Falcons Felled In Varsity Curtain-Raiser

FOOTBALL: The Blues’ second-team take on The Other Place as the squad warms up for Varsity.

Blues Blues football Cambridge cambridge falcons cambridge falcons oxford centaurs centaurs CUAFC dark blues Falcons football grange road harry dempsey kalil rouse light blues michael alhadeff Oxford oxford centaurs Simon Court The Other Place uni football Varsity varsity football varsity loss varsity match warm up

The Dark Blues drew first blood in the warm up to tomorrow’s Varsity football match. The Oxford second string just edged a good contest against their Light Blue counterparts in a 3-1 victory at Grange Road.

All the pre-match build-up was focused on the quality of the Varsity understudies – like the West End, this show would be no different. After all, this was still a Varsity match, full of intensity and passion. Both teams have also had the results this year to justify taking centre stage at Grange Road.

Oxford Centaurs have swept all before them in their charge to promotion, including handing out a 10-0 thrashing. Meanwhile, the Cambridge Falcons have had an equally impressive season by setting an historic 14-match unbeaten run. The stage was set. If the critics had anything to note, it was possibly that the Falcons held the advantage due to their recent form in this fixture.

And the Falcons nearly got off to the best possible start. In the opening move of the game, the Falcons quickly moved the ball out wide where it was then fired into the box only for it to be headed over. Both teams tried to put as much width on the game as possible with the midfield battle often becoming congested. A cut up pitch meant intricate passing moves were at a premium. It was in the wings where play proved most fruitful.

After a combative start, the Centaurs gained the early advantage. The Falcons’ failure to clear their lines allowed the ball to fall to Stocker on the edge of the area. The Oxford man sent the ball curling into the next. It really was a sublime finish – one fit for centre stage. The goal drew a response from the Falcons, particularly from their front three. The trio of Eales, Hutton and Sellman showed pace and guile to constantly stretch the Centaurs back four.

With more possession in the final third, the Falcons resumed their threat on goal which was rewarded with an equaliser. As the ball was played into the box, the Centaurs’ defence only succeeded in poleaxing the Falcons’ attack, resulting in a penalty. Falcon Alex Lunn confidently stepped up to the sport and rifled the ball home. It marked the best phase of the match for the Falcons – they came agonisingly to edging ahead but a header came off the bar.

It was the Centaurs, however, who started the second half better with a dominant period of possession. But they were unable to produce any clear-cut opportunities. This seemed to be the case for both side as developed moves were limited. Sellman continued to impress, on several occasions he was able to get in behind the Centaurs’ defence, but a clear opportunity failed to materialise.

It was a well-worked Centaurs move which broke the deadlock. Defence quickly turned into attack as the ball was swept out wide where it was cut back into the box to be stroked home. It left the Falcons ten minutes before the curtain fell on their Varsity hopes. However, the Centaurs were to have the last word as a Smith header sealed the contest.

This match proved an audition for the main event on Tuesday. The Blues will be hoping to break their recent run of form as they look to prevent the Other Place making it a hat-trick of wins.

The game kicks off at 7pm at Cambridge City’s City Ground. For tickets, contact a member of CUAFC.

Live commentary of the game will be available from our partners at Cam FM.

Photographs by Elise Morton