Football Cuppers Semi-Final: Gallant Girton Fall To Fitz
Girton’s fighting spirit isn’t enough to continue their cup run, as they go out to Fitz in the semis.
Girton’s fighting spirit isn’t enough to continue their cup run as they go out to Fitz in the semis.
Football Cuppers is the great leveler. No matter the apparent disparity between two sides, when you put them together on a windy afternoon at Girton anything can happen. Sadly for the men in green the footballing gods were not in the mood for cup romance this weekend, and despite their battling display they were fairly beaten by a strong Fitz side.
Girton away is not where you would choose to play a cup semi-final. It’s a large, open expanse at the top of a hill with little protection from the swirling wind. Still, it’s games like this that define a side, so Fitz packed their passports and made the long trek up Huntingdon Road.
Girton smelled a giant-killing. There may be 27 places between the two sides in the college league, but having beaten higher-ranked opposition in the last two rounds you could see the confidence in their side. Led by Jack Rans at the heart of defence they set about making life very difficult for the Division 1 leaders. The early exchanges were close-fought and even, with Girton first to the loose balls.
It was a spot of good fortune that put Fitz ahead. Midfielder Joe Painter, as artful as his name suggests, took charge of a free-kick 25 yards out. He fired it straight at ‘keeper Harvey, who must have misjudged the flight and could only palm the ball into his own net. An undeserved lead.
Undeterred by this setback, Girton pushed forward. Joshua Falconer-Roberts made constant, darting runs and James Ballantyne started to influence in midfield. At the break Fitz still led, but Girton were far from out of it.
It was in the second half that Fitz asserted themselves. They finally started to pass the ball around in midfield and began to create openings. Girton, however, were giving as good as they got. Only a last-ditch challenge from right-back Houlding could deny a good chance for Adeoye.
Gaps were appearing in the green wall though, and Fitz’s Dan Lobron was first to profit. Played in by a lovely through-ball, he finished high into the net. Still Girton pushed on, coming close from set pieces, and it wasn’t until Bogle got on the end of a corner to head home that Fitz could really relax.
Girton’s dream is over, at least for another year. They can hold their heads high though after a run that would make Bradford City proud. Fitz head on to the final at Grange Road, their third consecutive appearance in College Football’s showpiece. The showdown with Jesus looks set to be a cracker.
Photography courtesy of Mark Seow.