The much anticipated first clash of the year between university teams FXU and Tremough took place this Sunday, with Union seeking to extend their unbeaten start to the season. As usual in the university derby, tensions were running high in the lead up to the opening whistle and it was clear how determined both teams were to secure not only three points, but the much sought after bragging rights.
As play commenced FXU immediately looked the sharper side and managed to quickly attain the majority of possession. Repeated attacks mounted increasing pressure on the Tremough defence, as Union consistently pushed the offensive with every run of play. Union’s hard work soon payed off, with a well worked corner resulting in the first goal of the game from FXU striker Michael Hinkin.
When Tremough kicked off again, it was evident that the conceding of an early goal had shaken their morale as possession was turned over to FXU almost straight from kick off. Seeking to capitalise on this momentum, Union threw themselves forward with bursting runs from each wing frequently puncturing the Tremough defence. Yet another well delivered corner from FXU created the chance for midfield maestro Rob Stephenson to double his team’s lead, establishing a strong foothold early in the game.
The match was very quickly turning into a one sided affair, as a dominance in midfield and high pressing from the FXU striking partnership allowed for the whole team to shift up the pitch. Hungry for more goals, Union relentlessly assaulted the Tremough goal with a barrage of crosses and shots. But it was yet more impressive set piece play that would yield results, as Hinkin’s aerial superiority netted him two goals in quick succession to bag his first hattrick of the season.
With the Tremough defence seemingly unable to cope with FXU’s well developed team play, Stephenson again found the back of the net to grab his brace and make the score line 5-0. As play kicked off once more, Tremough appeared to rally and began to show themselves to be the threat that they can be. Catching Union off guard with a rapid counter attack, the boys in yellow managed to scrape back a goal.
Not to be deterred, FXU continued to surge forwards with zealous drive and clinical accuracy. More defensive weakness from Tremough granted birthday boy Marcus Knevett a gift of a goal and left the first half score line at a staggering 6-1.
Returning to the pitch with a professional attitude, Union looked to calmly extend their lead in what was an all but assured victory. Tremough however had finally found their feet, only denied from closing in on FXU’s commanding lead with some fine goalkeeping from Daniel Hollings. Whilst the second half wore on at a much more even balance than the first, FXU still proved themselves to be the dominant side when a superb run of build-up play granted man of the match Hinkin his fourth goal of the day and cemented the final scoreline at a massive 7-1.
Winning such a crucial and often heated fixture looks sure to be a mark of things to come for this year’s Union side. President Harry Poole remarked that ‘the lads showed character and passion to go out and perform to such a high calibre, particularly in a derby’. When asked as to the statement that such a performance makes, he said his team ‘aims to carry that momentum forward with us into the next game, and as president, I couldn’t be happier to the start we’ve had.
FX Union now sit atop the league table with 9 points from 3 games, and a goal difference of +13.
Final Score: FX Union 7 – 1 Tremough
Goalscorers: Michael Hinkin (4), Rob Stephenson (2), Marcus Knevett (1)
Player of the Match: Michael Hinkin