Four-goal Matt scuppers Arsenal legend’s hope of varsity victory
Four goals and a man-of-the-match performance from Matt Stock helped Cambridge University tear apart an Oxford team coached by former England and Arsenal defender Martin Keown in the annual Varsity match at Craven Cottage.
The 20-year-old, who is studying modern and medieval languages at St Catharines College, took centre stage as the blues, who started the game as underdogs, beat Oxford 5-3 on Saturday.
On his return from an ankle ligament injury that sidelined him in January and February, the Team England, JC MSFL rep team and North West Neasden marksman rose to the occasion in his Varsity debut.
Playing in front of 6,000 fans, Stock put Cambridge a goal up, against the run of play, with a smart left-foot finish.
Oxford levelled but Stock restored the lead with the goal of the game after lobbing the keeper from 25 yards.Oxford equalised at the start of the second half but with legs tiring, Stock came into his own and completed his hat-trick with 20 minutes left. He left three defenders in his wake to drive into the box and fire into the corner. Oxford equalised for a third time but Stock was far from finished and he nipped in to convert his fourth.
He rounded off a memorable afternoon by setting up the final goal, crossing for Matt Amos to head home.
His achievement was picked up by the Sky Sports cameras. “It was quite unbelievable,” Stock said. “I couldn’t have scripted it any better. It was like a fairytale, something I’ll never forget. Everything went right for me on the day.”
The Arsenal fan admitted: “I thought that, being coached by Martin Keown, Oxford would be a lot tighter at the back. He’s a bit of a hero of mine.”
His father Lynton Stock, said: “It was an unbelievable day and one that is unlikely to ever be repeated. Keown was absolutely gutted as Oxford went into the game with great confidence having won the BUSA league division. They appeared very well prepared and in very good form.”
Matt, whose cousin Saul Zneimer was a double blue playing for Oxford between 1982-84 earned praise from Keown, who said: “I wish Matt had played for us.”
Dean Furman was an unused substitute in the Auld Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday.