Gareth Chan reports on a UCL derby, as the 4’s took on the 5’s
Even before ‘El Classico’ had kicked off on television screens worldwide, a derby of UCL’s very own – between the UCL 4’s and 5’s – was unfolding at Shenley Sports Ground.
A fair Saturday afternoon saw two depleted sides take to the field, with the 4’s, however, boasting several UCL first-team players in their ranks. The 5’s had been unable to get in on this wheeling and dealing and so Ribas and Chan were deployed in the middle of the park to plug the holes left by the aging, hamstrung Mark Howat and the alcoholic Michael Langlands. New player Adam was put up top, but at least the defence had a familiar look about it.
Soon after the game had begun, it was clear that the 5’s were going to rely on the pace of captain Andy Helsby to launch counter-attacks, while hoping to soak up pressure from the 4’s. This worked relatively well as the 4’s were limited to long shots, though they played the better football. The 5’s nearly broke through on a few occasions through their wingers and forward, but no real chances materialised.
After what seemed like eternity, particularly for the 5’s, the half time whistle went. There was not much the 5’s could do but keep up the game plan and hope to sneak a goal. The second half began just as the first ended, with the 4’s spending much of their time in the opposition half. They created more and more chances, and it was only 5’s goalkeeper Ryan Lantzy keeping his side in the game. He pulled off two brilliant one-handed stops on his left, and from a resulting corner, made another reflex save low to his right. On the one occasion he was beaten – by a sweet volley – the angle of post and bar came to the 5’s rescue. At the other end, the 5’s had some gilt-edged chances of their own, with left midfielder Loures spurning the best of the lot in a one-on-one situation.
The 4’s continued to push for a goal, with their corners especially dangerous. It finally came in the 88th minute via, ironically, a counter by the 4’s. The 5’s lost the ball in their opponent’s half and a long punt up field found its way to UCL 1’s captain Jed Osborne, who coolly lobbed the goalkeeper from just inside the box. Offside or not, it was a cruel way for the 5’s to concede.
The result leaves the 4’s one point off the 5’s in the Saturday league. Both teams only have pride left to play for as top spot is well out of reach, but the 5’s can certainly be proud of the fight they put up on the day.
Football results: 27.02.13 & 02.03.13
BUCS & LUSL MATCHES 27.02.13:
• Essex 1′s 1-1 UCL 1′s
James Greatorex 31′
Man of the match: Jed Osborne
• Kent 3′s 1-1 UCL 2′s
Josh Maraney 66′
Man of the match: Ben Cooke
• UCL 3′s 0-0 UCL 4′s
Man of the match: Tunji Alli (TJ)
• Royal Veterinary 1′s 4-1 UCL 7′s
Lawrence McNeill 50′
Men of the match: Aaron Manak & Lawrence McNeill
LUSL MATCHES 02.03.13:
• UCL 3′s 2-1 UCL 2′s
for UCL 2′s:
Josh Maraney 14′
for UCL 3′s:
Rob Hooper 32′
Andrea Scorrano 67′
• UCL 4′s 1-0 UCL 5′s
Jed Osborne 88′