Football Cuppers Last 16 round-up – Part 1/2

Last weekend saw the return of Cuppers football with 8 colleges joining the 8 winners of the first round ties to produce 46 goals in some enthralling encounters. We take […]

Last weekend saw the return of Cuppers football with 8 colleges joining the 8 winners of the first round ties to produce 46 goals in some enthralling encounters. We take a look back on the action in which three games were decided by just one goal and three games were decided by the dreaded penalty kicks.

Downing 1:4 Darwin (0:2 HT)

Downing: Matthews, Brodie, Armstrong, O’Connell, Rumun, Churcher, Coombes, Lawrence, Lukasik, Burley, Ingham Subs: Fitton, Beattie

Goalscorers: O’Connell

Darwin: Griffith, Dickinson, Hope, Bennett, Worrall, Haigh, Bastos, Wolstenhulme, Gray. Wake, Freudenreich

Goalscorers: Hope x4

An experienced Darwin side controlled the game from start to finish, capitalising on two set pieces to take the game away from Downing. Downing were missing man mountain Joe Moorcroft-Moran at centre back and this meant their usual tactic of lining 10 men up on the edge of the box and spending 90 minutes clearing crosses came under scrutiny. They were particularly susceptible to balls in the box as Darwin peppered the Downing goal with delap-esque throws from Blues defender Wolstenhulme, overpowering the youthful Downing side and allowing Chris Hope to chip in with all four goals. Despite late pressure from Downing that resulted in a goal, the tactically impressive Darwin side closed out the game comfortably to take their place in the next round at home to Pembroke.

Darwin Downing

Darwin employing some Pulis-esque tactics… and to devastating effect!

Christ’s 4:4 Churchill AET (Churchill win 3-1 on Penalties) (2:2 FT, 0:0 HT)

Christ’s: Deng, Brown, Blake, Cracknell, Diamante, Reeds, May, Baldock, Hooten, Armstrong, Baron Subs: Duffy, Faure, Hovington

Goalscorers: Armstrong, May, Baron, Cracknell

Churchill: Smyth, Waller, Cammack, Evans, Duherich, Holt, Athwal, Berridge-Dunn, Seete, Weller Subs: Weaving, Tan

Goalscorers: Rolph x2, Cammack, Weller

The first half started with Churchill looking to build on their unbeaten run this term against a Christ’s team who have yet to win a game. However, with some key players coming back for Christ’s and the addition of the Blues Captain in centre midfield, they looked a different outfit to the team which Churchill comfortably beat 4-1 earlier in the season. In the initial exchanges, the play was scrappy  with play bogged down in the midfield. Christ’s had a few promising moves mostly down their right, exploiting some weak play from the Churchill left back. Churchill grew into the half and in patches looked to string a few chances together, with Seete going close after a tasty exchange with Rolph around the box. However, there were to be no goals in a pretty drab first half.

The second half began awfully for Churchill with some slack defending allowing Christ’s target man Ian Armstrong in behind to score with a measured finish over Smyth. Less than 5 minutes later, Christ’s doubled their lead when schoolboy defending allowed a long goal kick to be flicked on straight through the defence as James May popped up to stroke the ball into the net with a delightful chip. This spurred Churchill into life who started to exploit some frailties in the Christ’s defence. Lead by their lanky number 11 Rolph, who turned Christ’s defence inside and out on several occasions, they created some great chances for Churchill which were squandered with a combination of atrocious finishing and wayward final balls. With 6 minutes to go the score was still 2-0 to Christ’s as Duherich received the ball in an advanced position down the right hand side for Churchill. A quick dart around the tormented Christs’ left back and a decent cross allowed Rolph to flick the goal over the goalkeeper and into the net. Churchill piled forwards in search of an equaliser and with two minutes to go, a free-kick was given on halfway for Churchill. The classic tactic of lumping the ball into the box proved fruitful for Churchill as Cammack headed home from the Waller free kick. Full time came with the scores level at 2 a piece.

Both teams started extra time with the swagger of two sides who believed they had the quality to win the game, yet had forgotten the fitness levels of an average college player would make Luke Shaw look like Mo Farah. After about 10 minutes, one of many poor clearances from Churchill’s left back fell straight to the Christ’s captain Baron who slotted home. Churchill found extraordinary spirit to fight back quickly however, levelling as Rolph controlled a Duherich cross to finish smartly in the box. With players struggling with cramp all over the pitch, the second half of extra time saw two more goals as the game went to penalties. The pressure of a penalty shootout in the world’s second oldest cup competition proved too much for 3 of the 4 Christ’s takers as Churchill slammed home their first 3 penalties to take the game 3-1. They move on to face Trinity hall away in the quarter finals.

Jesus 1:0 Sidney Sussex AET (0:0 FT, 0:0 HT) 

Sidney Sussex: Hirsch, Deeley, Makings, Bradly, Cole, Teale Ryda, Grayling, Mahon, Davies, Hugill Subs: Sammons, Ezra, Fotherby

Jesus: Eburne, Peterson, Crawford, Thorley, Robinson, Emerton, Mullertz, O’Loughlin, Ashmead, Anderson, Purcell Subs: Koroye, Meier, Kitching

Goalscorers: Koroye

The matchup between 4th Division Sidney Sussex and Cuppers holders Jesus nearly produced the shock of the round with a very cagey affair in front a large crowd. Although underdogs, Sidney worked tirelessly, constantly putting Jesus under pressure despite the home team benefitting from large spells of possession. The reigning Cuppers champions looked cool and collected, mostly due to the enormous presence of Jack Thorley, Jesus’ new graduate student and former England U-18 Centre Back. Jesus began to let their pressure tell and 3 excellent saves late on from the Sidney keeper Hirsch were needed to ensure the game went into extra-time having finished goalless. Extra time proved extremely tough for both teams with players from both sides succumbing to cramp. It was left up to Jesus’s poster boy Mark Koroye, having been benched for the first half, to take advantage. With his relatively fresh legs he bumbled the ball through some tired Sidney challenges before selfishly ignoring the square ball to an open man and scuffing the ball past the onrushing Sidney keeper with about 10 minutes to go. A tired challenge from a Sidney defender meant he received his second yellow in the dying minutes as the Jesus goal remained untroubled until the final whistle. Sidney must hold themselves with pride, pushing Jesus right to the edge, despite being away from home and heavily outnumbered by the fans. On another day it could have been a different story but the Jesuans move on, looking to reach Cuppers final for the third year running with a home tie against Robinson in the quarter finals.

mark koroye

Mark loves goals.

Pembroke 6:5 Trinity (3:2 HT) 

Pembroke: Weber, Bittlestone, Reland, Hudson, Mellor, Harries, Carroll, Ogier, Oldfield, Nielsen, Pistoja Subs: McMullen, Berenson-Barros, Waghorn

Goalscorers: Harries, Ogier, Pistoja, Nielsen (2), Carroll (p)

Trinity: Kakoutas, Dungay, Kehle, Alberman, Lehmann, Park, Nagy, Brocksom, Steve, Bowlby, Apel  Subs: Kershaw

Goalscorers: Nagy (3), Bowlby, Apel

Just like an early edition of Windows 95, this top of the (Tompkins) table clash required 11 restarts in 90 minutes. The game contained so much drama that to avoid this report stretching to excessive lengths a certain level of brevity is required.

Kick off, goal, corner, goal, goal, goal, free kick, goal, half time. Goal, goal, goal, worldie, goal, pk, goal.

The game ended with celebrations and tears and two more goals than in the whole of Emile Heskeys career.

The match will be remembered for a great performance from Pembroke’s JC, a stunning hat trick from Robi Nagy, and for Jonathan Dungay reaffirming his status as the least popular guy in Trinity.

Pembroke march on to hopefully produce another goalfest away to Darwin in the quarter finals.

Corpus Christi 2:2 AET Trinity Hall (Trinity Hall win 6-5 on Penalties) (2:2 FT, 2:1 HT)

Corpus Christi: Kazzizi, Mainzer, Sarfas, Cho, Patten, Crawford, Ellwood, Congdon, Kang, Mackenzie, Worsfold

Goalscorers: Mackenzie, Worsfold

Trinity Hall: Bowen, Eto, Engle, Hands, Myers, Li, Willett, Evans, Burton, Jones, Price Subs: Fellows, Daramola

Goalscorers: Engle, Daramola

It was a highly competitive game, on the whole played in good spirits. Minnows Corpus more than matched their division 1 opponents over the full 120 minutes, and the entire defence put in an impressive display under considerable pressure at times. The marauding Rob Crawford was outstanding alongside the rest of the midfield which featured a no nonsense Marc Ellwood and the skilful Jack Congdon doing his best to help Corpus Christi cling on to their Cuppers dream. In the end, Corpus could count themselves unfortunate not to win with a frankly astonishing offside call ruling out a goal in the last 10 minutes whilst they were still 2-1 up. The list of other missed chances however suggests it was not just luck that was decisive; credit must go to Tit Hall who kept the pressure up and stayed calm, eventually pulling level. A game that is decided on penalties is always tough on the losers and no one wanted to see a team go out that way, except Tit Hall who go on to play Churchill at home in the quarter finals.