Routine win for Vanbrugh completes semi final line-up

Vanbrugh firsts will face Derwent in the College Cup semi-finals after a 3-0 victory over Goodricke on the JLD today

Cup Quarter Final

Images: Philippa Grafton

A Phil Taylor brace and one from Ben Stanier gave Vanbrugh firsts the win that their overall play merited. Goodricke fought gamely throughout, matching their opponents in a goalless first half, but didn’t look likely to hit back once they’d gone behind.

In a competitive opening both defences were on top. With little ingenuity on show to make the breakthrough centre backs Sam Astbury and Ziggy Heath continued to win everything in the air for their respective teams.

The best chance came from the work of Elliot Rous-Ross, who shimmied past Stu Dunk to create some space, only to have his shot smothered by Ed Foster in the Goodricke goal.

With Vanbrugh beginning to turn the screw, Taylor chested the ball down to Stanier for a cleanly hit volley straight at the keeper.

Play was interrupted temporarily as Rous-Ross landed awkwardly, his head striking the astro. With their striker off the pitch receiving treatment, a free kick lofted in from the halfway line was flapped at unconvincingly by Foster.

However, it was ultimately Goodricke who came closest. Matt Thomas was given time to switch the ball onto his right and swing in a cross towards the far post, evading everyone but the retreating Max Brewer, who headed off the line.

After a first half in which the centre of the pitch seemed so congested, Vanbrugh began to win the midfield battle after the break, Phil Taylor getting on the ball in dangerous areas where he could affect the game.

Yet his first was more route one than anything. Slack marking meant that a free kick clipped towards the six yard box was met unopposed by Taylor, heading straight at the keeper, who had chosen to stay on his line, before burying the rebound.

Goodricke continued to look second best and became increasingly impotent in their pursuit of an equaliser. Astbury headed over from a corner while Jon Sharpe dragged his shot wide from a promising position.

Meanwhile, Taylor tested Ed Foster on his near side and Rory Sharkey’s skidding effort had to be pushed round the post as Vanbrugh continued to dominate.

In their desperation Goodricke gambled on three at the back, bringing James Gutteridge on for Stu Dunk. This left gaps which were wilfully exploited, substitute Tom Parish touching the ball off for Ben Stanier on the edge of the area, his looping half volley finding the top corner to make it 2-0.

They found their third shortly after, Foster redirecting Sharkey’s daisycutter into the path of Taylor, who slid home despite a determined Thomas diving in to stop him.

At the other end James Wilson was unflustered, Goodricke failing to work him with anything other than speculative shots.

The closest they came to a consolation goal was Joe Mann’s powerful drive which cannoned back off the post.

Goodricke co-captain Matt Thomas accepted that Vanbrugh were “the best team on the day”, but felt that the game had been closer than the comprehensive score line suggested, their last two goals coming “after we’d made a few changes and lost our rhythm.”

In comparison Wilson was “happy to win after such a tight first half.” Having recovered so impressively from the last minute loss in their final group game he was now looking forward to the challenge of next week’s semi-finals, where his team will take on Derwent.

Vanbrugh: Wilson (C), Wignall, Heath, Graham, Brewer, Stanier, O’Dwyer, Shepherd, Taylor, Sharkey, Rous-Ross. Sub used: Parish

Man of the match: Phil Taylor

Goodricke: Foster, Bullock, Dunk, Astbury, Thomas (C), Cottingham, Hammer (C), Lewis, Parker, Mann, Sharpe. Subs used: Inness, Gutteridge

Man of the match: Sam Cottingham

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