Leeds University 1st XI 2-2 Leeds Met 1st XI
Leeds Univeristy Men’s Football 1st XI conceded a late goal to draw their Varsity fixture with Leeds Met 2-2. Despite being the better team throughout, a heroic penalty save from Charlie Tizard was not enough to gain three points for the Gryphons.
In an afternoon of bizarre weather at Weetwood, the first half finished goalless. Although the University started on the front foot after the break, Met took the lead with a neat goal scored on the counter.
Fighting against a blizzard, the Gryphons did well to score a quick equaliser. Owen Davies found himself in some space outside the box and hit a sweet drive, giving the Met keeper no chance. Passionate celebrations followed as Davies hugged his teammates before sliding in on his knees in front of the fans.
Alex Day marshalled the University defence superbly, winning every header at the back. Jason Pilkington also put in a solid shift, proving that the captain’s armband is in safe hands next season.
The Gryphons were at their best going forward and it was not long before they took the lead. Liam Turner found himself with his back to goal and the Met keeper out of position. He laid off Danny Cunningham who curled his shot round the defender and into the net. Cunningham has been on impressive form this season with 7 goals in 9 games.
With 10 minutes to go, the referee awarded Met a penalty. Tizard stood up tall and dived to his right to save it, to the delight of the Gryphons supporters. However, heartbreak was only just around the corner. In a final throw of the dice, a Met corner resulted in a goalmouth scramble. Despite valiant efforts from the Gryphons defence to clear the danger, Met were able to grab the equaliser.
With a number of players waving goodbye to their University careers, club captain Ben Chapman mused that it was a disappointing way to end the season but that the future looks bright for next year. The result means the 1st XI finish 3rd in the BUCS Northern 1A League.