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Season 2007/2008

Location: home | England | Suffolk | Anglian Combination League | Division 6 | UEA

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UEA get by with a little help from some friends

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19 September 2005 | Jon Richardson

Already a man down, 6 regular UEA players and some mates returned to local league action early on Saturday against newly promoted Yelverton in the Business Houses League

Heavily depleted due to students yet to return from the summer break, UEA fielded what can be considered a shadow side. However, the one man disadvantage only served to spur the U's on to a gritty and determined performance.
Yelverton were effectively the side which our own 3rd eleven beat on the last day of last season to clinch the league title, with that defeat still fresh in their memory, Yelverton were seeking revenge.
The first five minutes of the match UEA spent adjusting to unfamiliar faces and names, which allowed Yelverton to sneak an early lead, a good move of slick passes and a pin point cross from the left allowed the home side in behind UEA and a neat first time finish was applied.
Already UEA were 1-0 down with 10 men, things were looking ominous. Damage limitation appeared to be the target for the U's as after an unconvincing start and response, their attacks were sporadic, yet threatening as they struggled to gain a foothold in the game. Captain Nick Gaskell playing as a lone striker was holding the ball up admirably and threading the supporting wingers of Jon Richardson and Craig Boyle-Smith with great timing and accuracy.
It was Boyle-Smith who had UEA's first real sight of goal, as he was played in behind the back four superbly by Gaskell, he picked his spot in the far corner but was unable to convert the chance, denied by an instinctive save from the keeper. The ball flicked off his right foot and rolled only inches wide for a corner. Soon after UEA were once again on the receiving end of some sharp Yelverton attacks, and were kept in the game by an athletic diving save. The pressure was still well and truly on.
With that save, the tide turned. UEA climbed in to the ascendancy through a period of sustained U's pressure which led to a fine equaliser. A sliced defensive clearance fell neatly to skipper Gaskell who finish with a gorgeous strike, (or did it hit his shin!?) past the keeper and in high off the post.
With the equaliser came a rapid and aggressive response from the home side, yet it was UEA who went in at the half time break with the lead. Boyle-Smith had gone close for a second time with the 'keeper scrambling the ball off the line. However, his goal came from the simplest of finishes after a Richardson free-kick was poorly dealt with by the defence, the 'keeper punching the cross on to the back of Gaskell's head which fell neatly to Boyle-Smith with an open goal. UEA Lead 2-1 one at the break.
The second period began much like the first, with Yelverton dominance and UEA counter attacks. James Havers and Dan Parkinson were the rocks on which the UEA side was built, yet their sterling performances at the back could not prevent the home side snatching an equaliser after the U's could have extended their lead when Gaskell placed a sweeping counter attacking move over the bar. With the score balanced at 2 a piece, UEA took complete control.
The tempo was dictated by the U's, the home side could not get near the ball, long periods of possession and passing football followed, which typified the winning goal. The best move of the game resulted in a clinical finish by outstanding midfielder Pete Bellamy. Beginning from the back, UEA moved the ball across the pitch to Havers who played the ball into Boyle-Smith in the centre circle; he turned his man and found Gaskell in advance of the midfield. He laid on a pin point pass into the path of Bellamy who had made a great late run beyond the defence, with the goalkeeper advancing he sent a low shot into the left corner of the goal.
Yelverton rarely threatened after this and were reduced to hurried long balls, and for the rest of the match UEA dominated and continued to create chances yet never extended their advantage. They came closest to making it 4-2 through Richardson on a sharp counter attack from a corner. He ran the length of the pitch with the ball, but was superbly denied by the keeper who tipped his effort wide. UEA finished victorious, having played the whole game a man short against an organised and determined Yelverton side. With the season off to a great start expectations will be high when term starts and the new first years arrive to bolster the ranks. Final score Yelverton 2 UEA 3.

Sports Correspondant: Justice Boyle Smith



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