By Riegan Thompson 

UCLAN 1-0 UCFB Etihad Campus Men’s 1st

UCLAN Sports Arena, Preston – 08/02/2017

A scrappy game between UCLAN and UCFB was in the end settled by a fantastic finish from UCLAN’s Sam Howe.

UCLAN started the game the better of the two sides, with Callum Williams having the first chance of note, firing his shot into the side netting.

UCFB though grew into the game through Mark West. The winger cut in from the left hand side and curled an effort towards the back post, forcing a save out of goalkeeper Ruairi McDaid.

Midway through the first half UCLAN almost broke the deadlock, George Kelly’s effort from range cannoned off the crossbar before the follow up was headed over.

Moments before, UCFB were denied a free-kick after West went clean through on goal and was brought down on the edge of the box.

UCFB started the second half well. Harry O’Brien played West through and the winger did well to get a shot away, but his effort went just wide. On the 50th minute a tired O’Brien was replaced by Jack Harrison.

UCLAN’s goal came with 20 minutes left to play. An individual error by Jack Slinn led to Kelly breaking away down the right who crossed for Howe to fire into the bottom right corner.

In a game of few chances, UCFB then had a golden opportunity to level when Harrison ran clean through on goal. However, his tame finish was saved by McDaid.

UCFB piled on the pressure late on with substitute Michael Flannery firing a shot high. A late save from UCFB goalkeeper George Sofroniou kept the score at 1-0.

After the game, manager Ryan Charalambous, commented: “Christian and I have spoken and we believe the football was great up until the final third where we lacked creativity. In the end, individual mistakes cost us. It is always a difficult result to take when 11 players play so well but don’t get the result. It is a learning curve for the boys, and unfortunately it’s a mistake which has taught the lesson today rather than coaches philosophy.”

Man of the match James Pennington added: “I really enjoyed my debut today. I’ve not played since November so I was fearing the worst when I saw the pitch and the conditions. But I did alright for myself. I’m delighted to get man of the match, but I thought the captain Tom Divver helped me through the game, he talked me through and played very well himself, so I thought he would have got it.”

UCFB TEAM: George Sofroniou, Paolo Priogilo, James Pennington, Tom Divver, Ben Herriman, Lewis Embleton, Jack Slinn, Lukas Aschuber (75), Mark West, Bredan Lilley, Harry O’Brein (50) SUBS: Jack Harrison (50), Michael Flannery (75), Ryan Charalambous.

UCLAN TEAM: Ruairi McDaid, James Moss, Sam Howe, Ben Stauton, Ali White, Joe Madin, Joe Austin, Patrick Mceluree, George Kelly, Callum Williams, Darragh Boyle, SUBS: Matt Smith, Matt McGlueldery, Raul Vila Nara.

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