Futsal firsts sparkle in second regional heats of National BUCS Championships

Photograph by Jason Lozier

Photograph by Jason Lozier

UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 3
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER FIRSTS 2

UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 7
EDGE HILL UNIVERSITY SECONDS 2

York’s futsal firsts got their season back on track with two wins in the second regional heats of the BUCS Futsal Championships. Victories against the University of Manchester and Edge Hill seconds gave York six points and put them in a commanding position in Group D.

In the first heats earlier in the month York had struggled, losing to last year’s national finalists Stirling 5-3. This time, playing at home, they were in excellent form, putting seven goals past Edge Hill, against whom they could only manage a draw in the first round.

In the first game, a late Dom Henney goal gave the team a crucial win against Manchester after they had surrendered a second half lead.
The side performed well as a unit but captain Jack Crane singled out the performances of goalkeeper David Ambrozejczyk and newcomer Ashley Daly.

York got underway against the University of Manchester in what was described by club President Ambrozejczyk as a “must win game”. It was the visitors who started off the better of the two sides but some nice work by debutant Daly set up skipper Crane to put York 1-0 ahead.

Futsal 1sts vs Manchester - 6.12.09 - Photo: Jason Lozier

Goalmouth action from the firsts’ 3-2 victory over Manchester. Photograph by Jason Lozier.

It was then all the home side with Henney and Danny York both being denied by the Manchester stopper. Just before the interval a controversial award of a long penalty, for four fouls in the half, meant the away side equalised and the sides went in level at the break.

Minutes into the second half York were once again in front. A good save from the keeper went out to Matt Stopforth who converted easily from close range. With York 2-1 ahead, and time running out, it looked as if they would take the points. Yet disaster struck when, straight from a kick-in, Mohannad Nasr squeezed his shot in at the near post.

York kept pushing however, and with the clock ticking Henney turned in the box, following a great ball from Ambrozejczyk, and stuck it away to give York their first win in the championships.

Futsal 1sts vs Manchester - 6.12.09 - Photo: Jason Lozier

Danny York goes for the header during the firsts’ game against Manchester. Photograph by Jason Lozier.

York’s work was by no means done, as soon after they had to go up against Edge Hill seconds. The home side were guilty of starting slowly and only five minutes in Edge Hill were two goals up. York did not panic and at the break they managed to run away into a 4-2 lead, with a brace each for Henney and Crane. The second half was much the same with York clearly the better side; another goal for Crane – securing his hat-trick – alongside efforts from York and Daly finished the rout.

Captain Jack Crane said the victories were no more than the side deserved; “It’s a credit to the players for all the hard work they’ve shown in training, it’s clearly paid off”.

Daley was awarded Player of the Day by his colleagues and it was richly deserved, performing tirelessly and being a rock at the back when opposition attacks dared to threaten. York will look to continue their good form when they resume their campaign in February with games against Manchester and Stirling determing whether they go to the National Finals.

The seconds were less fortunate in their matches today, beating Liverpool 6-2 but losing 6-3 to Edge Hill’s first team. The team, mainly full of newcomers to the sport, have yet to win this year.

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