The 128th staging of the Penn Relays will be special.

Sixty years after Jamaican teams first competed at the prestigious relay carnival in Philadelphia, the black, green and gold will again take the spotlight at the 2024 staging from April 25-27 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Team Jamaica Bickle, celebrating 30 years, will execute a Reggae Pop-Up vibe on the final day (April 27) and will for the first time, have a DJ, Road International and live performance from Christopher Martin, a former TBJ ambassador.

Martin who won the 2005 Digicel Rising Stars Contest and who has since gone up to establish himself as one of Jamaica's biggest acts over the last two decades will be the main act in a 20-minute set, never before experienced at the Penn Relays.

The award-winning Road International led by DJ Roy will provide the initial vibe for a massive anchor by Martin.

Irwine Clare Snr, head of Team Jamaica thanks the collaborative effort of VP Records, The University of Pennsylvania, the Consulate of New York, Hypa Active Sounds and Jamaican Dave Productions for making this trailblazing event a reality.

The three-day relay carnival will feature top high school, university and Olympic Development teams from the USA, Canada, Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Garry Monk was disappointed to not take anything from Cambridge’s trip to the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday evening but the U’s head coach was pleased with his side’s attitude.

Monk admitted luck was not on their side in the late 1-0 defeat, especially given that both sides had enjoyed good chances to score and a draw was very much on the cards.

Chris Martin netted the only goal of the game after 87 minutes – after missing a first-half penalty – but Cambridge’s Macauley Bonne and Paul Digby had squandered good opportunities from corners before that, while Mamadou Jobe had also headed against the post.

“So close and it would have been deserved (to get a point), I felt overall. Especially in that second half,” said Monk.

“There was a similar pattern that we need to address. First half, not that it was bad but just that there were a couple of things we weren’t getting to grips with, especially in our defensive actions but we still had a couple of glorious chances in that first half from our set plays. We should have had a goal.

“Second half, we looked so comfortable from a defensive point of view. Much more aggressive in the moments we needed to be and we sorted that out.

“I just couldn’t see them scoring. I was thinking more about, how can we do a little bit better with our attacks?

“But even then, we had the best chances in the second half. What we needed was for one of them to go in.

“But it wouldn’t quite go in for us. And the one real opportunity for them and it goes in – but that’s football sometimes.”

Bristol Rovers finally netted at home, as Martin’s late strike ended a run of four matches at the Memorial Stadium without a goal for the hosts.

The win also made it back-to-back League One victories following success at Cheltenham at the weekend, as the Gas aim to finish their campaign on a high.

“It’s been a while at the Mem, a very good goal to win and a clean sheet to boot,” said boss Matt Taylor. “I was really pleased with our first-half performance.

“I thought we deserved to be ahead in the game. Another missed penalty (after Antony Evans’ miss at the weekend) and enough opportunities to be in a more comfortable position than we were.

“As the second half went on, certainly how the opposition set up, it became more and more frustrating for us and we couldn’t quite get their centre-halves or goalkeeper to work. But you only need that one moment as long as you’ve got that clean sheet behind you.

“Thankfully it came in the shape of a late goal.”

Chris Martin scored his 16th League One goal of the season as Bristol Rovers claimed a late 1-0 victory over Cambridge at the Memorial Stadium.

The Rovers striker fired low into the goal after 87 minutes as he converted Luke Thomas’ cross, with the Pirates scoring at home for the first time in five games.

That goal made up for Martin’s earlier gilt-edged miss – the 35-year-old former Norwich and Derby forward was unable to convert a 33nd-minute penalty.

U’s goalkeeper Will Mannion dived to his left to stop the striker’s low, poorly-placed shot, after Paul Digby had been penalised for a foul on Scott Sinclair, as the Rovers winger attacked following Luke Thomas winning the ball just outside the Cambridge area.

The visitors threatened throughout via set-pieces, as Digby and Macauley Bonne both headed first-half corners over the crossbar.

And Mamadou Jobe went even closer when his 60th-minute header crashed off the woodwork as the defender met a Danny Andrew free-kick.

Luca Hoole cleared Liam Bennett’s shot off the line in the last minute of stoppage time to preserve Rovers’ result, after another Cambridge corner.

Boss Matt Taylor revealed he was left out of pocket after watching his Bristol Rovers side collect all three points with a 1-0 victory at play-off hopefuls Leyton Orient.

Chris Martin recorded his 15th goal of the season when a first-half set-piece from skipper Antony Evans eluded the home defence and the unmarked Martin claimed the faintest of touches before the ball nestled in the far corner of the net.

Rovers found themselves reduced to 10-men after 82 minutes when James Wilson was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident with Brandon Cooper, but they emerged with their goal intact after soaking up relentless second-half pressure.

“This game has cost me five hundred quid for the clean sheet and five hundred for the set-piece goal,” Taylor said.

“I’m having to bribe players as we’re going to Cheltenham races in a few weeks, so £1000 is a lot of money and you can buy a lot of nappies for that but it was more than worth it!

“I thought it was a high-quality game of football in the first half. Orient are a really strong team and we know they have a fluid rhythm about them but I liked our structure.

“They started the second half really brightly and we changed our shape and got more of a foothold in the game, and I didn’t think our goalkeeper was overworked. But the unexpected happened and we lost a player for the last 15 minutes of the game.

“We then had to withstand the pressure with backs against the wall defending and we rode our luck at times, but again Jed (Ward) has only really had to make a couple of saves.”

Orient boss Richie Wellens felt his side deserved more from the match.

“It was a smash and grab,” he said.

“We conceded three shots on our goal and they scored from one of them. It was a poor goal from us to give away. A sloppy free-kick and a cheap set play but the delivery was very good and (Chris) Martin does what he does best, which is to get across people in the box.

“Second half, I can’t even remember them being in our box or in our half at times. We had 18 corners and started the game OK with opportunities to take people on but just looked just a bit leggy.

“It was a disappointing day in terms of results this afternoon but another really solid performance. We’ve lost two games when we’ve played midweek and the opposition haven’t. It’s not an excuse but we did look tired and hence why I need to make changes.”

Bristol Rovers grabbed a 1-0 win over Leyton Orient thanks to a Chris Martin goal, despite playing out the final few minutes with 10-men after James Wilson was sent off.

Rovers, who were forced into a change after just four minutes when defender Jack Hunt left the pitch with a leg injury, should have scored the opener in the 13th minute when the dangerous Scott Sinclair teed up Luke Thomas but he completely missed his kick with the goal beckoning.

However, the lively visitors grabbed a deserved lead on the half-hour mark from a set-piece. Skipper Antony Evans curled in a teasing free-kick and Martin claimed the faintest of touches as the ball found its way into the far corner of the net.

Orient totally dominated possession after the interval but were unable to unlock a resilient and resolute opposition.

Wilson was given a straight red card by referee Darren Drysdale eight minutes from time for an off-the-ball incident with Brandon Cooper, but despite incessant pressure and a total of 17 corners, Orient were unable to capitalise.

Bristol Rovers manager Matt Taylor has warned his players to buck up their ideas or risk being sold after Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Northampton.

Rovers trailed as early as the third minute at Sixfields through Patrick Brough’s close-range finish, and he then turned provider to set up Mitch Pinnock for a second shortly before half-time.

The visitors did rally in the second half and Chris Martin briefly restored hope, but Marc Leonard’s sensational late goal rubber-stamped Northampton’s victory.

Rovers have now lost seven of their last 10 league games and drop to 12th in League One.

Taylor said: “I have to be careful what I say because I’m incredibly frustrated but I can’t stand here and keep saying the same things.

“The first half was poor and we couldn’t get any aggression in our running and we were second best too often, but goals are still so important and both are preventable.

“There’s a softness which has been apparent for a long time. We were brighter in the second half, we ran harder and we had more purpose.

“We got back in the game but then another poor goal from a set-piece has cost us again. All three goals are incredibly preventable and that’s a recurring theme.

“The fans are frustrated and rightly so because the way we run at the start of the game was poor.

“We don’t seem to value certain things as a team so I need to find a way to hammer that home on the training pitch or some players will struggle to stay at the football club.

“We need to change things because you can see how soft we are with the goals we concede and when we concede those goals, we’re having to chase games.

“Football is a simple game. Do your job first and foremost.”

The win was Northampton’s first in five games and it lifts them back above Rovers and into 11th.

“We’re really pleased,” said Cobblers assistant manager Ian Sampson. “It’s a great result after a couple of frustrating games and it gets us back on track.

“It was so disappointing to concede in the last minute on Tuesday but it’s testament to the lads and their character because every time we have a hiccup, they respond really well and they did that again today.

“We’ve had one or two problems in certain areas of the pitch but we managed that better today and obviously we’re delighted to win the game.

“It’s really pleasing to score three goals, and they were good goals as well, but we were also better defensively and that’s pleasing for the back four and the whole team.”

Bristol Rovers manager Matt Taylor bemoaned his side’s inconsistent form as the Pirates lost 2-0 at home to relegation-threatened Fleetwood.

Jayden Stockley and Ronan Coughlan both found the net to secure Fleetwood a second consecutive win, leaving them six points from safety in League One.

The defeat – Rovers’ fourth in their last five home matches in all competitions – ended a run of back-to-back league wins.

“We’re disappointed to lose the game,” said Taylor.

“We’ve fallen into the same pattern that we’ve done too often this season where we’ve had a boost of a couple of good performances and victories to boot and then not been able to follow it up physically and game wise.

“A bit of physicality against our back line and poor defending on two crosses has led to the opposition being ahead. We’ve had the two best chances of the first half and then we’ve had the sucker punch of a set-piece goal.

“As the pressure came onto the game we’ve not been able to handle that and execute in terms of our final third play from that moment on.”

Taylor also explained that defender Jack Hunt had been sick on the pitch before being substituted in the 25th minute with a suspected concussion.

Taylor felt that Chris Martin was harshly shown a second yellow card in the third minute of second half stoppage time as a late melee broke out between the two sides.

“If he’s sent off then several other players should have been too,” added Taylor.

Fleetwood boss Charlie Adam is refusing to get carried away with the upturn in his side’s results.

“We were pleased. To come away from home we knew what Bristol Rovers were going to give us, after their back-to-back wins,” he said.

“They’re in good form. We knew we had to defend the box well the whole night. We’re delighted but it’s just three points and we’ll look forward to Saturday.

“I’m delighted with the clean sheet and I believe our performances will get us the wins. I keep saying that. We’ve been in five or six games, but I’ve felt the performances were getting better and better. The last two-and-a-half games have been really, really good.

“If we keep clean sheets with what we have in the attacking part of the pitch then we’ll keep causing teams problems.”

Ronan Coughlan and Jayden Stockley were again on target as Fleetwood continued their League One survival mission with a 2-0 win at Bristol Rovers.

Coughlan grabbed his second goal in two games and Jayden Stockley his third in three as Charlie Adam’s side claimed a second consecutive victory, leaving them six points from safety.

Former Rovers academy player Ryan Broom swung over a deep cross in the 20th minute that eventually fell to Carl Johnston on the opposite flank, for the Northern Irishman to centre again. Stockley then cleverly headed back for Coughlan to swivel in the area and give the visitors a deserved lead.

Stockley doubled the lead when he headed in a Gavin Kilkenny corner, rising unmarked in the area after 52 minutes.

Chris Martin might have converted a low Antony Evans cross after 10 minutes for the home side, but Jay Lynch saved at close range, while winger Luke Thomas spurned a good chance when he collected an Evans back-heel but could not convert after half an hour.

Lynch saved from substitute John Marquis with seven minutes remaining to extinguish any late hope for the hosts, as Martin was sent off for a second yellow card in second-half stoppage time to add to Rovers’ woes.

Barnsley head coach Neill Collins praised his side’s first-half performance after they beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 at Oakwell

Devante Cole and Corey O’Keefe scored either side of Chris Martin’s equaliser to wrap up the three points.

Collins said: “It was a tough game. It was a game that I knew was going to be very tough.

“The fine balance is always emphasising to the team how tough it’s going to be without getting them scared and making sure we know it’s about us.

“I just felt this was a big one because Bristol (Rovers) will still have an eye on the play-offs. They’re good enough to do that and they’ve been on a good run of form.

“The players trained fantastically. I thought in the first half they were really excellent in most parts of the game apart from the final pass or final cross.

“Once we did get that right, we scored and probably should’ve done it a little bit more often and taken advantage of the first-half performance.”

On his side’s reaction to losing their lead, Collins said: “There’s always an opponent to consider, they brought on two big target strikers. We don’t have that dominant presence, although the lads at the back stood up to it really well.

“We’re going to have a lot more games like that between now and the end of the season. The good thing for me is there’s a lot of room for us still to improve, but a lot to be pleased with.”

Bristol Rovers manager Matt Taylor pointed out the weaknesses that led to his side’s downfall.

He said: “We had a lot of chances; I didn’t think we were good enough first half.

“I think we lacked a little bit of our strength, intensity and brightness when the ball was in and around us.

“The second-half performance was much improved in terms of our understanding of what the game needed first and foremost.

“We haven’t kept a clean sheet since I’ve been here, that’s a pretty damning statement of myself and this group of players because we do create chances, we always look like we’ve got a threat about us.

“We’ve got to find a way of staying more controlled in games.”

On how his team conceded the first goal, Taylor said: “Every goal you concede you’ll go into real detail, but the really clear theme is that we’ve conceded too many goals that we feel are soft goals.

“At the moment, there’s a bit of softness and that’s not always a physical statement, it’s our mindset towards it, our understanding of what’s needed at certain times.

“It’s frustrating because throughout the course of the game we’ve created the cleaner chances, but it’s irrelevant.”

Barnsley returned to winning ways after defeating Bristol Rovers 2-1 at Oakwell.

Devante Cole and Corey O’Keefe scored either side of Chris Martin’s equaliser to wrap up the three points for Barnsley, who had drawn their last two league games.

The Tykes had a flurry of chances in the 32nd minute as Rovers could not clear. Adam Phillips came closest, but Matthew Cox was able to tip around the post.

The hosts broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute through Cole. He was picked out in the box by John McAtee, heading onto a post and tapping the rebound into an empty net.

Matt Taylor’s side had the chance to equalise in the opening minute of first-half stoppage time. Former Barnsley forward Luke Thomas turned inside the box and looked to curl one into the bottom left corner, but Roberts saved.

Rovers did equalise in the 68th minute when Antony Evans crossed from the right, finding Martin who directed his header into the far corner.

Neill Collins’ side regained the lead in the 73rd minute. Phillips played a composed pass to O’Keefe who slotted home from inside the box.

Bristol Rovers manager Matt Taylor saluted veteran striker Chris Martin after he took out his “frustration” on Charlton with both goals in a 2-1 win at The Memorial Stadium.

Martin came off the bench to put the Gas ahead after 68 minutes and then had the final say four minutes into stoppage time after Manchester City loanee Slobodan Tedic had drawn Charlton level late on.

Taylor sang the 35-year-old’s praises after he revealed the Scotland international has been unhappy at having to play second-fiddle to fellow striker John Marquis in recent weeks.

He said: “Chris has probably been disappointed over the last few games not to have been starting.

“John Marquis has been leading the line well and scoring goals but tonight as the game was panning out we needed a different profile at the top end of the pitch.

“Once we got the ball into those dangerous areas he was bright and he was sharp and his first was a really good finish.

“But he has done that throughout the course of his career and I want him to keep buying into what we are trying to do in terms of work-rate and endeavour.”

Martin’s short-term Rovers contract expires in mid-January and his brace could not have come at a better time for the player and the club who ended 2023 with rare back-to-back wins.

Taylor added: “Hopefully this is another moment where a forward player can go on a bit of a run.

“Confidence is a big factor but his game is a model of consistency and he allows us to go more direct and he will get on the end of things.

“Both of his goals were classy and while they won’t go down as top goals in his overall career, they are classy finishes.

“I know he’s been frustrated over the last few games but every member of my senior group will always be frustrated if they don’t get the game time they think they deserve.

“But there’s an easy way to remedy that and that’s to perform as he did.”

For Addicks boss Michael Appleton, whose side have not won since November, the result was tough to take.

He said: “The end bit was hard to defend as a manager but what wasn’t hard to defend was the overall performance.

“We started the game really well and should have been two or three up and then we weathered the storm when we were under pressure.

“We were great in the second half and before they scored we had two or three really good opportunities

“We have done well and controlled the game and when we conceded it knocked the stuffing out of the lads.

“They showed really good character to get back into it but the second goal ruined all the good work the lads put in.

“I have to pick them up and make sure they are in the right frame of mind for New Year’s Day when we play Oxford who are a decent side.

“I have been here before and I recognise when groups need my help instead of being lambasted which is not going to help anyone.”

Reading manager Ruben Selles urged his team to be more ruthless in front of goal after a scrappy 1-1 home draw with Bristol Rovers in League One.

Bottom-of-the-table Reading went ahead five minutes before the interval when striker Sam Smith rifled in his first goal of the season.

But Rovers levelled in the 57th minute when former Reading loanee Chris Martin lofted a fine shot over home keeper David Button.

Reading are now winless in eight league matches.

“Football is all about moments and we had a moment to make it 2-0 [Harvey Knibbs’ chance shortly before half-time],” Selles said.

“Then, in the second half, they scored their goal. But we had many situations to score our second one and we didn’t do it.

“When we did make that pressure with that action from Sam, it was good that he got his goal.

“But we can be better in this area, with our finishing. We had a lot of ball in the opposition half but in those situations, we need to get in more shots and more shots on target.

“We made a lot of turnarounds, when we won the ball, but we made some mistakes after that.

“If we want to be competitive, we have to take advantage of these good positions.

“It is not about individual players missing these chances, it is about all of us. We have been in these situations before. It is as a team that we need to take these chances.

”We have been making a rotation in our League One squad. And I have been trying to be consistent with 80 per cent of the team.

“When we make our selections, we always try to have some options.”

Rovers caretaker manager Andy Mangan is now unbeaten in three league and FA Cup matches in charge since replacing the sacked Joey Barton last month.

“The feeling in the dressing room, it’s really frustrated,” Mangan said. “I feel like the result has cost us three points.

“We’ve created several chances, going right through to the very end.

“We felt like we played well throughout and we had the better chances over the 90 minutes. We all know that.

“We cost ourselves on the first goal. And it’s always hard when you’re 1-0 down.

“But we showed a lot of guts in the team to come back. We were really positive at half-time.

“We came out firing in the second half. The first 20 minutes, we managed to get that goal.

“And although we might have dropped off a bit after that, I still thought we should have won the game in the end.”

Reading remain rooted to the bottom of League One and are now winless in eight matches after they were held to a scrappy 1-1 draw by Bristol Rovers at the SCL Stadium.

After a disjointed first half, Reading went in front in the 40th minute when Sam Smith drove home his first goal of the season.

Chris Martin levelled for Rovers in the 57th minute, but the game drifted towards a stalemate long before the end.

Rovers had made the first impression with a good run and shot from Aaron Collins that home goalkeeper David Button had to push away.

Reading barely threatened going forward and there was a three-minute delay after tennis balls were thrown on to the pitch as part of the ongoing home protests against Reading owner Dai Yongge.

On the resumption, Reading grew into the game and went ahead five minutes before the break when striker Smith rifled in a fine angled drive after Harvey Knibbs had dispossessed Ryan Woods.

Button saved smartly from Jevani Brown and Collins early in the second period, but Martin, a former Reading loanee, equalised with a well-struck rising effort past the keeper.

Neither side showed much creativity in going for the winner as the game petered out into a tame draw.

Interim Bristol Rovers manager Andy Mangan raised the prospect that he could take charge of the Gas following Joey Barton’s sacking after a 2-1 over Northampton at the Memorial Stadium.

Mangan was placed in temporary charge of the first team in the wake of Barton’s exit on Thursday and such was his players’ response that he is already quizzed about the possibility of taking over on a permanent basis.

When asked about being in line to replace Barton, Mangan told reporters in his post-match news conference: “That’s a really difficult question to ask because Joey’s my friend.

“I’ve been asked to take over the team because of what’s happened this week and all I can do is do my best.

“If we keep winning, then who knows what will happen, but all I can do is every single day come and try to make my players better.

“But I have to say the staff have been fantastic and I’ve got nothing but thanks to everyone at the club.

“Joe and me have been together longer than everyone else here so it’s been tough.

“But it’s been wonderful seeing the way people have been coming together and long may that continue.

“I don’t know what happens next – all I can do is keep working diligently every day.”

Mangan saw striker Chris Martin give his side the perfect start, back-heeling Aaron Collins’ cut-back beyond Cobblers goalkeeper Lee Burge after 10 minutes.

Antony Evans doubled the lead on the half-hour, calmly beating Burge from the penalty spot after the former Sunderland goalkeeper felled Collins.

Emmanuel Monthe halved the lead in the 57th minute when he nodded in Mitchell Pinnock’s free-kick to set up a tense finale.

“I’m an optimist and I think we can beat everyone else, but we can be miles better,” Mangan added.

“Victory felt really good because what happened was a complete shock and to be thrust into it and come away with a 2-1 is something we should all be proud of.

“It’s been a tough week for everyone and the players have to take a lot of credit because they performed to their maximum.

“After the first 10 minutes we were magnificent and when the onslaught came the lads should take credit for standing firm.”

Northampton manager Jon Brady, whose side are now only outside the Sky Bet League One relegation zone on goal difference, expressed frustration with the outcome.

He said: “We started well and had two or three chances, and then gave away easy goals that left us having to fight our way back into the game.

“We got a goal back and pushed and pushed, and we were knocking on the door, but we’re giving ourselves a mountain to climb every single time.

“We dominated every facet of the game. We had 60 per cent possession, but the game’s not about possession, it’s about how you use that ball and having purpose.

“We didn’t put the ball in the back of the net and then it’s too easy for the opposition to score.

“I’m really disappointed but we played quite well, but didn’t come away with anything which is frustrating.”

Chris Martin scored his first goal for Bristol Rovers as he chipped in from 35 yards to earn a point for the home side in a 1-1 draw with Stevenage.

The 34-year-old elegantly lobbed over stranded goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond with seven minutes remaining when John Marquis fed the ball to the Pirates’ September free transfer signing.

Stevenage striker Jamie Reid had netted his ninth goal of the League One season before that as the visitors took the lead in the 40th minute.

Kane Hemmings, Connor Taylor and goalkeeper Matthew Cox all collided in the area trying to meet Jordan Roberts’ looping cross, and while the home supporters awaited a whistle from referee Matthew Donohue, it never came. Instead Reid gathered the loose ball and calmly slotted into the open goal.

Rovers forward Jevani Brown saw a good effort blocked in the second half, while Carl Piergianni headed a Jake Forster-Caskey free-kick against the post with half an hour to play but Stevenage came no closer to scoring.

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