– Kyle Kirkland contributed to this report
The University of Lincoln Men’s Futsal club let a four goal lead slip as they lost their quarter-final match against the University of Bath on Sunday, February 24th, 2013.
The Swans made the 390 mile round trip, knowing that a win would put them into the semi-final of the BUCS nationals.
Despite this added pressure, Lincoln took to the game really well with a superb early defensive display – limiting Bath to long range efforts.
This buoyed Lincoln and they took the lead on ten minutes when Chris Corless finished off a flowing move started by Pradeep Bahrey.
This goal clearly rocked Bath and, in the next minute, Lincoln doubled their lead when Bahrey rolled his man and finished into the top corner.
Despite still having most of the possession, Bath never really threatened but did come close when a deflected effort hit the post.
As Lincoln continued their stubborn defending, Luke Rayner went into the referee’s notebook when he judged the defender’s tackle to be ill-timed.
The Swans’ stout defending was rewarded again in the 16th minute when Matt Cusworth released Cory Burton for him to coolly slot past the advancing keeper.
Thanks to this, Lincoln went into the half-time break 3-0 up.
As the second half began, Bath pressed to get back into the game but Lincoln were wise to their wide game plan and were cutting off the supply to the flanks.
Because of this, Lincoln were able to counter-attack effectively and could have added more to their score had it not been for the exceptional form of the Bath goalkeeper.
Despite the keeper’s form, Lincoln did increase their lead six minutes into the second half through Rayner, when he finished brilliantly into the top corner from a tight angle.
With 14 minutes left on the clock and Lincoln 4-0 up, they looked set to progress to the next round.
Bath needed to change their play to get back into the match, and did so by advancing their goalkeeper when in possession so it was effectively four outfield players against three.
Lincoln struggled to deal with this transition and began to stop picking up Bath’s runs from deep.
This meant their wide play became fruitful as they scored two carbon copy goals within 30 seconds of each other.
They continued with their inclusion of their goalkeeper and scored again in the 35th minute, when their number 11 doubled his tally when he found himself unmarked in the box.
With five minutes left, Lincoln seemed content to see out the match at 4-3, but this style of play was suiting Bath as they continued to threaten.
However, Lincoln had a glorious chance for their fifth when Burton and Reggie Oblitey broke. All Burton needed to do was roll it across to Oblitey for an open goal, but he was caught in two minds and their goalkeeper cleared.
They were made to pay two minutes later when Bath equalised with another goal coming from out wide.
Lifted by this string of goals, Bath pressed again and, just as the game looked set for extra time, their number 11 completed his hat-trick with eight seconds remaining.
With so little time on the clock, Lincoln couldn’t equalise and the buzzer sounded, sending Bath into the semi-finals.
Ugly scenes of celebration from Bath’s 11 saw altercations between him and Matt Cusworth. Fortunately, the referee saw this and issued the hat-trick scorer a second yellow card meaning he will miss the next game.
A cruel score line for Lincoln as their brave play and first half performance didn’t warrant this defeat.
Despite this, the team are expected to be named in BUCS’ top five futsal teams, so they can take great heart into next season and to April’s Varsity match against Derby.
01 Snaith (GK)
03 Rayner (’27)
04 Kitson (c)
05 Bahrey (’11)
06 Corless (’10)
07 Burton (’16)