By Joe Husbands
On another glorious day down at the Sports Arena, UCLan 1st’s met the University of Manchester’s 2nd team who got off to a bright start in the 3rd minute with a long ball over the top of McGready and into the path of the striker who blazed a volley over the bar.
Three minutes later Manchester capitalised on the early pressure with a wayward cross from the right wing which was parried into the net by UCLan goalkeeper Lewis McCarthy who was making his debut today.
Conceding a goal really woke UCLan up and they began to create more chances and in the 17th minute left back McGroaty who played for the 2nd’s in the cup last week, made a powerful run down the left side and played a one-two with Connelly before whipping in a dangerous cross at the by-line only for Vama to hit the ball wide.
Five minutes later a ball over the Manchester defender fell to Jake Connelly who nipped the ball past the keeper to get back on level terms. Manchester went up the other end and forced a save from McCarthy who was at full stretch and needed a confidence boost on his debut.
After more pressure from UCLan the finally went ahead in the 40th minute through a penalty won by Connelly. He ran down the wing and cut inside before dribbling past two players and was chopped down in the box.
Playmaker Adrian Garcia stepped up to place the ball in the bottom right hand corner and gave his team the lead.
Immediately after the break things became heated when Vama touched heads with the Manchester defender and the referee had to intervene to calm the players down.
But in the 50th minute it seemed that the altercation before had motivated Vama as he ran to the by-line and pull the ball back only for the Manchester centre back to put the ball in his own net.
UCLan didn’t hold onto the two goal lead for long when from the kick off Manchester won a free kick and played a long ball into the box to test McCarthy and the striker flicked the ball on and into the bottom corner leaving McCarthy kicking himself.
With the game at a nervy 3-2 score line Mabhena were given offside for a decision that was very debatable due to Mabhena being in his own half when the ball was played. This questioned the use of players as linesman and cheating claims were made by the UCLan players.
Midway through the second half Mabhena played Vama in who got his first goal of the afternoon and by this point he really could have had a hat-trick.
At 4-2 UCLan began to play keep ball to close the game out and finished the game comfortable winners.