Trinity 5-2 University
The race for promotion from JCR Division Two took another twist on Friday, as favourites Univ were comprehensively defeated in an extraordinary game by mid-table Trinity. The corresponding fixture last term had ended in a comfortable 4-1 win for the High Street club, but the story today was very different.
Univ were missing several key players, not least mercurial left winger Nima Amini, but started strongly nonetheless. After ten minutes, Matt Miskimmin headed just wide as the promotion chasers dominated the early exchanges. It was Trinity, however, who took an unexpected lead. A long punt from the back was held up by the strong wind, bamboozling the Univ keeper Ed Hardy and allowing Charlie Hill to pass into the empty net. Incredibly, the home side soon doubled their advantage, with a low cross finding David Kaestle, who arrived late and slammed the ball past Hardy. Univ endeavoured to play their usual passing game, but a combination of the windy conditions and tenacity from the hosts meant they just couldn’t get going. Indeed, it was Trinity who scored a third goal just before half time, with Charlie Hill running through and scoring his second.
The second half began with Univ looking a completely different team, as they chased a comeback of epic proportions. Within a couple of minutes of the restart they had reduced the arrears. A powerful cross from the left was bundled home at the far post by Will Stuart for his eighth goal of the season. Trinity suddenly looked nervous, and just a minute later Univ had pulled back a second. More positive wing play, this time from the right, was rewarded as an unmarked Matt Miskimmin arrived from the left of midfield to make it 3-2. The away side continued to dominate completely, but somehow failed to find a leveller. Miskimmin hit the bar and later volleyed just wide, while the dangerous James Gingell rattled the post with an excellent long-range drive.
As Univ poured forward however, they naturally left gaps at the back, which Trinity were able to exploit late in the game. With less than ten minutes left, a defensive mix-up led to a fourth goal worthy of inclusion in the next Own Goals and Gaffes compilation. Incredibly, Univ centre-forward Will Stuart ran the length of the pitch from the resultant centre, only to be thwarted on the line by some desperate Trinity defending. By this point though, the game was over as a contest, and the home side scored a late fifth, Charlie Hill springing the offside trap and again finishing calmly to complete his hat-trick and a perfect day for the home side.
Even the most diehard Trinity fan would have to accept that the 5-2 score line flattered them somewhat, but they still deserve credit for a performance which took full advantage of the windy conditions. As far as Univ were concerned, their inconsistent away form continued. As one pundit commented, a team with title ambitions should be looking to come to places like Trinity and win. Before this round of games it looked as though Univ and Merton/Mansfield might run away at the top of the table, but this result, along with the Merton’s shock 5-0 defeat at John’s, has thrown the promotion race wide open. It has also set the scene for a fascinating finale to the season.
Trinity 5-2 University