Spurling sets the tone as James seconds run riot

Group 3

Images: Philippa Grafton

James seconds were in complete control of the game from start to finish, their superiority rewarded with five well taken goals against a beleaguered Alcuin thirds side.

Alcuin were under the cosh from the off, the wealth of opportunities which James created suggesting that only the winning margin was in doubt. The thirds faced a succession of corners, with the almost relentless pressure alleviated by a number of counter attacks from the lively Ben Bugeja.

10 minutes in and Jack Fisher thought that he’d opened the scoring from Jonny Hyde’s centre but his close range finish was ruled out for offside.

Josh Spurling continued to pull the strings in midfield and it was he who gave James the lead, rising highest to head home a corner from captain Andrew Yates.

The contest was effectively over just minutes later, Fisher hooking the ball through to a suspiciously offside looking Freddie Ferrao, who’d cut in off the wing and took his time before slotting past Michael Thurloway.

Once again Fisher then came close to adding his own name to the score sheet, as a tame header clipped the far post.

In the second half, sensing that a big score was there for the taking and eager to increase their goal difference, James didn’t rest on their laurels.

After intricate build up play down the right, Spurling lofted the ball over a stranded Thurloway for 3-0.

Following their third goal James seconds stroked the ball around at leisure; Alcuin often left chasing shadows as the game edged towards its conclusion. During a spell of dominance the ever impressive Spurling played a measured through ball into the path of Ferrao, who slid home his second.

While Thurloway did his best to keep the score respectable when confronted with wave after wave of attack, making a good save from substitute Sam Taylor’s turn and shot, his defences were breached once more in a carbon copy of the first goal. Yates’ deep corner found Spurling’s head to wrap up a deserved hat-trick.

5-0 didn’t flatter the seconds side, who are now back on track for the Plate having lost their last two. For Alcuin their tournament has been ended rather abruptly with this heavy defeat, next week’s game against Derwent seconds a case of completing the formalities.

Alcuin thirds captain Jon Carney was downbeat, feeling that it had been their “worst performance in the cup”, and that, having been “disappointing all over the pitch”, they ended up relying on their keeper far too much. However, he insisted that they would keep going for the last game.

Andrew Yates was in a better mood after the game, pleased at his team’s quick start and clinical finishing, stating that they had “kept the ball well and capitalised on their dominance” in general play.

James: Charnock, Clarke, Hyde, O’Donoghue, Sahi, Yates (C), Kreienbaum, Spurling, Fisher, Ferrao, Briars. Subs used: Woodman, Taylor

Man of the match: Josh O’Donoghue

Alcuin: Thurloway, Taube, Brickwood, Carney (C), Simpson, Burge, Bentham, Hadley, Page, Bugeja, Arden

Man of the match: Michael Thurloway

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