Men’s Football first team dominate in frustrating draw
UWE Bristol’s first team had to wait until the dying moments to snatch a draw at home to University of the South of Wales (USW) on Wednesday night despite dominating the game from start to finish.
The hosts came straight out of the blocks with Charlie Knight forcing an acrobatic save from USW’s keeper straight from kick-off. This was just the first of many huge opportunities for UWE Bristol in what was a relentlessly busy night for the visitor’s defence.
The lead was so nearly UWE Bristol’s after twenty minutes. As they countered with blistering pace down the right, Josh Penrose’s shot beat the keeper but was blocked just inches from the line by an opposing defender.
UWE Bristol’s Aki Akiwumi was simply too skilful at times earning his side several free kicks as the opposition couldn’t find a way to the ball. The most notable of these free kicks fell to UWE Bristol striker Sol Wanjau-Smith whose curling effort narrowly missed the target.
Although USW were forced to defend for much of the first half, they still managed to break away with plenty of pace down the wings, forcing UWE Bristol’s defenders to be on red alert at all times.
Onto the second half and UWE Bristol were still providing the bulk of the chances. First, Wanjau-Smith’s acrobatic overhead-kick rattled the crossbar. Next, Jamie Fitzgerald’s shot was tipped wide for a corner. Chance after chance went by for the hosts but the USW keeper looked unbeatable making saves and blocks left, right, and centre.
With around 20 minutes to go, the visitors struck the first blow, totally against the run of play. Despite all of UWE Bristol’s efforts, they were behind.
As the game drew to a close, UWE Bristol’s chances came closer and closer to finding the back of the net but the opposing defence still managed to find an answer to every questioned the hosts posed. Every time USW gained possession they looked to slow the pace of the game down which visibly frustrated the UWE Bristol players.
Into added time and UWE Bristol were forced throw the kitchen sink at the opposition. As the hosts were awarded a corner kick, even the goalkeeper made his way up into unfamiliar territory. USW scrapped to clear the ball but only for another corner.
Then, with the final roll of the dice, the ball was whipped into the crowded box. Up leapt UWE Bristol’s Charlie Knight who drilled the ball into the back of the net. Relief for the entire team who all surrounded the scorer with what was the final touch of the game!
UWE Bristol’s unbeaten league run continued with a final score of 1-1. They will no doubt be disappointed to have only picked up the one point though after controlling the game throughout. Their next outing will be a visit across the bridge to Swansea next week, to face their second team.
Defeat for Women’s first team in Football clash
UWE Bristol were unfortunate to lose to Marjon’s first team on Wednesday afternoon in what was a particularly wet and windy outing.
The first half was evenly matched with UWE Bristol coming close to breaking the deadlock around 5 minutes in. A swinging free kick from the edge of the area nearly caught the visiting keeper out who was fortunate to recover the ball just in time.
Marjon came back strong after this, forcing several blocks and crucial tackles from the UWE Bristol defence. The treacherous weather conditions made the game even more unpredictable as throw-ins and goal kicks were blown totally off track making all areas of the game difficult to tackle.
The visitors so nearly took the lead after 30 minutes but thanks to a heroic last-ditch tackle from UWE Bristol’s Annesha Bashal, the score remained 0-0. UWE Bristol’s keeper Zoe Stubbs was also forced to make several key saves to keep Marjon out of the net.
With the first-half drawing to a close, UWE Bristol were awarded a corner in what would likely be the final play of the first half.
Several rose high but no-one higher than UWE Bristol’s Amy Goddard who headed the ball powerfully through the Marjon keeper’s hands. UWE lead 1-0 at half time.
Unfortunately for UWE Bristol, the second half very much belonged to the visiting side. The 1-0 lead from the first half was wiped out straight from the second half kick-off. Soon after, the visitors went ahead after a mix-up at the back for the hosts.
UWE Bristol’s luck went from bad to worse ten minutes later when keeper Zoe Stubbs inadvertently dropped the ball under pressure, allowing the visitors to double their advantage by slotting into an open net.
With UWE Bristol desperate to close the gap, more players were sent forward to force a goal. This left the hosts open at the back allowing Marjon to grab their fourth and final goal of the afternoon following a well-executed counter attack.
In the end, the score finished 4-1. UWE Bristol were unfortunate to lose by the amount they did with the visitors proving too clinical in-front of goal on this occasion. UWE Bristol’s next game isn’t until the end of January when they welcome Exeter’s second team to Lockleaze Sports Centre.
Matthew Williams – 3rd Year Journalism