So close, and yet so far. With only 25 minutes remaining, 3-0 down and having just missed a penalty, James looked all but dead and buried against fierce rivals Alcuin in this Spring Term college football opener.
Yet after clawing their way back to 3-2 and with 5 minutes still to play, James were bursting every sinew to draw level. Piling the pressure on a bewildered Alcuin team, it seemed like fate was on the side of the team with a black-and-white strip. When striker James Offord was brought down in the box, it looked certain that James would gain redemption. Twenty-two faces jolted in the direction of the referee. Surely it was a penalty – this was in the script.
It wasn’t. This is York after all, not Hollywood. The referee waved play on, and Offord lay slumped on the ground, dejected and defeated. Moments later the final whistle blew, ringing out in hollow tones across the 22 acres grounds, and Alcuin celebrated a victory made all the more sweet by the dramatic events of the final half hour.
A showcase for all that is beautiful about college football, and life itself with all its fortune and suffering, this was the outstanding match on a day when college football returned for the start of a new term. In the morning’s other matches, Derwent ground out a nervy 1-0 win against Halifax, whilst Goodricke struggled to beat Langwith 1-0, and a Phil Taylor-inspired Goodricke put five past Wentworth.
James are hurting right now, but will be soothed by the knowledge that this coming Sunday they will have the chance to make amends and rise again. College football is back, and Vision can hardly contain itself.