The Women’s 1st XI won a famous victory over Nottingham Trent in an intriguing encounter.
Kicking off at 5:15 p.m on a cold, grey day, Uni set out to avenge the hammering they received on the last outing. Kitted in traditional green against the questionable pink kit of Trent, it was a positive start for Uni in the opening minutes. The first ten minutes proved to be a slugging match, the early pressure coming from Trent, who dominated the possession early on and who forced the first chance while keeper Bates saved well from the striker. Tara Mani Lundie was in inspiring form and it was her outstanding midfield play which stifled Trent’s wave of attacks in the opening flurry. As Trent camped in Uni’s half for the opening twenty minutes, the best hope for nicking a goal coming from set pieces, with Smith just heading it wide.
Uni settled well into the contest; however, they lacked any real cutting edge in the first half, and Trent nearly took the lead when Bates made a mess of an easy cross. The 4-5-1 formation held strong, but Bradley continued to remain isolated, with Uni unable to really launch attacks. It looked like one way traffic at one stage; Trent was desperate for that opener and Uni was struggling to hold on.
After soaking up some serious Trent pressure, Uni began to create chances. Bradley had the chance of the half, forcing the Trent goalkeeper to pull off a great save after being put through by Smith and to find her follow up cleared off the line by a Trent defender.
The second half proved to be a largely scrappy affair, contested strongly in midfield. Lundie remained influential as Uni built on their late first half progress to take the game to Trent. Bradley, fabulous throughout the game, came close once more with a 30 yard shot that hit the post after being teed up by Smith. The breakthrough eventually arrived with a beautiful cross from a quickly taken free kick. The keeper fumbled it for Bradley to finally grab her goal, bundling it in from close range; cue wild celebrations from Uni’s dugout.
It set the game up for a dramatic finale as Trent surged forward in search of that equaliser. But Uni girls defended with great resilience, holding on for a famous 1-0 win over their rivals.
A great team performance, with special mention going to Lundie and Bradley, saw the side fighting all the way to the end and triumphing deservedly over a Trent side, who for all their tidy football, lacked any cutting edge. The celebrations were even sweeter for the girls as the win ensured that the University of Nottingham has officially won the Varsity series.
To see our pictures of the Football matches, please ‘like’ our Varsity Facebook page.