Men's Futsal Championship Match Report: Brighton 2nd 3-6 Sheffield15/03/2011
University of Sheffield emphatically beat Brighton 6-2 thanks to a hat-trick from Richard Ward, two from Jack Hands and one from Harry Hambleton to record their second win of the day.
In a game that saw everything, Sheffield took the three points to leave the day top of a tough Group 1, which includes last year’s Championship finalists – Teeside and UWE Hartpury.
The game began scrappy as Brighton gave away cheap free kicks and both sides were at times sloppy in possession. However after six minutes, Richard Ward was given a superb ball that split Brighton in two, before smashing it into the roof of the net.
A rout looked on the cards as a minute later, Jack Hands sent a cruising shot from just inside Brighton’s half straight into the net to give Sheffield a 2-0 lead.
Brighton did well to come back and played some neat futsal in the build up to their opening goal. A well-worked corner was drilled home from the edge of the area by Harry Williams who had a numerous of thunderous attempts throughout the game.
Despite getting back into the game, Sheffield quickly reinstated their two-goal lead as Brighton gave away possession cheaply in the middle of the pitch. Harry Hambleton used great trickery before slotting home to make it 3-1.
The goals began to dry up as the game turned ill-tempered. Both sides put in a few late tackles and Sheffield’s goalkeeper Joonas Pualomaki was booked for abusive language.
The start of the second half was greeted with cheers from Brighton’s women side - which were to perform well over the day. Unfortunately the encouragement didn’t help as six minutes into the second half, Jack Hands finished off a superb team move by slamming the ball into the net.
Richard Ward then added his second of the game before Brighton grabbed a second goal back, giving them the smallest bit of hope of a comeback. However, the comeback never came and twelve minutes before time, Richard Ward capitalised on some terrible defending by stealing the ball in Brighton’s area and poking it past helpless goalkeeper Sam James.
The three points were securely in the bag as Sheffield knocked the ball around comfortably, cruising to a 6-2 victory. But with seven seconds on the clock, a long ball pumped into the Sheffield area was punched by goalkeeper Joonas Pualomaki. The referee correctly adjudged that Pualomaki had punched the ball outside his penalty area which resulted in the ‘keeper receiving his second yellow card followed by a red, sending Sheffield down to four men.
Sheffield brought on an outfield player to replace Pualomaki in goal. His first job was to pick the ball out of the net, as from the resulting free kick Brighton made it 6-2 just before the final whistle.
The win means Sheffield finish the day on six points after beating Birmingham earlier on in the day. Sheffield will be hoping to qualify to the Championship Trophy knockout round, although they still have to face both of last season’s finalists – Teeside and UWE Hartpury tomorrow at the EIS in Sheffield.
Written by Scott Richards, BUCS Championships Student Media Team
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