Match Report: OUWAFC Blues and Furies
13/02/18 Blues 1-1 University of Worcester 1sts
The Blues entered last week’s match knowing it would be one of their closest games of the season with Worcester having identical results against both Nottingham Trent and Cambridge. The first half saw the Blues have most of the possession and the 3G at Oxford City lent well to their style of football. However, the Blues could not get complacent as Worcester continued to play long balls and looked threatening from set pieces.
The Blues continued to play good football for the remainder of the half. The midfield three of Brigid Lahiff, Ellana Slade and Taiye Lawal continued to impress and Lily Dubuc’s pace provided a constant threat. However, despite their dominance, the Blues went into the break without a goal to show for their efforts, and having created few clear cut chances.
Worcester started the second half brightly but the Blues stayed strong in defence. The Blues were eventually rewarded for their persistence after winning possession from a Worcester goal kick. The resulting scuffle saw Lawal recover possession and play through Erin Robinson, who finished well into the bottom corner to put the Blues ahead, and leave them 15 minutes from their first three points of the season. However, it was not to be, as a lack of clinical finishing and a poorly defended corner meant that the Blues had to settle for a point, although three were definitely deserved.
By Lucy Harper
13/02/18 Birmingham City University 1sts 0-2 Furies
The Furies faced BMU in their penultimate BUCS match of the season. The fixture was the definition of a ‘six pointer’ - with the Furies just two points ahead of their opponents, they knew that the victors would be favourites to finish the league in 3rd.
The travelling Furies side were missing some key players in midfield, which left winger-turned-right-back-turned-centre-back, Martha Comerford, to fill the gap in central defensive midfield. Victoria Yuan made her Furies debut on the left hand side of a back-three, and captain Rebecca North was forced to play in an unfamiliar midfield role.
Perhaps a little thrown-off by the state of the BMU pitch (which made Marston look like the Nou Camp), the Furies were slow off the mark. It was BMU who enjoyed the majority of the attacks in the opening plays, and their pacy right winger in particular proved difficult to handle. The Furies meanwhile struggled to find an attacking outlet, with Eleanor Frew and North only getting glimpses of goal. The Furies were arguably fortunate to get the lead towards the end of the first half when the otherwise largely subdued Viola Lough played a nice ball to split the defence and put North through on goal, who dispatched the chance confidently in the bottom corner.
The second half saw the Furies switch to a traditional back-four, a move that proved highly effective as Comerford kept her opposing pacy winger at bay for the remainder of the game. It wasn’t long before North scored her second after receiving a well-timed pass from Lough. The formation change also allowed Penny Streathfield to wreak havoc down the left wing, and she was unlucky not to earn a couple of assists. After running past half the BMU team, Streathfield twice set up North with perfect opportunities to grab her hat trick. However, having apparently nobly deciding to make Lough feel better about her misses earlier on in the season, North twice put the ball wide in the face of an open goal. BMU had some chances, but the Furies defence remained strong and came away from the fixture with a well-deserved clean sheet.
Despite a slow-start, the Furies will be pleased with their adaptability and second half performance. In what is likely to be the last BUCS match before Varsity, the Furies will now turn their attention to Saturday 2nd March, as they look to shoe the tabs for their second year running.
By Viola Lough