The College Cup kicked off today with a Group A double-header on the Astroturf.
GOODRICKE FIRSTS 3 JAMES THIRDS 0
It took Goodricke until the final five minutes to make absolutely certain of their opening College Cup 2010 win on Monday afternoon, pushed every inch of the way by a determined James thirds side. Two well-taken strikes from captain Dave Coupland in the closing stages earned a slightly flattering 3-0 scoreline, with Goodricke’s profligate finishing in the opening period nearly allowing James to snatch an improbable draw in the second.
A sizeable Astroturf crowd witnessed the tournament kick-off in overcast conditions, and they were soon rewarded with the first goal of this latest College Football saga. Racing in from the left flank to meet a poked Ben Smith through-ball, Eddie Silson curled the ball past Toby Owen in the James goal to open Goodricke’s account.
They proceeded to boss the first-half but encountered stubborn resistance, notably from centre-backs Nick St George, who would collect his team’s man of the match accolade, and Nathan McCusker, who was supreme in the aerial contest. When the defensive quartet was breached, Goodricke found goalkeeper Owen in good form and he made a double block at close quarters to thwart Smith and then a follow-up from Sam Lewis.
Silson came close to doubling his tally, only to see a well-executed lob drop wide, before being denied by a parried save from Owen when well-positioned. On the stroke of half-time, Smith squandered a golden opportunity after McCusker miscued but lost his nerve in front of goal and James remained just a goal in arrears at the changearound.
James had enjoyed some good fortune but emerged galvanised and might have snatched an equaliser – Tim Green sprinted onto a chipped ball forward but goalkeeper Ed Foster was alert to his shot, while a couple of other half-chances went begging.
Eventually, Goodricke capitalised on tired legs to put the game to rest: first, Coupland’s bustling individual run down the right took him one-on-one and he produced a nice finish, and then the same man produced a lovely chip over Owen for 3-0.
Goodricke, at length, achieved the expected victory to kick-start their College Cup campaign but there is plenty of optimism for James, whose dogged display here will trouble Alcuin seconds, Derwent seconds and Wentworth firsts, the trio who make up Group A. AJS
Arran Bowen-la Grange, of James, challenges for the ball in his team’s 3-0 defeat this afternoon. Photograph by Peter Iveson.
Goodricke Firsts: Ed Foster, Niall Walsh, Danny Munro, Sam Astbury, Josh Barker, Adam Leadbeater, Sam Lewis, Eddie Silson, Dan York, Dave Coupland (c), Ben Smith (Rob Shanley)
Nouse Fantasy Football man of the match: Adam Leadbeater
James Thirds: Toby Owen, Ben Li (Ruari Phillips), Nick St. George, Nathan McCusker, George Clarke, Dave Williams, Jack Fisher, Huw Harrow, Andy Yates (Arran Bowen-la Grange), Tim Green, Jody Rolfe (Adam Tzimas)
Nouse Fantasy Football man of the match: Toby Owen
WENTWORTH FIRSTS 1 DERWENT SECONDS 0
A first-half header from defender Seb Schmerold was enough to give Wentworth firsts the points against an out of sorts Derwent seconds on Monday afternoon.
With Goodricke firsts stating their dominance with a comfortable 3-0 win against James thirds in the match before, both teams looked to take the early initiative in the groups – Derwent having the first real chance to take a scalp in the cup by over-turning the Postgrads, but Wentworth should be given credit for producing a robust team display and controlling the game throughout.
With much of the opening stages played out in the midfield, the game finally sprang into life after ten minutes with Derwent having a legitimate shout for a penalty; the ball appearing to strike the arm of Wentworth centre back Matt Lakins, but the referee waved it away despite the vocal protests of the Derwent players and supporters crowding the sidelines.
With the penalty decision waved away, Wentworth were able to counter – Samik Datta winning a corner after a last ditch clearance from the Derwent backline right in front of the goal-mouth. The resulting corner found Schmerold climbing highest at the back post to steer the ball past a helpless Roy Moore and give Wentworth the lead.
The goal seemed to galvanise Wentworth, with their grip on the game increasing considerably, out-muscling a much smaller Derwent team in all areas of the park – the front three of Datta, Kitson and Green proving to be a handful. It was Datta who was proving to be the biggest threat and the little winger should have probably got on the score sheet on the fifty minute mark. An exquisite cross-field ball from the excellent Kitson on the right found Datta on the edge of the area, but his shot thumped the near-side post when he really should have scored and killed the game off completely.
Derwent did finally threaten in the closing stages, but captain Matt Worsfold was to bemoan his side’s lack of production in the final third after the match. Derwent went closest though Barnaby Francis hitting a long-range shot into the arms of Wentworth stopper Seamus Kent, and Derwent should have endeavoured to get something on the end of a vicious in-swinging cross into the six yard area from centre back Josh Baines. Half chances aside, Wentworth must be given credit for producing a battling performance to win the game and join Goodricke at the top of the group going into their bye week, while Derwent should rebound against James thirds next week. DA
Wentworth celebrate Seb Schmerold’s goal, which proved enough to earn three points against Derwent seconds today. Photograph by Peter Iveson.
Wentworth Firsts: Seamus Kent, Lachie Murray, Alan Burns, Matt Lakins, Seb Schmerold, Ziad Chami, Luke Fleet, Russ Kitson, Samik Datta , Andy Suggitt, Dom Green
Nouse Fantasy Football man of the match: Samik Datta
Derwent Seconds: Roy Moore, Andy Jeffreys, Joe Boughtflower, Matt Worsfold, Josh Baines, Barnaby Francis (Nana Sarpong), James Beggs (Adam Cliff), James Matthews, John Pinkstone, Matt O’Connor, Freddy Harris (Ben Cresswell)
Nouse Fantasy Football man of the match: Matt Worsfold