Men's Blues Season Review
Competitive record: P12 W7 D1 L4
Having narrowly missed out on the BUCS Midlands 1A title last season, a strong core of returning players and a few exciting additions (notably mercurial striker, last year’s UCL captain, Thomas Acthel) left the Blues confident as this campaign began.
Starting with a tricky visit to a Nottingham side harbouring ideas of immediate promotion back into the Premier Division, a dogged defensive performance set up a moment of early season euphoria - fresher Duxbury slotting home a 90th minute winner on debut - and a first three points. Despite a season-ending injury for the aforementioned Achtel, further wins against Loughborough, Warwick and Brookes followed: a perfect record halfway through Michaelmas.
There was a frustrating interruption as the potentially crucial away match with Cambridge was delayed, but a further win against Loughborough saw the Blues end the term top. Whilst Michaelmas did bring a bizarre cup exit, with the Blues sacrificing a 1-0 lead against East London in stoppage time, a first Brookes Varsity win in four years rounded off an outstanding first half.
Frustratingly, Hilary started slowly, with a home defeat and draw to strugglers Warwick and Brookes wounding the title charge. These wounds proved to be fatal as the Blues fell the wrong side of a narrow 1-0 away at Cambridge, though psychological parity was restored with a final day triumph over the same opponents: a spirited, 10-man 2-0 win.