Football lose ground on league leaders

Men’s Football I’s suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Coventry University in a BUCS Midlands Division 2B top of the table clash on Wednesday 5 December.

UEA entered the game at Colney Lane with the knowledge that a win would see them leapfrog their opponents into first place, but it was the visitors who started the brighter of the two teams.

Coventry were quickly into their stride, with their dangerous winger first firing over the bar and then wide of the post in the opening 10 minutes.

UEA then forced a corner of their own which was spilled by the Coventry goalkeeper, but he was fortunate to be able to gather the ball before any on-rushing UEA players could direct it goalwards.

The hosts nearly took the lead in the 13th minute, when the lively Luke Blackwell dispossessed Coventry’s right-back and attempted a lobbed effort, which forced a smart save from the goalkeeper. Coventry were ahead just two minutes later however, as their winger drove to the byline before crossing to their striker, who diverted the ball home at the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked.

UEA quickly went in search of a response to this early set back, but Coventry’s high-tempo and energetic pressing largely denied the hosts any opportunity to assert themselves on the game. Simon Beeson managed to work an opening for Blackwell on 28 minutes, who again drew a good save from the Coventry goalkeeper, but it was the visitors who ultimately had the better of the first half and could have added to their lead on a couple of occasions.

Coventry again began the second half in the ascendancy with their numbers 10 and 11 linking up to create an opportunity which their central midfielder could only lift over the bar.

The visitors continued to pressurise UEA, and were rewarded for their efforts in the 54th minute, when their midfielder made amends for his earlier miss to head home from a cross from the right flank. This triggered a triple substitution for UEA, as the home team sought to stage a come-back and retain their unbeaten league record which was under significant threat.

The treble substitution proved effective, and the Yellows enjoyed a period of dominance, with Tom Skidmore in particular demonstrating some shrewd touches and linking the midfield with the attack to good effect.

UEA forced a succession of corners as the half wore on, but were to unable to capitalise on this period of pressure on the Coventry goal and fell further behind in the 75th minute courtesy of a goal from a corner, which effectively ended the contest. The hosts almost grabbed a consolation goal five minutes later, as a superb ball from centre-back Daniel Morphew released Ryan Chapman, who rifled his effort just wide of the target.

UEA will be disappointed with Wednesday’s outcome, but their results this season have been impressive otherwise, and the team will be keen to put things right in their next BUCS outing away to the University of Bedfordshire on 16 January.


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