Cup exit piles on the misery for the firsts

Things are going from bad to worse for Birmingham

BUCS cup defeat football swansea university of birmingham

The firsts dismal start to the season continued this week after suffering yet another defeat, this time to Swansea University, losing 3-2.

After a poor start to their league campaign, the firsts had hoped to boost their season with a prolonged cup run in the BUCS Trophy.

But in a high-scoring match with plenty of action, the Welsh outfit dashed cup hopes with a determined display that saw Birmingham slump to defeat yet again.

Penny for your thoughts?

Penny for your thoughts?

UoB went into the game against Swansea on the back of defeat to Coventry and it was clear the coaching team were looking for a good response early on. A cup run could be just the tonic to stop the slump in form.

The early stages of the game were even and it was Brum with the first real chance as Codorean was put through only to see his effort saved by the legs of the Swans keeper.

Getting up above the opposition

Getting up above the opposition

The Western 1A league side were proving to be tough opponents however, and took the lead on the 10 minute mark. A well worked move ended in a cross, not dealt with by Othen-Price, and left the Swansea striker time to finish. Although Pigott will perhaps feel he could have done better, the goal was well taken.

The goal left Birmingham trailing a match once again, a trait characteristic of their season so far.

Chasing their opponents, Birmingham racked up the pressure throughout the remainder of the first half, and looked the better of the two teams for long periods.

Swansea celebrate their first goal

Swansea celebrate their first goal

But it was Swansea who yet again seized the initiative and extended their lead to two.

After giving the Swansea midfield far too much time and space, the firsts were punished by an attack down the right which saw the ball cut to the back post for an easy tap in.

The firsts were perhaps unfortunate to be two down after playing some intricate football at times, but were hindered by their inability to find a breakthrough.

But a flicker of hope was found from set pieces, and eventually Birmingham’s efforts produced a well worked goal.

Some head tennis saw a flick-on into the six-yard box by Westbrook to Codorean- promoted straight from the thirds to start the match- who finished well with his head, across the keeper.

Bowerman was to get more joy second-half

Bowerman was to get more joy second-half

Half-time score: UoB 1 – 2 Swansea. We were right back in it.

The second-half saw Birmingham start with real impetus and an urgency that was certainly lacking in the first-half.

However, Swansea came close to extending their lead again.

With the defence seemingly getting little protection from their midfielders, Swansea continued to make openings and a third goal was only just denied by a brilliant block from Austin.

UoB tried to assert midfield dominance

UoB tried to assert midfield dominance

Clearly fired up by nearly conceding a third, the reds began to look more promising.

Austin fired just over after a neat one-two in the box and Brown couldn’t quite slot away a Bowerman cut-back.

The game was fully dictated by Brum, and Bowerman saw a superb 20 yard strike fly just wide after some intricate exchanges on the edge of the Swansea box. They were doing everything but score.

But in a game that seemed to swing from end to end, Swansea finally struck the hammer blow.

A ball over the top caught out the centre-backs, and as the Swansea striker raced through, his control was poor and a ricochet onto Austin’s shin saw the ball fly past the on-rushing Pigott and into the bottom right of the goal. 3-1 Swansea and all but over.

A late set-piece opportunity

A late set-piece opportunity

Not long after, Swansea changed to a 5-3-2 and attempted to close the game out.

Birmingham managed to find some redemption in a late second goal, which saw Bowerman, from an unsuccessful corner, deliver a peach of cross into the path of Brown, who duly obliged with a rifle into the net.

But it was little too late, and even though the reds came close once again from a late volley that was parried by the Swansea keeper, the welsh opposition held out until the final whistle.

UoB were good value for money at times, but lax defensive organisation yet again cost the side dearly.

Dissecting another defeat

Dissecting another defeat

It is now one win in four in all competitions and with the reverse fixture against UoB seconds next week, there has to be a marked improvement.

FT score: UoB firsts 2 – 3 Swansea University firsts

Lineup: (4-4-1-1) GK – Pigott, RB – Austin, CB – White, CB – Westbrook, LB – Adelekan (Shone), RM – Brown, CM – Kirby (c), CM – Sunderland (Yamuah), LM – Bowerman, CAM – Othen-Price (Opalinski), ST – Codorean (Barrow)