Strathclyde defeated GUFC 6-0 on 25 October resulting in one of Glasgow’s biggest defeats in the season so far.
Another Wednesday, another Aldi Cup match for Glasgow University Football Team Men’s 1. Held at Garscube Sport Complex, this week’s opposing team was Strathclyde Men’s first team. The two teams were tied for second place on the BUCS leaderboard before the match, guaranteeing high stakes. On top of that, there is a historic rivalry between the two Glaswegian universities, with students from either campus often seen vying to prove that their university is the better one.
Strathclyde scored their first goal against GUFC within the first five minutes. Scored by Jackson Lee of Strathclyde University Men’s Football Club (SUMFC), GUFC goalie Ross Hamilton stood no chance against the goal having come out too far with too little enthusiasm. A second shot was attempted seconds later, but Hamilton blocked it successfully.
SUMFC asserted themselves as the dominant team from the get-go with extremely rapid and strong play. The team boasted a well-coordinated high-press and aggressive offence, with a particularly strong left corridor upheld by Struan Mayer and Connor Fry. The players also displayed a notable ability to organise themselves across the pitch, allowing them to recover quickly. This strong play was rewarded and eight minutes into play, a second goal was scored by Justin Maguire, setting the score at 2-0.
GUFC struggled to regain control over the game and SUMFC continued to make brilliant passes with ease. The placing of their players allowed SUMFC to move swiftly and move the ball wide across the pitch. Nonetheless, GUFC did manage to bring the ball up to the opposition’s half and an attempt to score was made.
GUFC’s Kenzie Burns made some gains up the pitch, even managing to get into SUMFC goalkeeper Andrew Wilson’s feet, forcing the latter to rapidly dribble the ball out of Burns’s reach. Despite the attempts to regain some dominance over the pitch, SUMFC’s Lee scored against the home team again. This set the score at 3-0 for SUMFC, and the mood on GUFC’s sideline was gloomy.
A free kick was awarded to GUFC but to no avail. The players struggled to get into the game, and compared to the opposing team, lacked aggressivity and readiness. Whereas GUFC was jogging across the pitch and failing to recover quickly, SUMFC recovered quickly and ran faster bursts with more energy. GUFC Goalkeeper Hamilton remained ready on his feet though and managed to stop another five goals from being scored.
GUFC’s Burns, supported by Thomas McAuliffe who readily passed him the ball, continued in the same spirit and managed to push high on SUMFC’s half on his own. However, no goal was scored.
Just a couple minutes from half-time, SUMFC’s Wilson made another brilliant stop in a very crowded penalty area. His quick recovery granted his team a quick turnover and a shot was nearly scored. Nonetheless, GUFC’s Hamilton continued to defend his net well. Unfortunately, that was not enough and SUMFC’s Lee scored his third goal of the match.
The half-time whistle was blown and the teams both walked off the pitch, one looking very dejected and the other very cheerful. The score sat at 4-0 to Strathclyde.
A disappointed Mark Adams gave the GUFC boys a stern half-time talk, telling his players that it was unlikely they would win the game but that they should “do themselves the honour of keeping a clean sheet in the second half, and score a goal!” Looking abashed, the boys headed back out onto the field.
Coach Adams’s talk may have been rough but it definitely motivated the team to play more aggressively and with more speed. A much more effective game was played by GUFC in the second half.
A free kick was awarded to GUFC, then another to SUMFC. The game followed a more pendulum-like motion for the first few minutes of the second half, and then GUFC unexpectedly began to take control of the game. GUFC’s Ewan McKinlay unfortunately missed an opportunity having brought the ball high onto the opposition’s side of the pitch and took a shot that SUMFC Wilson stopped. However, the ball slipped from his grasp and had McKinlay not slowed down after the initial offence, an opportunity to score might’ve been had. Nonetheless, this attempt seemed to motivate the team and energy was at an all-time high.
GUFC’s Hamilton stopped another two shots, and his fellow teammates continued to push forward with aggression, putting pressure on SUMFC’s defence and goalkeeper.
But towards the end of the game, GUFC began to lose control on the pitch. A free kick was awarded to GUFC, then another to SUMFC. From thereon, SUMFC began to play with renewed vigour. The atmosphere was electric as both teams battled out the last minutes with determination, but GUFC stood no chance against the domineering Strathclyde side. In the space of three minutes, two more goals were scored by SUMFC.
The whistle was blown and the game finished with a 6-0 win for SUMFC. This places SUMFC at the top of the board, tied with Stirling Men’s 2s team. GUFC has slipped back a place, holding the fourth position.
GUFC is set to play against Stirling Men’s 2s team next, on 01/11/2023 at Stirling University FC’s Gannochy Sports Centre.