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Photos: Jack Western
A frantic battle between two of College Football’s underdogs was not to be underestimated on 22 Acres as spectators were treated to an early Langwith lead through Tom Pickersgill. Alcuin then stormed back into the contest, looking to take control through Ben Carver, Sean Perera and Leonidas Kanonis. Langwith weren’t finished though, and a looping Andy Hutt header to pull the deficit back to one goal at 3-2 made for a nervy final ten minutes for Alcuin. They held out, however, to take a crucial three points.
Although the opening moments of the match (and, indeed, much of the first half) presented precious little in terms of clear cut chances, it was the men in yellow whose economical use of possession yielded the better openings. This case in point was epitomised by Tom Pickersgill’s opener, stabbing low into the net to give Langwith an early lead. Langwith were made to pay for failing to capitalise on their early goal and take control of the game, as confusion in their defensive ranks gave Ben Carver an easy equaliser.
The match was not without controversy, and Langwith felt they should have been back in front when a clearance deflected off the face of Louis Pegg and span towards Jack Parsonson unmarked in the box. The striker nodded confidently beyond the outstretched arm of Luke Green in the Alcuin goal- but the goal was chalked off as the referee deemed Parsonson to have been standing in an offside position when the ball came off Pegg’s face. Following this scare, Alcuin got themselves on top of the game, with towering forward Ben Carver vital in bringing the wide men into play by holding up the ball.
On the stroke of half time, Alcuin would grab that all-important second goal through Sean Perera, who leapt highest at a corner to thump a header past Kris Cheshire at the near post and give his side the lead. Langwith started the second half with impressively high tempo, but crucially a raking pass from Pegg was intercepted by Jack McConnell before it reached Tom Benney running in at the far post. This would prove to be a telling miss, as Leonidas Kanonis drilled a low shot home following great work down the right flank by Hinchcliffe to make it 3-1.
Alcuin would start to dominate the game, but found themselves caught flat footed by Andy Hutt at a corner as he pulled one back for Langwith with a pinpoint looping header beyond the grasp of Green and into the top corner. This gave Langwith renewed hope, and though there was time for Ritchie Hemingway to play in Andy Hutt, he could not match his earlier heroics, finding himself denied a second goal by a brilliant sprawling save from Luke Green. 3-2 it finished, but Langwith were full value for a point on balance of play.
VISION MOTM: Ben Carver
Alcuin captain Greg Fearn: “Full marks to Langwith, it was a great header to get back into it. We thought we had it in the bag, but that goal got them right back in the game. We conceded early but dominated from that point onwards, playing them off the park. They didn’t look like scoring at all, and that’s credit to our team. We defended well and made the most of our chances when they came.”
Langwith captain Marcus Campbell: “We had a couple of decisions go against us, but that’s no excuse for losing. If we took our chances we could have got a point, but they played well and took theirs, so it’s difficult to complain.”
ALCUIN (4-4-1-1): Green, McConnell, Perera, Tuton, Nazzicone, Hinchcliffe, Kennick, Kanonis, Bugeja, Fernando, Carver
Subs: Petrides, Twin, Sarin
LANGWITH (4-2-3-1): Cheshire, Chaimo, Pickersgill, Jones, Rogers, Hutt, Pegg, Hemingway, Benney, Campbell, Parsonson