Men’s 1s rise from the ashes

UCL men’s football 1s comfortably beat SOAS 1s 3-1, to earn themselves a place in the ULU cup final.

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UCL men's football 1s comfortably beat SOAS 1s 3-1, to earn themselves a place in the ULU cup final.

Reaching the final is redemption for the 1s, whose season started in acrimonious circumstances. 5 games without a win and the controversial appointment of Nick Salapatas as head coach, with his strict regime and unique man management style, led to rumours of wide spread player discontent. The outlook was made even bleaker when top goal scorer and last year's captain Chris Michael, was ruled out for the season through injury.

Recently, though, things have been on the up, as results and atmosphere in the camp has improved. Salapatas has softened his approach as he has finally started to get the most out of a talented group of players. Players, such as Jed Osborne who has grabbed 7 goals, have stepped up to take the place of their injured colleagues and ensure that UCL are still in the hunt for silver wear as the final weeks of the season approaches.

Their recent form made them favourites going into the game against SOAS, but UCL could have found themselves 1-0 down after only 15 minutes as the referee unfairly awarded a penalty for a perfectly legal tackle by centre back Scott Rosenthal. Justice was done, as Ed Stoner guessed correctly diving low to his left to brilliantly tip the ball onto the post and ensure the score remained 0-0.

UCL dominated but struggled to convert, with chance after chance going begging after several players were guilty of poor finishing.

The breakthrough finally came with 25 minutes to go, Max Barnett rounding the keeper and slotting in from an acute angle. A second was added shortly after as James Cottam rose highest from a corner to power an unstoppable header into the top corner.

With 5 minutes remaining, striker Grant Carisle put the game beyond doubt, audaciously dinking the ball over the keeper's desperate dive into the bottom left of the goal.

SOAS grabbed a consolation goal in the dying seconds but a come back was never on the cards as UCL calmly saw out the game.

The win means they face Imperial 1s in the final for the second year running and will be hoping to reverse last season's 2-1 loss. Anyone watching this game certainly wouldn't bet against it.