FOOTBALL: UWE Bristol march on towards division title

The men’s first team continued their impressive season with a hotly contested 4-2 win over visiting Cardiff Medics on 30 January. The Medics sat in last place leading up to the game, with UWE Bristol at the top of the table.

UWE Bristol struggled to get into the game in the early stages, failing to create any chances. It was the visitors who struck the first blow after 10 minutes, drilling a shot from 25 yards out straight into the top corner.

The visitors didn’t lead for long. Sol Wanjau-Smith’s pass found midfielder Aki Akiwumi, whose shot took a slight deflection as it rolled into the back of the net. Cardiff Medics players struggled to deal with Akiwumi throughout the game, with the UWE Bristol midfielder consistently out-muscling the opposition.

UWE Bristol made it 2-1 soon after, with the same two players involved as with the equaliser. Deep in midfield, Akiwumi played a pinpoint lob over the defensive line who Wanjau-Smith was too fast for, as he struck the ball past the visiting keeper to put the hosts ahead.

UWE Bristol continued to have much of the possession but presented the visitors with an opportunity to bring the game level, when UWE Bristol centre-half Matt Paton made a lunging tackle on the edge of the box. The referee saw fit to award a yellow-card for this challenge. Up stepped the visiting forward, whose free kick sailed into the top corner to tie the game up.

With forty minutes gone in the first half, UWE Bristol defender Matt Paton made up for his earlier mistake, heading the ball through the arms of the keeper from a dangerous corner. Then, in the final moments of the first half, Paton made a similarly important touch at the other end of the field, denying a certain goal for the visitors. UWE Bristol went into the second half with a narrow one-goal lead.

The second half produced fewer chances for both sides, with most of the possession coming in the centre of the field. UWE Bristol were able to double their advantage midway through the second half. Striker Wanjau-Smith rose high to head the ball towards goal, with their keeper tipping the ball out to Tiago Micallef, who slotted the ball into an empty net for UWE Bristol’s fourth and final goal of the game.

The game finished 4-2, with UWE Bristol securing their fifth win of the season. With three games left, UWE Bristol sit four points clear at the top of the table and hope to  secure their promotion this season.

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