes.

Jamaica: Ricketts, Damion Stewart, Neil, Goodison, King, Chin-Sue, Hyde, Reid, Lisbie, Fabian Davis, Burton. Subs: Aaron Lawrence, Whitmore, Jermaine Johnson, Langley, Bernard, Dobson, Claude Davis.

Rep of Ireland: Kenny, Maybury, O'Shea, Doherty, O'Brien, Kinsella, Barrett, Alan Quinn, Lee, Morrison, Andy Reid. Subs: Colgan, Finnan, Rowlands, Clarke, Thompson, Holland, McPhail, McGeady, Doyle, Robbie Keane.

Referee: R Styles (Hampshire)




SEE ALSO
Kerr defends weary Irish
29 May 04  |  Rep of Ireland


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