Following on from a strong start to the season against tennis and a top of the table position, the UWMCCFC faced the unknown opposition of Young Boys seeking their second win in a row. Missing their rock at the back, Rob Povey, and suffering from the continued absence of John Faal, it came as a significant blow to learn that SDT had decided a tennis match was of greater importance and would be doing a Nedmonds.
With SDT absent, the UWMCCFC struggled early on, missing their star man in the centre of the park. The growing pressure soon told on the captain JT as following a rather inconsequential shirt pull, he attempted to scythe his man to the ground rugby style. The captain’s hot head soon got him in further trouble as another dirty tackle saw him lucky once again to escape censure from the referee. However, the tone had been set for the first half and the Young Boys pressure eventually told as a nice move down the left saw a cool finish from inside the box nestling in Howe’s far corner.
By this stage SDT had finally arrived, a moment which turned the match as the tactical masterstroke of moving Jack Gould up top to accommodate SDT would reap rich rewards in the second half. The first half petered out with the UWMCCFC enjoying most of the ball, but struggling to make much headway against a decent Young Boys defence that was a significant step up from the porous Tennis one the previous week.
The unusual position of losing at half time and conceding a goal so early in the season prompted a strong response from the team, as a high ball on the edge of the area was headed back into the box by SDT for Gould to slam home. Buoyed by this quick repost, the UWMCCFC found new energy and proceeded to dominate the early stages of the second half. However, missing the plentiful supply of goals resulting from Robbie Skinner’s corners, goals have to come from different sources this year, and fully making use of the referees employed this year, a surging run from Will Stodhart resulted in a penalty for the UWMCCFC. Up stepped Jack Gould who stroked home a well taken pen into the bottom right corner to draw level with Nedmonds in the early stages of the race for the club’s golden boot.
The lead gained by the UWMCCFC saw the team drop deeper in order to preserve it and the game developed into one of endeavour and determination, something that played into the hands of Nedmonds, whose superior fitness started to tell as he stamped his authority on the game by snuffing out the majority of the Young Boys attacks. The UWMCCFC remained dangerous on the counter attack and Gould had a chance to seal his hat trick with an attempted chip only for the keeper to produce a strong, if rather casual, hand from nowhere to keep the margin at one goal.
There was still time for more theatrics from Josh Thomas though as an innocuous tackle saw the customary dive per game followed by a look of incredulity when the referee failed to award a free kick. Clearly the new refs have been told to be extremely lenient, as Thomas gave the ref plenty of opportunities to send him for an early bath, in addition to augmenting his reputation as the league’s premier diver.
With strong performances from Moose and Jewson to continue the fine starts to their careers, coupled with the welcome return of Joe Harris, the UWMCCFC were able to see the game out without too many alarms, notwithstanding a shot with a minute remaining that the team were grateful to see Howe push over the bar. With the ball booted over the fence for the final time, the ref decided he’d seen enough and the UWMCCFC were able to celebrate a hard earned win over one of the better teams they’ve faced over the last few seasons. However, the standard steps up once more this coming week with a huge match against the Medics, as the UWMCCFC seek to right the wrongs of last year and gain revenge for their crushing semi-final loss.