Downes Hounds UWE

Bristol hand out a thrashing to their Varsity rivals after UWE edge the Women’s game on penalties

On a clear spring night at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol secured the Varsity bragging rights in the Men’s football, defeating UWE 4-1 in a bad-tempered affair.

A hostile atmosphere between the two Universities was in full swing even before kick-off as the supporters, separated by a metal barrier, exchanged various songs.

It was UWE who got off to a perfect start, winning a 22-yard free-kick in the early exchanges. True to form, UWE’s frontman Sean Downing drove the free-kick into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal, sparking fanatical scenes both on the pitch and in the stands as UWE drew first blood in this ‘winner takes all’ affair.

The game continued in a nervy fashion with neither side able to settle on the ball. At times it almost reflected a tennis match with long balls becoming frustratingly prominent.

A corner after 15 minutes provided UOB’s first chance of note, when their captain struck a curling half-volley against the post. Just two minutes later, their breakthrough came, as Tim Downes slotted home a smart volley to equalise.

It became 2 goals in a hectic 5 minutes for UOB as Jonny Eamer showed good composure to control well inside a crowded box and rifle the ball past UWE keeper Ben Hurst. Moments later, injury put a premature finish to Hurst’s match as he was replaced by UWE’s second choice goalkeeper, James Smith.

After a dominant start to the second half, UOB extended their advantage when Tim Downes headed home at the far post.

UWE threw everything at the UOB defence as they furiously searched for a way back into the game, squandering numerous opportunities in the process. Despite the best efforts of their supporters, including the use of a vuvuzela and a flare, UWE had no luck.

Eventually, UWE paid the price for over-committing as UOB used the counter-attack to seal their victory, with Downes completing a perfect hat-trick.

The final whistle sparked jubilant scenes at the Memorial Stadium including a delirious UOB pitch invasion.

Earlier in the day the Women’s Football match finished 1-1, with UWE winning 4-3 on penalties.