Sport

Men’s Football clinch vital three points

UEA Men’s football I’s won a five goal thriller against the University of Bedford I to put them in contention for the league title heading into the penultimate match of the season.

Photograph: Ga Chun YauPhoto: Ga Chun Yau

Two strikes from Neil Hurren either side of a Simon Beeson goal gave UEA the 3-2 victory, and handed them a vital three points in their chase for promotion.

UEA were much changed from the side that beat Bedford II’s by the same score the previous week, and with many players in unfamiliar positions, the side did not start well. They found themselves behind after only two minutes, when a floated ball in from the right evaded the UEA defence, and left the Bedford striker the simple task of prodding the ball into the gaping net.

The reaction from the home side was highly commendable. The work ethic of Brad Nelson up front constantly opened up chances for UEA, and it was his perseverance that subsequently led to their deserved equaliser. A committed challenge on the halfway line played in Neil Hurren, who rounded the goalkeeper a stroked the ball into the empty net five minutes from halftime.

UEA started the second half rejuvenated, seemingly the more likely team to score. The goal eventually came on the hour mark, through an acrobatic effort from Beeson. With a melee of players in the box, the ball eventually fell to the midfielder, who volleyed into the corner of the net to put UEA into the lead.

The celebrations did not last long, however, and with Bedford’s next attack, the score was levelled. After UEA failed to clear their lines, a pot shot from twenty-five yards beat the outstretched Charlie Savage, who was stranded off his line.

The game was delicately poised at this stage, with both teams threatening. Yet it was the home side that scored what eventually proved to be the winner. After a corner was poorly cleared, Luke Blackwell fired in a goal bound volley that was converted by Hurren to put UEA’s noses in front with only fifteen minutes to play.

Bedford had one last chance to steal a point, but the shot was dramatically tipped onto the bar by Savage from the edge of the six yard box and then cleared off the line by man of the match Ryan Chapman.

UEA closed out the final few minutes of the match with discipline and maturity, and secured what could prove to be a pivotal win in the race for the title.

22/02/2013

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