UBAFC sets its sights on BUCS success after dominant preseason


By Freddie Keighley, Online Sport Editor

Six teams will be entered into British Universities and Colleges Sport leagues by the football club in the 18/19 season after fruitful weeks of preparation which have brought victory in every friendly played.

The 1s have steadily built their form over three successive wins, the first of which came in the form of a 1-0 win over Surrey on the Almondsbury 3G with a late Toby Thomas strike off the bench. Reflecting on his team’s performance, box-to-box midfielder Ed Mahoney believes that this was a dominant performance not rewarded with enough goals;

‘Although our finishing could have been a lot better, the fitness of the boys showed as we kept possession for long periods of time.’

A 5-0 thrashing of Warwick on their own turf followed, with goals from Al Harlington, Luke Downey, Matt Hinks and a brace from Tom Ryan. Despite the scoreline, Mahoney saw room for improvement in his side’s retaining of the ball;

‘It was a clinical performance, but not our best - an early indicator we can dismiss teams that disrupt our possession-based football. The change to 3-5-2 proved the difference as we finished them off early in the second half.’

The icing on the preseason cake was definitely the recent 2-0 away victory over a Hartpury side which plays in the Premier South - the league above the 1s’ - and operate in an academy style. Al Harlington's trademark ‘Panenka' and a strike by Nyv Bogaire capped off what Mahoney describes as ‘the most complete performance so far’.

‘We were more aggressive and better with the ball. The scoreline should have been more after sustained pressure during the first half, but the boys showed mettle in the second half to fend off any efforts by the opposition to get back in the game.’

The 1s appear primed to build on a positive 17/18 season and are favourites to win the Western 1A this year. A tactical change that has improved an already formidable side has been coach Alan Tyers’ decision to play Al Harlington, traditionally a winger or attacking midfielder, in the double pivot. This deeper midfield role has allowed him to see more of the ball and further impact the game.

Meanwhile, the 2s have also enjoyed preseason success, smashing Surrey 7-1 and then beating Warwick 5-2. Captain Jonny Willis has been impressed by what he’s seen so far;

‘The 2s’ preseason has been strong, and we’ve been by far superior to either of our two opponents which has led us to score 12 goals. We have moved the ball fluidly through the pitch and dominated the midfield, leading to an abundance of chances.

‘Sam Pagano and Adrian Tong have teamed up impressively down the left, as well as wonder kid and new fresher Roberto Atkinson being a revelation and giving us all hope for what is set to be a tough season ahead. Morale is high. Up the 2s.’

The 3s were also victorious against Surrey, with a 2-0 win. All that remains before the first round of BUCS fixtures are a final set of friendlies on 3 October. On 10 October, the league season begins:

Bristol 1s vs Bournemouth 1s
Bristol 2s vs University of St Mark & St John 1s
Bristol 3s vs Exeter 3s
Bristol 4s vs University of Wales Trinity St David Carmarthen 1s
Cardiff Metropolitan 5s vs Bristol 5s
University of Wales Trinity St David Carmarthen 2s vs Bristol 6s

Featured image by Epigram / Freddie Keighley

Will the football club repeat the promotion heroics of the 16/17 season again? Let us know your thoughts. It’s sure to be an exciting season, stay tuned to Epigram Sport for the latest UBAFC updates.

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