By Daniel Dyson, UBAFC Journalist and second year Politics and French student
Bristol’s men’s football teams enjoyed a fantastic day on Wednesday 21 November as all three sides with fixtures progressed into the next round of their respective cup competitions.
Bristol 2s were due to face Cardiff 2s at home in the last 16 of the Western Conference Cup but their game was called off due to the away side forfeiting. Consequently, a default 3-0 victory put Bristol into the quarter-finals, where they will play at home against Southampton 3s. Progression into the semi-finals looks likely on paper, and Bristol 2s will be quietly confident of their chances of beating a Southampton side which plays two divisions below them.
Meanwhile, since a loss in the first fixture of the season, Bristol 1s have gone unbeaten and their current league position looks promising. They are three points off the top of the table with a game in hand. If they continue their excellent form, they will be hopeful of clinching the top spot and gaining promotion.
The 1s looked to build on recent impressive league displays with a fixture against Oxford 1s in the last 16 of the BUCS Trophy, a competition in which they advanced to the semi-finals last campaign. Having beaten Oxford 1-0 in a friendly midway through last season, Bristol were therefore confident of progressing into the next round of the competition.
Despite beginning the game well, they fell behind in the first half following a free kick scenario against the run of play. However, their quality showed as they remained calm and continued to press Oxford for the rest of the half.
1s currently 1-0 down after a clever free kick but Jasper looking absolute fuego. Goal imminent.— UBAFC (@ubafcofficial) November 21, 2018
The 1s’ persistence prevailed when Matt Hinks, who was awarded man of the match, equalised with a super finish from outside of the box. Bristol then took the lead before the break when captain Jack Haire capitalised on a clever corner routine and struck the ball into the top corner from Jasper Harlington’s cross.
The second half continued in a similar fashion to the first, with Bristol continuing to dominate the play and stretch Oxford, allowing Toby Thomas to add his name to the scoresheet and extend his side’s lead.
Although Bristol remained in the ascendency, Oxford managed to pull a goal back from a counter-attack to make the game 3-2 and put the pressure on Bristol. Following this, Bristol were nervy but some stubborn defending kept Oxford at bay until Josh Norris came off the bench to score and restore a two goal cushion, putting the game out of Oxford’s reach.
My phone died so here’s the low down:— UBAFC (@ubafcofficial) November 21, 2018
Oxford player has finessed a volley top bins to make it nervy and after a period of stubborn defending, our very own lino has come off the bench and netted. Get in Norris! 4-2 and it’s back to the library for Ross and for Oxford
After the match, midfielder Ed Mahoney honestly reviewed his team’s performance; ‘although we weren’t always at our best, we played some nice football, kept the ball better than them and deserved the win’.
This victory ensured Bristol’s passage into the next round and sets up a quarter-final encounter with an old rival, Bournemouth 1s. This match looks set to be enthralling as the sides have already faced each other twice this season, Bournemouth coming away with a 3-2 victory in the first game of the season before the points were shared in the return fixture in a 1-1 draw. Bristol will hope to advance into the semi-finals by overcoming a side they know well and feel aggrieved to have dropped points against this season.
Bristol 5s have had a perfect start to the season, taking twelve points from their first four games and appearing to be nailed-on favourites for promotion.
This week, they faced an away trip to Southampton 4s in the last 16 of the Western Conference Plate. The match looked difficult on paper as Southampton are in the division above them, but Bristol made short work of them as they ran out 4-1 winners.
Braces from Rob Schenck and Joe Williams saw Bristol progress into the quarter-finals. The 5s were not helped by a poor pitch quality, so to overcome this and only concede one goal showed true quality, hence why defender Robbie Hardless was credited with man of the match.
5s won 4-1 btw— UBAFC (@ubafcofficial) November 22, 2018
Rob Schenk the Justin Bieber loving giant with a brace🙏🏼🙏🏼 Williams netted twice too unfortunately but you can’t have everything
After dismantling a team from the division above, left-winger Williams told Epigram that ‘it was a brilliant performance and I was happy to bag a couple of goals’. He added that ‘the future looks bright for this team’, given their outstanding start to the league campaign and progression in the cup.
All three sides’ next fixtures in the cup competitions come in the new year, with the 1s and 5s both playing on the 6 February, and the 2s the week after.
Featured Image by Epigram / Freddie Keighley
Do you think all 3 remaining sides can win their respective cup competitions, and seal a cup hattrick for Bristol men's football? Let us know what you think!