Selwyn Stun Frustrated Caius
After being beaten last week, Selwyn came out firing on all cylinders to stun Caius at Barton Road
FOOTBALL: Selwyn 1 – Caius 0
A stirring defensive effort allowed Selwyn to upset Caius, in a match full of hard tackling and controversy.
After a less than desirable week 1 performance against a formidable Fitz outfit, Selwyn had their work cut out in their second game. Aiming to overturn a Caius team gunning for a top place finish, they did not disappoint. They fought strongly throughout, and eventually reaped the rewards of their resolute midfield play with a close range free kick deflected out of the reach of Caius keeper, Junfeng Liu, in the second half.
Caius began the match strongly and were happy to hold the ball whilst feeling for the cracks in the away team’s defence. However, this patience was to no avail, with continued defensive pressure from Selwyn’s midfield. This pressure resulted in a number of counter-attacking opportunities that the home team were pressed to soak up.
After shrugging off this early pressure, the men in maroon began to assert their authority. Taking advantage of the slippery conditions, they sprayed the ball across the middle of the park with precision, in search of the through ball that would see them take the lead. A promising response, but Selwyn were left rueful after a missed opportunity from Joe Holt.
The momentum swung again as the half drew to its conclusion with the home team beginning to show flair on the attack. Front-man Nikos Yerolemou demonstrated characteristic guile, and struck the bar from just inside the box after a lovely turn, which left his tracking man dumbfounded. The scores, along with the play, remained deadlocked at the break.
Caius regained their composure coming into the second half and started the better side. Big man Noah Isserman’s introduction helped them to cancel out the decisive midfield play their opponents had demonstrated in the opening 45 minutes. The possession statistics subsequently racked up in the home team’s favour, with excellent link up play between the men at the back and those looking to push forward. A goal in reward seemed a certainty.
Sam Gregson however, who had caused the Caius defence previous trouble with his Delap-esque throw-ins, brought this early promise crashing at the home team’s feet. A curved free kick took a fortuitous deflection on its way past an outstretched Liu making it 1-0 to the visitors, and not altogether undeserved.
Although shocked, the men in black and blue responded with a plethora of opportunities, but produced nothing for their efforts. Selwyn countered well – playing the ball to striker Alex Fokas to hold up and slow down the passage of play. The rest of the game only sought to entrench the home team’s frustration, with appeals for Selwyn’s keeper to be dismissed after a rash challenge on Yerolemou going ignored by referee Chris Hussey, who produced only a yellow.
The visitors’ held stoically, and will look to carry their momentum through Cuppers weekend and into a difficult home clash with Homerton in two weeks’ time. Caius, although heartened by a strong performance, must revert back to the drawing board if they are to see their fortunes in a tough Division 1 transformed.