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

Fitzwilliam 3:3 St John’s (St Johns win 4-3 on Penalties) (0:2 HT) Fitzwilliam: Warne, Plane, Painter, Dunn-Massey, Whiting, Hobbs, Rutzler, Hickey, Yves-Colin, Sandbach, Emanuel Subs: Donnelly, Roniek, Neat Goalscorers: Sandbach, Rutzler, […]

Fitzwilliam 3:3 St John’s (St Johns win 4-3 on Penalties) (0:2 HT)

Fitzwilliam: Warne, Plane, Painter, Dunn-Massey, Whiting, Hobbs, Rutzler, Hickey, Yves-Colin, Sandbach, Emanuel Subs: Donnelly, Roniek, Neat

Goalscorers: Sandbach, Rutzler, Hobbs

St John’s: Ballard, Horan, Woss, Richards, Hilton, Drysdale, Letrilliart, Filippa, Sedlak, Brown, Gaskell Subs: Selway, Smith, Baha

Goalscorers: Selway, Gaskell x2

A fierce, but mostly well-spirited contest between Fitz and the heavily favoured St John’s produced a game which sums up the spirit and importance of Cuppers football. The only All-Premier League clash of the round certainly lived up to it’s prematch billing and produced a classic to excite the hoards of fans in attendance.

The game started at a frantic pace with tackles flying in straight from the first whistle. Disaster struck for John’s early on as right back Antoni Woss was injured from a Tom Hickey challenge and had to be taken to Addenbrooke’s after only 5 minutes. Selway replaced Woss as John’s showed their class, seamlessly reshuffling positions to capitalise on a slow start from Fitz. A long cross field ball from Horan found first year Charlie Selway on the left wing who calmly took the ball down and slotted past the onrushing Warne after 15 minutes. Fitz started to find their feet, bolstered by the support of the infamous ‘Fitz Firm’ who turned out in numbers, and started to look more menacing. An extraordinary sight in football then occurred as a penalty was given for a push in the box off a corner, the referee obviously unaware of the Premier League’s rule to ban such decisions. It gave Fitz a golden opportunity to equalise however, John’s keeper Alex Ballard produced a stunning save from Tom Hickey’s penalty as Fitz penalty woes continued following Painter’s miss in a 1-0 loss to Downing earlier in the season. John’s capitalised shortly after, when Martin Letrilliart produced an excellent delivery which Alex Gaskell bundled into the net off his face from 2 yards out. A number of CUAFC fans in attendance had to be treated for shock after seeing Gaskell actually put the ball in the net.

With a mountain to climb, Fitz rallied themselves after an inspirational team talk and were met with several renditions of classic Fitz football chants (Away in a Manger and Oh Fitzwilliam!). Roused by the support, Fitz raised their game and immediately put John’s under pressure, without creating any clear chances. It has to be said that John’s came out for the second half as though the game was already won. Normally so effective for the away side, Andrea Filippa’s only meaningful contribution to the game was to collect a yellow card for a petulant retaliation to a hard Fitz foul, as it was left up to the dominant centre back pairing of Tom Richards and Nick Hilton to carry the John’s side. It took a moment of magic from Peter Rutzler to turn the game on its head as he banged in a screamer from 25 yards out on the left hand side across the goalkeeper, bringing the score to 2-1. With the momentum and John’s rattled, Fitz searched for the equaliser, finally levelling it up through Sandbach with 25 minutes to go, who capitalised on a rare mistake at the back for St Johns.

A devastated John’s were forced to rally themselves, and did so. After Martin Sedlak forced a spectacular save from Warne, John’s took the lead with 15 minutes to go when Alex Gaskell rose high to bury a difficult header at the back post back across the stranded Warne. John’s defended outstandingly allowing no clear chances on goal as Fitz’s desperate comeback was dealt a double blow with 5 minutes to go. Keeper Warne was forced off with a leg injury, at first feared to be almost as bad as the ‘broken hand’ he sustained earlier in the year, followed by an injury to centre midfielder Tom Hickey. With a centre-half in goal and missing their starting centre-midfielder, the Fitz fans feared the worst. However, in a stunning display of heart, Fitz threw everything at St Johns in the final few minutes of the game and got their reward when Hobbs had to resort to scoring directly from a corner with only seconds left on the clock.

Due to the late kick-off the game went straight to penalties. The first six penalties were successful, tying up the score at 3-3 in the shootout. Alex Ballard repeated his first half heroics, brilliantly saving from Yves-Colin’s penalty. Martin Sedlak made the score 4-3 as the pressure was heaped on Neat with Fitz’s 5th penalty. A save diving to his left meant Ballard was John’s hero as the away support was sent into delirium.

A classic cup encounter with plenty of action all over the pitch. The St John’s Juggernaut rolls on to welcome Girton to St Legends Park in the quarter finals.

Johns cuppers

Fitz and Johns line up for penalties as the light dims.

St Catherine’s 3:4 Girton (2:2 HT) 

St Catherine’s: Briggs, Cummings, Holt, Hall, Lane, Allen, Crease, Yip, DeJong, Radzevicius, Burr Subs: Alloo, Butterworth, Goh

Goalscorers: DeJong x2, Holt

Girton: Brizzi, Savitsky, Day, Pennell, Trifunovic, Ballantyne, Monks, Ritter, Almond, Fisher, Yun

Goalscorers: Savitsky x2, Ritter (p), Yun

Catz and Girton could not have entered this cup tie with more differing fortunes. Girton were unbeaten in the second division whilst Catz were stuck on the 0 points at the bottom of the Premier League. Catz were able to strengthen their line up however with 38 year old DOS and debutant Matt DeJong entering the fray.

DeJong provided the ability to hold the ball up as a striker that Catz had been missing all term, creating chances from the start. It didn’t take him long to open his Catz account, opening the scoring from a header from a Dean Holt corner. Only minutes later, Catz found themselves 2-0 up, after another set piece ended with Jonny Crease ensuring he no longer has to hand in a piece of work on time all year by squaring for his DOS and supervisor DeJong to net his second of the match. Girton responded through Savitsky who volleyed home with aplomb from a Ritter free-kick. Girton were then awarded a penalty after Dean Holt scythed down Fisher in a play which would have claimed stonewall penalty of the day were it not for Dungay’s exploits for Trinity in the 93rd minute. The penalty was duly dispatched to leave the score 2:2 at half time.

After half time Catz came out re energised and took the lead quickly. Holt’s free kick evaded everyone, despite despicable claims from Catz’s Hall to claim a flick on and the goal, to find its way into the back of the net. Buoyed on by the reverent away support, Girton came back strongly as Yun scored the only goal from open play in the whole game, a sumptuous header from an Almond cross. Girton soon took the lead with Savitsky smashing home yet another volley from right back and they were able to hold on to the end, even having a goal disallowed late on. A close contest but it is ultimately Girton who travel to St John’s in the quarter finals.

Robinson 4:0 Homerton (2:0 HT) 

Robinson: Harrison, Uppal, Marino Woods, Edwards, Donega, Bacon, Luque Lora, Cotterell, Kaplan, Sibley Subs: Sharma

Goalscorers: Bacon (2), Cotterell, Kaplan

Homerton: Evans, Cozens, Skipper, Borwn, Gouldbourne, Dodd, Mack, Draper, Minkovski, Jones, Okoruwa Subs: Cawthorne

Robinson cruised to the quarter finals of cuppers with a convincing win over Homerton. Robinson started the game well, and were a goal up after five minutes when a powerful 25 yard free kick from Bacon flew into the top corner. Homerton rallied and came back into the game and after 20 minutes Homerton had their first real chance when Mack struck the bar. However Robinson soon scored their second when a long throw from Bacon eventually fell to Kaplan who teed the ball up for Captain Cotterell to slam into the bottom corner. Homerton had a chance to get back into the game when Minkovski got in behind, however his low drive into the bottom corner was saved by Harrison as Robinson scrambled the ball away to go in at half time 2-0 up.

The second half was played at a frantic pace and it took an incredible goal to seal the Robinson victory. The Homerton keeper cleared the ball downfield only for Tom ‘Stankovic’ Bacon audaciously smashed the ball on the volley from the halfway line over the goalkeepers head and into the net. The victory was finalised when Uppal played Kaplan through who half volleyed the ball into the far corner to send Robinson into the quarter finals. They will play a highly rated Jesus side away, and Robinson will be hoping to make the first cuppers semi final in the college’s history.