Live commentary of the 129th Varsity Football Match between Cambridge and Oxford, live from Selhurst Park.

Good evening all, and welcome to The Tab‘s LIVE minute-by-minute commentary of the Varsity Football Match between Cambridge and Oxford. We are freezing cold (but comfortable) in the Selhurst Park press box, the home of Crystal Palace. Stick with us throughout this historic event, as our Light Blues take on the might of Oxford.

A friendly nudge in the direction of our Twitter page – @TabSport – where Sam Hobbs will be typing out the silliest football updates known to man. Enjoy. 


19.31 And that’s it from us. Thanks for sticking with The Tab tonight – be sure to come back tomorrow afternoon for our live Boat Race coverage. Check back here for a full match report, picture special and all the reaction.

19.26 Captain Ross Broadway collects the trophy and hoists it high! Cue the bubbly and pyrotechnics (ok, there are no fireworks). Oxford trudge off disgruntled. ‘We are the Champions’ echoes around Selhurst Park. All together now (arms swaying, eyes beaming)….We Are The Champions, We Are The Champions, No Time for Losers, Cos We Are The Champions…..

19.19 What a game. Cambridge trailed twice but fought back to secure a famous 3-2 win. An unforgettable hat-trick from Richard Totten hands Cambridge victory. The winning goal, the crowning glory was one sent from the heavens, divine intervention on Easter weekend, as Totten bent a curling strike into the top corner. Astonishing turnaround and Cambridge!

19.18 Full time! Cambridge 3-2 Oxford! Cambridge have done it! They have won it! Dreams come true in light blue!

19.17 Cambridge have a corner. Surely not long now until Lee Probert calls time on this game.

19.14 Chance! Sam Firman jinks his way past two players in the penalty area and look certain to score a dramatic equaliser……only for Fergus Kent to throw himself in front of a shot and spread himself like Peter Schmeichel to deny the Oxford substitute. That could be pivotal.

19.11 Cambridge have a free-kick deep inside Oxford territory with just a few minutes to go. This turnaround has been mighty impressive. Cambridge looked lost and short of ideas  just after half-time.

19.09 It’s kitchen at the sink time for Oxford. Another long throw is launched like a missile into the Cambridge penalty area but after a brief scare, Kent picks up the pieces. Phew.

19.07 Luke Devereux loops a shot over as Oxford look to muster some late pressure. Their forward Beck-Friis has gone down with cramp and the dark blues look finished here. The Ole soundtrack is accompanying the Cambridge possession.

19.05 It drops to Forde on the edge of the penalty area and his cleanly struck effort is fired narrowly wide. Cambridge dominant, in control and heading for Varsity glory with just over ten minutes to go.

19.02 A big chance goes begging for Cambridge as Tsuda’s perfect cross is met by the arriving Broadway, who heads wide. That would have finished Oxford off.

Comment from Chloe at Caius College, Cambridge – “The Oxford Number 4 has massive tree trunk thighs”. We can confirm that it is Anthony Beddows with the thunder-thighs.

18.55 GOAL! Cambridge 3-2 Oxford – Oh my God! WOW! A stunning, individual strike from Richard Totten, who twisted his full back inside out before cutting in on to his left foot and bending a scorching effort into the far corner. An astonishing goal. An astonishing Cambridge. Cambridge have scored two goals in five minutes to snatch this game away from their fiercest rivals! A hat-trick for Totten!  Stupendous!

18.52 This is becoming a classic. End-to-end stuff now, as Rubenstein’s shot is well held by Cambridge keeper Kent, before Forde fires over from distance for the light blues.

18.48 GOAL! Cambridge 2-2 Oxford – It’s that man again! Richard Totten restores parity for Cambridge after a sustained spell of possession and pressure reaps dividends. A threaded ball in behind and Totten, who had crept in from his right flank, slotted the ball beyond goalkeeper Haigh with precision. Ice in his veins, that boy! Game on!

18.47 Cambridge have rediscovered some of their verve and fluency. For the first time in this game, the light Blues have camped themselves in the Oxford half and are probing for an equaliser.

18.44 Ross Broadway has a sighter from 25 yards but he doesn’t get his full force behind it, and a deflection takes all the sting out of it.

18.42 A simple ball over the top from Oxford causes Cambridge problems down the inside left channel, and Kent has to race off his line to beat Oxford’s Rubenstein to it and clear into touch. Cambridge struggling and looking short of ideas.

18.38 A quite magical first touch from Daniel Forde, who spins away from full-back Bassett, but Moneke comes across to mop up the danger. But that touch. Berbatov-esque.

18.35 Whisper it quietly, but it is the Oxford contingency in the stands who are providing the more rousing soundtrack to this game. In the words of Delia Smith, ‘Cambridge, Let’s be having you!’

18.33 The game has restarted. Cambridge need to gain more of a foothold in midfield. They were being outfought in there in the first half.

18.31 The players are reemerging from the tunnel and Cambridge have 45 minutes to keep their treble dream alive. Remember, they have won the league title and are in the BUCS trophy final. It’s do or die. 

18.20 Here’s a half-time snap as Simon Court and Daniel Forde troop off with Cambridge trailing 2-1.

18.16 Half-Time Cambridge 1-2 Oxford – A first half that began slowly exploded into life just before the thirty minute mark, when Julian Austin’s header diverted a set piece into the far right hand corner to hand Oxford a 1-0 lead. Cambridge were quick to react, though, and a measured finish from Richard Totten drew the light blues level. But with half-time approaching, the move of the match brought the goal of the match when a brilliant, individual run from Anthony Beddows drove him to the heart of the Cambridge defence, and he teed up Rubenstein, who did the rest. Oxford lead 2-1 at the break.

18.12 GOAL! Cambridge 1-2 Oxford – Sensational, counter-attacking goal from Oxford. Anthony Beddows picked the ball up on the half-way line and ran with purpose at Cambridge’s exposed back four. The light blue centre backs backed off, and Beddows laid the ball perfectly into the path of Erza Rubenstein who drove a clinical finish into the far corner. Superb football.

18.04 It was a strange goal. Broadway’s ball seemed to be intended for Tsuda, who was brought down off the ball, and time appeared to stand still as Totten ran on to the loose ball to draw Cambridge level. Poor defending from Oxford, and the goalkeeper could have done better at his near post. Here are the light blues celebrating the equaliser…..

18.03 GOAL! Cambridge 1-1 Oxford – A captain’s intervention from Ross Broadway who powered through midfield before releasing Richard Totten down the right-hand side of the penalty area, who slid the ball through the legs of Haigh to equalise. Oxford were ahead for less than five minutes.

18.01 Half-an-hour gone and the heavens have now opened. A malicious cocktail of snow, sleet and rain is whirling round Selhurst Park. Oxford lead 1-0.

17.58 GOAL! Cambridge 0-1 Oxford – A wicked delivery from an Oxford corner and the dark blues take the lead as Julian Austin sneaks in front of Childs to glance the old enemy into the lead.

17.54 Some really silky interchange by Cambridge between Tsuda and Totten just outside the box, allowing Totten to force his way around Fellows but he just couldn’t get a decent ball across the face of goal. Totten was being pushed and pulled and should he have gone down, referee Lee Probert would have had a decision to make. Commendable honesty.

17.50 Both sides yet to really get any sort of passing rhythm going. Oxford from the Sam Allardyce/Tony Pulis school of football. Hoof. Think the ball has a headache.

17.47 Much better from Cambridge. Forde escapes two challenges and pulls the ball back to Totten arriving on the edge of the penalty area but his effort is bravely blocked by Moneke. It drops to Childs who miscues completely. Encouraging signs.

17.43 Cambridge winger Forde wastes a good opening on the edge of the box before tripping Bassett and conceding a free-kick. Bassett did exaggerate the fall a little. Oxford’s answer to Tom Daley.

17.39 First foray into the Oxford half for Cambridge as Ben Tsuda gallops away from Jamison but his long-range strike hits Sherif, taking all the sting off the shot and it rolls harmlessly through to dark blue goalie Haigh.

17.36 Five minutes in and Cambridge have not going at all. A dangerous in-swinging corner by Oxford’s Ezra Rubenstein is headed away by Sol Elliot under his own crossbar. Worrying start.

17.35 A long diagonal from Cambridge full-back Sol Elliot is flicked on by Totten but it comes to nothing. Cambridge yet to settle here.

17.32 Early scare for Cambridge after the defence struggled to deal with a high ball but goalkeeper Kent is out to avert any danger and calm the early nerves.

17.30 Kick off! Cambridge get the game underway, with Lee Probert, a Premier League referee, the man in the middle.

17.28 Bit of pre-match insight from the dark side. Oxford student Anuj Wali, from New College reveals: Sam Donald (Oxford captain) is a prolific college scorer with strike partner Edd Hermes. Will he be able to recreate that telepathic relation ship with Julian Austin today on the big stage? I think so.”

17.25 The two teams have just come out onto the pitch:

17.04 Unfortunately no glitzy presentation for the substitutes, but will one of these chaps come off the bench and become a star-name tonight?

Cambridge: Coburn, Smith, Hill, Grigg, Hutton

Oxford: Szereter, O’Brien, Healy, Grimer, Firman

17.02 And here is the Oxford team. GDBO……

17.00 Here is the Cambridge side for this evening, donning their famous light blue:

17.00 Kick off is at 17.30 but the boys are out and about warming up, and we have team news…..