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British universities & Colleges Sport

English Universities Men's Football defeat Guernsey 05/05/2009

An England Universities group returned from Guernsey with a 3-2 victory after playing the National Team at the Corbet Field on Monday 27 April. 

Liam Green - English UniversitiesAn England Universities group returned from Guernsey with a 3-2 victory after playing the National Team at the Corbet Field on Monday 27 April.  The Universities had been invited by the Guernsey Football Association to help with their preparations for the annual match against Jersey on May 3rd and also the Island Games later in the year.
 
A playing squad of 13 (originally 16 but we lost 3 to injuries at the weekend) and 3 staff (Steve Sharman- University of Warwick, Bryn Clark - University of Hertfordshire and Graham Potter - Leeds Met University) travelled.
 
The start of the match was heralded with a huge hail storm but once that had subsided the resultant slick surface ensured a fast, free flowing game.  English Universities had an outstanding first half, playing confidently and with great technical ability and a succession of fine passing moves saw a number of gilt edged chances created for Jordan Barnes (Leeds), Dave Syers (Leeds) and Ben Christensen (Northumbria).  The Guernsey team then took advantage of the only piece of loose distribution in the whole match by keeper Aaron Ratchford (Leeds) to work an overlap on the right flank and a fine cross saw Guersney take the lead as their number 11 got across the front post to plant a glancing header in the far corner.
 
This had the no effect on English Universities willingness to continue passing and fine play between Tom Champion (Birmingham), Chris Knowles (Bournemouth) and Shane Gill (Worcester) allowed space for Christiensen to fire the ball low and hard into the corner of the net from 20 yards.  The Guernsey keeper incidentally was Tom le Tissier who is currently the Leeds Met 2nd team custodian.
 
The first half ended with Universities dominant and in the eyes of the staf having played some of the best football seen by an England team in what is a purple period for England rep football.
 
The rolling substitutions allowed Alex Martin (Nottingham) and Adam Cunnington (Northampton) to start the second half and the Universities dominance was rewarded with two fine goals for Cunnington firstly with a header from a Barnes cross from the right and secondly  with a fine low shot  from the edge of the box after he was fed by Mike Cooper (Chichester).

English Universities Men

English Universities impressed with their ability to swith play particularly allowing Alun Griffiths (Leeds) and Marquin Smith (Nottingham Trent) at fullback to push forward into the middle and attacking thirds.  Real wing play was evident all the way through the game as Assistant England Coach Graham Potter's tactic of encouraging wide play continued to pay dividends and Lewis Minnett (Leeds) gave his opposing player a torid night on the left hand side.
 
With two minutes left Guernsey broke into the final third and picked up another goal after a fine cross.  This resulted in a 3-2 final score that in the opinion of many specators and the Guernsey staff did not reflect the dominance of the English Universities team.
 
After match hospitality was provided and it is now hoped that this fixture will be part of the England Universities Programme for many years to come.

English Universities Squad vs. Guernsey
Tom Manley - Bournemouth
Aaron Ratchford - Leeds
Alun Griffiths - Leeds
Tom Champion - Birmingham
Alex Martin - Nottingham
Ben Christiensen - Northumbria
Mike Cooper - Chichester
Dave Syers - Leeds
Chris Knowles - Bournemouth
Ashley Nicholls - East Anglia
Lewis Minnett - Leeds
Marquin Smith - Nottingham Trent
Scott McCubbin - Nottingham
Jordan Barnes - Leeds
Adam Cunnington - Northampton
Shane Gill - Worcester

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