Men’s Football – University of Birmingham 3rds 3-2 University of Wolverhampton 1sts
It was end-to-end football as the Birmingham 3rds played their second fixture against Wolverhampton this season, and after a 5-4 defeat to their 2nds in the cup this 3-2 victory over their 1sts at Metchley may have been somewhat surprising.
The goalscoring began 2 minutes in as left winger Byron delivered a looping corner from the right hand side, and poor keeping from the Wolverhampton keeper saw the ball prodded in following a goalmouth scramble.
Warning signs of an equaliser soon followed though, as minutes later a ball was whipped in from the Wolverhampton left, and the subsequent header was deflected just wide. Sure enough, the away side’s right winger who curved his run well to avoid the offside trap, latched onto a weighted through ball from midfield and finished coolly past keeper Leach after 8 minutes.
Not long after their equaliser, Wolves nearly gifted a goal to Birmingham, as the right back misplaced a pass to Birmingham striker Airey, who inexplicably shot straight at the keeper from 3 yards, and onlookers were shocked all the more by the fact that the rebound ended up in the keepers arms too.
However, this appeared to encourage the home side, and following a long throw in from Wolverhampton high up the pitch, Airey finished off a quality counter attack involving winger Williamson and captain Whitehead.
Sadly this game was filled with refereeing calls that baffled both teams; most notably was a decision in the 41st minute to allow play to continue after Wolves’ winger went on a mazy run and appeared to be fouled on the edge of the box by last man Joe Savin.
At half time Birmingham may have been disappointed to be only one goal ahead, given the one-on-one Joe Airey failed to convert just before the interval, and the fact the away side seemed to be losing their heads and arguing not only with the referee, but among themselves too.
It was therefore disappointing from a Birmingham perspective to see the score levelled at 2-2 ten minutes into the half as another through ball split the defence and the away striker finished well.
The game only then livened up again in the closing minutes as both sides looked for a winner, and as Leach saved a Wolverhampton one-on-one it looked like the match would end a draw. This was not the case however, as a moment of magic from substitute winger Jamie Jordache, who chipped a first-time volley over the Wolves keeper who had cleared poorly, secured all three points for the home side.
It is perhaps necessary for Birmingham to focus on not allowing their opposition to create chances with simple through balls, as they themselves constantly look a goal threat, and have scored at least twice in every game this season. All in all it was a deserved victory for the Lions, who now sit on top of their league and continue their unbeaten season.