The two local Universities, The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University compete in the BUCS football competition - BRITISH UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES SPORT. Apart from Nottingham University first team who have already won the Midlands 1A Division (beating Trent Uni on goal difference), the other three Nottm Uni teams will finish bottom of their respective Divisions. Nottm 2nds opponents Staffs 1sts still have a chance of becoming Midlands 2A champions going into todays game.
Nottm Uni's home venue is the Highfields Sports Ground on University Boulevard, across the road from the main campus.The games kick off at 2pm on Wednesday's. A Trent Barton number 5 leaves every 10 minutes from Friar Lane in the city and stops outside.
Nottm Uni were wearing their Bottle Green strip with yellow trim and were playing well against their higher positioned opponents, and they took a deserved lead on 11 minutes. The Nottm centre forward 'Hugo' was played through but his shot was saved and rebounded out to a team mate who stroked the ball past the keeper for 1-0. Disaster struck for Nottm on twenty minutes. The Nottm keeper ran to the edge of his area to collect a ball played over the defence, but he fumbled and was adjudged by the referee to have stepped outside the area, controlling the ball with his hands. He was shown the Red card and dismissed from the field. From the resulting free kick Staffs equalised with a fine strike into the top right hand corner of the goal.
Nottm Uni didn't look disadvantaged as they continued to attack the visitors goal. On 27 minutes from a long throw the ball was flicked on and flew across the face of the Staffs goal, the ball was cleared for a corner. The corner arrived at the far post where a Nottm forward collided with the keeper, the ball fell kindly for a team mate to tap home for 2-1. Staffs players were rightly aggrieved, especially with their keeper needing treated for his injuries. On the half hour Staffs equalised for the second time. The ball was deftly flicked over the Nottm defence and was blasted into the roof of the net.
Ten minutes later one of Staffs impressive forwards Biggs beat three Nottm players in the area before finishing with a great shot past the keeper. HT 2-3
Staffs were playing keep ball along their back four in the early stages of the second half but when they decided to play some football they looked good. A Nottm defender headed off his goal line and a rising shot from 18 yards cleared the bar by a foot. Sixty minutes into the game Staffs got their fourth when the ball was played across the area and thundered home from around the penalty spot. The ten players of Nottm didn't give up and came back at Staffs. Although clearly suffering from an earlier challange the Staffs keeper was forced to pull off a couple of decent saves, but five minutes from time he was beaten when Nottm got a headed goal from a corner. The visitors managed to see out the last few minutes to set up a Divisional decider on Friday. FT 3-4