Football Round Up – Week 3
Wins for Jesus and King’s, while Fitz edge Christs in a thriller.
Selwyn 2 – Homerton 3
Kings 4 – 0 Caius
A strong Kings outfit made easy work of a Caius side still reeling from their shock home defeat to Selwyn last week. In large part thanks to the tireless work of star striker Kurt Putsepp, who netted all the goals, Kings found themselves 4-0 up at the final whistle. It was a thoroughly deserved victory for the newly promoted Kings who will now set their sights high coming into Cuppers weekend. Caius were once again left spinning, and will be rueful of an uncharacteristically lacklustre performance.
The home team’s dominance was asserted from the off, with strength and conviction in midfield leading to a number of early promising opportunities. A muted Caius struggled to retain the ball and looked poor defensively, allowing King’s to exploit the widening spaces in front of the away team’s back four. Their patience was rewarded mid-way through the half, as Putsepp pounced on a loose ball in the box, tucking the chance away into the corner of the Caius goal.
The only response came through a brief moment of fluidity, with Reizenstein and Marsden linking up well on the right to feed Johnson, who hit high and at the bar, forcing a tipping save from Greenbury. Although Caius returned from the break with a renewed sense of purpose, Kings remained imperious.
A quick goal from a sublime Putsepp strike across the face of goal saw the men in purple crank up the tempo, with a third being added from a quick throw-in gifted by a napping Caius defence. Later in the half, a determined left-sided run from Griggs saw the post rattled, with Kutsepp mopping up to make it four, thereby adding the final nail to Caius’s coffin.
Fitz 4 – Christs 3
Fitz won this one the hard way, coming back to claim a dramatic, last-gasp 4-3 victory and maintain their 100% start. In a repeat of last year’s Cuppers final, Christ’s looked to exact revenge for the defeat in May but three Fitz goals in the last 15 minutes made for a heroic turnaround and saw victory snatched from the home side.
Fitz started the brighter and seemed to dominate the opening exchanges with a couple of Simon Court efforts narrowly missing the target. However it was Christ’s who took the lead after half an hour, courtesy of a fairly direct ball over the top that Stephen Harrison latched on to and duly slotted past the onrushing keeper.
Fitz responded well to falling behind and struck back through Court almost immediately. After some good build-up play a perfectly weighted through-ball from Sophus zu-Ermgassen was stroked home by the attacker to level the score.
However, before half time, Christ’s once again took the lead. A deep free kick into the box saw a loose ball fall to a Christ’s shirt which was prodded home to make it 2-1 at the break.
In the second half both sides played some good positive football and whilst Fitz went in search of a second equaliser it was the home side that struck again. Owen Morgan worked space for himself on edge of the area and powered a low shot past the Fitz keeper to make it 3-1 and seemingly tie up the contest. However, Fitz weren’t finished yet.
On 75 minutes a whipped-in corner from Sam Hobbs was glanced in by the head of Donald Bogle to pull a goal back and give the visitors hope. Fitz pushed on their fullbacks in search of the equaliser and dramatically found it in the 85th minute with a coolly converted penalty from Joe Painter, after the ball had been handled on the goal line. Then, with seconds to spare, another Hobbs delivery wasn’t properly cleared and a header back into the box bounced all the way through to Joost Renes at the back post who headed home the winner in what was almost the last touch of the match.
The proud Fitz captain was delighted with the spirit and effort shown by his side: “We kept playing football and kept believing we could get something from the game. There is great confidence and quality in this side and it is no coincidence that we’ve now come back to win from a two-goal deficit twice already this season.”
Jesus 1 – Queens’ 0
In what was an important game between two sides that have yet to really kick start their season, Jesus took the points in a hotly contested match.
Jesus came to the pitch on the back of two lacklustre draws, and Queens’ too were eager to improve on two losses to title-contending sides. It was the latter that showed the most desire in the early stages, knocking at Jesus’ door throughout the first half.
An early chance for Queen’s fell to left-winger Tom Crawford, as the ball spilled across the edge of the box but unfortunately he found the keeper equal to his low shot. As things progressed, the pressure continued to mount on the Jesus back four, especially from the wings. A wicked cross, destined for the head of Emile “MEJ” Heskey, was expertly tipped at full stretch by Jesus’ Justin Maini.
It seemed these early chances were exactly what Queens’ needed, and they found space and possession that they had been missing in this season, until now. However, the lack of a finishing touch was always going to put them in danger, and they were punished late in the first half. Against the run of play, Jesus found themselves outnumbered in the Queens’ box, but after several deflections, a cross found its way to the back post where their striker made no mistake from close range.
After the break, a rejuvenated Jesus side looked all the more confident for their lead yet it was Jesus that saw chances go begging, despite Niall Cooper proving a constant threat down the left. The Queens’ squad began to tire, and though there was excellent work from John Gorringe in the middle of the park, the green men often resorted to clearing their lines rather than passing it up the pitch.
Soon there was another chance for Jesus: a low corner cut through the 6-yard box, but somehow eluded the slightest of touches needed to double the lead. Again this theme continued, and It wasn’t long before the ball was again drifted past an open goal, as a Jesus forward scuffed a shot from out wide after beating the keeper.
The match remained in the balance, though there was to be no late drama, and both teams seemed to run out of ideas as the final minutes ticked by. Jesus will be delighted with a result that sends them up the table, but Queens’ will see this as an opportunity missed to break their duck for the season.