Ben Cohen in actionJonny Coffey

Two goals from Nikolaj Aksentijevic powered Girton to a 3-0 victory over Downing in Sunday’s (12/02) top-of-table clash in the second division of men’s college football. After inflicting Downing’s first league loss of the season, the Greens now sit in first place.

An imperious midfield performance gave Girton the upper hand. Chris Butters and Alex Kennedy dictated the tempo from deep, while Aksentijevic starred from attacking-midfield. Downing threatened on the counter, but gutsy defending and sublime goalkeeping subdued their dangerous wide players.

Girton dominated from the off, controlling possession and finding space in behind. Ben Cohen threatened from the right flank, but struggled to convert in the final third, seeing two efforts saved in the early period. His unrelenting attacking play soon found a reward. Surging past his full-back, Cohen fired a low-driven cross towards the back post. The Downing right-back failed to clear, and Michael Arthur pounced to give Girton the lead.

‘The midfield maestro’s finish was as inaccurate as it was unorthodox’

With Downing struggling to maintain possession, Girton looked to double their lead. Cohen was once again the creative force, finding Butters at the back post with a delicate cross. However, the midfield maestro’s finish was as inaccurate as it was unorthodox, a kneed effort that trickled beyond the far post. Another chance fell to the Greens on the verge of halftime. Arthur flicked-on a long-ball to find Jonny Coffey, who chested-down and fired goalward on the volley, forcing a good save from the Downing keeper.

Downing, despondent in the first half, made an energetic start to the second. Blues winger Brody Wooding became more involved and looked to threaten from the left flank, but his advances were halted by stern defending from Josh Hickingbotham. Riding the pressure, Girton reasserted themselves. Cohen broke through on the counter, but his cut-back was poked narrowly wide by Coffey. Breaking with pace once more, Girton doubled their lead. A surging Aksentijevic latched onto a Cohen through-ball, bursting into the right-hand side of the box, and lashing into the far corner.


Mountain View

Jesus resurrection sends them to Cuppers heaven

With a two-goal advantage, a cagey Girton gave Downing the initiative. The visiting side won corner after corner but failed to find a finishing touch. Their best chance fell to Lemz Osei-Biney, whose precise volleyed effort was denied by an outstanding Charles Yang save. More defensive heroics from Hickingbotham kept Wooding quiet, and the Greens regained their attacking initiative, with the enterprising play of Cohen decisive once more. The wide-man won a free kick on the edge of the area, and Coffey’s curled effort was only denied by the woodwork. In the dying minutes, the Downing keeper brought Cohen down in the box. Sealing the victory and crowning a stellar individual performance, Aksentijevic fired into the bottom-left.

Varsity Player of the Match: Nikolaj Aksentijevic