By Daniel Dyson, UBAFC Journalist and second year Politics & French student
The University of Bristol men’s football teams enjoyed a successful third round of fixtures as the 1s, 2s and 3s all emerged victorious on Wednesday 24th October.
Despite entering the new campaign on the back of a positive 2017/18 season and looking like favourites to gain promotion, Bristol 1s have been disappointed by their lacklustre opening two fixtures.
Three teams back in action today and it’s the return of the cup!— UBAFC (@ubafcofficial) October 24, 2018
In the league, the 1s go away to Bath in search of their first win of the season whilst the 2s are away at USW 4s. The 3s take on Gloucestershire 1s at Almondsbury.
Let’s go then boys.
On the opening day of the season, they fell to a harsh 3-2 defeat at home at the hands of Bournemouth 1s and the following week, they claimed a 2-2 draw away at Cardiff 1s.
They hoped to make amends in their third fixture and did so in emphatic style, running away as 5-2 winners whilst dominating Bath 2s, who were unbeaten after their first two games of the season.
A lightning-quick start saw Bristol head into half-time 4-0 ahead, with Will Gale and Matt Hinks each netting once and tricky winger, Jasper Harlington, who shared man of the match with Gale, grabbing two goals.
The 1s were helped by clinical finishing, which was missing in their previous two games, and their overall level of performance was the highest it has been this season.
Although the second-half saw Bath score two consolation goals, Bristol, who moved up into second place in the table after the game, never looked in danger of letting their lead slip and even managed to grab a fifth when Harlington completed his hat-trick.
After the match, delighted central-midfielder Ed Mahoney revealed that, ‘should we perform to the level we played at against Bath, we are hopeful that we will be rewarded with positive results and make a strong challenge for the league title'.
Meanwhile, the 2s had also endured a difficult start to the season, having lost 2-0 at home to the University of St Mark & St John 1s before drawing 1-1 away to Bath 3s.
In search of redemption, they travelled across the border to play the University of South Wales 4s and produced an outstanding performance to win 5-0 in the first round of the Western Conference Cup.
Goals from Roberto Atkinson and Toby Femiola, a double from Connor Selwood and a glorious 25-yard curler into the top corner from Samuele Pagano’s famous left foot ensured the 2s’ passage into the next round of the competition.
The 2s were dominant throughout and controlled the games’ tempo with excellent passing, particularly from man of the match Alex Hunt, meaning that South Wales could hardly touch the ball.
According to captain Jonny Willis, the 5-0 score line, though impressive, could have been even higher but the finishing ‘just wasn’t clinical enough.’
The skipper also added that, ‘having made a slow start to the league campaign, the cup really is the best platform for us to win silverware so, to be progressing to the next round is an achievement we’re all delighted with'.
The 3s have been ecstatic with the start to the new season after taking maximum points from their first two games, winning 3-0 at home against Exeter 3s and beating Plymouth 1s 1-0 on the road, and were looking to take their league form into the Western Conference Cup.
They succeeded in doing so as they ran out 5-3 winners at home to Gloucestershire 1s, a tough match against a side in the league above them.
After a difficult first fifteen minutes, Bristol were able to come from behind to lead 3-1 at half time, with goals coming from Tom Ryan, David Kola and Joe Williams, before starting the second half poorly and allowing Gloucestershire to level the game at 3-3.
3-2. Terrible start to the first half from the 3s and Gloucestershire are right back in it.— UBAFC (@ubafcofficial) October 24, 2018
The 3s played good football throughout the second half and Akim Tiyamiyu grabbed the fourth goal with five minutes to go before William Vooght ran the ball into an open goal from his own half, following a Gloucestershire corner. The goal rounded off what 3s manager, Aaron Farr, called ‘a fantastic result for a very impressive 3s team'.
Farr awarded man of the match to right-back, Connor Smith due to ‘a great defensive and offensive performance’ and will be desperate for his side to continue the season in the same fashion.
On the back of these superb results, all three sides will be excited to get back onto the pitch in their next games as the 1s and 2s both play at home, against Cardiff Met 2s and Exeter 2s respectively, whilst the 3s take a trip to Bath 4s.
Featured image by Daniel Dyson
Can UBAFC build on last week's fantastic results this Wednedsay? Let us know your thoughts!