The day had been circled in the calendar for those members of the UWMCCFC who had experienced the devastating loss in last year’s semi-final. The big game against Medics had arrived, apparently so important that Medics felt the need to turn up with two coaches to counter the tactical ingenuity of Thomas’ team.
The game was a scrappy affair, with both sides pressing high and allowing each other little time on the ball. Sam Platt made a few nice runs down the left on debut to whip in some crosses, providing an outlet for the UWMCCFC throughout the game. However, both teams struggled to make much impression on the other team’s goal and with Knotty proving to be assured on his debut as well, half time came with the scores level at 0-0, chances few and far between.
With renewed intensity and determination, the UWMCCFC upped their game at the start of the second half and the pressure soon told as Jack Gould, proving an inspired choice as striker, continued his great run of form to bang in a highly contentious goal. The Medics were adamant the goal was offside, with their linesman cum coach claiming he was in perfect position to spot Gould’s infringement regardless of the fact he was ten yards behind play. The Medics protested for a good few minutes, much to the annoyance of the UWMCCFC but the referee held firm, correctly pointing out to the Medics they could not just appoint one of their coaches as their linesman to suit their own purposes. After what seemed an eternity, the Medics eventually got back on with the game and set about trying to level the scores.
There was still time for the inevitable Thomas dive as he flung himself forward after an innocuous tackle, which for perhaps the first time ever actually drew a foul from a referee who certainly lacked authority on the day, letting a lot of fouls go. This only served to anger the Medics even more, much to the amusement of the UWMCCFC and the game continued to be one of rather poor quality right up till the final whistle. For the second consecutive week though the UWMCCFC held out for the win with consummate ease, perhaps showing that for the second year running the defence could well be the strength of this team. The Medics struggled to test Knotty, who laid a strong claim to the number one jersey, all game as the UWMCCFC looked the more likely to score on the counter.
This was a big win for the UWMCCFC, laying down a marker so early in the season and clearly establishing themselves as strong title contenders. For the Medics, it was a disappointing result as their strike force proved rather toothless and it was an amusing sight to see them getting grilled by their coaches after the game. Both teams look safe bets to make the playoffs at the end of the season and it would not be a surprise to see them meeting again when the stakes are much higher, giving the UWMCCFC the chance to atone fully for last year’s loss.