Men's Championship Futsal: Sheffield 4 - 2 UWE Hartpury15/03/2011
The University of Sheffield progressed through to the quarter-finals of the 2011 British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Futsal Championships for the second successive year after beating last year’s Championship runners-up UWE Hartpury.
Goals from Jack Hands, Richard Ward and a brace from Andrew Forster turned the game around for Sheffield as UWE Hartpury led 2-1 in the final group game.
UWE Hartpury sat one point behind Sheffield in the table meaning they had to win to qualify for the Championships trophy.
The eagerly anticipated game began as expected, fast flowing football combined with some breath-taking footwork which gave Sheffield the lead. Jack Hands turned superbly just outside UWE Hartpury’s area, before picking out the corner of the net.
UWE Hartpury responded well and got back into the game through Jack Winter as his free kick was blasted past the wall.
Both sides could have got a second goal. Jack Hands and Oliver Wheatly-O’Neill squandered chances for Sheffield as did Harry Etheridge for UWE Hartpury. Adam Mayo then bulldozed his way through the Sheffield defence before forcing ‘keeper Joonas Pualomaki into a fine save.
Sheffield lacked the vital final ball and were punished when David Accam held Noel Bradley off the ball before turning and smashing it top corner to make it 2-1 at half-time.
Going in behind failed to ruin morale in the Sheffield camp as they responded immediately in the second half. Richard Ward lost his marker, and after a lovely through ball found him at the back post, he swept the ball home to equalise.
Two minutes later Sheffield took the lead as a great pull back by Jack Hands was finished by Andrew Forster. UWE Hartpury then had the chance to equalise as Joonas Pualomaki held the ball for too long, conceding an indirect free kick. David Accam was told to shoot and despite it rocketing into the top corner, it was ruled out as it didn’t touch another player.
Sheffield contained UWE Hartpury well and with four minutes to go, they sealed a victory in style. Oliver Wheatly-O’Neill looped a fantastic ball over the defence which was headed home by Andrew Forster.
Sheffield’s Oliver Wheatly-O’Neill was pleased Sheffield progressed to the quarter-finals.
“We’re delighted and I think we deserved it. A lot of the boys hadn’t played Futsal before so I was going to be tough but we’re just pleased that we’re playing well.”
The game was in the balance at half-time but Wheatly-O’Neill said Sheffield kept with the same plan.
“We were performing well and we just said that we shouldn’t change much, just keep going. We had to stay focused and not panic but we knew that we would have to pass the ball around quicker.”
Sheffield will play Brighton in the quarter-finals and Wheatly-O’Neill is confident Sheffield can go far in the competition.
“They’re a good side so we’ll have to play at our best but we can keep improving and we’ll give it our best shot.
“It’s going to be difficult but we have a good chance. We could play Sheffield Hallam in the semi-final which is a shame as it would have been nice to play them in the final.”
Written by Scott Richards, BUCS Championships Student Media Team
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