Fixture: Warwick Men’s Football First Team v Nottingham Men’s Fourth Team
Date: Wednesday 12th November 2014
Warwick Men’s first team survived a Nottingham fightback to progress into the BUCS Midlands Conference Cup 3rd round with 3 second half goals.
An early first half goal from Matt Tavesson was swiftly doubled by a low strike from Andreas “Drake” Kyprianou, ironically this time starting at the top in a lone-striker role. Nottingham did, however, pull one back with a fortunate close range header, making the score 2-1 at half time.
The second half saw a marked response from Warwick who capitalised on momentum, Mark Claremont finishing off an inch-perfect team move with a drilled half-volley finish into the bottom corner.
The spotlight then fell once again on Kyprianou, this time producing a sublime long range finish from a free-kick, before capping off his hat-trick, and Warwick’s fifth, from the penalty spot. Nottingham scored a consolation goal late on, after some indecisive defending, but were ultimately outclassed on a day that proved fruitful for the home side.
Even before the game started complications arose, as Nottingham’s coach got lost in the labyrinth formed by the University’s surrounding B roads
The stage was impeccably set at Cryfield on a frosty Wednesday afternoon as Warwick prepared for what on paper at least, seemed to be a routine cup match against lower league opposition in Nottingham’s 4th team. However even before the game started complications arose, as Nottingham’s coach got lost in the labyrinth formed by the University’s surrounding B roads. Thankfully, the team did arrive eventually, dispelling fears of a cancellation and it soon became clear what a fantastic game both sides would have been missed out on.
Lining up with a creative 4-2-3-1, Warwick dominated the early play as deep lying midfielders Alex Roberts -who captained the team- and Matt Tavesson were able to pull the strings and distribute the ball with ease. The pressure soon paid off as Tavesson charged forwards from midfield playing a one-two with Andreas Kyprianou, before drilling a low shot at goal that bounced in off the wrong-footed keeper. If there was an element of fortune in the first Warwick goal, the second was pure class. Attacking midfielder Mark Claremont prodded a perfectly weighted ball through to Kyprianou, who curled the ball effortlessly past the keeper into the bottom corner.
At this point the one-way traffic in Warwick’s favour started to waver and an element of complacency creeped in. Nottingham ramped up the pressure and went close first from a free kick, expertly saved by Luke Simpson, then from a cross which clipped the bar before going over. Simpson showed more heroics shortly after, producing two ‘De Gea-esque’ saves with his legs in quick succession, but was unable to prevent Nottingham’s breakthrough- a lofted free-kick nodded in at the far post from close range.
The half time break was marred with slight controversy as Nottingham’s manager insisted that the referee shorten the half-time break to account for potential light problems, but the official stood firm under regulation and waved away the complaints.
Warwick recaptured their early intensity in the second half, imposing themselves in the midfield and final quarter. The Red and White kit worn by Warwick bore a striking resemblance to Arsenal and this comparison definitely rang true with the highlight of the match: a passing move that yielded the game’s fourth goal. Stuart Bryan headed down a high ball to Alex Roberts, who nodded it first time to Kypriano in similar fashion. The striker took two touches, lofting the ball left to the onrushing Mark Claremont, who checked his stride and rifled a low shot in on the half volley, capping off a technically flawless team move and bright individual performance.
Seeing the game all but won, Warwick continued to pile on the pressure and sealed the win in dramatic fashion. Kyprianou took command of what looked like an innocuous centre-left free kick from 25 yards, but stunned the opposition keeper with a dipping effort that flew into the top left corner.
With both momentum and luck on their side, Warwick went on to score a 5th and the affectionately nicknamed “Drake” earned his hat-trick. A moment of confusion saw a deflected shot bounce into the Nottingham net, but play was pulled back for a penalty. Kyprianou calmly stepped up and rolled the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Nottingham did score a late consolation goal, a close range effort into the top corner on the half-volley, but this failed to tarnish what was an undeniably strong Warwick performance and hopefully the start of a prosperous cup run.