MONDAY 25 MAY
Alcuin Firsts 4 Vanbrugh Seconds 1
In the glorious Bank Holiday sun, brilliant performances from Man of the Match Miles McDermott and captain Dan Cox helped Alcuin to a stylish win which will send out a strong message to their rivals.
Cox opened the scoring for Alcuin within five minutes and this was followed by McDermott’s free kick curling into the back of the net. The game already looked up for Vanbrugh but, to the amazement of the crowd, Matt Scaysbrook also pulled one back with an even more stunning free kick. Vanbrugh looked ready to stage a comeback but, in the second half, Alcuin raised their game. The crowd had already been treated to some spectacular goals but Parris Williams’ volley from the edge of the box was something else. The ball expertly controlled and lobbed over the keeper in one touch, it is unlikely that the tournament will see a better goal. The impressive Christie Cormac added a fourth to seal the win but Alcuin continued to press. Vanbrugh left the field knowing that if it had not been for the goalkeeping of Tom Margiotta then the score could have been much worse. LEIGH CLARKE
Wentworth Seconds 2 Goodricke Thirds 0
On a hot and sticky Bank Holiday Monday, Wentworth seconds barely broke sweat in beating Goodricke thirds 2-0, as the College Cup 2009 entered its third week. Goals from Ross Kitson and Chris Milne either side of half-time were more than enough for the three points, capping a solid team performance in which there were no real outstanding individuals.
Milne, his France shirt and skills drawing touchline comparisons with Franck Ribéry, wasted little time in alerting the Goodricke back four to his presence, striking the post with a cross-cum-shot in the second minute. With Man of the Match Dan Horsfall impregnable as stand-in centre-back, Wentworth, also fast in the midfield, opened the scoring through Kitson’s looping half-volley, which Matthew Brennan just couldn’t keep out.
This one was settled mid-way through the second-half when Milne picked up a deserved goal, finishing with assurance after set through one-on-one. Goodricke’s lone striker Mike Brooks laboured throughout, enjoying his best opportunity when firing just over late on. In reality, though, it should have been more: Rich Rhodes forced an outstanding save from Brennan in the dying moments, but the victory was long assured. ADAM SHERGOLD
Vanbrugh Firsts 2 Goodricke Seconds 3
Read the full match report
Goodricke Seconds produced one of the great College Cup upsets on Monday afternoon, beating last term’s league winners Vanbrugh Firsts. Worryingly for Vanbrugh – a pre-tournament favourite for the Cup – the league champions were outplayed right across the park by a team they were expected beat by three or four. Two goals from stand-in striker Andy Myhill and one from first team crossover Dave Coupland sealed the win for Michael Sneddon’s team.
Man of the Match Josh “Tank” Barker produced an incredible individual display, outplaying – with some panache – the University Firsts captain Matt Witherwick in the centre midfield. Goals from Mark Gouland and Ali Prince were not enough for Vanbrugh in the second half and, if Goodricke go on to beat the Halifax Thirds and Langwith Seconds, Vanbrugh Firsts will need to beat tournament favourites Derwent in order to progress to the quarter finals. DAN HYDE
Halifax Thirds 1 Langwith Seconds 1
Well, what is there to say about this game? After sixty life-sucking minutes of scrap on the JLD, to drone on here would border on the sadistic. So I won’t. Man of the Match went to Halifax goalscorer Tom Jesson for a decent performance full of Dirk Kuyt-style hard-work and guile that, according to Halifax midfielder Jordan Goodfellow, was the only thing that “gave our team something to aim at up front”. Matt Cullen got on the scoresheet for Langwith and earned three Fantasy Points. DAN HYDE
TUESDAY 26 MAY
Halifax Firsts 2 – 0 James Seconds
Halifax and James played out a pretty uneventful match early Tuesday morning. Halifax dominated the midfield and in the end overpowered a tame James side in the second half. Connor Brennan finished smartly early before Shaun Evans slotted a penalty home to secure the victory. James now have a crunch match against Derwent seconds to look forward to, which could decide who gets that second quarter-final spot; Halifax being the strong favourites to top Group four, that is.
The first half lacked any real energy or pace, Halifax had the better of the chances but none a
was clear cut. Man of the Match Alex Richards went close twice; first a looping long range punt forced a tip over from the James keeper and soon after, the first of his many ambitious free kicks hit the crossbar with the keeper seemingly beaten. With the scores 0-0 at half time, Halifax quickly opened the scoring through Connor Brennan, who calmly converted a John Halstead cross from 5 yards. Soon after, Fantasy Points leader Shaun Evans added to his tally with a coolly slotted penalty, after being pushed from behind when through on goal. To James’ disatisfaction, there was some debate as to whether the offence was committed inside the box or not.NABEEL MOOSA
Derwent Seconds 4 Vanbrugh Thirds 2
Derwent seconds kept alive their hopes of progressing from the group stages with victory over feisty Vanbrugh thirds in this Tuesday thriller. Vanbrugh gave everything on the Astroturf, but bow out of the tournament after this 4-2 defeat. Ed Lacaille’s two goals proved significant though it required an exquisite, late overhead kick from Man of the Match defender-cum-centre forward Jamie Tyler to kill off Vanbrugh, who had twice equalised.
Derwent, knowing three points were imperative, wasted little time in pushing forward, Lacaille scoring after just five minutes when he cut from left to right and unleashed a dipping shot past Tom Margiotta. However, their lead lasted barely two minutes as defensive confusion resulted in Tom McQuillen prodding home, bringing Vanbrugh level in controversial circumstances, the ball adjudged to have crossed the line before being hacked away.
A beautiful, curling finish from Lacaille restored Derwent’s ascendancy on the quarter-hour following excellent build-up on the left flank. A pulsating start to the second-half ensued, with David Slater twice going close, before James Grey missed an open goal from barely a yard out with the goalkeeper helpless. The miss appeared to prove costly, as Andy Dakin pulled Vanbrugh level with a close range tap-in after Sascha Bonomally had pinged the ball across the penalty area. However, in a tactical move of genius, Tyler had been switched from wing-back to centre forward and he forced Margiotta into brave action after breaking through. The goal was coming, and, eventually, Paul Ward-Jones restored Derwent’s advantage with a well-placed header from a corner before Tyler, acrobatically, sent a looping shot over Margiotta’s outstretched arm to settle this riveting match. ADAM SHERGOLD
THURSDAY 28 MAY
Goodricke Firsts 1 Halifax Seconds 0
A solitary second-half strike from Dom O’Shea was enough to separate a tight match between Goodricke Firsts and Halifax Seconds. Goodricke had best early chances, with centre-back and Man of the Match Ronan Joyce heading on to the crossbar following a Goodricke corner. The match was plagued by controversial offside decisions, with Goodricke’s forwards often appearing to be ahead of play. In the most controversial decision was in the second half, where Goodricke had a potential second goal disallowed after the referee had waved play on. The first of many such offside decisions was given Goodricke’s way as Dave Coupland was played in by O’Shea, only to roll the ball wide.
Late on in the first half, Fraser Moyle missed an absolute sitter after striker Hugh Pryce was played in was played in through on goal, squared the ball unselfishly to Moyle, and he snatched, sending his shot straight at Goodricke keeper James Mortimer: the score was left at 0-0 at half time. Halifax looked fragile defensively in the second half, as right-back Jay Hewitt often had to come across to cover in the centre. Goodricke’s goal did come, with a long ball sent over the top of Halifax’s centre-backs for Dom O’Shea to smash into the back of the net. Following this, late on Goodricke had a goal chalked off for offside after they were urged by the referee to play on; a decision neither team was happy with. ANDREW BROWN
Derwent Thirds 2 – 2 Alcuin Seconds
Played in beautiful sunshine, the final match of this week’s college cup football was a fascinating spectacle. Overall, the match was very even with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, although Derwent looked more threatening with quick counter attacks, which was evident when Man of the Match Liam Griffin opened the scoring late in the first half. Griffin’s goal was quickly cancelled out by a Thomas Gibby strike early in the second half before Adam Cliff nodded Derwent ahead again. However a strike from Matt Stopforth late on denied Derwent the victory they feel they may have deserved.
There were no standout moments in the early exchanges besides a close lob by Nick Dimond when he latched onto a ball using his pace to run between two Alcuin defenders. Liam Griffin broke the deadlock when he intercepted the ball in his own half, quickly passed and continued his bursting run into the Alcuin half before being duly played through and slotting the ball home. Behind at half time, Alcuin came alive in the second half and Thomas Gibby grabbed the equaliser with from a low cross. Derwent produced an ever quicker reply through skipper Adam Cliff. A long throw that Rory Delap would have been proud of by Liam Griffin, found Steve Walwyn at the back post who headed onto crossbar from point blank range. To his relief the ball looped to Cliff who calmly nodded home the rebound. Alcuin again had to search for an equaliser, with time running out Matt Stopforth brilliantly turned two defenders and laced passed a despairing leopard-faced Krish Yellappa. Towards the end of the match it looked like anyone could have taken it, but eventually the game ended with the spoils shared. NABEEL MOOSA