Vanbrugh rock the College Cup by beating Halifax as James soldier on

Vanbrugh shredded the College Cup form guide by easily beating Halifax 3-0 on Friday, while James seconds edged out Goodricke thirds by a single goal

Photograph by George Lowther

Photograph by George Lowther

More photographs from today’s matches here


Vanbrugh firsts produced an imperious performance on the JLD today to beat Halifax firsts 3-0. In the process they have confounded the perceived wisdom as to who the favourites in this competition are and have propelled themselves into a position where the must believe that they can now emerge triumphant.

Co-captain Dan Hewitt gave a bullish team talk to his side prior to the match and was vindicated in his assertions that they could beat the much-fancied Fax. Vanbrugh were brilliant all over the pitch and stifled the usually expansive College League champions whilst playing some exquisite football in the process. Despite Mark Lund’s side starting brightly, with Ash Daly finding room in the centre to play his typically pivotal role in feeding Conor Brennan and Tom Ragan, but it was Vanbrugh that found the clear openings. Ali Prince, playing as a lone striker in a 4-5-1 system specifically employed to shut down Halifax, was exceptional for his side and went close from a dubious free-kick early on after Dom Petschak seemed to have won the ball. Ben Stanier went close shortly after before Halifax’s afternoon was summed up as Prince almost went through after robbing the usually impervious Lund.

Halifax’s best chance of the match came courtesy of the uncharacteristically quiet Brennan as he was fed beautifully by Ian Mckellow. His first touch was perfect and he wriggled clear of his marker to curl a shot toward the far conrner which was saved brilliantly by Vanbrugh Keeper Paul Taylor. This rare bright spot came amidst periods of intense pressure from Hewitt’s side with his long throws causing chaos for the three man Halifax defence. When they eventually got the opener that their play deserved, an element of luck was involved. After a long goal kick Prince managed to evade Lund and flick on a header into space for Liam Regan to run on to. His speculative 25-yard effort squirmed under Fax keeper Eddie Kris in a moment that the usually solid performer will be keen to forget.

Halifax came out in the early stages of the second-half seemingly reinvigorated but all too quickly, for the favourites, the game fell into the familiar rhythm of Vanbrugh domination. Daly surprisingly exited mid-way through the half for Jack Beadle and the first year added some much needed verve in the middle of the park. He was powerless though to stop an inspired Vanbrugh and they doubled their advantage through Phil Taylor as he flicked a Jamie Clarke effort past the hapless Kris. Vanbrugh completed their exemplary performance with a flourish, Ali Prince being sent through by the in-form Ben Stanier to sweep home with Kris again complicit in his side’s downfall.

Co-captain Hewitt was understandably proud of his side afterwards, commenting that: “We knew their weak spots and set our formation up accordingly. We were brilliant today and we knew that we had a performance like that coming for a while”. Lund will be left searching for an explanation for such a listless performance and will perhaps be shocked by the anonymity of his suppossed better players: “We were terrible all over the pitch. We simply didn’t want it and we didn’t turn up”.

Vanbrugh 1sts vs Halifax 1sts, 28.05.10, Photo: George Lowther

Halifax had difficulty breaking through Vanbrugh’s resolute 4-5-1 set-up all afternoon. Photograph by George Lowther.

Vanbrugh Firsts: Paul Taylor, Dan Hewitt, Dan Radford, Ben Lowe, James Carr, Ben Stanier, Vest Waterson, Jonny Grout, Liam Regan (Jamie Clarke), Phil Taylor, Ali Prince

Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Phil Taylor

Halifax Firsts: Eddie Kris, Mark Lund (Tommy Smith), Dom Petschak, Dan Turley, Alex Tringham, Alex Reid, Ash Daly (Jack Beadle), Eamonn Geoghegan, Ian Mckellow, Conor Brennan, Tom Ragan

Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Dom Petschak


In the undercard to such a mammoth bout it is perhaps imperative to get the job done and let the crowd see what they came for. James Seconds did just that today grinding out a 1-0 win against an improved Goodricke thirds with the lone goal coming inside two minutes from Richard Baxter.

They should have had a couple more as Jody Rolfe went close with an exceptional 25-yard stinger that grazed the bar. Angus O’Brien’s hard work also merited some reward but overall they will be pleased with a tidy result against akward opposition.

They looked nervous as the game drew to a close and given their slender advantage they will be happy to escape unscathed.

James 2nds vs Goodricke 3rds, 28.05.10, Photo: George Lowther

Angus O’Brien, the James seconds striker, hunts for the ball during his side’s 1-0 win against Goodricke thirds on Friday. Photograph by George Lowther.

James Seconds: Sam Clitheroe, Johnny Hyde, Nick St George, Ben Cooke, Richard Baxter, Tom Prifti (Dave Williams), Matt Vermeulen (Alex Collins), James Worthington, Sam Gibb, Angus O’Brien, Jody Rolfe

Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Nick St George

Goodricke Thirds: John Cook, George Dyke (Greg Kearney), Tom Elliot, Tom Saint, Harry Shaw, Dave Driver, Josh Savage, Luke Hurst, Matt Burke, Tim Marshall, Fred Groom

Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Harry Shaw


  1. 28 May ’10 at 8:19 pm

    Chairman lmao

    aaaaaaaaaah hahahahahahhaha

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  2. 28 May ’10 at 8:46 pm

    College Cup Fan

    I must say that it was a real pleasure to today see an un-fancied Vanbrugh team humble the pre-tournament favourites (Lund claim). The terrific peformance showed that Lund may have to reconsider his words and accept that his team has not got ‘the easiest route to the final’, especially now it looks like their route has taken, what he must consider an unplanned detour.
    I will stop short of saying Halifax will not win the cup as they clearly are a very talented team, but perhaps today will make ‘the special one’ sit up and take note that other teams are in contention as well.

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  3. 28 May ’10 at 9:08 pm

    'Stand still'

    Alcuin are always the favourites. Looks like an all-expenses paid trip to Rio is on its way…

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  4. I’m just glad this years Vanbrugh team can play a bit after sheldricks hoofers last year. The attacking trio of prince Ali, the beardy wing wizard and The Power are as good as any forward line in the CC this year…

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  5. Fax defended like headless turkeys at the back today. . .

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  6. 28 May ’10 at 9:44 pm

    Brian Kilkline

    Fair plays to Dan Hewitt, must have been pretty difficult to change Vanbrugh’s tactics from the ugly long ball tactics of previous Vanbrugh teams and trying to make them into a decent footballing side.

    Vanbrugh and Goodricke are two of the best footballing sides in the competition perhaps without the abundance of resources that other big teams like Alcuin, Fax and Derwent have.

    The last three winners of the competition Alcuin in ’09, Goodricke in ’08 and Derwent in ’07 played the prettiest football in those competitions using the astroturf to its potential. That’s who I’d put my dollar on…

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  7. Same old halifax, same as last year. Beating the smaller teams by cricket scores and subsequently giving it the barry. Then when they come up against a solid side they get beat. Alcuin last year, Vanbrugh this year.

    Badger and Brian are right though, Vanbrugh are looking much better this year, perhaps helped by a captain in Dan Hewitt who tries to play football as opposed to Sheldrick’s bunch. Still think its between Goodricke (the best side to date) and Derwent though.

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  8. 28 May ’10 at 11:27 pm

    Maria 'Hunty' Hunt

    Fear not Lundy, I will still love you.

    (you still shouldn’t have dropped Beadle though).

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  9. The Derwent that couldn’t even record a comfortable win against their groups 3rd team? I agree Goodricke have looked tidy though.

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  10. Goodricke – Halifax will certainly be an interesting Quarter Final, with the winner playing the rampant red machine that is Alcuin.

    I bloody love the college cup.

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  11. 29 May ’10 at 3:57 am

    colllege cup observer

    well done vanbrugh fucking horrible ugly delap football won the day. it makes me so proud when i watch the college cup and see a team who try and knock it about get beaten by a team who are happy to play for throw ins. GO FOOTBALL. passing is for dicks, throwing with your hands rules. WIN.

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  12. It’s nice to see some impartial views on the game.

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  13. College Cup Observer is officially a fool.

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  14. 29 May ’10 at 12:07 pm

    the real maria hunt

    Its only a game of football chill out

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  15. 29 May ’10 at 12:28 pm

    Arsene Wenger

    Did you actually watch the game college cup observer? All 3 Vanbrugh goals came from open play, no set pieces or throw ins. Vanbrugh had about 5 throw ins in the whole match, and played the most effective football scoring 3 goals. Passing the ball around is great to watch but if you don’t do anything with the ball, as Halifax did yesterday, then its easy for the opposition to play. If Halifax’s passing and beautiful style was good enough then they would have won, regardless of how Vanbrugh played. Nobody can accuse this Vanbrugh side of long ball, ugly football. They’ve scored 10 goals in 2 games, they passed Goodricke 3’s off the park and yesterday a large part of their success was their ability to retain the ball when they got it and then use it effectively. Passing the ball around the back, as Halifax enjoy doing, won’t win you anything. You have to be diverse.

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  16. 29 May ’10 at 12:35 pm

    Hidetoshi Nakata

    I don’t buy into any of this “lack of resources” rubbish about Vanbrugh. Any college with a thirds squad that includes players like Hatman, Willins and Spring (not to mention a ‘keeper that looks capable of playing Uni football) ought to be able to cobble together a decent 1sts team.

    They proved this yesterday. You know, you shouldn’t all be so suprised. They could go all the way and win the thing.

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  17. 29 May ’10 at 3:52 pm

    Jose Mourinho

    Dear Mark Lund,

    As Beadle is now surplus to your team, I would like to make an offer for him to join me at Real Madrid on Monday. I expect to hear a positive reply……

    The Special One

    P.S. Does anyone have the Vanbrugh thirds captain’s email as I am interested in their prolific, skilful right-winger known only as ‘Hat-Man’ who showed unbelievable tekkers against Derwent 1sts?

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  18. Nakata knows his onions…

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  19. @college cup observer

    u mad?

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  20. Dear Mr Lund,

    Further to the enquiry by My Mourinho, I have advised my client to put in a transfer request to speed along proceedings.

    My client feels that the prospect of playing alongside Messers Kaka and Ronaldo is simply too good an opportunity to miss.

    I trust that this request will be accepted. Good luck in the on-going tournament.

    Best Wishes

    Willie McKay

    PS. Do you know is ‘Hat-Man’ has an agent?

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