UCFB First Team kicked off the new season against University of Manchester Second Team last week in their first game since the Etihad-based squad won promotion from the BUCS Northern 4A League.

After beating University of Central Lancashire 5-3 in the last game of the season, UCFB clinched promotion – finishing above city rivals Salford Firsts by one point in a final day thriller. UoM Second Team finished third last season in their Northern 3A League, 10 points behind champions Lancaster.

Manager Ryan Charalambous named a strong starting 11 for the game on Wednesday with a few new faces making their debut. With six first-year students in the team, Charalambous was confident that despite the debutants’ relative lack of experience, the squad was capable of getting a result.

“The lads have been working hard together since around July,” Charalambous said. “We’ve got a unique programme here so I’m looking forward to the season.”

Setting up in a 3-5-2 formation, UCFB started the game on the front foot, looking to attack and press high up the pitch. However, the game was sadly cut short after less than 5 minutes after midfielder Alfred Hammond landed awkwardly on his arm by the corner flag and received treatment on the pitch.

It was quickly realised that this was not something the number eight could run off and coaching staff from both sides tried to assess the midfielder.

An ambulance was called and the referee deemed the match to be over. Both sides looked dejected as they shook hands but were obviously concerned about the injured player.

Not quite the opening day that UCFB would have hoped for in the BUCS Northern 3A League but the wellbeing of their teammate was paramount. It is thought that Alfred dislocated his shoulder and we wish him a speedy recovery.

 

UCFB line-up: Taylor, Slinn (VC), Le Gal, Kuzakawawo, Ozono, Grimshaw ©, Hammond, Mpofu, Winthrop, Limpitshi Bongwanga, Mills

Unused substitutes: Stokes, Ormrod, Lilley

Manager: Ryan Charalambous

Coach: Christian Kony Njila

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