College Football: Fitz 1-1 Homerton
It was honours even this weekend for Division 1 title contenders Fitz and Homerton.
Although it’s a little too early to talk about title-deciders, this game was sure to have a huge effect on how things look at the top of Division 1. As it turned out, a game low on quality but high on passion petered out into a draw.
On a cold, wet day at Oxford Road, Fitzwilliam got the point they needed to stay ahead of Downing in College Football’s most glamourous league. Pushed down into third place by Downing’s handsome win at Selwyn, Homerton remain two points off the leaders as the title race hots up.
Goals from the two captains, Rafe Fletcher and Donald Bogle, ensured that an evenly-matched game ended 1-1, with both sides’ title ambitions still well intact. Crucial games such as Homerton v Downing and Fitz v Jesus will now surely decide the destination of the Division 1 trophy.
In miserable conditions that didn’t suit either teams’ flowing style of play, the opening exchanges were scrappy. Throughout the game it proved difficult to bring the ball under control and players were repeatedly losing their footing on the soggy turf. These slips led to small openings, although neither side created anything clear-cut until later on in the game.
It took a goal of real quality to break the deadlock. With the ball bouncing awkwardly around 25 yards from the Fitz goal, Feltcher struck a dipping, swerving volley that ‘keeper Wallace couldn’t keep out, despite getting a hand to it. And it would have been two just before halftime, a desperate lunge on the line preventing a Homerton shot after Fitz failed to clear a corner.
Fitz came out in the second half with far more attacking intent, and soon had the reward they sought. Pierre Colin broke from into the box with typical Gallic flair and was brought down by a Homerton lunge. The ref pointed instantly to the spot. A good save from ‘keeper Rose denied Painter’s spot kick, but from the resulting Hobbs corner Bogle thumped home a powerful header to set up a tantalising finale.
In the closing stages, Fitz came the closest to scoring, with Rhodes and Golozar coming close in a frantic goalmouth scramble. Homerton pushed as well, searching for the win that would send them top. Ultimately, though, Fitz held firm, and a draw was a fair result in a gritty tie. With three games to go there’s still everything to play for.
Photos by Simon Schofield