Football Sport

Key Teesside victory has firsts back on track in BUCS league

Back-to-back BUCS wins have lifted the University of York football firsts off the bottom of Northern Conference 2B, giving renewed them hope of a mid-table finish.

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BUCS Northern Conference 2B, Saturday 28th February 2009

Back-to-back BUCS wins have lifted the University of York football firsts off the bottom of Northern Conference 2B, giving them renewed hope of a mid-table finish.

After beating Durham firsts 3-2 last week with a much-weakened team, a 3-1 win against Teesside on Saturday heralded one of the team's best performances this season, even allowing for a sending off mid-way into the second half.

Anton Murphy, given a rare start after some impressive performances off the bench, was on the scoresheet alongside imperious strike partner Dom O'Shea in a dominant forward display. Joe Brennan completed the scoring for the home team with a tap-in from close range. Murphy's goals have seen him propelled into the team ahead of the more experienced and highly talented Mark Gouland. Gouland has found the scoresheet inhospitable in recent weeks, whilst Murphy has a very credible three in four matches and the decision to start the unpredictable striker paid off for captain Matt Witherwick in this game.

York suffered a scare after 70 minutes, when experienced centre-back Laurie Swann was dismissed for a professional foul, bringing down a Teesside striker as last man. A goal from the resultant penalty would have pulled Teesside back to 3-2 and given York a nervous last 20 minute period, but a bad miss drew a wave of relief from the sidelines and set York on course for a warmly welcomed victory.

It was a much-improved performance from the home side, who have struggled for form so far in the league, with many of this season's postponements and cancellations upsetting their season. The result leaves York fifth in the table, level on points with Durham and Teesside on seven. Having won the two crucial games against the teams around them - a key to staving off relegation - York travel to the top two of Sheffield Hallam and Leeds Met in the next few weeks in what could be season-deciding matches.

"It was a great performance from everyone," said Swann after the game; and reflecting on his seventieth-minute-madness: "I had my heart in my mouth with the penalty, so I was mightily relieved at the miss and 3-2 would have made it quite tight at the end."

Latest standings in Northern Conference 2B:

------------------------------------------------------- P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Sheffield Hallam University Men's 1st ---- 7 5 0 2 11 4 7 15
2 Leeds Metropolitan Carnegie Men's 2nd -- 7 4 0 3 8 9 -1 12
3 University of Sheffield Men's 1st -------- 6 2 3 1 14 10 4 9
4 University of Durham Men's 1st --------- 8 2 1 5 11 18 -7 7
5 University of York Men's 1st ------------ 6 2 1 3 9 11 -2 7
6 University of Teesside Men's 1st -------- 6 2 1 3 11 12 -1 7

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