It’s all kicking off: Lancaster 1sts 2 – Edge Hill 1sts 2

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It’s not Freshers’ Week any more. It’s time to forget about those lazy takeaways, even lazier mornings and impulse nights out and get back into the swing of university life. The hard work gets under way now, and for the sports teams of Lancaster it is no different.

Whether taking part in BUCS for the first time or being Bowland darts team’s most seasoned player, it all kicks off now. The College football season got under way on Wednesday Week 3 with each A team trying to replace County as the team walking away with this year’s league trophy.

But it was not just College football which restarted recently. BUCS Men’s football began with a bang on Wednesday Week 2, seeing the University firsts succumb to a 2-2 draw at the hands of Edge Hill’s first team. Lancaster started the game the better team but found themselves trailing 1-0 after a good piece of direct football caught out the University defence.

SCAN spoke to University first team winger and goalscorer, James Carolan, after the match to analyse the side’s opening fixture of the season. According to Carolan: “At the start we were looking the better team, we had more of the ball, we were in their half a lot. Then they got a bit of possession and scored the goal.”

About ten minutes into the game Edge Hill struck – a neat through ball cut through the Lancaster defence towards an Edge Hill forward who coolly placed the ball in the bottom right corner.

“Not much more than five minutes after they scored I equalized,” Carolan added. “We were the better team for most of the first half. When the goal came, I was on the left and I made a diagonal run on the inside. The ball was played over the top from central midfield, the keeper ran out trying to get there. I reached it before him and kneed it around him, the ball rolled towards the goal and I kicked it in.”

Lancaster made their momentum count and about five minutes later completed the turn-around to take the lead, 2-1. About five minutes after Carolan’s goal, striker Nathan Onraet-Wells had a shot on the counter-attack, but the keeper saved it. While the ball was bouncing around the Edge Hill area, their centre-back sliced a looped clearance into his goal which the keeper was unable to recover whilst running back towards his line.

The home side went into half-time with their one goal lead still intact, but struggled to maintain any pressure in the second half. “They were on top most of the second half. We sat back, and they got a goal on the counter-attack about half-way through the second-half, which made it 2-2,” Carolan said.

The superb equalizer came via slick two-touch football from Edge Hill, moving the ball out wide before a cross was volleyed with precision into the bottom corner by the away side.

Following the goal, tired legs prevailed and the match became dogged and less lively. According to Carolan: “There weren’t many chances apart from the goals. It was a pretty dull midfield battle.” Possibly not to the appeal of former Newcastle United and QPR centre-back, and current Lancaster City manager, Darren Peacock, who watched the match incognito, but left during the second half.

There had been talks earlier in the season about the possibility of moving College A league fixtures to Saturdays to allow for students to play both for their university and college side. Although these ideas have passed for now, there was still a very “College” feel about the University first team which included seven players making their mark in college football last season.

But this wasn’t a team playing out of their depth; many of these players looked at home in the first team and will continue pushing for their first win of the season.

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