The University of Sheffield Men’s Football 3s bounced back from their 5-0 away defeat at York St John’s last week, with a dogged and determined 4-1 victory against University of Central Lancashire 1s in the first round of the BUCS Football Northern Conference Cup.
In what was a tightly-contested opening 15 minutes, with both sides battling to control possession, it was the away side who had the first clear chance of the game. The Lancashire number nine found some space on the right, before unleashing a low drilled shot which was well stopped by Sheffield goalkeeper Kieran Sivewright.
It was Sheffield that would draw first blood on 19 minutes, with Sivewright playing a major part. A long punt downfield from the Sheffield number one travelled some distance, before bouncing off a Lancashire defender’s head, and looping over the hapless goalkeeper.
However, this joy was to be short-lived. On 23 minutes, Lancashire’s number nine, who proved to be handful all game, danced and weaved his way through a number of Sheffield defenders, before opening up his body and angling the ball into the far-right hand corner.
This goal seemed to spark University of Sheffield into life, scoring two goals within five minutes. Just two minutes after conceding, a delightful through ball found the run of Sheffield frontman David Kaminsky, who sprung the offside trap, bore down on goal, and coolly tapped past the opposing goalkeeper to restore the home side’s lead.
Just minutes later, on the half hour mark, Sheffield extended their lead to two goals. Winger Owen Weaver produced some fine individual wing play before producing a cross which caused chaos in the Lancashire penalty area, striker Kaminsky was on hand to bundle the ball over the line and claim his second, and Sheffield’s third, of the game.
The Black and Gold saw out the rest of the first half, and went into the break with a 3-1 lead.
While the home side slightly edged the first period, the second was a different story. It was University of Central Lancashire who enjoyed most of the ball, and fashioned the best chances, albeit mostly being limited to shots from outside the box.
On 55 minutes, Lancashire’s captain went close with a rasping drive from distance which flew just over the crossbar. With the wind in their favour, and playing downhill, the away side continued to press, and almost pulled a goal back on 70 minutes. After a free-kick fell to a Lancashire player on the edge of the box, the resultant shot took a wicked deflection, and demanded a superb acrobatic stop from Sivewright.
Despite being on the back foot for most of the second half, the home side put the game to bed with ten minutes to play, with their only meaningful attack of the half. A searching through ball from Harry Jackson found substitute Johnny Thirkell, who raced away and calmly dispatched the ball with his left foot past the Lancashire goalkeeper.
The home side closed out the match, and as a result of a resolute and organised defensive performance, in tandem with some clinical finishing, Uni of Sheffield emerged as 4-1 victors. With every player giving 100%, the home side consequently progress into the second round of the BUCS Northern Conference Cup.