By Ben Reardon
UCLan thirds slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat away at Manchester University, on the final day of their league campaign.
Chris Simmons gave UCLan the lead on the half-hour-mark, though goals on the stroke of half-time, and then with eight minutes to go earned Manchester the final three-points of the season.
UCLan started brightly, with Tom Rogers seeing his long-range free-kick saved early on.
Matty Smith would then skim the ball over the bar from the edge of the box after 15 minutes, with Jack Le Huray’s side keen to end their season on a high.
Up the other end, UCLan keeper Zack Leavers had to claw a deflected effort away from goal, as Manchester started to come into the game more.
But the visitors would find the opening goal after 30 minutes, as Chris Simmons diverted the ball home, after Rogers’ previous shot had been saved.
Following a period of sustained pressure on UCLan’s goal, Manchester levelled on the stroke of half-time, courtesy of a looping header which dropped into the net at the back-post.
As the second-half commenced, both sides had their chances, but failed to take them in the swirling winds, which affected playing conditions.
Zach Leavers had to be called upon for UCLan again, this time as he kept out a goal-bound effort superbly with his legs.
UCLan huffed and puffed to find a winner, going close on occasions, however the goalkeeper was alert to keep out Smith’s free-kick, and a deflected effort.
With the game, and the season drawing to a close, Leavers’ once again kept his side in the contest, with 70 minutes on the clock.
But UCLan hearts were broken with 82 minutes played, as Manchester drilled the ball home from close range, following a cut back from the bye-line.
The visitors threw everything at their counterparts, but failed to find an elusive equaliser, and finish the season in fourth.