The University of Nottingham (UoN) Men’s Football team lost their Nottingham Varsity Series 2017 fixture to Nottingham Trent University 2-0 at Meadow Lane, as Trent secured a football double last night.
A goal after just two minutes from Josh Barr-Roston after a looping cross was not dealt with by the UoN defence put Trent in the ascendancy, before Barr-Roston turned provider for Jake Wright to lash home his teasing cross before half-time.
UoN came out for the second half looking for a way back into the game, and almost found it when UoN were awarded a penalty for an adjudged push in the back. Former Trent player Tom Hayes stepped up but could not convert, and Trent saw out a fairly routine 2-0 win.
UoN hold out for longer than last year… but only just
A goal for Trent after around 30 seconds in last year’s men’s football Varsity set the tone for a chastening 3-1 defeat, and UoN would have been keen to start this game without conceding an early goal.
A looping, high cross into the box from the right-side was not claimed by the UoN keeper, and Josh Barr-Roston out jumped a static Matty Dicks to head into the far corner, leaving the keeper rooted to the spot.
The early goal rattled the UoN side, who struggled to find a rhythm in the opening stages, with any attempts to bring the midfield into the game being crowded out by Trent’s high-pressing game.
Matty Dicks went into the book for a challenge after the whistle had gone, which added an extra edge to an already feisty encounter, and it took twenty minutes for UoN to fashion their first chance of the game, with James Bessey finding a pocket of space on the edge of the box and firing just wide.
Ed Rolph had one the best chances for the half for UoN, having been put through by a searching cross-field pass, and, with the keeper bearing down on him, could only screw his shot well wide.
Trent looked threatening throughout the first half, and their second goal was well-worked. Barr-Roston put in a teasing cross that UoN failed to deal with, and Jake Wright was on hand to steer home, and gave Trent a two-goal cushion going into half-time.
UoN miss chances in spirited second-half show
Ruari McIntyre replaced Rhys Williams at the start of the second half, and UoN were handed a lifeline when Ed Rolph was adjudged to have been pushed in the back after a cross had come into the Trent box.
“Bessey always looked dangerous, however, and did his best to make things happen”
Tom Hayes, the ex-Trent player who played the last three Varsity fixtures for Trent, stepped up to take it, and saw his spot-kick saved low to the left by the Trent keeper, who was on hand to block Hayes’ follow-up effort.
The penalty miss proved to be decisive, as the stout Trent defence did well to restrict UoN to half-chances. Bessey always looked dangerous, however, and did his best to make things happen, with Rosemin breaking with speed and testing the keeper with a quarter of an hour to go.
Despite UoN’s continued efforts, it was a routine end to the game for the Trent men, who took both points at Meadow Lane to bring the Varsity 2017 score back to 11-7.
After the game, Bessey spoke to Impact:
“As a team I think we played well, we should have scored a few chances. There was the penalty miss too, and I missed a one on one. But 2-0, I don’t know, it doesn’t seem fair to me.
“I think that if we had scored [the penalty] that we would have had a bit of momentum. As a team, we didn’t play at our best but we should have won, so that’s it.”
Speaking after his last ever Varsity, Bessey was quick to praise the staging of Varsity at Meadow Lane: “It’s huge. The atmosphere is incredible, you can barely hear each other on the pitch.”
“I love it. I love Varsity. But it’s only the best when you’re winning.”
Follow @ImpactVarsity17 for all the updates from the second week of the Nottingham Varsity Series 2017.