An industrious second half display helped Alcuin firsts convert their advantage on paper into three points, dispatching their seconds by four goals.
Cameron McLarty struck early in the second half, before goals from Sam Shield, Michael Garn and Matt Barrie ensured the score reflected the firsts’ superior quality.
The seconds’ chances of an upset took an early blow in the form of an injury to their striker, Lawrence McLellan-Bastidas, but the defence – marshalled well by makeshift centre-half Johannes Huber – remained resolute during a barrage of attacks.
Barrie twice had dangerous efforts blocked, and Jack McConnell came close to carving out an opening for himself only for his balance to desert him at the crucial moment.
Alcuin firsts could have gone into the break behind but for one poor miss and some alert goalkeeping from Simon Lovitt. The debutant saved his captain’s blushes after a questionable pass back was almost seized by Henry Farrant, only to have the ball taken off his toe by the onrushing Lovitt.
Half time brought with it respite for the seconds’ defence and stern words for the firsts from injured captain, Matt Twin. The restart saw the firsts play with a renewed sense of purpose which paid dividends immediately when McLarty broke the deadlock with a crisp finish into the bottom corner.
An immediate riposte was thwarted once more by some quick thinking from Lovitt who closed Farrant down quickly and parried the ball to safety.
A drilled cross from McLarty was met by Garn to double the firsts’ lead, before Shield grabbed a deserved goal for a diligent performance. Shield had time to take a touch and strike under no challenge after Barrie’s corner had evaded the mass of seconds defenders.
Barrie added the firsts’ final goal with a calm finish from 12 yards, after a quick turn earned him time and space to pick his spot.
Alcuin firsts’ captain Matt Twin told Nouse, “Whereas last week we were the underdogs, I think the firsts benefited from being the favourites this week.”
On his seconds’ chances of survival, Twin said, “I think they need to show a bit more belief and a bit more fight. It’s going to be hard for them, being the underdog every week, but I believe they can do it.”
Alcuin firsts: Lovitt; Simpson, Tuton (C), Toumazou, Kennick; Barrie, McConnell, Garn; Shield, McLarty, Sarin
Alcuin seconds: Smith; Ward, Li, Huber, Wray; Farrant, Heywood, Harget, Strong (C), Lyon; McLellan-Bastidas
Substitutes: Cox, Bennell
Player of the Match: Sam Shield