FOOTBALL: Homerton Breeze Past Queens’

New-boys Queens’ are blown away in their first game in the top flight.

cuafl football Homerton josh dale Queens' rafe fletcher


On a balmy Saturday afternoon and a verdant, perfectly cut pitch, the new season of college football began with a bang for Homerton, who saw off newly promoted Queens’ 4-1.

Two goals from Josh Dale, and a strong performance from their new freshers gave the visitors the perfect start to their season as they look to build on last season’s second placed finish.

The opening ten minutes was a cagey affair with both teams failing to retain possession and Homerton, while suitably solid, looked unable to continue the passing game that last season brought them so much success.A new-look midfield, formed almost entirely by a Fresher contingent, already had a lot to prove.

The fire needed igniting, and the spark in this instance came from visiting striker, Josh Dale. A meaty contact and some dubious keeping had given the Blues the lead. From there Homerton took control of the game, the midfield trio linking up well with Ben Mack at the heart of all things.

Homerton on the attack

A forking pass by Tom Spooner cut through the Queens’ defence like a knife through butter, setting up a wonderful second goal for Dale.

Queens, in their first game in the ‘Premier League’ of college football, throughout subscribed to the ‘Stoke way’, relying heavily on their Pulis long-throw game and ‘getting stuck in’ from the off. This is not to say Homerton didn’t possess a physical edge, with Sam Martin coming off worse after heavy knee on knee collision.

As the game progressed, the hosts retained possession better but lacked the final ball. This changed when big Ben Mack rose like Connor Sammon to meet Miles Walker’s cross with a beefy header, to give the Homertonians a third before half-time.

Game over? It certainly seemed so as the half-time whistle sounded. Yet in the second half Queens shot out with intent, coming at Homerton like sweaty men into Life. The midfield linked nicely, and their striker met a well-placed cross to get them back in the game.

The second half became hotly contested once Queens’ pulled one back.

At this point the Istanbul three-nil comeback looked possible. However, a shell-shocked Homerton got their act together, spreading the ball with intent. During an intricate piece of play, Guy Linch was brought down twenty-five yards out in a central position. Hit with little to no pace, the sheer placement of the free-kick beat the keeper to hammer the final nail in the Queens’ coffin.

TAB VERDICT: Homerton were always comfortable in possession, and as Player-Manager Rafe Fletcher put it ‘of a strong fresher intake that looks to have plugged many of the gaps left by departing players’. They have some way to go to match last season’s second place finish, ‘but will be there or thereabouts’.

Queens looked like a very competent outfit during spells; they will be looking to bring this play into their next game and may need to add some style to their substance.

Check back tomorrow for a full round-up of the College Football opening weekend.

Photos by Tom Porteous