Varsity: Men’s Football – Gryphons show their class
The University of Leeds Men’s Football 2’s showed an impressive display of attacking football to comfortably beat Leeds Beckett 3-1 in an intense and passionate match.
Leeds Beckett may have shown early signs of promise when the game kicked off, but the University of Leeds back four stayed organised and their excellent defending meant that a couple of Beckett corners and wayward shots came to nothing. After 20 minutes, the University of Leeds began to settle into the game and claimed the first real chance; a fierce strike which had the goalkeeper scrambling but flashed just wide of the post.
This pressure was maintained until the deadlock was deservedly broken around the half hour mark, when an unmarked Kit Ellam headed home a Uni corner to make it 1-0. The University of Leeds kept up the high attacking rate for the remainder of the first half, even having a goal disallowed in the 40th minute, and just before half-time the Leeds Beckett keeper pulled off an exceptional save to prevent Uni from going 2-0 up.
The second half started in much the same way. The Beckett keeper was again forced into a great save and a clear chance for Uni to double the lead was blazed over. However, this period of the match was relatively quiet compared to the final 20 minutes, when it became a dramatic and tense affair. In the 70th minute, Jake Bullock converted a brilliant cross from the left flank, powering the ball into the top left corner with his head and making it 2-0 to the University of Leeds.
Uni were now in complete control and five minutes later the team appeared to score its third goal, with the ball crossing the line, ricocheting off the inside post and back into the field of play. However, the referee controversially disagreed with the passionate protests from the Uni players that it had gone in. This moment was made all the more significant when Leeds Beckett pulled a goal back with 10 minutes remaining with a clinical finish from one of their few attacking attempts. Suddenly the game’s atmosphere completely changed and became highly tense, with Leeds Beckett sensing their opportunity and pushing for an equaliser.
However, the University of Leeds players kept calm and this composure was rewarded when Rob Cohen scored in the last minute of real time to make it 3-1, sparking wild celebrations. The whistle blew on what had been a truly outstanding performance from the University of Leeds where their attacking prowess had shone through, and the 3-1 victory was well deserved.