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James clinch vital victory off postgrads

In an entertaining game between two firsts teams, James secured a vital 3-0 victory over Wentworth as they continued their dominance over Group D.

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Group D

In an entertaining game between two firsts teams, James secured a vital 3-0 victory over Wentworth as they continued their dominance over Group D.

James had things their way from the very offset when they won a penalty in the opening minutes under some dubious circumstances.

A dinked ball into the box from Josh Spurling looked to be claimed by Wentworth keeper Ahmad Sowdani until Freddie Ferrao went bumbling into him, meaning that Sowdani spilt the ball.

The loose ball was picked up by James and the follow-up shot was blocked off the line the Andy Cox; however referee Max Brewer, after ignoring the blatant foul on Sowdani, decreed that Cox had handled the ball during his block, despite the ball appearing to hit his arms which were tight against his chest. Long-standing Wentworth manager Dan Howden even went as far as saying that Cox had been "penalised for having arms".

Regardless, the official awarded a penalty and James captain Ralph Gill stepped up to the spot, sending Sowdani the wrong way as he put his side into the lead.

James continued to look the better side as the half went on as they looked far more dangerous than Wentworth in the final third, with Jopson and Ferrao coming close for the Swans.

The talismanic Ferrao then continued to shine when he doubled James' lead half way through the first half. Matt Singleton attempted a shot from range that he appeared to have dragged wide, but the energetic Ferrao was quick to get to the ball before it went out of play as he smashed the ball into the net.

Wentworth had little to shout about in the first half, with their only half-chance of the game coming from Sam Nedley from close range. The postgrads were failing to provide accurate balls from the wide areas, whilst they were particular wasteful from set pieces.

However, that changed in the second half when James' Spurling was forced off the field through injury, allowing Wentworth the room to play the possession football that they liked to play in midfield.

Wentworth chances were now coming thick and fast as James found themselves on the back foot for the majority of the half. Nedley nearly dinked in a shot in the early stages, whilst Wayne Paes will be kicking himself after a golden opportunity for the captain was fired directly at James goalkeeper Luke Bradley. Selo Kosunalp also failed to tuck one in from close range from a long throw.

James struggled to find many chances on the break as they looked to put the game to bed despite Singleton holding the ball up well, with Wentworth centre-back Matt Warner expertly sweeping up any balls that came his way.

Sadly for the postgrads, James put the game to bed six minutes from time. Dan Haresnape drove at the Wentworth defence on the break before playing the ball to Ferrao on his right. Haresnape then left the ball as Ferrao switched the play across to Singleton on the left, who drove powerfully into the D before firing a rocket of a shot into the goal with his weaker foot.

After the game, Wentworth captain Wayne Paes told Nouse: "I don't think it was a penalty, I think it was a foul on the keeper. But they were a good team and I think 2-0 would have been a fair reflection of the game. I had a chance that I should have scored and that would have made the game a bit different but we're not too disheartened".

Ralph Gill, James' captain, said: "We had to take our chances today because we didn't get many as we had a few players missing, but we really ground it out. It was an ugly performance but one that we really needed to win".

James: Bradley, Sangha, Elliot, Axford, Alhasan, Ferrao, Spurling (Baker), Gill (C), Haresnape, Jopson, Singleton
Man of the match: Matt Singleton

Wentworth: Sowdani, Cox (Dumbrell), Kosunalp, Warner, Keane (Gibson), Lynch, Paes (C), Cukurova (Mangham), Nedley, Papoui, Benesch
Man of the match: Matt Warner

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