ALCUIN FIRSTS 3 VANBRUGH SECONDS 1
It can be hard to tell sometimes when Alcuin have scored. There’s no choreographed celebration, no unrestrained woops of delight, just a smattering of applause and the odd high-five from a team set on quietly going about their business until the College Cup is retained. Two goals in the opening quarter-hour from Joe Cooper and Jack Crane settled this match, though from their restrained reactions you would never have guessed the importance of a second successive 3-1 result. Cooper’s second late on, the other side of a Jamie Clarke reply for Vanbrugh seconds, put one foot in the quarter-finals.
Ever the perfectionists, the full-time whistle brought a lively dissection of the team’s failings from Miles McDermott and his men. Not enough concentration and organisation at the back appearing to be the unfortunate consequence of what is becoming the team’s hallmark 4-3-3 formation. Dan Cox, the forward, bemoaned a lack of service to feet while Parris Williams, his right-sided strike partner, had again looked isolated. From these animated post-match discussions, it seems the best is still to come from Alcuin, which is a frightening because the winning momentum already exists, something McDermott sought to continue by announcing a friendly with the Medics during their ‘rest’ week. At least they can’t be accused of peaking too early.
Vanbrugh offered little resistance during the first-half on another sun-bathed day in College Cup paradise. Cooper had already forced James Wilson, the Vanbrugh goalkeeper, into early evasive action before rattling in his first goal off the far post five minutes in, the ball barely crossing the line. Shortly afterwards, Christy Cormac prodded the ball towards goal, only to see Wilson clutch the ball, while Jake Delaney had the temerity to gallop forward, the end product, sadly, soaring harmlessly towards the road.
The second goal was one of those where you have to question whether he meant it or not. Crane was skulking around on the right flank when his cross-cum-shot looped over the goalkeeper’s head and into the net. His subdued celebration was more a reflection of his own surprise than anything, while his teammates didn’t know whether to laugh or laud.
Clarke’s strike to halve the deficit ten minutes into the second period came against the run of play, with Delaney sending a header marginally over the bar and McDermott slamming an audacious 40 yard free-kick against the crossbar before the Vanbrugh striker took advantage of some defensive generosity to slot home.
The scorer brought a fine save out of Michael Wynd with a late stinger but, contrary to Vanbrugh’s hopes, the second-half was all Alcuin – they should have notched two or three more before Cooper made the game safe. In his last contribution before being hauled off for Udy Onwudike, Williams tested Wilson, while Cormac broke forward from midfield to acrobatically half-volley into the keeper’s hands.
In the end, Cooper wriggled clear of his defensive attentions and, despite a suspicion of offside, sprinted clear to finish nonchalantly past the goalkeeper for 3-1. Job done and full steam ahead for the last eight for Alcuin.
Jake Delaney couldn’t believe his misfortune as this header flew narrowly over the crossbar. Photograph by Peter Iveson.
Alcuin Firsts: Michael Wynd, Miles McDermott, Jack Crane, Paul Reiss, Jake Delaney, Matt Stopforth, Phil Bowers (Ali Laird), Christy Cormac, Dan Cox, Joe Cooper, Parris Williams (Udy Onwudike)
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Joe Cooper
Vanbrugh Seconds: James Wilson, Arne Bartelsman, Sammy Taylor, Phil Madden, Matt Scaysbrook, Mark Comber (Ash Lockyer), Vest Waterson, Isaac Parkinson, Sascha Bonomally, Jamie Clarke (Kimmy Tang-Wright), Tom Spring
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Phil Madden
WENTWORTH SECONDS 3 VANBRUGH THIRDS 1
Wentworth seconds compounded a miserable afternoon for Vanbrugh with a comfortable win over the thirds in the second instalment of Friday’s Astroturf drama. A superb hat-trick from Dave Worsley was the backbone of an assured performance on their College Cup 2010 debut, the indefatigable Samik Datta did a fine impression of Patrice Evra at left-back and there were stout displays throughout the side.
Vanbrugh equalised three minutes into the second-half when Mark Comber tapped the ball home at the near post from Max Walter’s corner, but they enjoyed parity for just a couple of minutes – Worsley’s second and third shortly afterwards killing a contest ended prematurely at the behest of the Sport Centre staff. In muggy, energy-sapping conditions, several Vanbrugh players were forced to return to the field having completed a 60 for the seconds just before and they struggled to generate momentum and chances.
The opening ten minutes were the Worsley show as, prompted by Dom Green and Jung Choi, he repeatedly breached the green-shirted back line. Having been thwarted by the upright, he lifted the ball over a grounded James Wilson from a tight angle to opened the scoring five minutes in. The same man later pinged an effort wide before Green forced a fine reflex save from the Vanbrugh stopper with a venomous shot.
Dan Horsfall, between the sticks for Wentworth, had been a spectator for all of the opening period yet found himself retrieving the ball from his net moments into the second as Comber profited on some uncertain marking. It wouldn’t last – on their next attack, Worsley strode through the Vanbrugh defence and beat Wilson with an ice-cool finish.
His third was the best of the bunch: cutting in from the right, he conjured a couple of step-overs to work some space before curling a low shot beyond the goalkeeper. His man of the match accolade was beyond debate. We’ll never know whether the four goals witnessed would have been added to – Vanbrugh had shown some attacking initiative in the closing stages – because full time was blown on week four of the College Cup dead on 4pm to make way for the latest acts of some five-a-side league.
Rich Rhodes and Jung Choi look on as Vanbrugh pump the ball forward during Friday’s match. Wentworth were good value for their 3-1 victory. Photograph by Peter Iveson.
Wentworth Seconds: Dan Horsfall, Alan Burns, Chris Mulligan, Mohammed Karami (Dan Franks), Samik Datta, Rich Rhodes, Simon Felgett, Dave Worsley, Jung Choi, Dom Green, Yuhei Fujita (James Cousins)
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Dave Worsley
Vanbrugh Thirds: James Wilson, Pete Stockbridge, Josh Gilboy, Ben Keane, Ollie Krendel, Alex Willings (Andy Dakin), Mark Comber, Tom Spring (Phil Madden), Joe McGrady, Ben Kirkby
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Max Walter