UWMCCFC v Warwick Engineering Society,


UWMCCFC continued our winning streak after coming out on the right side of a scrappy game against Engineering Society. The boys arrived at Westwood to find that La French had organised themselves a friendly on the pitch before our game. There was no ref, and they were showing no signs of moving so I did what any true captain would do – I went into the office next to the pitch and got the Warwick sport guy to kick them off while I hid on sidelines.

With the Baguette Boys finally surrendering the pitch, we were ready and raring to go. The game started with us very much on front foot, with lots of early chances falling our way. Early pressing from our midfield and forwards lead to a succession of corners for UWMCCFC, but unfortunately we couldn’t make much of them with a few headers and an attempted volley from myself missing the target. Some good football from the boys allowed us to see a lot of the ball early on, and Cooper Smith was causing the oppositions midfield a lot of trouble. They almost seemed scared to go towards anyone that was running with the ball, and Cooper took advantage of this – constantly picking up the ball and running at them. Eventually this lead him to find himself in the oppo’s box, and a scuffed cross/shot made its way in to the path of Henry Wilson who slotted the ball into the back of EngSoc net.

We then seemed to get a little complacent, and a sloppy throw in gave the ball away leading to an excellent through ball from Engineering which split our defence and saw their striker slotting a good finish into the bottom corner of our net.

Back up the other end now, and I decided that I had the ability to run at the oppositions defence and pop a shot from 30 yards. I didn’t. I was so disappointed in myself that I instantly subbed myself off – making room for Nathan Sharpe to make his UWMCCFC debut for the year. The EngSoc goal had clearly shaken us up, and we struggled to really make anything else happen for the rest of the half. EngSoc tried to take advantage of this and put themselves in the lead, but a good save from Will Tall down low to his right ensured we headed into the break with the scores level. During the half time team talk we all agreed that we were the much better team, and that we were making the oppo look a much better side than they were.

We went back out for the second half knowing that this was our game to win.The second half was a lot more scrappy than the first, with no one seemingly able to get a good control of the ball and neither side able to play much football. Almost every midfield battle was won by our midfield of Cooper, Sam Hawes, Joe Mortimer and Ben Ralli – but we couldn’t seem to make that final ball work. Henry Wilson was played in numerous times 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper, but somehow he managed to miss all of them. Despite this, he had their right back on toast every single time – eventually leading to him being taken out on the left hand side of the box, just outside.

Ben Ralli stood over the resulting free kick, with plenty of heads in the box to aim at. Ben’s attempted cross ending up heading towards the goal, and the oppositions keeper had an absolute howler – getting lobbed on his own line. I could never imagine that happening to me. The goal may have been a bit of a fluke, but we didn’t care, they all count and now we were 2-1 up with about 15 minutes to go.

At this point, EngSoc started to throw everything they had at us – but our defence of Joshua Bennett, Ed Churchill and Ollie Hotchin did a good job of absorbing this pressure and ensuring that we kept our lead.Right toward the end of the game, the EngSoc striker managed to find his way through 1-on-1, and I (and most others, I assume) thought the game had 2-2 written all over it. That was before a wonderful save from Will Tall, making himself big and stripping the ball from the attackers feet. In the little time that was left not too much happened, a lot of midfield battles and a lot of long balls. The whistle was blown on a game that we should have won by a much larger margin than we did. But at the end of the day we got the 3 points, and that’s all that matters.

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