Men’s Football – University of Birmingham 1sts 0-2 Northumbria University 1sts
Birmingham stay bottom after suffering their fourth defeat of the season
If there was ever game that demonstrated the age-old football cliché of ‘it’s a game of two halves’, it was this one. Before the break, the visitors Northumbria simply had no answers at the back to Birmingham’s precise, free-flowing, football, however after the break, the midfield battle was conceded by the Lions to their northern rivals, who went on to dominate what was a scrappy half of football and come away 2-0 winners.
Going into the game bottom of the league, Birmingham would have known just how important a win would have been in this game to keep their season alive. Having already lost to this side 4-0 on their travel this season, they would have been forgiven for fearing the worst and starting the game tentatively, however, what they produced was virtually the opposite.
Within the first 12 minutes both winger Ollie Sitch and right-back Alistair Morgan both came close to opening the scoring, the latter with an audacious attempt all the way from the right-hand touchline which was denied only by the post.
On the half-hour mark Jack Davies saw his half-volley go wide, seconds before the Lions passed up their biggest chance of the match as Dom Lunnon did brilliantly well to beat a few defenders and cut the ball back to Sitch only a few yards out in front of goal, but the winger could only squeeze his shot wide. At the time, given the way the Lions were dominating the game, it perhaps wasn’t deemed as a particularly costly miss, but by full-time everyone around Metchley 3G knew that it absolutely was.
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The visitors barely had a glimpse of goal in the first half, but whatever was said at half-time seemed to work as they came out and really frustrated their hosts on and off the ball. They defended deep looking for the counter, but also stepped-up as a defensive line brilliantly to catch the Birmingham attackers off-side on a number of occasions.
In the end the breakthrough came in ever so simple fashion as the Northumbria striker ran on to a ball over the top, shrugged off his defence challenger, and slotted past the otherwise impressive Jamie Weller in the Lions goal.
The Lions could hardly believed they’d conceded and unfortunately, that state of shock was evident in their football for the final 20 minutes of the game as they looked lost for ideas and precision going forward.
To rub salt into the wounds, the visitors doubled their lead in the final minute with a well placed effort into Weller’s bottom corner from the edge of the box. It ended 2-0, a result that keeps Birmingham at the bottom of the Premier North division. They travel to league leaders Durham next week, in desperate need of three points.