College Football: Alcuin 3-4 James

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Photos: Jack Western

James 1sts retained top spot on the college league table with a narrow win over Alcuin in a thrilling game of two halves.

Forward Freddie Ferrao’s clean header just four minutes in kick-started what would continue to be a domination of the first half.

Ten minutes later, a long-range volley by James’s Callum Elliott sailed beyond the reach of stand-in Alcuin ‘keeper and captain Greg Fearn, to double James’s lead in the early stages.

Alcuin’s defence clearly still hadn’t woken up, as they allowed Matt Singleton to challenge Fearn for the ball, chipping it past him into an open goal making it 3-0 just minutes later.
Alcuin knew they had to hit back.They directed some exploratory shots on target, which James keeper Andy Balzan dealt with.

This increased pressure on an unrelenting James defence paid off, with a header by Sean Perera seconds before the half time whistle reducing the arrears.

Two goals in quick succession by Andy Fernando and Ben Bugeja, in his true capacity as a forward, early in the second half demonstrated that Alcuin were by no means dead and buried.
James tried to regain the lead, managing a shot which cannoned off the post. Yet a poor tackle on the part of Alcuin squandered their hard-fought parity.

James took the lead again with a no-nonsense penalty by Ferrao. The score stood at 4-3 to James with 15 minutes to go. Alcuin could not respond, producing only grumblings over the referee’s awarding of goal kicks instead of corners.

James captain Ralph Gill, sidelined with injury, was naturally pleased with the their return to winning ways after losing to Vanbrugh last week.

Calling their first half’s performance “superb and convincing”, he also named Singleton as man of the match, yet added that he hoped to “avoid a showdown with Derwent” (which will happen next week).

On the other hand, Alcuin’s Fearn was disappointed not to get a point, but acknowledged that his team lacking their usual ‘keeper did not help.
The result leaves them languishing just above Langwith at the bottom of the table. Their final fixture, against Halifax, scheduled for next Sunday, is shaping up to be a six-pointer.