Men’s Football – University of Birmingham 2nds 2-1 University of Edinburgh 1sts
The UoB’s Men’s 2nds picked up their first win of the season as they beat Edinburgh 1sts to progress in this year’s cup competition.
After a dismal start to this year’s league campaign which has seen the 2nds lose five of their opening six games of the season, the Lions would have been excited by the prospect of some cup football offering some respite going into this game.
However, any hopes of a change in fortunes for the side were put under severe threat early on as it was the visitors, Edinburgh, who struck first from the penalty spot inside the first third of the game. It was the Birmingham captain, center back Dan Wilson, who was at fault, as he was judged by the referee to have unfairly pushed the Edinburgh striker to the floor as they tussled to get on the end of a good cross from a corner.
There weren’t too many complaints from neither Wilson nor his team-mates, but if there were any doubts about the awarding of the penalty, there weren’t any about it’s conversion as the visiting striker slammed it home into the top corner.
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It could be argued that the opener went against the run of play, but the Lions weren’t disheartened as they finished the first half very well, drawing a few magnificent saves out of Edinburgh’s keeper. There was one golden opportunity for James Adkins who went through on goal, 1-on-1 with the keeper, but he saw his chipped effort well saved.
The half-time team talk was a hostile one from the Lions’ coach as he picked up on a lot of frailties from his side that he had grown tried of seeing all season, his side’s reaction however, was impeccable.
Their change in attitude and quality was rewarded within minutes of the game resuming after the break as they equalised via a well earned own-goal. A long ball was sent up to the striker pairing of Robbie Murphy and Adkins, Murphy did well to win the header to find Adkins whose shot was then well saved, only for the ball to deflect right off the keeper’s glove on to the center back’s shin, and into the back of the net.
It remained 1-1 for much of the second half as chances came and went for the hosts as the continued to dominate proceedings. When Murphy missed a glaring free header from a corner with only 15 minutes to play, it looked like the Lions were going to let this cup tie go to extra-time. Dave May however, had other ideas.
With five minutes left on the clock, Birmingham were still pilling on the pressure when a loose clearance from Edinburgh fell to midfielder May about 25 yards from goal, who hit it first time straight into the bottom corner.
At that stage, everyone on the sidelines thought the tie was won, and it would appear that the Lions defenders did too as there were a few late scares from the visitors which included one effort hitting the bar with seconds to play.
However, the Birmingham 2nds held on for what was their first win of the season to progress in this cup competition. They’ll be looking to take a lot of confidence from their second half performance into their next league game, when they travel to Oxford next Wednesday.