Team Yardley Men’s 1st Team
Opponent University of Birmingham 5
Date January 12, 2019
Result Loss
Score 1 – 2

Goal scorer: Rob McGuigan

The second half of the league campaign just happened to begin  against the current league leaders. So, this was not going to be an easy introduction to 2019. The students arrived with ten players so whether that was much help to Yardley’s cause is debatable. Yardley had a squad of players including a very welcome return from long term injury in Rob McGuigan.

Both teams started well enough, looking for openings. After this initial settling-in period the University produced a period of pressure from which they gained a short corner. The initial shot on goal was partially saved but was pounced on by an eager forward following up to slot home for an early lead. Although the students continued to have the better approach play, Yardley defended well as usual and did not let the attacks lead to many actual chances. Neal was called upon to make some crucial saves at times. However, another short corner routine for the University lead to a similar chance to the first goal and a two-goal gap was opened up. Yardley’s first real chance came about when Jeevan broke clear and set up Rob for a chance that was not too far away. Before half-time, Yardley managed to pull a goal back. Good work by Alex enabled him to set up Rob who crowned his welcome back after long term injury with a well taken goal. Yardley continued to work hard to get back on level terms and almost succeeded but it was not to be.

At the break the students reflected on having had the better of the play and Yardley that they were still in the game.

The second half continued with both teams going for it. An injury to Mat caused Yardley some temporary inconvenience, but thanks to the squad system, they were not numerically disadvantaged.  Most of the second half consisted of the University continuing to enjoy the better of the possession, but Yardley soaked up the pressure well, but were also  indebted to Neal for more timely interventions. Late in the game Yardley produced some late spirited efforts largely led by some surging forward runs by Jeevan, Zach, Alex and others but unfortunately were not able to get anything much on target.

In the end the University enjoyed a narrow win but will rue not having full numerical quota. Yardley will reflect on having kept the league leaders to a close score-line and enjoyed having Rob back from injury.

Next week, the 1sts do not have a game as Kings Heath have withdrawn from the league. 


Categories: Match Reports