By Ben Reardon
UCLan men’s third team slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat away at their Salford counterparts on Wednesday afternoon.
Having previously trailed by two goals in the game, Kieran Shuker’s delightfully chipped effort after 77 minutes proved to be just a consolation for the visitors.
It was Salford who created the first opening of the game, with UCLan goalkeeper Williams Okpara alert to the effort and dealt with the pressure.
At the other end, UCLan’s Matty Smith saw his long range shot skim the top of the crossbar, after 15 minutes.
Tom Rogers and Shuker both went close for Jack Le Huray’s side, as they battled against torrential weather conditions in Greater Manchester.
In a first half of a few clear-cut chances, neither side could find a breakthrough, until Salford gained the lead on the stroke of half time.
A dinked ball was played over the top of the visitors back line, which was well finished on the half-volley beyond the dive of Okpara; a cruel blow for UCLan.
The second half started how the first ended, with Salford coming quick out the traps, Okpara again saving well with his feet in a one on one situation.
With 52 minutes played, the hosts found their second goal, with a well worked short corner being drilled into the top corner emphatically, beyond a static Okpara.
Despite a two-goal deficit, UCLan worked hard throughout the second half, and were rewarded in the 77th minute of the game, as a long punt up field from Okpara was met with the right foot of Kieran Shuker, who chipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.
That provided UCLan with belief, with team skipper Le Huray even joining the action late on.
Salford had chances to wrap up the match in the closing stages, however couldn’t capitalise.
The home side and had the bragging rights at the end of the fixture.