Chris Franklin reporting from Freeway Park
University of Leicester Men’s Football Club 1st XI 3-1 De Montfort University Football Club 1st XI
A night of mixed emotions at the Freeway Park was confirmed as UoL showed their class on a big night of University football to run out 3-1 winners against at spirited DMU side.
After the dramatic penalty shootout victory by the DMUWFC team, a real sense of anticipation was filling the DMU fans in the stadium that despite a season of relegation and two earlier defeats to the UoL side, DMU could pull off a second victory of the night at a packed Oadby Town.
Manager Geraint Price pulled of a surprise in his team selection, opting for a 3-5-2 formation, in the hope of limiting the space UoL would get in the middle of the park. This brave decision however did not seemed to have the desired effect as from the very outset, UoL gained control of the football, switching play from right to left and pushing the DMU side into a deep defensive line from the outset.
The Atmosphere was electric in the ground and after weathering the early pressure, DMU finally asserted some pressure of their own, striker Ralph Clarke almost finding teammate Nathan Studholme in the middle before a complete air shot from winger Hayden Clottey meant the chance was gone.
DMU would live to regret that opportunity as on 23 minutes UoL open the scoring after a through ball from Lines sent forward Robert Igbodo through to slot home with a neat finish.
That goal seemed to knock the wind out of DMU sails and just 5 minutes later, Igbodo again raced clear to produce a cool finish and double the UoL lead.
Half time couldn’t come quickly enough now for DMU as they appeared to lose all self-confidence and with it, the ability to make a 5 yard pass as UoL could sense the game was heading their way.
Second half saw the game continue in a similar vein, UoL controlling the middle of the park and DMU just unable to gain any real control in any area of the pitch.
DMU defender Luke Taylor was having to be at his very best, with a couple of crucial headers and interceptions to keep the score at 2-0.
On 78 minutes, UoL extended their lead and in some fashion. Wide man Rob Kane let go with a thunderous left foot volley which flew straight in to the keeper’s far corner. A strike that could of graced an occasion.
3-0 seemed to be how the game would finish but in the 87th minute, substitute Liam Wadd reduced the deficit with a cool close range finish after a scramble in the UoL box.
The full time whistle came and UoL finished up as deserved winners for the first time since 2011. The DMU side were simply outclassed on the evening and the side will be hoping that the other football teams fair better in their respective Varsity fixtures on March 26th.
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