Week four started with a College Cup Group D double-header down on the Astroturf.
JAMES FIRSTS 2 GOODRICKE SECONDS 0
Mark Johnson proved, once again, how important he could be to James’s bid for this year’s College Cup with a stunning brace that left a toothless Goodricke seconds side reeling. James’s dominance in terms of possession did not translate into obvious chances and it was left to Johnson to smash home two strikes that aren’t likely to be bettered too many times on the on the JLD this year.
Goodricke will be pleased with their general performance but will perhaps rue their lack of class in the offensive third, a charge that could not be levelled at James with University firsts’ captain Mark Mcleod and Johnson on the field. Mcleod almost conjured a magnificent opener as his sweetly driven pass set up a break away for James Offord, who should have gone closer with his angled shot.
Nick Dheir’s team had chances of their own as Dave Coupland went close after a scuffed clearance from James Loftus. They could have gone in at half-time ahead after a superb effort from Adam Botterill left Dom McMahon stranded in the James but drifted just over.
After such a late first-half scare Johnson’s first moment of brilliance came at the perfect time to settle any lingering James nerves. He planted an effort in to the top corner from the left hand angle of the box for his first, simultaneously silencing vocal Goodricke keeper Matt Brennan and igniting the approval of the onlooking crowd. His second was even better and after receiving a typically astute Mcleod pass he easily turned his man before repeating the trick with a rasping drive.
Matt Brennan, the Goodricke goalkeeper, went unpunished for this challenge, the referee adjudging the James forward of deliberately running into him. Photograph by Maggie Aslet.
James Firsts: Dom McMahon, Joe Jenkinson, Oscar Lynch, James Loftus, John Carroll, Alex Collins, Mark Mcleod, Richard Baxter, Simon Mole (Angus O’Brien), Mark Johnson, James Offord
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Mark Johnson
Goodricke Seconds: Matt Brennan, Michael Brooks, Andy Case, Sam Astbury, Sam Lewis, Nick Dheir, Adam Botterill, Ollie Braid (Christian Hammer), Dave Coupland, Matt Sutherland
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Matt Sutherland
LANGWITH FIRSTS 3 DERWENT THIRDS 1
Although the game that followed Johnson’s masterclass did not have the same level of technical ability on show it more than made up for it in terms of drama. Derwent Thirds frustrated an out of sorts Langwith Firsts consistently for almost the whole of the first half an hour period. Freddy Harris troubled their defence throughout and went close on a couple of occasions before Luke Gardener gave Langwith the lead with an audacious 30-yard effort that really should have been saved by the hapless Stuart Bruce.
Eventually Langwith hit their stride and were rewarded by a moment of genius from Paddy Sloan on the left as he controlled the ball, beat his man and fired home at the near post with alarming fluidity to make it 2-0. Derwent had chances of their own though and could reasonably argue that they deserved more from the game. Matt Jenkins’ long throws caused problems all day and Derwent twice hit the post after flick-on’s from Delap-esque deliveries. Mike Regan did pull one back for the underdogs and perhaps even Langwith would not have begrudged their opponents that, depite more than a strong hint of handball in the build up.
In the end though Langwith’s class showed and they restored their two goal margin with a nicely worked team goal direct from the restart. Sam Rooney was the man to chip home from the back post to leave the scoreline at 3-1 and to save some Langwith blushes.
Langwith were frustrated by a resolute Derwent Thirds team, but eventually ran out 3-1 winners in Monday’s second fixture. Photograph by Maggie Aslet.
Langwith Firsts: Tom Lambert, Luke Gardener, Liam Condron, Tom Parker, Matt Wilcox, Danny Mullen, Callum Sheridan, Stewart Cotteril, Lawrence Chetwynd (Sam Rooney), Paddy Sloane, Bruce Starkey
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Patrick Sloane
Derwent Thirds: Stuart Bruce, Matt Jenkins, Andy Jeffries, Joe Rahmen, Steve Weavis (Dan Crehan), Andy Cooper (Conor Scanlan), James Beggs, Jim Norton, Freddy Harris (Mike Regan), Sam Hodson, Adam Cliff
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Joe Rahmen