FOOTBALL: MICHAEL ALHADEFF rounds up the action in the opening weekend of cuppers.
Everybody loves the magic of the cup. In the opening weekend, the road to Cuppers glory stretched far into the distance as teams embarked on their own yellow brick road to glory. With the dust from the first weekend finally settled, TabSport takes you through the action.
Selwyn 5-2 Sidney
Out of the big boys, Selwyn probably had one of the worst scares, finding themselves two goals down within five minute against a fourth division Sidney side. With alarm bells ringing, it was their Blue, Mark Baxter, who led the fightback with two goals towards the end of the first half. Despite Sidney showing further spirit in the second half, Selwyn managed to take the game away from them with further goals from Grose, Chutton and Vernon.
Homerton 1-0 Jesus
Homerton continued their dominant start to the season by knocking out fellow Division One rivals Jesus. Despite being at opposite ends of the league table, it was a tight game with Sol Elliott scoring the only goal, latching onto a through ball to slot it under the Jesus keeper after about 30 minutes. Both teams had chances to score in the second half with Jesus coming closer seeing the ball twice cleared off the line during a goal mouth scramble at a corner. They also managed to strike the woodwork. Qasim Sayed created a great chance to seal it for Homerton with about 10 minutes to play but just missed the target from the edge of the box. In desperation, Jesus piled on the pressure in the last few minutes but Homerton held out to secure a place in the next round.
Homerton continue to impress this season
Pembroke 5-1 CCCC
Pembroke I’s had a much easier passage to the second round, putting five past CCCC. In a dominating midfield display, Pembroke earned the breakthrough after 20 minutes when Pete Harries ran at the defence and slipped a neat ball into the path of Max Whitby who finished emphatically. Pembroke were then able to add a further two goals before half time with both Max Whitby and Kevin Martin netting. Another two were added to the scoreline for Pembroke in the second half, including a debut goal for first year George Hinksman. Captain Matt Leggett said he: “was pleased with the performance and… excited about a long cup run this season, after making the semis last year.”
Fitzwilliam 5-0 St Catharine’s
Fitzwilliam continued to show their established pedigree, and will hope they can attone for last year’s final defeat. A 5-0 dispatchment of St Catz was an early indication that they could go all the way this time. The Fitz lads were evidently keen to get their campaign up and running with Barham getting Fitz off the mark with a fierce right-footed shot. Innes was then able to grab a brace to ensure Fitz had a comfortable half time lead. As if to reaffirm how seriously they are taking cuppers, Fitz sent on Blue Danny Kerrigan for the last 15 minutes. His cameo appearance featured two goals- one from a free-kick and the second dribbling all the way across the by-line after a short corner before tapping it into the net. It is clear that Fitz have both the quality and determination to make it all the way this time.
Magdalene 8-2 St Andrews
Another first team side to have a easy ride into the next round were Magdalene who came up against sixth-form side St Andrews. Magdalene were able to emphatically crush their opponents who were clearly no match. Magdalene outmuscled their opponent, and once the scoring was opened by Captian Webster, who ended the game with a hat-trick, Magdalene never looked back. Magdalene raced into a 5-0 half time lead with Norton and Walker producing the stand out strikes. St Andrews regained some composure for the second half and Magdalene’s depletion to ten men through injury allowed the sixth form team to net two conciliation goals, but a way back into the game always seemed unlikely and Magdalene came out on top, ending with a 6 goal lead.