Halifax thirds stage late upset in College Cup opener

Group 1

Images: Philippa Grafton

Halifax thirds caused a real upset in the first came of the 2012 College Cup, as they scored two late goals to beat Wentworth firsts.

The match began with both sides failing to create many clear-cut chances; only long range efforts from Dan Bawdon, Wayne Paes and Solomon Sango gave the crowd something to shout about.

It was Halifax who began to take a foothold in the game, with Jonny Williamson and Paulo Di Caro both going close soon after, again from long range, but Wentworth soon hit back.

Against the run of play, the post-grads struck in classic route one fashion. A long ball was flicked on by targetman Dom Green, allowing Andrea Marcheggiano to run through and slot the ball past Shinnosuke Murata with the outside of his right boot.

Halifax continued to play the better football, but could have fallen further behind before the break, Paes seeing a goal disallowed for offside, after he had scuffed a shot in after a scramble in the box.

The second half was a largely drab affair, with only two moments of excitement to speak of for the most part; first Marcheggiano’s free kick dipped just over the bar following a deflection, before substitute Ben Smith crashed a volley just past Colin Hill’s post.

With under ten minutes to play, Wentworth looked set to open their Cup campaign with a hard-earned three points, but Halifax had other ideas.

The equaliser came when Ricardo found space for a shot on the edge of the box, his effort deflecting up off a defender and wrong-footed Hill.

And barely a minute later, the referee pointed to the penalty spot when Williamson was tripped in the corner of the area. The left back picked himself up to take the kick and planted it in the top left hand corner, to the delight of the watching Halifax contingent.

There was still time for Wentworth to get back into it, but tired legs were taking their toll and the full time score remained 2-1.

Halifax captain Andrew Wallace said afterwards, “I’m pleased with the result but not with our performance. We were average today and I’ve seen us play much better than that, but there’s better to come.”

Wayne Paes, Wentworth skipper, commented, “I’m disappointed. All credit to them because they kept the ball and did well, but we we’re unlucky with the penalty and the disallowed goal. The pressure was on us to win, but we didn’t and we have to pick ourselves up for the next one.”

Wentworth firsts: Hill, Keane, Burns, Hodgson, Ratcliffe, Murray, Paes (C), Bawdon, Redhead, Marcheggiano, Green.

Man of the match: Duncan Burns

Halifax thirds: Murata, Williamson, Lord, Gennoy, Arezoo, Di Caro, Stevenson, Ricardo, Sango, Cole (Wallace(C)), Knott (Smith).

Man of the match: Jonny Williamson

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