There are some 3 nil results that don’t tell the full story of the 90 minutes. The reserves put in a hard working performance with periods of good quality, but fell to a strong university side and a centre forward who took all of his one and a half chances, supplemented by a late top class goal.
Following crowd congestion the reserves barely had time to warm up and lost Owen to a late fitness test, leaving a back four including 2 centre midfielders who adapted themselves well throughout. Any doubts about the quality of the University side disappeared as they opened the game with a 20 pass move and the first attempt at goal. This largely set the tone for the first half – the university had long spells of possession but struggled to create any chance of note, with Aaron looking assured in the Cullompton goal. However, 25 minutes in and a deflection left the ball at he University forward’s feet who finished smartly from the edge of the area to give a lead deserved on possession if not chances.
Cullompton grew into the game and half chances continued to be created, including Tom’s deflected shot which was unlucky to hit the bar. This upper hand became dominance in the second half – it’s unlikely the university will have a 20 minutes spell with so little possession in the rest of the season, while Harry’s direct running down the left was creating openings.
As the half went on and the all important goal failed to arrive Cullompton continued to work hard, probably to a fault, as a result losing the shape and allowing the Uni to offer a threat. A break, fine cross and excellent header from distance left an uphill challenge to get a positive result, but based on the second half it remained a very real possibility. As the final ball and finish continued to elude, the clock ticked down and the possible became increasingly unlikely.
Deep into injury time, the final move of the game summed up the whole match; a Uni player running deep from the way line on he break, with 5 Cully defenders working hard right to the end to get back goal side and cut down his options to an optimistic shot from distance – it flew into the top corner. Some 3 nil.
FINAL SCORE: University 3rd 3 – 0 Cullompton Rangers
Match report by D.Hawes