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Six of the best for James

James Firsts went two points clear at the top of Group B with a 6-0 defeat of Langwith Thirds

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Photos: Jake Richardson
Image: Jake Richardson

Under-strength James Firsts swept six goals past a sorry Langwith Thirds side on the JLD on Thursday afternoon.

A brace from the outstanding James Edwards alongside strikes from Dom McCormick, Sam Foster, Matt Singleton and Dave Clarkson saw the Black Swan to victory.

In response to their disappointing 1-1 draw with Vanbrugh Seconds last week, James cruised to what was a comfortable win even in the absence of several key first-team figures, including captain Dec Tuite, Thomas Jobling and Rob Carr.

Langwith, divided and disjointed on the day, suffered their first defeat after a promising start to their Group B campaign that had yielded four points.

Clarkson came mightily close to breaking the deadlock in the second minute. Right-back Luke McCabe, stand-in skipper in Langwith's last-gasp win against Derwent, failed to connect with a clearance and Clarkson drove the loose ball just wide of the right post.

They didn't have long to wait for the opening goal. Connor Lawson cut the ball back into danger and after a scramble on the line involving Raphael Yu and several defenders, it broke to Edwards who gleefully applied the finish from three yards.

The Black and Yellows then enjoyed perhaps their best spell of the game, as leggy forward Chris Anderson almost stole into the left channel from Nathan Mallett's enterprising quick long throw.

They were unable to stem the tide of James attacks, though, that saw Lawson plant a header on target and Edwards narrowly fail to make contact with Yu's sumptuous swinging centre.

James deservedly doubled their lead when Edwards' corner was nodded back into play and UYAFC defender Dom McCormick, amid bodies, got the finishing touch- whether by accident or design.

The holders were rampant at this stage and marksman Matt Singleton made it 3-0 when he shifted the ball onto his left foot from eight yards and planting a low shot home past Langwith keeper Oli Dolby.

Dolby was under siege and Yu came as close as it is possible to come when a volley sat up for him and his firm strike crashed off the underside of the bar.

Sam Foster went one better, befuddling midfielders Morgan and Nestor with fleet of foot and arching a fine volley over the keeper's dive and into the top of the net.

Langwith impressed in their first two games, keeping two clean sheets in the process. They sprung an almighty surprise on Derwent 3s with Matt Guy's last-minute winner and shared the points in a goalless draw with fellow bottom seeds Halifax 5s.

On Thursday afternoon, however, they lacked any kind of organisation and individual players seemed to be trying to play two or three different positions at the same time with no understanding of their own.

Disappointingly, the team turned on one another as the score mounted up. Centre-half Oli Henn was particularly scathing of his teammates efforts; if he had directed half of the energy into defending that he did into castigating his colleagues then the scoreline might have been lower.

After half-time, the score went to 5-0 when the impressive Yu slid a cross over the face of goal and Edwards tapped in from four yards.

Edwards was everywhere, buzzing around into pockets of space and seems to have retained his canny knack of being in the right place at the right time. Singleton came closer to adding to his tally in the second half, hitting the bar with a powerful shot.

Left-back Clarkson got a deserved goal when he unfurled a terrific curling effort into the top-right corner from some range to make it 6-0.

James know they haven't got into top gear in the competition yet and should be tested in different ways by Alcuin Firsts and Derwent Thirds in their remaining group games.

Langwith will look to get themselves back on track against Vanbrugh Seconds next week.

James: Balzan; Sangha, McCormick, Axford, Clarkson; Yu, Foster, Fox, Edwards; Lawson; Singleton

Man of the Match: James Edwards

Langwith: Dolby; McCabe, Henn, Newport, Mallett; Nestor, Chung, Morgan, Haz, Guy, Anderson

Substitutes: Hilborne

Man of the Match: Matt Guy

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