Robinson dealt Corpus Christi their second loss of the season with a 6-3 victoryAnnie Huang

The final group of league fixtures before the Christmas break saw a total of 28 goals across just five games. Queens’ I, Fitzwilliam I, Gonville & Caius I, Robinson I, and Pembroke I all triumphed over Homerton I, Churchill I, Downing I, Corpus Christi, and St John’s I respectively.

Queens’ 3 - 2 Homerton

In the weekend’s opening fixture (20/11), Homerton travelled to Queens’. The visitors looked to build winning momentum ahead of their huge Cuppers clash with Fitzwilliam this Friday (26/11), while the hosts desperately wanted to rack up their first win of the season.

The game started fairly evenly, with both teams creating chances before Cyprian Kucaj finished neatly from the edge of the penalty area to make it 0-1 in the fifth minute. Vincent Martin picked up the assist after burning the Queens’ defence with blistering pace.

Queens’ responded well, however, as they managed to equalise just five minutes later through striker Lewis Bocking, who scored with an excellent turn inside the penalty area to sit centre-back Rony Chowdhry down and finish in the far corner. Paul Jüsten played the all-important through ball.

Shortly after, Toby Clark got the second for Queens’ from close range after good work on the right from Wesley Barrett. A short corner took advantage of Homerton’s lapse in concentration, allowing Clark to bury his shot at the near post uncontested. The half ended 2-1, despite the visitors opening the scoring.

Going into the second 45, Homerton dominated much of the play, but Queens’ remained dangerous on the counter. Bocking scored his brace with a cool finish to push the score up to 3-1 following a brilliant run down the line from Ben Sutton, who beat Homerton full-back Folami Iyiola in a tight foot race to slip his teammate in. 

Homerton were unable to find a breakthrough until the 75th minute, when Louie Roberts scored a great free kick from out wide, guiding it past Queens’ keeper João Aranha with effortless skill from 25 yards out.

Aranha made two acrobatic saves to keep the score at 3-2, with one coming on the final whistle that even garnered the appreciation of the visitors’ supporters.

Following the defeat, Homerton now find themselves bottom of the table with only one point, with Queens’ leapfrogging them to go into ninth.

Player of the match: Lewis Bocking

Queens’ I: João Aranha, Elliott Christensen, Elliott Stockdale, Ilyaz Sayenko, Ben Harvey, Paul Jüsten, Ed McCarthy (C), Ben Sutton, Toby Clark, Will Gorman, Lewis Bocking

Substitutes: Wesley Barrett, Alberto Ferro

Homerton I: Lance Burn, Noah Palombo, Rony Chowdhry, Joe Lockhart (C), Alex Highland, Fred Sayer, Louie Roberts, Funto Coker, Torres Ng, Vincent Martin, Cyprian Kucaj

Substitutes: Folami Iyiola, Mark Frazer, Sean Kama

Fitzwilliam 3 - 0 Churchill

Sunday’s (21/11) first fixture saw unbeaten Fitzwilliam welcome a mid-table Churchill side to Fitzwilliam College Playing Field on Oxford Road.

Despite being in excellent form over the last few weeks, Fitz started the game very slowly, with Churchill dominant for the first twenty minutes with the lion’s share of possession. Churchill’s Jocelino Rodrigues really shone in the first half with many displays of skill to beat his man down the left flank.

However, after those shaky twenty minutes, Fitz began to take a hold of the game, mainly due to centre-midfielder Sonny McPherson stretching his legs and dictating in the middle of the park, spraying passes out to the wings and going on some progressive runs of his own.

In the 39th minute, after the ball was worked down the right by Fitz, it was pulled back to McPherson who swiftly squared it to Tom Randall who, in acres of space, looked up at the goal and fired one into the top left corner from 25 yards out.

Three minutes later, Lumi Kanwei was fouled in the penalty box, giving the hosts the opportunity to double their lead. Unaffected by the windy conditions, Kanwei made it 2-0 after coolly guiding the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Churchill keeper and captain Sagar Agrawal the wrong way.

The second half started off cagey, with both sides struggling to keep control of the ball. But in the 60th minute, McPherson scored to make it 3-0 and prematurely secure the win. His shot from just beyond the right side of the box sent the ball into the bottom left corner of the Churchill goal.

Fitzwilliam went into their match against Churchill with three wins in as many gamesDamola Odeyemi

Five minutes later, Fitz had a goal disallowed after Harry Houillon collided with Agrawal before knocking the ball into the net.

The remainder of the second half was relatively uneventful, as Churchill grew into the game but were ultimately unable to breach the solid Fitz defence.

Player of the match: Sonny McPherson

Fitzwilliam I: Adam Haffner, Codrin Moisoi, George Smith, Josh Douglas, Cavan Farrow, Sonny McPherson (CC), Tom Randall (CC), Lumi Edward Kanwei, Gareth Effiom, Harry Houillon, Ben Shires

Substitutes: Jed Odagbu, Tom Willock

Churchill I: Sagar Agrawal (C), Alex Perrin, Sam Ernest, Andreas Economou, Dan Lofts, Ed Stevenson, Osa Iluobe, Tom Burke, Conor O'Neil, Jocelino Rodrigues, Ed Wicken 

Substitutes: Aran Haber, George Colville, Michael Griffiths

Gonville & Caius 6 - 0 Downing

Gonville & Caius headed into Sunday’s second fixture on the back of a very strong 7-3 win over Queens’ last time out (13/11), while Downing have suffered a mixed bag of results so far this season, never really finding the form they had in their opening win against Churchill (16/10).

Caius’ strength was immediately apparent, as they repeated last week’s lightning start and within ten minutes established a two goal lead. Fit-again Ethan Sorrell opened his account for the season with a tap-in from a James Wiseman knock back across goal, before Wiseman controlled a loose ball and threaded through a lovely pass for Frank Gill to lift over Downing keeper Frankie Merriman. 

It didn’t take long for Caius to extend their lead once again, and some really quite sensational interplay between Nick Stuart and the marauding Ben Adam had the latter add a third.

For a short period, Downing began to develop some more fluency in the midfield, but were unable to take advantage of their possession as they struggled to produce clear cut chances.

As half time approached, the boys in blue re-asserted their hold on the game. The ball broke to Sorrell in the midfield, who then produced a pinpoint pass to split the Downing defence wide open, allowing Gill to bag his brace and Caius’ fourth going into the break.

Unlike last Saturday, Caius offered their opposition no respite nor any opportunity back into the match, as they continued to dominate across the park. 

Wiseman grabbed his goal from a deflected Alex Edwards cross, while Sorrell doubled his tally from an Amrit Gill through ball, both of which were lovely finishes and closed the game at 6-0 over a well defeated Downing side.

Player of the match: Ethan Sorrell

Gonville & Caius I: Wills Wynn Thomas, Aidan Atkinson, Ben Adam, Charlie Wilson, Alex Edwards, Sam Odu, Naz Mohammed, James Wiseman (C), Frank Gill, Nick Stuart, Ethan Sorrell

Substitutes: Josh Monk, Toby Barnett, Amrit Gill

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

Substitutes: Ryan Francis, Robbie Smith, Charlie O’Leary, Fazal Syed

Robinson 6 - 3 Corpus Christi

In Sunday’s penultimate fixture, two teams with two wins between them this season faced each other. Robinson were without centre-half and captain Jamie Gammell, meaning that Bill McGough, who usually plys his trade further up the field, had to slot in at the back.

Robinson started brightly and got off to a perfect start, as talismanic forward George Pugh flicked a header in after a series of corners, making it 1-0 inside ten minutes. Meanwhile, Corpus offered little threat; Robinson wanted it more, were first to every 50/50, and carried on peppering the Corpus box with crosses.

Soon, this paid off; a ball in from the right found Jack Barnes completely unmarked in the centre of the box, who headed in via a large deflection to double Robinson’s lead.

Corpus suddenly found life, however, and less than a minute later pulled one back, as captain Cos Burdett finished coolly from the edge of the box.

But unable to capitalise on this lead, Corpus conceded a penalty after two players tussled in the box, which was then converted emphatically by Pugh for his brace and Robinson’s third.

Corpus continued their press though. A minute before the half, they went through on goal and the ball ricocheted off Robinson keeper Tarush Bansal onto Charlie Ranson’s shin and into the back of the net to make it 3-2. Corpus didn’t want half time, and should have made it 3-3 after missing a glorious chance seconds before the whistle. 

Robinson's George Pugh secured a hat-trick and provided two assistsTom Bullivant

In the second period, Robinson extended their lead, scoring from yet another ball into the box. Pugh had a header brilliantly saved by Bansal, but the ball fell kindly to makeshift centre-back McGough who smashed it in.

Corpus rallied after this, but couldn’t find a way through the home side’s compact defence. For about twenty minutes, Robinson had no meaningful attack, as wave after wave of pink shirts advanced, but the most Corpus could manage were half chances and glaring misses.

Cruelly for Corpus, Robinson scored with their first proper attack since scoring, as the hosts countered, played in another low cross, and the ball cannoned off Arun Thirunavukarasu for an own goal to kill off the game.

Corpus kept attacking nonetheless, and Jack Foster managed to pull it back to 5-3 after converting at the back stick. Yet Robinson’s quality was too much, as star-man Pugh grabbed his hat-trick on the counter, finishing well seconds before the end.

Robinson deserved the 6-3 win, fighting harder in key areas of the midfield and defence than Corpus, who may feel unlucky that their second half pressure didn’t amount to more. 

Player of the match: George Pugh

Robinson I: Tarush Bansal, Alex Loan, Tom Pagett-Wright, Bill McGough, Ronan Cons, Will Wakelam, Percy Verity (C), Makafui Avevor, George Pugh, Vissarion Christodoulou, Jack Barnes

Substitutes: Ben Blunt, Andru Stefanescu

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

Substitutes: Michael Hare, Zack Hilburn, Jack Foster

St John’s 0 - 5 Pembroke

In the final fixture of a goal-scoring Sunday, St John’s hosted a Pembroke side yet to suffer defeat.

Within the first few minutes, John’s striker Josh Adeyemi capitalised on a poor Pembroke touch to get in behind, but the defence was able to recover to deny him a clear shot on target.

After a fairly even start, the John’s defence failed to deal with a goal kick from Cameron Keith and Adian Luisie was able to nip round the defender and poke it past keeper Ben Herring to put Pembroke 1-0 up.

As Pembroke increased the pressure in search of a second, Sonny Mahendran saw an effort strike the top left corner of the post from just inside the box.

Soon after, Tom Dixon was scythed down in the box to hand captain Tele Agusto the opportunity to double the lead from the spot. He duly buried the ball in the bottom corner to put his side in control.


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John’s responded by moving the ball quicker to the wide areas, where they were able to create overloads that resulted in a few efforts from range, including an excellent shot that was tipped onto the crossbar by Keith and kept the score at 2-0 at the break.

As John’s looked to get back into the game in the second half, midfielder Lucca Martins saw a lot of the ball and was often able to drive at the Pembroke defence and thread well-weighted balls through to Adeyemi.

But despite the improvement from John’s, Pembroke were able to put the game to bed with Gareth Morgan playing through Sonny Mahendran, who produced a finish off the bottom right post that left Herring with no chance of saving.

The floodgates then opened, as just a few minutes later Alex Root played a defence-splitting pass to Oliver Reed who calmly finished to the keeper’s left to make it 4-0.

John’s did have a few opportunities on goal after some lackadaisical defending from Pembroke, and on one occasion Adeyemi was gifted with a free run into the box shortly after a Pembroke goal kick. However, the defence managed to keep the clean sheet intact.

Gareth Morgan completed the scoring by finishing neatly into the bottom-right corner having received the ball on the edge of the box, which left the result at 5-0 come the full-time whistle.

Player of the match: Oliver Reed

St John’s I: Ben Herring, Sang Wee, Matt Ball, Jacob Davies, Robert Ritchie, Will Pocock (C), Naylin Naidu, Jaeheon Shim, Lucca martins, Kosh Adeyemi, Tomos Mather

Pembroke I: Cameron Keith, Tom Happe, Josh O'Connell, Daniel Babalola, Toby Parsloe, Tele Agusto (C), Gareth Morgan, Tom Dixon, Will Holmes, Jack Seery, Sonny Mahendran

Substitutes: Oliver Reed

Next week’s Cuppers fixtures can be found here.