After the excitement of the first week of the College Cup, there were few upsets in the second week’s play. James and Vanbrugh Seconds both made great strides towards cementing a place in the Cup quarter finals after good showings and James Firsts recovered from an indifferent start last week to smash five past Wentworth Seconds.
Nouse rounds up all the action:
Monday 18 May
Derwent Seconds 1 Wentworth Firsts 1
Derwent looked the more likely to score in the opening stages of Monday morning’s wind-swept College Cup tie – their best chance falling to James Grey who launched the ball well over the bar. The game halted after ten minutes when a nasty – but accidental – knock to the face for Steve Miller forced him to leave the field with a suspected broken nose. The rest of the half passed largely without incident as Derwent piled on the pressure but, despite good work from David Slater, could not find the goal.
Wentworth, playing with the wind behind them in the second half, found their rhythm but were undone by a great finish from Slater. He and Ed Lacaille missed a number of chances to get a second but Wentworth, helped by the excellent touches of captain and Man of the Match Luke Fleet, began to dominate. Substitute Andy Suggit grabbed the equaliser for Wentworth with only a few minutes remaining. Leigh Clarke
James Seconds 2 Vanbrugh Thirds 1
They left it late, but a last minute moment of magic from substitute Adam Papadakis earned James seconds a deserved victory on Monday lunchtime, ensuring they remain on course for the quarter-finals with two wins from two. Earlier, John Carrol, with his second goal in as many matches from defence, had cancelled out Sascha Bonomally’s opener for plucky Vanbrugh thirds early in the second-half. Vanbrugh had been chastened by last week’s 9-0 thumping at the hands of Halifax and began meekly here, playing into a strong wind against a James side content to adopt long-ball tactics. Arran Bowen-la Grange saw a header disallowed for a contentious offside early on, before Matt Ingham’s rasper struck the crossbar and Alex Collins squandered numerous chances.
Having survived waves of pressure in the first-half, Vanbrugh regrouped to stun their opponents within seconds of the restart: a wind-assisted cross from the right was misjudged by Tim Green, allowing the predatory Bonomally the simplest of finishes. James possessed the ability to respond and, with Man of the Match Huw Harrow directing the midfield, Carrol tapped in from close range inside a congested area, after a corner was only half-cleared. Several more chances went begging for James – Rafael Gindre opting to head instead of volley when well-positioned – before Papadakis made the telling intervention in the final minute. The tricky Greek – hitherto disinterested in the game – jinxed past Musa Khan and Josh Gilboy before curling the ball delightfully home. Adam Shergold
James Firsts 5 Wentworth Seconds 0
The penultimate match of Monday’s college cup fixtures resulted in a resounding victory for the James first team. James dominated the game, though Wentworth held their own in the early exchanges but rarely got past the James midfield. Wentworth shouldn’t be despondent though, Dan Franks did manage to get on the score sheet albeit by putting the ball past his own keeper. The other James scorers were substitute James Offord (2), Jody Rolfe and midfield maestro Mark McLeod.
The deadlock was nearly broken by the unlikeliest of scorers. James goalkeeper Sam Clitheroe hoofed one up with the ball just being grabbed on the line by his counterpart. Forward Jody Rolfe opened the scoring with a laced finish from just inside the area. Joe Jenkinson crossed in for Dan Franks to head into his own net before Mark McLeod unleashed a cracker from 25 yards at the beginning of the second half. The in control James side added another two goals through substitute James Offord, who rounded the keeper for his first then controlled and stroked into the bottom corner for his second. Mark Johnson pipped Mark McLeod to Man of the Match for his superb link up play and he would have got his name on the score sheet if it wasn’t for the crossbar. Nabeel Moosa
Vanbrugh Seconds 4 Goodricke Thirds 0
The last match of the day involved Vanbrugh and Goodricke. Following on from a promising draw against group rivals James, Vanbrugh easily brushed aside a lacklustre Goodricke thirds side. A penalty, an own goal and two solid finishes resigned Goodricke to another defeat.
Predictably, Vanbrugh started off the brighter with forward Isaac Parkinson wasting a golden opportunity to open the scoring, after Jamie Clarke crossed and Parkinson, with the whole goal gaping, shouldered the ball wide. Clarke was involved again when he volleyed a cleared corner straight onto the woodwork from the edge of the area. Ali Prince broke the deadlock from the spot after he was judged to have been pushed from behind. The second half saw Man of the Match Matt Scaysbrook head in from 5 yards before Parkinson finely finished from just inside the Goodricke box to make it 3-0. There was just enough time at the end for Tom Elliott to shin into his own net after a Vanbrugh cross from the left. Nabeel Moosa
Tuesday 19 May
Halifax Seconds 5 Derwent Thirds 0
Halifax seconds blitzed their opponents with three first-half goals on Tuesday lunchtime, setting the foundations for a very easy Group One victory. On their first foray into Derwent territory, Hugh Pryce worked himself half-a-yard of space before curling the ball effortlessly home past Krish Yellappa. Having beaten Langwith firsts last week, Halifax kept up the momentum here as Man of the Match Connor Brennan, a first team crossover, finished neatly after controlling a perfectly-weighted cross from the left. A stunning overhead kick from the same man stretched the lead to three, with barely 15 minutes completed.
Mercifully for Derwent, Halifax took their foot off the accelerator, though they did add a couple more in the second period. Pryce notched his second and his team’s fourth from close range, before spurning a golden opportunity for his hat-trick. Euan Edwards was influential on the left flank and, having already seen a one-on-one saved by Yellappa’s outstretched leg, notched the fifth in the closing moments with a powerful finish from close range. Adam Shergold
Alcuin Seconds 3 Langwith Firsts 1
In the day’s other match, Alcuin seconds fended off the spirited challenge of Langwith Firsts, recording a 3-1 win to open their Group One account. Goals for the red and blacks came from Thomas Gibby, Miles McDermott and a towering header from Udy Onwudike. Liam Condron got the final touch in a goalmouth scramble for Langwith’s equaliser at 1-1.
Two fairly evenly matched teams battled for long periods in the centre of the park, and David Ambrozejczyck had little to do in the Alcuin goal, barely having to make a save. James Dorward struggled at the other end and perhaps should have done better for both McDermott and Gibby’s goals. Michael Batula stood out at the back for Alcuin and deservedly picked up the Man of the Match award for a dogged defensive display. Adam Shergold and Dan Hyde
Thursday 21 May
Derwent Firsts 3 Langwith Seconds 0
This was a game Derwent really could have easily won by a much greater margin. First half goals from Man of the Match Ben Smith and Anton Murphy as well as a second half screamer from Matt Hallam won the fixture for an impressive looking Derwent side.
It took only ten minutes for Derwent to take the lead as Ben Smith collected a rebounded shot and found the net. They continued to pressurise and shortly after Anton Murphy, somewhat controversially, added a second after clashing with the keeper. The messiness of the goal was made up for with a typically exuberant celebration. Derwent dominated the second half but were somehow kept from adding to their total, until a powerful strike from Matt Hallam sealed the victory. Those with Ed Lacaille in their fantasy football teams would have winced as the substitute performed what will surely be one of the biggest misses of the cup – his close range shot to an open goal edging over the bar – in the final stages. Leigh Clarke
Goodricke Seconds 2 Halifax Thirds 0
A brace from Craig Macklin gave Goodricke Seconds a deserved victory against Halifax Thirds in an otherwise scrappy match on Thurdsay afternoon. Both of Macklin’s goals came from poorly defended corners. An early sign of Halifax’s impending loss arrived when a back-pass from Tom Sumpter gave Goodricke an indirect – but wasted – free kick in the box. After a tight first half, despite Goodricke maintaining pressure on Halifax throughout, the score was level at 0-0; with a good show from Halifax’s centre backs, JP Ward and Tom Patrickson, keeping them in the game.
However, Halifax’s defensive frailties were exposed in the second half, with the ball being given away cheaply on the wing only for Sam Lewis to shoot wide. Andy Myhill also had a chance on the opposite side to put Goodricke ahead, but again the ball hit side netting. Goodricke’s first goal came from a corner spilled by Halifax’s goalkeeper, Virag Patel, swept in easily at the far post by Craig Macklin. Another poor clearance from a corner saw Macklin drill in from the edge of the box to make it 2-0, although Halifax were left fuming after a slide tackle in the box went unpunished in the buld-up. Andrew Brown