IT might have taken two goals in extra time but Cambridge University Press always looked favourites to go through to the second round of the FA Vase against Godmanchester Rovers at Bearscroft Lane on Saturday.
From the very start of this first round proper tie, the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Division One leaders looked more comfortable and more assured than the once again under-strength Godmanchester Rovers side who play in the division above them.
Lacking any real bite up front, Goddy were poor in the first half, only slightly better in the second, and exhausted in time-tacked-on.
“It was a disappointing way for us to go out,” said joint manager Neville Nania. “We had no luck yet again with absent players.
“We were missing a number of senior players, but the 11 that started were more than capable of getting a result.
“However, it was a strong performance by Graeme Daniel’s Cambridge Uni Press side and it was enough to take them through.
“We meet again in the Eastern Counties Cup in a fortnight or so – so that will be a good opportunity to gain revenge with, it is hoped, a full compliment of players.
“If we’d had everyone available I think we would have gone through – it’s just a shame because it was the FA Vase.”
Cambridge were far the better side for major periods of the first half, with James Hall working hard up with for Goddy but getting very little help from his strike partner, the unfit looking Dan Chillingworth.
Finally, after several good stops from Rob Mackney in the Goddy goal, CUP got what they deserved in the 44th minute, when stunning strike from Ross Paterson gave them a 1-0 lead.
James Hall and Mike Hyem had chances which they wasted in the second half before defender Rob Stamper was clumsy with a challenge on Lewis Tripp as he raced towards the Goddy goal. Stamper was sent off but the free kick was wasted.
Goddy scored an unlikely equaliser in the 74th minute through captain David Hurst, the defender hooked the ball goalward inside the box and the ball flew into the visitors’ net.
In extra time Goddy were visibly tired, James Hall especially seemed to be feeling the effects of a tough game.
Jack Watson scored Cambridge’s second goal following a mistake in Goddy’s defence, and Lee Clift put the tie out of reach in the second period with a lovely right-footed strike across goal and off the post.
Last night (Tuesday) Goddy were back in league action, at Haverhill Rovers, and Nania confirmed to The Hunts Post that new signing Charlie Bowen would be making his debut after leaving Huntingdon Town on Monday night. Nania was also expecting the return of Jason King and Chris Hyem.
Goddy v CUP: Rob Mackney, Stephen Hurst (Dan McKinnell), Jon Hall, Rob Stamper, Nicky Hurst, Mike Hyem, Joe Furness, Jordan Brockett (Steven Hurst), James Hall, Daniel Chillingworth (Tom Lloyd), Aaron Mackay.
EYNESBURY Rovers were knocked out of the FA Vase away at Ely City, who play at a level higher than the United Counties League Division One side.
The game was all but over when Eynesbury conceded twice in three first-half minutes – despite a flurry of chances for the visitors.
Aaron Greene, Ben Cole, Cole again, and Jack Weedon all went close early on – but in the 27th minute Richard Gammon’s volley which flew just wide gave Rovers a taste of what was to come.
When Darren Woodend was adjudged to have fouled Andrew Clayden in the area on 39 minutes, Taz Chizongo made no mistake from the penalty spot.
And just three minutes later it was 2-0 when Andrew Wale saved a header from Clayden, but the Ely player was quicker to the rebound.
Eynesbury did have chances in the second half but never looked like threatening Ely’s dominance and it was the home side who came closest to scoring when Ben Lawrence went just missed the target a header from a Josh Curry corner.
Eynesbury: Andrew Wale, David Fisk, James Ducket, Robert Ducket, Darren Woodend (Ben Colmer), Ross West (Nick Finney), Jack Weeden, Tom Coles, Ben Cole (Lee Bassett), James Freshwater, Aaron Greene.