Gonville & Caius I fought back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a point against Corpus ChristiAnnie Huang

The second weekend of top-flight college football saw St John’s I, Churchill I, Pembroke I, and Fitzwilliam I beat Robinson I, Queens’ I, Homerton I, and Downing I respectively. Meanwhile, Corpus Christi drew to Gonville & Caius I. Both Fitz and Corpus finally took to the field today (24/10), after their fixture scheduled for last Saturday (16/10) was unfortunately postponed.

St John’s 5 - 3 Robinson

In the first game of an action-packed weekend (23/10), John’s hosted Robinson. The away side were without centre-back Henry Lambert due to a lower back injury.

Returning from his own injury last week, John’s captain Will Pocock buried a free kick over Robinson keeper Carl Ashworth to open the scoring at 1-0 within four minutes. From then on, it was an end-to-end battle as the visitors were eager to equalise, while John’s pushed hard to extend their early lead.

A mistake from Ashworth allowed John’s to soon double their tally through Jack Burt, making it 2-0 in the 20th minute after a neatly crafted set piece. But two minutes later, Robinson got themselves back into the game with a cracking goal from Jack Barnes, making it 2-1. The 25th minute then saw the away side cancel out the John’s lead through scorer Percy Verity, fresh back from being sidelined last Sunday (17/10). Both teams went into the break at 2-2.

In the 53rd minute, however, Burt bagged his brace from a corner to restore the lead for John’s. Five minutes later, another well-crafted set piece from the corner flag was converted by centre-back Jacob Davies, making it 4-2. Birthday boy Josh Adeyemi soon after produced a long-range screamer to notch the score up to 5-2 for John’s, leaving Robinson’s defence in disarray.

A 63rd minute foul in the box did give the visitors a lifeline, as forward George Pugh coolly sent Hector the wrong way to convert a tidy penalty at 5-3, but the home side held on for the win.

Player of the match: Aineias Arango

St John’s I: Mark Robinson, Rob Ritchie, Matt Ball, Jacob Davies, Will Pocock (C), Tomos Mather, Jack Burt, Jaeheon Shim, Josh Adeyemi, Lucca Martins, Aineias Arango

Substitutes: Ben Herring, Mateus Berutto Figueiredo, Rayyaan Hector

Robinson I: Carl Ashworth, Ben Blunt, Jamie Gammell (C), Henry Lambert, Vissarion Christodoulou, Will Wakelam, Alex Loan, Percy Verity, George Pugh, Makafui Avevor, Jack Barnes

Substitutes: Tom Paggett-Wright, Andru Stefanescu, Billy McGough

Churchill 3 - 0 Queens’

Sunday’s (24/10) early kick-off saw Churchill overpower Queens’ 3-0 in a game of many chances at both ends. Although Churchill started the brighter of the two, Queens’ grew into the game and the first half was a demonstration of college football at its finest. Both teams had chances to score, but were left to rue their misses.

Queens’ had their best spell of the match midway through the first 45, led by the creativeness and skill of winger Jay Paul, and had they made their pressure count could have changed the narrative of the match dramatically. But it was the hosts who produced the half’s crowning moment of quality in the 36th minute, as left winger Jocelino Rodrigues played striker Ed Wicken down the channel to make it 1-0. With an air of nonchalance, Wicken cut inside, leaving the defender for dead on the deck, and finished under keeper Yaw Senior at his near post.

The second half, however, was a different game entirely. Just seconds in, Churchill made it 2-0, as Callum Farrow headed in a Joe Helm corner from close range. From then on, Churchill didn’t look back. They could have had another in the 65th minute following a goal-line scramble, but the referee deemed the ball hadn’t crossed the line. But no matter, as Ed Wicken got his second and Churchill’s third only minutes later, after yet another great Rodrigues through ball.

While Queens’ can take consolation from their first half performance, Churchill will be setting their sights high up the table this season.

Player of the match: Jocelino Rodrigues

Churchill I: Sagar Agrawal (C), Alex Perrin, Sam Ernest, Osa Iluobe, Ed Stevenson, Tom Burke, Conor O’Neill, Joe Helm, Callum Farrow, Ed Wicken, Jocelino Rodrigues

Substitutes: Ed Xu, Elorm Avevor, Dan Lofts

Queens’ I: Yaw Senior; Joe Giles, Omair Butt, Ilyaz Sayenko, Elliott Christensen, Ed McCarthy, Paul Jüsten, Toby Clark, Wesley Barrett, Jay Paul, Sean Cusack

Substitutes: Ben Harvey, Oscar Selby

Pembroke 2 - 0 Homerton

Pembroke hosted Homerton in a matchup between last week’s winners and losers.

The match got off to an energetic start, with Homerton having the first chance and drawing a tidy save from Pembroke keeper Cameron Keith.

The hosts then had a sustained period of pressure midway through the half, culminating in Sonny Mahendran striking one against the top left corner of the away frame. Homerton keeper Alfie Davis also saved well when midfielder Tele Agusto played Jack Seery in one-on-one for a header.

Homerton rallied before the break and won several free kicks down their left side as Vincent Martin’s trickery proved too difficult to handle, but they were unable to carve out any clear chances before the whistle.

Both sides started the second half with intent, as Homerton looked particularly impressive whenever right winger Haeden Johnson received the ball with his back to goal, often being able to turn and take on his man to get into dangerous goal scoring positions.

Pembroke’s Oliver Reed finally broke the deadlock late on, after picking the ball up from Will Holmes on the halfway line and proceeding to go on a mesmerising run before finishing at Davis’s near post. Reed then attempted a long shot that wasn’t held by Davis, agonisingly spilling over the line to seal three points and the league’s top-spot for Pembroke.

Player of the match: Oliver Reed

Pembroke I: Cameron Keith, Will Holmes, Matthew Hawthorn, Daniel Babalola, Toby Parsloe, Tele Agusto (C), Oliver Reed, Gareth Morgan, Joseph Steane, Jack Seery, Sonny Mahendran

Substitutes: Aldri Cela, Josh O’Connell

Homerton I: Alfie Davis, Joe Lockhart (C), Max Asseily, Nasir Macadam, Noah Palombo, Fred Sayer, Omar Shakir, Haeden Johnson, Funto Coker, Vincent Martin, Cyprian Kucaj

Substitutes: Torres Ng, Alex Dunn, Rony Chowdhry

Downing 2 - 8 Fitzwilliam

In the penultimate game of a weekend of goals, last matchday’s winners Downing faced season debutants Fitzwilliam.

The majority of the first half was a cagey affair, with both teams finding it difficult to gain any control nor retain possession. Fitz broke through first, however, in the 31st minute. Ben Shires and Lumi Kanwei had some good interplay along the left-hand side, resulting in a through ball into the box for Shires to finish with a looped ball over Downing keeper Frankie Merriman.

Fitz dominated from then on, scoring again just before the break with a free kick on the right side 25 yards out, which Tom Randall drilled into the bottom right corner to make it 0-2 going into the break.

The second half saw plenty more goals and increased domination from the Fitz outfit, adding six goals to the scoresheet. Soon after the restart, substitute Jed Odagbu ran all the way from the halfway line, cut in from the left hand side, and fired one into the top right corner for 0-3.

Downing managed to nick a goal back with an excellent run from Brody Wooding, finishing it into the bottom left across the Fitz goalie Simon King. But the visitors retaliated with three goals in quick succession, two coming from Harry Houillon and one from Kanwei, whose scintillating run down the middle of the pitch produced a clean finish.

The Fitz domination was briefly halted by an error from King that gifted Milo Lammin a Downing second in the 75th minute, but the game was lost at this point. Another free kick goal from Randall, followed by a goal by Kanwei in the last few minutes, sealed the scoreline at 2-8.

Player of the match: Tom Randall

Downing I: Frankie Merriman, Cody Roth, Josh Sassoon, Jojo Jenner, Hasan Al-Habib, Sam Healy, Nick Granados, Lemuel Osei-Biney, Ren Lioka, Milo Lammin, Richard Gotts (C)

Substitutes: Aleksander Misztal, Max Niroomand, Robbie Smith, Tim Wallace

Fitzwilliam I Squad: Simon King, Sonny McPherson, Tom Randall, Jed Odagbu, Ola Ogunnaike, Ben Shires, Harry Houillon, Cavan Farrow, Josh Douglas, Lumi Kanwei, Codrin Moisoi, Gareth Effiom, Cass Ashworth, George Smith

Corpus Christi 2 - 2 Gonville & Caius

In the final game of Sunday’s fixture list, Corpus took on Caius in their first game of the season, while the visitors looked to build on their 1-0 win over St John’s last weekend (16/10).

Corpus got the game underway, but the affair quickly floated into a battle for aerial dominance, with most of the opening fifteen minutes of play being dictated by headers rather than passes.

It wasn’t until the 40th minute that a goal blessed the matchup, coming from Corpus winger and former captain Marcus Hicks. Latching on to a well-placed through ball from substitute Zack Hilburn, Hicks neatly dinked it over Caius keeper Finlay Gerrand and followed up with a roar of celebration that echoed into the break.

The second half saw Caius come out hungry for an equaliser. A couple of half-chances from Alex Edwards and Nick Stuart were well claimed by Corpus goalie Jake Barker. Hoping to turn up the tempo going into the final third of the game, Caius brought on Blues captain Ben Adam.

But just three minutes later, an ill-timed tackle by Charlie Wilson gave Corpus a penalty chance to double their lead, after bringing down Seb Baynes in the six-yard box. The fouled striker buried the spot kick into the bottom right corner of Gerrand’s net, making it 2-0 with less than half hour left.


Mountain View

CUAFL Matchday 1: Pembroke crush Queens', Robinson upset Homerton

However, this scoreline supremacy faded for Corpus going into the final ten minutes of the game against a physical Caius side. On the 80-minute mark, Adam fired home a low drilled ball from midfield partner James Wiseman, while just five minutes later Josh Monk produced an absolutely superb half volley that sailed into the top left corner after clipping the underside of the Corpus crossbar. Caius completely spun the game on its head to level things at 2-2 going into the closing minutes.

The final seconds of the match saw Caius unlucky not to run away with all three points, as an Adam’s shot from five yards out was miraculously saved by Corpus’s Barker, denying both Adam’s of a brace and Caius of a second win in the season. The tight affair finished all square at Leckhampton.

Player of the match: Ben Adam

Corpus Christi: Jake Barker, Matt Jayasekara, Sam Rogers, Ben Farrar, Ben Mulley, Charlie Ranson, Cos Burdett (C), Will Huddleston, Marcus Hicks, Seb Baynes, Ben Hopkinson

Substitutes: Zack Hilburn, Jack Foster, Aneesh Chopada

Gonville & Caius I: Finlay Gerrand, Aidan Atkinson, Charlie Wilson, Tom Burke, Alex Edwards, Josh Monk, Naz Mohammed, James Wiseman, Frank Gill, Nick Stuart, Amrit Gill

Substitutes: Toby Barnett, Ben Adam

Next weekend (30/10 to 31/10) welcomes the return of Cuppers football, as league action takes a brief backseat following 27 goals over two days in the top division. Eighteen teams will go head-to-head, while the likes of Churchill I, Fitzwilliam I, and St John’s I have received a BYE into the next round, which is expected to take place near the end of November.