UWMCC marched up to Tarkett pitches with the intention of winning their second 7pm kick off in a row. Instead of K.Winder stalling on a green light to make half the team late, this week we had a Warwick Sport tracksuit with a notepad in place to delay the match. Fortunately, the smooth talking of skipper J.Roche meant that UWMCC were able to proceed through to Tarkett and start their warm up only twelve minutes after the scheduled kick off.
A leisurely warm up extended on to the first ten minutes of the game, where a languid UWMCC side struggled to keep with the pace that PPE 2 were setting. Finding themselves 1-0 down, UWMCC also lost centre back Marcus to an ankle injury after only ten minutes. UWMCC found themselves on the ropes, with PPE 2’s pacey right winger threatening to run riot against the make-shift back four of UWMCC. The next fifteen minutes saw UWMCC grow into the game, with their new spine proving much more difficult to break down. A centre back pairing inspired by the PSG central defence of 2012-2015, saw J.Jewson play the composed role of Thiago Silva while D.Lewis ran around the pitch looking for tackles, like his Brazilian alter-ego D.Luiz.
As the first half went on, the crowd were treated to a great tactical battle as UWMCC absorbed pressure to play on the counter attack, to their tireless outlets, Benny and R.Probert. The earlier tactical reshuffle also allowed the introduction of K.Winder, who injected drive and purpose to the midfield of UWMCC. The midfield pairing of Winder and Chase combined creativity with endeavour, helping UWMCC to equalise after 27 minutes through a great finish from R.Probert on the counter attack. However, the game was not to be level for long. With UWMCC still celebrating the equaliser, PPE 2 passed their way through a statuesque midfield to put striker D. Douglas through one-on-one, to slotting home within 30 seconds from the kick off to put PPE 2 in front again.
The final twelve minutes of the first half continued in the same vein, with UWMCC absorbing waves of pressure before hitting back on the counter attack. After a couple of half chances which would have gone in on another day, UWMCC began to pile on the pressure. Then the chance came. J.Roche delivered the corner. PPE 2 failed to clear the loose ball. The ball fell to R.Chase on the edge of the box. As the crowd urged him to shoot, R.Chase showed great composure to take a touch to settle himself, before hitting a sweet (but deflected) half volley over the goalkeeper. The final five minutes of the half saw UWMCC determined not to let their hard work go to waste, digging in to ensure they would not concede again and went into the break at 2-2.
Both teams went into the halftime break with ambitions of winning this see-saw of a contest, but after a frantic first half the second half saw a brave defensive performance from UWMCC. With a first half similar to that of the end of the first half, there were fewer chances and PPE 2 saw much more of the ball. Led by the vocal presence of man of the match J.Jewson, UWMCC were able to hold out through immense pressure to come away with a hard fought, and deserved 2-2 draw.