A complete round of this weekend’s football Cuppers action.
Snow and ice gave way to the warmth of Cup Romance this weekend, with six second-round Cuppers ties being played. Here’s what happened:
Downing 2-0 King’s
Downing ran out winners in the pick of the second round ties. Goals from Guest and Stevens. Read Ben McNally’s full report here.
Jesus 1-0 Queens’
by Cameron Brooks and Tim Kitching
Jesus edged past Queens’ in a gritty cup affair to extend their unbeaten season in all competitions. They needed extra-time to do so, though, as a tough Queens’ side pushed them all the way.
The first half offered little by way of clear-cut chances, the best falling to Jesus after Kitching’s run from right back was cut short on the edge of the box. Roocroft could only blaze wide from the ensuing free kick. Queens’ main threat came on the counter attack, aided by some quick passing in midfield.
Any glimpses of quality that could be found in the opening period were even harder to come by in the second half. Roocroft again went close, this time with a header against the bar. Then, with extra time beckoning, Queens’ came closest to sealing the win with a neat through ball and shot from the left that rebounded agonisingly off the inside of the post.
And so the tie entered extra time, and Crooks pressed forward on the left to fire into the side netting for Jesus. The breakthrough eventually came from a set piece, as centre back Crawford rose to head in from Sheldon’s corner. From then on, Jesus showed why they have only conceded four goals in six games to close out a narrow but deserved victory. The game won’t live too long in the memory of the dedicated fans who turned up at the Jesus pitch, but both sides will be happy with the commitment on display in this tight encounter.
Emma 1–4 Fitz
by Donald Bogle
On a sunny afternoon at Wilberforce Road, braces from Daniel Lobron and Sam Hobbs helped Fitz to overcome a spirited Emma side 4-1, ensuring their progress into the quarter-finals. Emma, currently bottom of the league, must now focus on trying to survive the dreaded drop.
Fitz started much the brighter, crafting a couple of early chances before Emma could get any sort of foothold in the game. Their pressure soon told when forward Lobron latched onto a through ball from Bogle and kept his composure in front of the Emma ‘keeper to calmly finish for 1-0. Fitz’s lead was immediately doubled after some good build up in midfield culminated in James Rhodes releasing Hobbs, who worked himself a yard of space before firing home from the edge of the box. And a shell-shocked Emma could do little to prevent Hobbs’ second soon after, when the winger curled in a free-kick from 25 yards.
The second half was a much tighter affair and Emma, with nothing to lose, came out far more determined and showing glimpses of quality worthy of their Division 1 status. Indeed, it was the home side who struck first after the break, pulling a goal back when skipper Ben Stretch rose highest to head home a decent cross and show there was life in the game yet.
Fitz’s captain was forced to reshuffle his formation and personnel in an attempt to quash any Emma comeback. The changes clearly worked as the game was sewn up by Lobron who, having nicked the ball from the Emma centre-back, raced through to finish coolly again. Emma are out, with the pressing matter of relegation on their minds, while Fitz march on in search of the double.
Caius 4-3 Trinity
by Will Pithers
Caius have struggled to find form in the league this year, but their cup run continued after a thrilling 4-3 victory over a Trinity side that currently lie three points off the summit of the second division.
A blustery start to proceedings helped Caius gain an early lead, after a dipping cross from the left forced a Trinity defender to put past his own ‘keeper. Midfield playmaker Yerolemou, who has been in sparkling form this season, soon made it two with a cross-cum-shot that found its way into the back of the net. A well-worked third goal gave the Divison 1 strugglers an impressive 3-0 lead going into the break.
But the visitors were far from finished. With the wind behind them and the addition of three Blues players substituted on at half time, Trinity started the second half brightly. After two quick goals – both of which came from long balls into the box, which the Caius defence simply couldn’t handle – it looked as though the boys in blue would go on to win the game.
Caius responded, however, with the kind of grit and determination they will need if they are to stay in the top league. The arrival of Blues captain Ross Broadway proved to be key; his near-post free kick flummoxed the opposition ‘keeper and gave the home side some breathing space. A late Trinity goal was not quite enough, as Caius clung on for an important win that sees them through to the quarter-finals.
Elsewhere there was a shock in the Pembroke-Homerton game as Division 2 Pembroke beat Homerton 2-1.
Darwin were made to fight for their win against Churchill. With the score-line locked at 2-2, the grads were put through the torture of penalties in order to go through, which they duly did, winning 4-3.
Girton and Magdalene had already won their second round ties and will face each other in the quarters. The full draw looks like this:
Girton v Magdalene
Darwin v Fitzwilliam
Downing v Caius
Jesus v Pembroke