Match Reports: OUAFC Centaurs, Colts & Broncos
Another BUCS Wednesday saw three out of our four men’s team win, racking up 9 out of a total 12 possible points on offer.
Blues 1-2 University of Derby 1sts
Centaurs 7-1 Bishop Grosseteste University 1sts
Still buzzing from their cup upset, the Centaurs made their first appearance on the hallowed turf of Iffley keen to keep the momentum up. This was another chance for the Centaurs to make another statement against a team whose keeper must have quickly become a master of picking the ball out of his own net after being on the end of some bruising defeats.
It didn’t all go to plan however with the visitors taking a 1-0 lead against the run of play as a result of some delicate skills from the Bishop’s Grosseteste striker which left Matt Evans with his pants pulled right down. Remember Matt, stay clever and keep ‘em together. After that though the game could only be described as one-way traffic. Despite Maxwell Jones leaving Priestly chasing his own tail around in circles, the lack of a clinical finish looked like it could hurt Oxford. That was until Femi Williams decided he was bored of missing sitters from 4 yards out and decided to latch onto a perfectly weighted through ball from Duncan Norton. At half time Oxford must have wondered how this game hadn’t already been put to bed and knew they only needed to turn it up a gear for the goals to start flowing.
As the second half started Oxford quickly reasserted their dominance and started to control the game however they were still in need of that crucial goal. Despite the free flowing it was a set piece that was yet again to provide fruitful. After Matt Evans clearly ignored a shout from Ryan Clark, who was unmarked 6 yards out and seeking his first goal of the season, it looked like another chance had gone begging. This was until a good 5 seconds later when Matt’s wayward header finally came back down to earth and dropped itself at the feet of Maxwell who wasted no time in sending the keeper to pick another ball out of his net. It’s at this point I would love to tell you that Oxford went on to win a fair game of football 7-1 in a convincing manner but then I would be telling lies. The ‘convincing manner’ isn’t what makes that sentence false. It’s more the fact a couple of the Bishops Grosseteste players decided to take matters into their own hands, or feet should I say, and resort to tactics Connor McGregor would have been proud to use in the octagon. Two red cards later and Bishops slowly found themselves staring at a long 20 minutes. After Sam Wall tapped in the third you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Bishops. That was until one of the Bishops midfielders had to voluntarily remove himself from the game for a quick tactical chunder, must have been a wild Tuesday night. This left the captain with no other choice but to put the 5’4 midfielder in between the sticks and bring the GK out for an outfield cameo. This was now truly a David v Goliath if ever I’ve seen one, only this time there was no fairy-tale ending. The flood gates had well and truly opened, and the Centaurs were ready to pounce. It was Duncan’s turn next and he made no mistake in putting one right on the postage stamp from a free kick just outside the box. Femi and Sam both added a second each shortly after from within the box only separated by a tap-in from left back Alex Guzel, who looked like he was auditioning for the role of left forward. To top it off Guzel reminded them just how miserable of a day it was by celebrating his goal like he had just won the world cup. You had to feel for the 9 men still on the pitch, they carried themselves professionally until the conclusion despite the fact they’d clearly been let down by their reckless team mates. The referee blew an end to the game to the relief of everyone apart from Ben Gregory who was clearly loving it all in the stands and letting everyone know just how much he loved it.
It’s fair to say the Centaurs will face tougher tasks in their quest for the league but you can only beat what was in front of you and they made sure they did that. All roads lead to a tasty clash with Lincoln in the final game of 2018 after a quick diversion to Uni parks to host Warwick 1st in the cup.
Colts 2-1 Aston University 3rd
After an arduous, non-stop journey out to Great Barr, a few miles north of Birmingham, close enough to the scene of the Colts’ only competitive loss this season to make even the stoniest of faces wince, a few of the lads in the changing room before the game were heard saying things like, “I recognise that industrial estate,” and, “I’m sure we’ve been here before.” They were wrong. Their previous outing was to where any true Great Barrian would know as Old Oscott and despite the similarly harsh landscape, the Colts managed to wrangle a more prosperous outcome. Last time the Colts had started slowly, before accustoming to the significantly lesser skill of their opponents and dominating the game until conceding a 90th minute goal against the run of play to lose 4-3. Easily done, I assure you. This occasion was very different.
The Colts started fast. Tantalising interplay through the middle from Tom Stephens and Barnaby Graff released George Adigbli out on the left on countless occasions. The winger looked dangerous every time he was on the ball and the Aston defence struggled to find the answers. The Colts dominated the first 20; however, creating actual chances was left unprioritised as a dazzling sun was setting on the plains below. ‘Crazy’ Dave Winterton, who had been delegated responsibility of playmaking, could not pick the incisive ball as the Colts failed to capitalise on their best spell in the whole match. Aston, still uninterested in stringing passes together dipped their metaphorical toes into the contest, giving full-backs Eoin Finnegan and Matt Andersen a taste of what was to come down the flanks. The rest of the half passed uneventfully, safe-hands Joe ‘Flaps’ Fisher doing well to steer one attempt over the crossbar.
The second half was more upsetting. Aston looked by far the better side, making good use of some wasteful play from the Colts. Centre backs Josh Penollar and Chris Nitschke defended well but around the 60-minute mark Aston were 1-0 up after their striker toe-poked in a rebound. Bombardment on the Colts box gave them little joy, however, and their loopy crosses rarely made it past even the first man. The Colts, on the other hand, were failing to relieve any of the mounding pressure and the game was becoming quite dull.
Seeing this as an opportune time to make some choice substitutions, choice substitutions were indeed made, and with almost his first touch, Henry Hodgson nearly accidentally scored directly from a corner, the ball bouncing off the base of the back post before being cleared back out to him. Composing himself with what little time he had, with virtually his second touch he firmly planted the ball top right bins and the scores were tied. An invigorated Colts side drew the upper hand from this, now attacking with pace and menace. Winterton, Adam Austin and Ed Jones combined well up top to put Austin in position where he could go down in the box under a heavy challenge to win a penalty. ‘Crazy’ Dave stepped up, and with experience and a screw loose on his side, he coolly slotted it into the bottom right corner.
The remaining 10 minutes saw the Colts create further chances on the break, with the destitute Aston side firing threats anywhere but the Colts’ goal. The game ended, the 3 points sending the Colts to the top of BUCS Midlands 5A.
Broncos 2-0 Harper Adams 2nds
The Broncos came into this week's feature after winning their third game on the bounce the previous week. There was no room for complacency as Harper Adams were expected to field a strong team to avenge their recent tough losses. After a long journey into the West Midlands, the Broncos began the game slowly, taking time to adjust to the low quality pitch.
After a physical starting 15 mins, the Broncos made a bold tactical switch, moving from the initial 3-5-2 to the more familiar 4-3-3. They settled into their style of play, with midfielders Fraser, Wilson and Stovall-Kurtz dominating possession. From here, the Broncos' superior fitness began to show and their relentless attacks carved the Harper Adams defence, creating numerous opportunities. Most of these were missed with the most notable being a Stovall-Kurtz one-on-one blazed over the bar.
Eventually, the deadlock was broken with a Stovall-Kurtz freekick beating the helpless keeper. The pressure continued to build with beautiful football releasing attackers Wiggins, Taylor and Jackson to terrorise their fullbacks. Overlaps from Broncos fullback Steer led to overloads down the right side, and a whipped ball between the keeper and defenders resulted in an own goal to seal the match.
With the game wrapped up, the Broncos displayed more flair on the ball, especially Wiggins destroying 4 defenders down the wing before being cynically brought down when through on goal. Even the Captian Amissah-Eshun ventured into unfamiliar territory on the edge of the opposition box, giving his best Iniesta impressions with his through balls splitting the defence. Overall, the game was comfortable and provided a great experience against a very physical side. The Broncos train continues to roll, and they look forward to next week's fixture, which will be toughest match to date.