Dire Defending leads to a dreary defeat
Birmingham Men’s 2nd football team lost 3-1 to Cambridge at Metchley as some questionable defending handed the opposition a victory.
The University of Birmingham’s 2nd football side seemed chipper warming up at the Metchley grass pitches on Wednesday. Despite their worryingly poor start to the season, which sees them sit bottom of their league, spirits were high going into the game.
This optimism seemed vindicated as after one minute, Birmingham netted, only for the linesmen’s flag to prevent the goal.
However, the momentum of the game then changed as five minutes in, centre back Harry Aston failed to clear the ball at the back for the Lions. This error was then compounded when captain Dan Wilson refused to clear the ball on the edge of the box. The Cambridge striker duly stole the football from the sedentary defender and slotted home.
Birmingham looked close to an equaliser ten minutes later, as bright spark Jamie Murphy found himself with a free header four yards out. Unfortunately, he could only find the keeper in what was a painfully rare goal scoring opportunity for the 2nd team.
Cambridge’s 2nd and 3rd goals came in the 27th and 48th minute respectively. Fortunately, for a reporter attempting to conserve his word count, the mistakes that led to these goals were identical. For both, the attacking players for Birmingham applied no pressure to Cambridge’s defenders on the ball.
However, Birmingham were playing a high line defensively. This meant the Cambridge defenders had all the time they’d need to lob the ball in behind the Birmingham defence, Aston and Wilson completely missing a defensive header each. The Cambridge strikers meandered through the offside trap and slotted home 1 on 1 with the keeper.
Birmingham created three chances in the second half. The first two were passes through the middle where the strikers failed to use there week foot and missed their shots or the keeper made a neat save to deny the hosts.
The 3rd chance came in the 90th minute when a Dan Wilson header hit the bar from a corner, and Jamie Murphy knocked in the rebound. Murphy deserves credit, as the only Birmingham player to show any sort of energy, creativity or intelligence throughout the game.
He deserved his goal, but football’s a team game and this team deserved a defeat. They were disappointingly lacklustre performance, leaving the coach with a lot to work on before their next game. There was no doubt they had the ability to win this game, their is certainly quality across the squad, it’s just a matter of making full use of it now for the Lions.