Interclub clash causes controversy
UCL football went to war this Wednesday as 3s were pitted against 4s, in a match where victory offered much more than 3 points and bragging rights.
UCL football went to war this Wednesday as 3s were pitted against 4s in a match where victory offered much more than 3 points and bragging rights.
With the 4s currently above the 3s in both ULU and BUCS, the 3s were fighting for the right to remain known as the third best team within one of UCL most highly competitive clubs.
The tie was delicately poised, the two teams having met twice already this season, sharing a victory a piece; UCL 4s comfortably winning the first game 3-0, with 3s gaining their revenge with a 3-1 win only last week.
The 3s began brightly, in the knowledge that victory would go along way to silencing critics that suggest they deserve to surrender the ‘third team’ label at the end of the season. Playing down the hill and with the wind, they pinned the 4s back in their own half, who played deep and at times struggled to get past the half way line.
Chances were at a premium, with the 3s only real chance coming after 20 minutes. Hugo Perry volleying a beauty that was destined for the top corner. It took a diving save from Ed Stoner, which must be a candidate for save of the season, to prevent what seemed to most, a certain goal.
As the first half progressed the 4s settled and the game took on a more even sided nature. With neither side having the required class in the final third to split open the tight defenses.
The first half ended in controversy. First the 4s were denied what seemed a clear penalty as Alistair Macleod bundled over Bruno Pias just inside the box. The referee was again at the centre of the action only minutes later, as he denied the 4s a beautifully worked goal, with a dubious offside decision.
The first half took its toll on the players, with the pace significantly dropping off after half time. Both teams suffering from poor fitness levels and an energy sapping pitch.
With only 15 minutes left, 4s thought they had clinched victory as AJ again found the back of the net, beating the offside trap before calmly chipping over the keeper. However they were denied by the linesman for a second time, who had adjudged the player had timed his run slightly to early.
At the final whistle, the 4s understandably had a bitter taste in their mouth. On a different day, they could have won 3-0
Football does not operate on maybe’s, the only certainty is that both side will not relent in their aim of securing the mantle of UCL 3s for next season.