Robinson obliterated Gonville & Caius to secure their third league win of the seasonLucia Cork

This weekend’s return of top-flight college football saw Fitzwilliam I, St John’s I, Queens’ I, and Robinson I beat Pembroke I, Churchill I, Downing I, and Gonville & Caius I respectively. Homerton I’s scheduled fixture against Corpus Christi was postponed due to the former struggling with injuries and Covid-enforced absences.

Fitzwilliam 3 - 2 Pembroke

A new year and seemingly the same old story, the Fitz footballing juggernaut marches on. The highly anticipated matchup between the league's top two sides on Saturday morning (22/01) did not disappoint. Whilst this was technically a top of the table clash, this was also college football royalty vs. the new kids on the block, with Pembroke only being promoted to the Premier League in 2020.

Despite Pembroke topping the league going into the match, it was the experience of sustained success that shone through, with Fitz dominating. Fitz had much of the early ball with captain Tom Randall controlling the tempo, and in the ninth minute a long throw into the box was flicked on by Jathavan Thevarajah and finished coolly by Kanwei to give Fitz the 1-0 lead.

Although Pembroke managed to improve after the early shock, Fitz were finding particular joy down the left-hand side with the tireless Olamide Ogunnaike and the silky Jed Odagbu causing the visitors all sorts of problems. Only four minutes later and the left side proved to be Pembroke’s undoing, as Odagbu fed in Kanwei who, evading the challenge of captain Tele Agusto and keeper Cameron Keith, buried his finish into the bottom right corner to make it 2-0 early on.

Being two goals down looked to give Pembroke the freedom to take the game to the home side, as volleys from Ollie Reed and a fine header from attacker Jack Seery were repelled outstandingly by Fitz keeper Simon King, keeping it 2-0 going into the break.

The second half saw Pembroke unable to immediately regain their momentum from the closing minutes of the first, as Randall continued to pull the strings in the Fitz midfield. On the 47-minute mark, Kanwei received the ball 25 yards out on the turn, and then glided effortlessly past three Pembroke defenders to slot it home and complete his hat-trick.

From that point on though, Pembroke showed great fight and possessed a newfound confidence. In the 53rd minute, Will Holmes received the ball from Gareth Morgan and then lofted in a misdirected cross from the right byline that floated over Fitz’s King and nestled into the back of the net for 3-1.

The goal significantly shifted the game’s momentum. With their tails up, Pembroke notched a second just seven minutes later after Tom Dixon played the ball inside to Seery who, catching King out at his near post, finished first time into the bottom corner. Meanwhile, centre-back Josh O’Connell and Agusto marshalled Kanwei, coming up with crucial blocks and tackles to minimise the Fitz threat during this period of revived dominance.

Suddenly, the great comeback was well and truly on. Yet the footballing gods weren’t on Pembroke’s side. In an incredible passage of play that took hold of the 73rd minute, Pembroke had two attempts hit the underside of the crossbar before King pulled off another great save and finally Toby Parsloe saw his effort cleared off the line, as Fitz somehow kept the scoreline at 3-2.

As great sides do, Fitz ultimately managed to weather the storm and hang on for a victory, in the face of Pembroke’s valiant effort and attacking heroics. For Randall’s men the double is very much on, but in this enthralling game Pembroke showed that they’re here to stay as a new, serious challenger in college football.

Player of the Match: Lumi Kanwei

Fitzwilliam I Squad: Simon King, Josh Douglas, George Smith, Cavan Farrow, Jathavan Thevarajah, Jed Odagbu, Olamide Ogunnaike, Codrin Moisoi, Cass Ashworth, Lumi Kanwei, Ben Shires, Tom Randall (C) 

Pembroke I: Cameron Keith, Will Holmes, Josh O’Connell, Dan Babalola, Toby Parsloe, Tele Agusto (C), Ollie Reed, Tom Dixon, Gareth Morgan, Jack Seery, Sonny Mahendran

Substitutes: Alex Root, Aldri Cela, Julius Ahmad

Gonville & Caius 2 - 7 Robinson

The last of the chilly weekend fixtures saw Caius suffer their first league defeat in just under three years to an impressive Robinson side on Sunday (23/01) at 12pm.

Percy Verity’s corner six minutes in provided a quick start to the game and the first goal for Robinson, setting the tone for a fast-paced attacking match.

The Caius side, who very rarely concede from set pieces, responded quickly with several counter attacks, but ultimately found few attacking options further up the pitch.

Just four minutes after Verity’s opener, a shot from Caius’ Charlie Wilson hit the crossbar, leading to a swarm of scrappy headers around the goal that meant the home side were unable to find the back of the net. Robinson kept up high pressure in the face of great defensive play by Tom Burke, while the Caius attack isolated itself frequently down the left side rather than utilising space on the right. 

On the 23-minute mark, Robinson’s pressure paid off again when Makafui Avevor put a great pass through to Jack Barnes, who moved it on to midfielder Charlie Hancock for a lovely finish across the goal on his debut.

Although 2-0 down, Caius responded with great play from captain James Wiseman in the middle, resulting in a lovely interception and goal by Ethan Sorrell in the 28th minute.

Yet just three minutes later, Pugh’s rapid pace and clean finish at the other end of the pitch took the score to 3-1, killing the home side’s short-lived momentum. 

For the rest of the first half, Wiseman’s activity and strength in the midfield was an asset to Caius, as was the work rate and clever movement of Frank Gill in both defence and attack down the right-hand side, but poor passing accuracy remained a problem for the team in blue. As for Robinson, Verity and Will Wakelam continued to put in strong performances and prevented Caius from becoming any real danger in the final third, leaving the score unchanged heading into the break.


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Caius’ Nick Stuart and Sorrell opened the second half with some good interplay, but Pugh quickly showed his attacking dominance, with no one from the opposing defence able to match his pace.

In the 66th minute, a great header by Ronan Cons from a corner put Robinson 4-1 up and marked the end of a great overall performance by Cons, who subbed himself off after the goal. 

Amrit Gill managed to answer back for Caius by making it 4-2 with a solid finish, but was met with little celebration from the downcast team. Although Alex Edwards continued to put in a very strong performance for Caius, disrupting the Robinson attackers, consistently good balls into Pugh by Avevor proved too much for the home defence.

The 86th minute saw Pugh run straight past defenders for a calm and collected finish across Caius keeper Finlay Gerrand. Just three minutes later, Pugh got past the defence again and hit the inside of the crossbar for another fantastic goal.

In the two minutes of extra-time, Barnes added insult to injury with a seventh goal after being played onside by the Caius defenders, equalling a tally of three goals within just five minutes for the confident Robinson side.

The away side’s opening goal and clear, confident team structure assured a well-deserved win to restart their campaign, while Caius struggled in front of goal due to uncertain finishing and likely a lack of confidence after conceding so early on. Pugh’s four-goal galore also spices things up in the golden boot race, as he currently sits joint-top on ten with fellow Blues attacker Lumi Kanwei.

Player of the Match: George Pugh

Gonville & Caius I: Finlay Gerrand, Aidan Atkinson, Tom Burke, Ollie Babcock, Alex Edwards, Charlie Wilson, James Wiseman (C), Ethan Sorrell, Frank Gill, Nick Stuart, Amrit Gill

Substitutes: Josh Monk, Toby Barnett, Sam Odu

Robinson I: Tarush Bansal, Alex Loan, Jamie Gammell (C), Ronan Cons, Vissarion Christodoulou, Will Wakelam, Charlie Hancock, Percy Verity, Makafui Avevor, Jack Barnes, George Pugh

Substitutes: Andru Stefanescu

Elsewhere, St John’s registered an impressive 3-2 win over Churchill, with striker Josh Adeyemi coming up with a goal and an assist to seal the deal. Meanwhile, Queens’ destroyed a struggling Downing side by a scoreline of 8-1. Attacker Paul Jüsten picked up CUAFL’s Man of the Match award with two goals and an assist to his name. Fellow scorers included Toby Clark with a brace and Jonah Weiniger, Oscar Selby, Ben Harvey, and Ben Sutton all grabbing one each.

Next weekend’s league fixtures can be found here, which includes a tasty clash between second- and third-placed Pembroke and Gonville & Caius.