Comfortable victory for Lancaster men’s football seconds

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Following the first team’s dramatic draw against York the seconds came out and proved their ability, beating York’s seconds in a comfortable 3-0 win. A tight and fraught first half finished goalless but Lancaster made their dominance count later on, punishing some York errors to be the victors on this occasion.

The match was tight and scrappy from the beginning but led to good chances for both teams. York looked likely to score early on as their 15 ran in and chipped Needham in the Lancaster goal, but he happily watched the right-hand post save him as it bounced away to safety. Soon after, Lancaster thought they had a goal of their own through a superbly taken effort from Iberson-Hurst, but the offside flag was rightly raised to cancel what would have been the opener.

Lancaster maintained their pressure on the York goal however, and almost fluked the first goal in the tie; Tom Etherington slogged a long ball towards the York penalty area from 40 yards but saw his overhit ball crash against the York crossbar. Just before half-time York were handed a good opportunity via a dubiously given free-kick from a good position, but saw a point-blank header fly a foot wide of the post. The first half finished with neither side on top.

Lancaster opened up the match, playing with more pace and moving away from the scrappy play of the first half and it paid dividends. A dangerous long throw from Henry Stratford saw York unable to clear their lines, leading it to be controlled by a York arm before a penalty was rightly given. Cameron Olsen stood up and buried the penalty in the bottom right corner to give Lancaster a 1-0 lead.

Soon after, Lancaster doubled their lead through Iberson-Hurst, after his long range effort took a wicked deflection to fly over the York goalkeeper. York still looked to find a way back into the match but were unable to take their chances on the few occasions they broke through a solid Lancaster defence; York’s 10 missed a good chance from ten yards, cracking his shot against crossbar.

Lancaster capitalised on their opportunities and were soon 3-0 up after an excellent acrobatic volley from Etherington put victory in Lancaster’s grasp. York were not dead yet though, and it took an extraordinary save from Needham, pushing a York shot onto the bar to retain Lancaster’s clean sheet and victory. It was a solid performance all round, and after they opened the scoring in the second half, victory for Lancaster never really looked in doubt.

Henry Stratford spoke to SCAN about his team’s comfortable victory; “I thought it was a great final match to end my university football days. In both the firsts and seconds there are a lot of third years, for whom this was their last opportunity to don the university crest, and I thought both teams put in great performances to finish it all off.” He stressed the influence of the buzzing atmosphere and performance of the first team on Friday. “After watching the 2-2 draw on Friday, with that incredible atmosphere, all of the seconds were really pumped up for the game the following day. Again, it was a great atmosphere, with plenty of people watching which I think really helped spur on the team.”

Stratford was keen to stress some of the superb performances that brought Lancaster victory- “Max Sahm… was the fulcrum of the team. Perhaps the best performances though came from the defence and our goalkeeper ‘Noddy’ Needham. Keeping clean sheets is never easy, particularly in these types of matches, so it was an impressive achievement.”

Lastly Stratford commended the team as a whole, and saw this excellent performance as the perfect way to end a successful season. “As a final thing to say, I am really proud to have represented LUMFC over the last 3 years. There is an inclusive, honest, hard-working, fun environment that has bred a hungry squad that I am sure will go from strength to strength under the new captains for next year: Tom Etherington and Kehinde Bali. I urge anyone who wants to play good football and enjoy some good nights out to try out next year.”

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