King’s I revel in their 2-1 victory over Corpus Christi I, securing a place in the Cuppers semi-finalLiam Kline

King’s I, Homerton I and Pembroke I have respectively defeated Corpus Christi I, Churchill I and St John's I to progress to the semi-finals of the 2020/21 Cuppers football tournament, with Fitzwilliam receiving a bye after their quarter-final tie at home was called off due to a player shortage for their opponents, Sidney Sussex.

King’s 2-1 Corpus Christi (AET)

Saturday’s (15/05) early kick-off saw second-division King’s welcome first-division Corpus Christi. The home side began the game by displaying their attacking prowess, peppering the Corpus defence with threatening efforts. On the ten-minute mark, striker Alfred Lawrence almost opened the scoring after a slick piece of build-up play orchestrated by wing-back George Hendrikse.

However, the fifteenth minute gifted Corpus with a penalty chance, following a botched clearance by the King’s defence leading to a clumsy challenge. Seb Baynes coolly converted from the spot, making it 0-1.

King’s responded well to this early setback, with fluid link-up play gracing the final third. Lawrence again came close to making his mark in the thirtieth minute with a van Persie-esque volley firing into the back of the net, only to be ruled offside.

Despite defensive resilience, Corpus proved unable to hold off the King’s bombardment. Five minutes shy of half-time, Corpus keeper Jake Barker fouled striker Joseph Vambe in the box, trading penalties with the home side. Central-midfielder Conall Murray’s strike levelled the game at 1-1 going into the break.

The second half witnessed a tense deadlock between the two teams. Attackers Dan Ley and Leo Van Der Haar provided a dangerous outlet for Corpus, while attacking-midfielder Zack Case joined to make a lively triangle with the King’s attacking pair. Unfortunately, the end product went begging for both sides, taking the game to extra time.

Breaking the deadlock in the ninety-sixth minute, Lawrence rifled a long-awaited finish into the bottom corner to give King’s the upper hand. Corpus’s calls for offside fell on deaf ears this time around.

The home side’s defensive unit managed to steer the game to a 2-1 close. With bodies being thrown on the line and an outstanding save by Adair Bergin to deny Van Der Haar’s well-struck volley, King’s emerged triumphant in a hard-fought contest that concluded with the chant of “K-C-F-C” serenading the field.

King’s I: Adair Bergin, Jack Brisley, Matt McLoughlin, Adi Weider, Thomas Howard (C), George Hendrikse, Conall Murray, Fabrizio De Vito, Zack Case, Joseph Vambe, Alfred Lawrence

Subs: Arjun Dodhia, Charlie Maclean, Alistair Bill

Corpus Christi I: Jake Barker, Michael Hare, Ben Farrar (C), Arun Thirunavukarasu, Matt Jayasekara, Dan Ley, Conor Flynn, Cos Burdett, Ermeyas Girma, Leo Van Der Haar, Seb Baynes

Subs: Ben Mulley, Charlie Ranson, Zack Hilburn

Churchill 2-3 Homerton

Meanwhile Churchill hosted Homerton in the Sunday afternoon kick off (16/05). The home side were under pressure from the start, conceding an early goal in the seventh minute from Grayson Allen, who scored off a loose ball from a corner. The whole first half was marked by sustained Homerton possession and aggression. Nwuba, Homerton’s central striker, was a constant threat in attack, and in the 29th minute won a penalty after being fouled in the box. However, heroic goalkeeping from the Churchill goalkeeper, Jordan, kept him off the score sheet.

The Churchill side grew into the game during the first half, raising the quality of the contest. Nonetheless, Grayson Allen doubled his tally with a sublime chip over the Churchill goalkeeper into the top left corner of the goal in the 43rd minute to make it 2-0 to the away side, after a well-worked passage of play.

In the second half, Churchill came out with more intent and took the game to Homerton. But their decision to be more attacking left them vulnerable to a counterattack goal in the 55th minute. Nwuba took his second assist of the day as Sam Davies scored off a low cross to make it a seemingly convincing 3-0 to the visitors.

Churchill, still offensively-minded, scored three minutes later, with Callum Farrow converting a header off a cross from Ed Wicken. Nine minutes later in the 67th minute, Farrow scored another, this time off a corner: at 2-3, the comeback was on.

Homerton contained the pressure for the last twenty minutes of the game, as Churchill frantically tried in vain for an equalising goal. The match had a riveting end and finished 3-2 to the away side, knocking out Churchill, who disposed of last year’s finalists, Queens’, just last week in a 2-0 second round home win.

Churchill I:  Sam Jordan, George Colville, Sam Ernest, Osa Iluobe, Andreas Economou, Eddie Furlong, Phil Dillon, Athi Chellappa, Callum Farrow, Miguel El Guendy, Ed Wicken

Subs: George Crawley, Oscar de Wit, Joe Helm

Homerton I: Kenji Misawa, Matt Walters, Max Asseily, Ben Grischeff, Joe Lockhart (C), Fred Sayer, Grayson Allen, Funto Coker, Cyprian Kucaj, Kosi Nwuba, Sam Davies

Subs: Noah Polumbo, Folami Iyiola, Vincent Martin

St John’s 0-2 Pembroke

In the third quarter-final played last night (17/05), Pembroke kicked off in what turned out to be a very even game. The two defences ruled the first half, forcing both sides into playing scrappy football. Despite this, Pembroke striker Haydn Francis found himself in behind on three occasions early in the first half, but was unable to take advantage, shooting wide or misplacing the final ball. Similarly, John’s winger Zac Gladman was played in just before the half-hour mark but Pembroke keeper Cameron Keith kept the score at 0-0.

The second half started more dramatically when, six minutes in, John’s midfielder Jacob Davies struck a thunderous shot towards the top right corner, forcing Keith to produce an equally impressive save. Moments later, however, Davies gave the ball away in the John’s half and Gareth Morgan took advantage, putting Pembroke 1-0 up. As John’s pushed to equalise, CB Matt Hawthorn and CDM Tele Agusto continued their strong defensive work. At the hour mark, Hawthorn launched a long free kick forwards from the halfway line, and looked to have troubled John’s keeper Mark Robinson, but the crossbar came to his rescue. The last half hour saw John’s get increasingly desperate, especially after Haydn Francis scored from a corner, doubling the Pembroke lead with 10 minutes left to play. Despite continued pressure, the game was ultimately out of reach for John’s, with the final score reading 2-0 to Pembroke.

John’s I: Mark Robinson, Michael Samuelson-Beulah, Abhik Vinod, Will Pocock, Matt Ball, Ikechi Mere, Jacob Davies, Lucca Martins, Zac Gladman, Alex Mercer, Josh Adeyemi


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Subs: Tim D’Abouville, Jonathon Stelzer, Sang Wee, Tomos Mather, Rob Ritchie, Olu Osibeluwo

Pembroke I: Cameron Keith (GK), Will Holmes (Captain - RB), Matt Hawthorn (CB), Rob Perry (CB), Toby Parsloe (LB), Tele Agusto (CM), Ollie Reed (CM), Alex Root (CAM), Jack Seery (RF), Haydn Francis (CF), Gareth Morgan (LF)

Subs: Gideon Lee, Daniel Babalola, James Brownsey

This weekend’s results will see Homerton play King’s at home in the semi-finals, while Fitzwilliam will go up against Pembroke at home. Elsewhere, Downing and Gonville & Caius secured their spots in the final of the Plate competition, which is due to take place this coming weekend, with respective 4-2 and 5-0 semi-final victories against St Catharine’s and Darwin.