An opportunity which only we mere mortals can dream of, De Montfort University Men’s and Women’s Football took centre stage at a stadium fit for the Premier League.
It was just not the facilities which hit high standards however, as the quality of football played was enough to keep us warm on a bitterly cold night at the King Power Stadium.
DMU’s Ndo Chilaka was the star man with two fantastic first half efforts to put distance between themselves and the University of Leicester going in at half-time.
The women’s side were less fortunate however and were unlucky to lose the game after a fantastic performance.
Sitting bottom of their BUCs league they more than held their own and deserved more from the game.
Kicking us off at the King Power Stadium, DMUWFC started the game brightly with some brilliant interplay between midfield pairing of Omi Mckie and Vanessa Nicholson.
In spells UoL looked bright, especially on the counter-attack but Captain Megan Harrison stood strong preventing DMU from falling behind.
Jenny Smith threatened twice early on down the right and almost picked out Megan Copeman arriving to meet the ball in the area, but UoL’s keeper did well to claim.
It was not just UoL’s goalkeeper who was steady in the nets however as DMU’s Lian Rock, saved a close range effort with her legs, when the ball looked destined for the bottom corner of the net.
As the snow began to fall once again, the half-time whistle blew bringing an end to a first-half full of action.
UoL quickly made a dash to the changing rooms whilst DMU’s manager kept his side on the pitch for his half-time team talk.
A tactic which seemed to pay dividends for DMU as they bombarded the UoL back line at the start of the second half.
A goal was surely on the horizons and it came in the 56th minute.
Vanessa Nicholson who had been central to everything DMU created, with a dipping effort from 30 yards.
The looping effort evaded the UoL goalkeeper who was left helplessly backtracking in an attempt to prevent the ball from finding the net.
A goal which I think even shocked the midfielder herself.
The goal came just minutes after a scare at the other end.
Clearing a corner, DMU failed to close down Howe who volleyed towards the DMU goal rattling the crossbar before the ball was cleared.
Nicholson’s goal was the not the only goal however, as there was one more chapter to be told.
From nowhere, UoL found themselves in the DMU 18 yard box. After a goal mouth scrabble, Amy Offler, stabbed the ball home to equalise for UoL.
The dreaded penalty shoot-out meant, only one could go home with the bragging rights and on this occasion it was hard luck to DMUWFC who left with nothing but pride.
Kayleigh Neal stepped up first for DMU and was heartbroken to see her effort go over the crossbar.
UoL failed to miss a penalty on the way to victory, with Amy Offler securing a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory.
So to the men’s game. With fans continuing to fill the terraces of the main stand, they would not be disappointed by what they were about to witness.
The first half performance from DMU showed their intent with winger and DMUFC Chairman, Ross Thaker terrorising Jack Morris at right-back for UoL.
Thaker, victim to boos from the UoL fans began to try his luck from range, but his two efforts were wayward.
As the clock ticked on, DMU continued to threaten especially in the 15 minutes before the interval. Sherif Ejiwunmi on the right cutting inside before laying off to Jay Telford.
Hitting the ball long towards target man Ndo Chilaka, DMU’s strong striker rolled off his man before firing the ball past Alex Wood in the UoL goal to take a 1-0 lead.
The effort ignited frenzy in the terraces with the DMU fans and members of the football society saluting the goalscorer.
Minutes later he would add another with another fantastic strike.
This time Jacob Kemp played the ball through to Chilaka, beating the offside trap to find himself in space.
Cutting on to his left foot he expertly bent the ball beyond Alex Wood into the far corner.
With large spells of possession throughout the first-half and with plenty of efforts on goal, DMU thoroughly deserved their lead and went in at half-time 2-0 to the good.
The second half would not provide the same level as entertainment however, but what we did see was a DMU side professionally play the game out.
Fantastic defending from Callum Corcoran, Joe Taylor and Geraint Price, kept the score at 2-0 and were only at fault for a minor lapse in concentration, in the final minute, with UoL getting a last minute consolation through Captain Aaron Wootton.
Despite that however, DMU’s all round performance was worthy of the victory and will go into the final game of the season with bags of confidence.
Matt Bullock, Paige Haines and Dan Winney all made appearances from the bench, with Winney replacing Kieran Best, who grew into the game as it, progressed, putting in a solid performance in the middle of the park.
On the final whistle, a minor pitch invasion occurred as DMU had pulled of yet another victory over their rivals, their second consecutive varsity victory and third victory over the University of Leicester this season.
UoL may dominate varsity overall but when it comes to football, DMU definitely own the city.
Game, set and match, DMU!