Brummie Boys Too Much For Centaurs

Men’s 2nd team lose 5-2 in season opener

The Centaurs (OUAFC’s 2nd team) opened their competetive campaign today with a frustrating 5-2 defeat to Birmingham City University 1sts.

Eager: Oxford out hours before the game

Going into their first competitive fixture under a new captain (third-year Univ full-back Hayden Cooke) and a new coach (Jon Collins, newly arrived from Reading’s academy setup), the team were out practicing early, looking to put Collins’s high-pressing, high-tempo system into action after an up-and-down preseason, that saw a convincing win over Imperial followed by struggles with UCL and Hartpury.

In the early stages, they looked good for it; early jitters were quickly set aside and the Centaurs opened the scoring with a superb strike from Cooke at the 15-minute mark to put them up 1-0.

But within half an hour they were behind, with two moments of individual brilliance putting BCU ahead.

Wrestling: Centaurs struggled with BCU midfield

The Centaurs struck back quickly with a well-placed effort from big target man Fred Howell, but BCU responded just a couple of minutes later with an incredible goal; a long kick from the keeper was placed to perfection, and the strong #9 was able to power past his man and put them back in front.

BCU’s Jack Darby then made it 3 just before half-time, with a speculative effort that looped over the unfortunate Jeremy Ogunleye’s head and in.

Combative: but both teams generally avoided the whistle

A shellshocked Centaurs team came out fighting after the half, with Rowland Carter in particular putting together a number of good runs out on the wing, but weren’t able to break through. The physical BCU front two were able to make their chances count with two breakaway goals in quick succession at around 70 minutes to put the game beyond doubt.

Speaking to the Tab after the game, Collins said: “We’re not too worried; it’s a new system, a new team, new faces everywhere.

“The boys are learning the system, and three to four weeks from now, this side will be unrecognisable compared to today.”