Goodricke firsts edge tense college football encounter

A disciplined Goodricke side weathered a late Vanbrugh surge to hold on to their lead in this Sunday’s college football firsts matches…

GOODRICKE FIRSTS 2 vs. VANBRUGH FIRSTS 1

Sunday 16th November 2008

A disciplined Goodricke side weathered a late Vanbrugh surge to hold on to their lead in the Sunday’s college football firsts matches. A battered pitch provided the scene for a match that picked up pace after the deadlock had been broken early in the second half.

The first half had left much to be desired. After a quarter of an hour of midfield tussle, Goodricke had the ball in the net after a break down the right. Squared to the six-yard area and, after a bit of a scramble between defender, goalkeeper and striker, the ball found its way into the centre of the box to be slotted home, but the whistle had blown seconds before for an infringement in the mêlée.

The half continued tit-for-tat: Goodricke drilled a free-kick straight into the wall from about 20 yards and Vanbrugh forward Ali Prince had a shot deflected just over, following a low cross from the left hand side of the box. No sooner had the action started to pick up, did the whistle blow to end the half goalless.

The second half started much brighter; a long cross-field ball five minutes in found Vanbrugh winger Dan Hewitt, who shot into the side netting from inside the area. It was then Goodricke who turned up the pressure, with shots flashed from just outside the sty that was the 18-yard box, but with only one really testing the goalkeeper. Their pressure eventually told on 60 minutes, however, when Dave Coupland controlled a through ball, which seemed to cannon off his hand, and slotted it past the keeper into the centre of the goal.

Vanbrugh almost replied instantly, when Matt Potter was one-on-one with the keeper, but he sent his curling shot agonisingly close. Goodricke doubled their lead on 70 minutes, when a lofted ball from midfield was sneaked through two defenders by Sam Lewis, who then coolly finished into the top corner with the outside of his foot.

The goal acted belatedly to spark the much-fancied Vanbrugh team into life, and they lay siege to the Goodricke goal. Jamie Clarke, who had just come on, had a shot that whistled past the post before he picked the ball up on the left, faked the defender, and put in a cross that was turned in at the near post by a Goodricke centre back.

With the score 2-1 on 80 minutes, Vanbrugh pushed further up in search of the elusive equaliser. It almost materialised two minutes from time when, from a corner, the ball found its way over a group of heads to Chris Schultz who, taken by surprise, stuck out a boot but the ball was frustratingly off target. That would turn out to be the last action of the match and Goodricke hung on for the victory.

In the afternoon’s other fixtures, Derwent snatched a dramatic last-minute 1-1 draw against Halifax after goalkeeper Ed Amoroso – outstanding throughout the rest of the game – made an error in the first half that handed his opponents an easy goal. Meanwhile, Alcuin smashed seven unanswered goals past perennial whipping-boys Wentworth, with the towering Jake Delaney scoring a hat-trick from centre back. Alcuin hopes the win will revitalise its title challenge after a disappointing defeat to James last weekend. Langwith have struggled all season and lost 6-0 to top-of-the-table James in the day’s other game.

The results leave Alcuin on 9 points, one behind leaders James, and Halifax, Derwent and Goodricke all tied on 7.

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