BUCS Western 2A League
Team Solent Firsts 0
University of Bath Firsts 4
(Olly Woodhouse, Al Harlington, Olly Dobson, Theo Walcot)
Attendance: (15 approx. headcount)
Test Park (3G)
Test Park, my home from home this season and the end of BUCS football at the facility for another season.
I haven’t missed a Team Solent first team BUCS game this season and I wasn’t going to miss their final home game against top of the league University of Bristol.
The visitors needed just a point to win the league and Solent needed a result to hold off any fears of relegation.
The Sparks are joint bottom with Bath thirds, a battle between the bottom two being their final game when they travel west on Wednesday. A win at Bath is 100% needed and then they must hope that Bournemouth Seconds do them a favour by beating Bath a week later.
Britol’s win tonight rounded off a league and cup double for the side who will now be promoted to Western 1A.
This was my 22nd trip to Test Park this season and my fourth consecutive game without a 0-0 as I start my run without a goalless game again after the stalemate between Southampton and Chelsea U23s last week.
Bristol scored four, second half goals to become BUCS Western 2A champions at the expense of Team Solent, who are battling to stay in the league.
Olly Dobson scored the pick of the bunch with Bristol’s third of the night, lobbing Max Boulter from 40-yards.
Played on an unorthodox Monday night, the usual Wednesday afternoon fixture had been rearranged due to Bristol’s run in the cup, meaning Solent have two games in three days to ensure survival.
Solent had the better of the opening chances with Duarte Martins smashing a shot from range that looked destined for the bottom corner before ‘keeper Fraser Meldrum tipped the ball around the post and out.
Martins, who was playing in an advanced wing back role on the left side, saw another effort sail over the bar after Jacob Noonan had played a searching ball over the top of the Bristol back line.
Meldrum was doing his best to keep Solent out when he denied Gio Landu who was unfortunate not to convert his one-on-one effort.
Bristol had the ball in the back of the net when Boulter dropped a routine catch and Dobson poked in the loose ball, only for the referee to give a foul in Solent’s favour, a lucky let off for Ryan Dacres-Smith’s side.
James Byrne went close for the visitors with a direct free kick from 30-yards dropped just wide of the post.
Sam Hartley was alert to clear the ball over his own bar and out for a corner when Al Harlington fired a dangerous cross into the box.
As half time approached, Boulter made a great save to deny Dobson who had been picked out by George Cox.
Bristol started the second half on the front foot and immediately won a corner from their first attack. From the set piece, the corner came in and Olly Woodhouse, the goal scoring hero from the cup final win last week, sent a volley from the centre of the box at goal and it took a slight deflection to wrong-foot Boulter and over the line.
Solent were sloppy in the second half and they were lucky not to concede again when Boulter’s punch landed to Joe Kelly who saw his shot blocked away.
On the hour, Dacres-Smith made a double sub to try and get Solent back into the game, bringing on Lewis Danquah and Ramon Rashid for Randy Spence and Ben Littlemore.
Shortly after the change, the Maroons made it 2-0 when Harlington jinked into the box, cut inside his marker and curled a delightful shot into the corner, hitting the post on its way in.
The game was dead and buried in spectacular form when Noonan lost the ball in the midfield and it fell to Dobson who hit a wonderful strike from 40-yards, catching Boulter off his line and dipping just under the crossbar.
Solent were struggling to even string a pass together and their best effort fell to Martins who hit another low shot at goal which Meldrum couldn’t hold onto but collected at the second attempt.
Boulter then made a good save after Jack Haire did well to keep the ball in play and pick out Dobson but the number nine could only fire straight at the Solent ‘keeper.
Bristol were having all of the possession and Toby Thomas hit a shot inches wide of the post after he was given way too much space in the left corner of the box.
There was just enough time for Bristol to score a fourth when substitute Theo Walcot cut inside Hartley and fired a hard shot into the corner that Boulter managed to get a hand to but there was only outcome as Bristol win the league with a game to spare, an away trip to Exeter on Wednesday.
2016/17 Games: 108
2016/17 Grounds: 59 (9)
Total Grounds Visited: 154 (40)