College Football: Christ’s 1-2 Homerton

HENRY YOUNG sees Homerton hold on to beat Christ’s.

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Despite a rather leggy second period from both sides, a slick, assured passing performance from Homerton in the opening 45 was enough to secure all three points on the day.

Sitting comfortably, if perhaps frustratingly in mid-table at the outset, Christ’s would have been well aware of the importance of eradicating defensive mistakes in the early stages. As left-back Steven Slack broke forward into the box, however, the pace of the move proved far too much for Christ’s defender Dom Mitchell. A smooth interchange out wide had released Slack, and Mitchell, stretching wildly like Jean-Alain Boumsong, brought him down- a stonewall penalty for Homerton. Josh Dale stepped up and converted coolly past Christ’s ‘keeper Oli Higgins, giving the away side the lead.

It was a pitch perfect for possession; throughout, both teams seemed keen to implement a grounded approach. After bagging the early goal, though, it was indeed the away side that dominated the remainder of the half. Deep-lying pairing of Fletcher and Linch, the domineering presence of brawny Ben Mack just in front, looked to open up the resolute Christ’s defence again- looking wide to Young and mazy dribbler Steve Pates. It was Pates embarking on one of his trademark runs that led to the second; slotting inside to Dale, the latter was afforded amplespace to turn and smash home. Even Ade Akinbiyi would have been proud of the finish.

Christ’s had, nevertheless, fashioned chances of their own- captain and striker Owen Morgan going close on numerous occasions and, as the game wore on, bringing out a series of fantastic full-stretch saves from Dave Rose. It seemed Homerton, by contrast, had borrowed the bootsof a Tony Hibbert XI, as Mack and Linch persistently shot high, wide and not at all handsome (though both are great-looking guys).

Such profligacy was to be punished when Homerton, temporarily down to 10 men with Young off injured after a facial collision with the post, contributed to their own downfall as Christ’s got one back. Slack defending from the otherwise solid Steve (Slack) culminated in a mix-up with the goalkeeper Rose, and Platts of Christ’s was there to capitalise. 2-1, then, as the sides trudged off for the break.

In truth, the goal had probably come against the run of play; even so, it was Christ’s that started the second half the better- Ziad Khreisheh, for one, beginning to up the creativity. Though Homerton came into the game in the lofty position of second in the league, the composure of the first period seemed somewhat to evade them: for once, perhaps it truly would be meaningful to call it a game of two halves.

Christ’s, though, were unable to equalise. Despite the occasional David Luiz foray forward that left the team light at the back, Sammy Skipper of the away defence was once again equally imperious and ridiculous in the number of sliding challenges made alone. Mention also to Tom Spooner who, after going down hard with an injury to the delicate regions, played out the remainder of the match admirably- a ballsy performance from him, and the Homerton side.