On Friday 26 March, Robinson FC faced Pembroke in the Cuppers Final. Neither College had ever won the Cup, thought to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest Football Cup in the world. It was a hard fought match, with Pembroke starting strongly, only to be overcome by a Binson come-back, with the final score 4-2 to Robinson.
Our roving Sports Reporter, aka the Chaplain, writes: Pembroke launched a relentless barrage of attacks, which turned into a goal after 22 minutes. Binson played well, but Pembroke were superb.
They even had a professional looking coach (he had a tracksuit and everything) issuing strategic instruction from the side line. Meanwhile, on the Robinson side line a wobbly-looking teenager struggled to cheer without spilling her beer. In the second half, despite Robinson’s best efforts, Pembroke widened their lead to 2-0. Instantly, Leo Cotterell encouraged our team with some highly motivational talk and the game changed.
Robinson attacks began to sink more deeply into Pembroke’s half, but still very few shots on goal. After 83 minutes, Robinson won a free kick. From where I stood, it looked as though Matteo Donega’s delivery found Nathan Procter, who pounded in his most important goal in five years of Robinson service. Still 2-1 to Pembroke. But the goal was followed by wave after wave of Robinson assaults which left Pembroke looking punch drunk. Donega’s second free kick from 30 yards out curved its way uninterrupted from his boot into Pembroke’s net. They were lucky to survive the final few minutes of Robinson attacks – without exaggeration the most exciting football I have ever seen live.
Extra time saw Pembroke regroup and regain their shape, and it took a while for Robinson to settle back into the game. Eventually, another free kick (15 minutes into extra time) slipped from the hands of Pembroke’s keeper and into the back of his net, compliments of Omar Amjad. 3-2 to Robinson. Ten minutes later and Nathan Procter’s cross found its way into the net via Pembroke’s defence. 4-2.
According to the Tab, “The come-back has happened. Pembroke were two up with ten to go. Undoubtedly the greatest Cuppers comeback of all time. Robinson crowd the twelfth man carrying the team.”
Robinson supporters were indeed numerous and vocal. Our man watching from Pembroke stand reported that Pembroke support was drowned out by the noise of the Robinson crowd bellowed from the far side of the pitch! Robinson’s incessant chants referred to various topics and individuals, including the finances of Pembroke, the employment status of their coach, and something to do with Robinson Chaplaincy – suggesting that chapel is likely to be full on Sunday evenings.
Every member of our team played magnificently to claw their way back from what looked like certain loss.
Robinson footballers - we salute you!