27th March 2022
Bristol & West 2 [4-5] Cardiff Uni 2
Report by: Dave Vernon
As the glorious Spring sunshine illuminated the pitch at Mangotsfield, there was a buzz in the air. After a tough away fixture earlier in season, B&W Men's 2s had great respect for Cardiff Uni 2s, but they gathered with defiance in their hearts and energy in their legs.
From the off the oranges were committed to their cause, with Dave Vernon putting every last inch of his body on the line to bravely cut out a dangerous aerial with his face. This set the tone for the first five minutes, as B&W absorbed some early pressure.
The students quickly found their hangovers, and B&W started to pick the ball off and execute some of the rapid, sweeping counterattacks that were the signature of the early season. Joe John was soon fouled cynically, and Oli Nevin stepped up to place the ball home. 1-0, never in doubt.
Soon it was 1-1, as Cardiff played a 45 that was fumbled by several orange sticks before randomly appearing in the goal.
Bristol continued their graceful, devastating attacks and soon found themselves 3-1 up, with Andy Platts, Joe John and Tom Varney looking like three heads of the same dragon. Bristol eventually became so confident that they decided to stop scoring in favour of deflecting wide of open goals.
Somehow Cardiff scrapped their way back in with a couple more ugly, scrappy goals, and it was 3-3 at half time. A welcome respite with both teams feeling the heat and the pace of the game.
The second half opened with lots of pressure from Cardiff but Bristol looking dangerous on the counter. The students had cleverly bought 3 substitutes with them, something Bristol hadn't thought of, and the weary legs started to show as Bristol starting playing the ball into each-other's feet, just to get a break while the short corner was prepared.
Cardiff converted two of the shorts to make it 5-3 with around 15 to go. The heads did not dip though, and the men in orange believed they could what they needed to take at least a point home.
After a lot of huffing and puffing, it came too late with a consolation goal from Tom Seager, taking the game to 5-4 on the final whistle.
The score line was deserving of an exhilarating match, but Bristol went to bed dreaming of a win just out of reach.
Goals: Oli Nevin, Tom Varney (2), Tom Seager
MoM Andy Platts - beautiful link-up play.
DoD Dave Vernon - generally calamitous.