Oxford Win Varsity Football

Oxford won Varsity football 3-1 today, despite Cambridge’s valiant performance.

alec ward Cambridge football Oxford Varsity varsity football

Oxford 3-1 Cambridge

Set pieces were the undoing of an unlucky Cambridge side as they lost to a well-organised but unspectacular Oxford outfit.

After dominating in the opening 45 minutes, Cambridge somehow found themselves behind, twice conceding to Alec Ward from long throws.

Cambridge dominated the first half, but somehow found themselves behind

In between, however, was a moment of brilliance that, despite the poor result, will live long in the memory of all the Light Blue fans present. McCrickerd won the ball 40 yards from goal, on the right wing, sauntered past one defender before beating another with an outrageous step-over.

The Cambridge forward then had the vision to pick out left winger Griffiths, who smashed the ball into the top corner for a goal that will surely go down as one of the greatest in Varsity history.

The ball arrows into the top corner for Cambridge’s superb equaliser

Griffiths, Cambridge’s greatest threat throughout, had already caused Whylly in the Oxford goal problems, and terrorised his full back throughout the match.

Griffiths gets past Adebasi yet again

Cambridge had started the better, and even after falling behind looked in control. Sherif, who led the line with enthusiasm and flashes of quality had a header cleared off the line with Whylly, shaky in the Oxford goal in the first 45, well beaten.

But, it was defensive troubles which really cost the Light Blues. Twice they failed to deal with long throws from the right hand side, the second time Captain James Day at fault. Ward punished them both times and at the Other Place grew in confidence from those goals.

Cambridge pushed numbers forward in the second half, but to no avail

Cambridge could have been level within seconds of the start of the second half, Rutt hitting the bar, but instead it was another set-piece which saw them fall behind.

A left wing corner found Elliot Thomas, and he gave the unlucky Stu Ferguson absolutely no chance from six yards.

Cambridge could still easily have snatched a draw, Sherif hitting the post twice and Revell failing to connect from less than a yard, while Whylly, an international goalkeeper, pulled off some stunning saves.

But as Oxford sat back, absorbing the pressure with defensive minded substitutions, Cambridge began to look less and less likely to score, Sherif finding life tough and McCrickerd, the former Oxford blue, marked out of the game.

In the second half frustration grew as Oxford crowded out the visiting forwards

What little the Dark Blues did offer going forward in the second period came in the form of right winger Ezra Rubenstein, who gave Chris Peacock a difficult night with his quick feet and great pace.

Cambridge tried everything, crowding the midfield to try and re-establish some form of dominance, but to no avail. It was a valiant performance, and it was clearly appreciated by the several hundred Tabs who made the journey, but just not enough on the day.

The beaten side pose for a picture in front of the travelling fans

Photos by Amy Jeffs

You can listen again to CamFM’s commentary of the match HERE.