GOODRICKE FIRSTS 1-0 VANBRUGH THIRDS
Images: Philippa Grafton
A last minute winner from Joe Mann secured a vital win for Goodricke and inflicted a first defeat of the competition for Vanbrugh thirds.
Vanbrugh produced another performance belying their status as a thirds team, limiting their more illustrious Goodricke opponents to long balls and half-chances.
The first scoreless draw of the tournament seemed destined to occur, but for the boot of Mann, who seized his chance to tuck the ball past Kallum Taylor with a minute to spare.
The College Cup is always a passionate affair, but the final whistle saw noteworthy scenes of fury on the Vanbrugh sidelines, distraught at the referee’s decision to play for ten minutes past the allotted time to complete a full hour’s worth of play.
Controversy aside, Vanbrugh should be proud to still be facing a chance at qualification for the quarter finals of the Cup, a tremendous achievement for a thirds side.
Meanwhile, Goodricke face James seconds next week, when a win should confirm their place in the next round.
The match itself saw very few clear chances, Vanbrugh working hard all over the pitch to pressurise their higher pedigree opponents. Goodricke enjoyed a couple of free kicks, the second of which saw Matt Thomas force Kallum Taylor into a good low save.
Max Poynter-Hall attempted an ambitious lob, but Tom Neill was more than equal to the threat in the Goodricke net. Vanbrugh never looked overawed as they faced their biggest threat to date in the competition, the two sides remaining deadlocked in the centre of the park for the most part.
The second half brought similar scenes, with clear opportunities a rare luxury for the fans. It was, however, a consuming game.
Goodricke did enjoy a couple of good chances, with Sam Cottingham blazing over under pressure from the Vanbrugh keeper, whilst Jon Sharpe ran into the area before poking an effort on an open goal. Whilst the crowd waited with baited breath, the ball rolled agonisingly wide.
A goal did not seem to be forthcoming. Adam Lewis attempted to carve out a chance for Vanbrugh, but his finishing did not match his silken ball control, his weak effort barely testing Neill.
As the minutes ticked by, Goodricke found their winner, with Joe Mann on the end of route one ball to crush Vanbrugh and inspire elation from the Goodricke contingent.
The length of stoppage time will continue to be contested by irate Vanbrugh fans, who felt their side were unjustly treated.
Vanbrugh captains Mike Sutcliffe and Mark Lajca were dejected after the match, telling Nouse, “We’ve been done over there. Absolutely gutted. We’re so proud of the way the team played for the 60 minutes, we played so well, but you can’t run over the hour.”
Meanwhile, Goodricke captain Matt Thomas was realistic after the win, stating “We didn’t play our best against a strong team, but we did give 100% until the end whilst they were trying to wind the clock down. It was a lucky win, and we’ll come back stronger.”
Vanbrugh: Taylor, Lajca, Frobisher (Mason), Barnard (Howell), Habeck, Fisher, Poytner-Hall, Grout, Robinson, Priest
Man of the match: Alex Habeck
Goodricke: Neill, Bullock, Astbury, Dunk, Thomas, Lewis, Parker, Inness, Cottingham (Hammer), Sharpe, Mann
Man of the match: Joe Mann