By Harry Jacobs
Having not played since November, this weekend’s fixture against Bodmin based team Union was a well awaited return to action for FX Union. On the back of a slew of productive training sessions the team were feeling confident in the run up to their first match of 2017.
Energy was running high as the game got underway, with FXU seeming firing out of the blocks. The first quarter of the match saw several good chances for FX Union who appeared to be enjoying the run of play. Possession in midfield was being dominated by FXU centre midfielders Phil Doherty and Marcus Knevett, allowing for the ball to be shifted to attack by playmaker Rob Stephenson. Yet despite Union (Bodmin) being on the defensive for the majority of the first half, they managed to take the lead midway through the first half via a headed goal from a far sided freekick.
Undeterred, FXU continued to pile pressure on the Union (Bodmin) back four, forcing a handful of crucial saves from their goalkeeper. As successive offensives came ever nearer, FX Union were tormented by the dubious disallowing of a goal from striker Dan Wilcox that was deemed offside. Frustrated, FXU were forced onto the defensive for the latter part of the first half, with the solid performances of centre halves Joe Crisp and Harry Poole ensuring the university team went into half time behind only by a single goal.
Spirits were high as FX Union headed back out for the second half feeling confident after the rousing team talk of Captain Jaimin Sadiwala. As play recommenced FXU again found themselves on the front foot, with the pace of wingers Jack Orford and Jack Holman causing problems for the Union (Bodmin) fullbacks. With the tempo of the game beginning to take its toll, the fresh legs of Charlie Pugh and Melchior du Cluzeau endowed FX Union with a renewed vigour.
A breakthrough finally came with an equaliser from Dan Wilcox following a high cross from the left hand side. The momentum was then bolstered by the entrance to the game of FXU club veterans Guill McIvor and Oussama Kardi. With just a little over of a quarter of the game to go, both teams mustered a second wind and prepared for a tight finish.
Union (Bodmin) threw themselves forward in an attempt to regain their earlier lead but were denied by the steadfast FXU defence, with a particularly impressive performance earning Harry Poole man of the match. The final quarter of the match provided excellent end-to-end football with both teams looking as likely as the other to snatch the win. Yet as the opposition began to tire, FX Union took the opportunity to surge forward down the flanks, resulting in a low driven ball from the right being put away by Jack Holman to secure FXU’s victory.
The team would like to extend their gratitude to Union (Bodmin) for both a fantastic game of football and a display of genuine hospitality after the game.