Dan Mountney reports on a day of disappointment for the men’s football team.
UCA Farnham FC’s title hopes are all but over, following an exciting 3-3 draw away to Imperial Medics on Wednesday afternoon.
UCA took the lead three times thanks to a goal from Drew Sullivan and a brace from Luke Hosken but they could not hold on and had to settle for a point on a frustrating afternoon in the unseasonably warm heat.
After dominating the early stages of the game, UCA grabbed a deserved opener. Captain Hosken raced onto a lofted through ball, keeping his cool to delicately lift the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper to make it 1-0 to the away side.
An end-to-end game then ensued, with good chances squandered at both ends.
One of those chances had to be taken eventually and it was Imperial who did so.
Losing the ball in defence, UCA found themselves outnumbered at the far post and could not defend the low driven cross, allowing the Imperial striker to tap home inside the six-yard box.
That defensive error appeared to drive UCA forward, and they retook the lead just 10 minutes later.
After neat, crisp passing in and around the penalty area, Sullivan received the ball just inside the box, firing an unsaveable shot into the far corner, restoring his side’s lead.
Ethan Huggett then had a wonderful chance to give UCA a two-goal cushion before half-time but, the midfielder – returning to the starting line-up after missing Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Bucks – dragged his shot wide when he really should have scored.
UCA were then made to pay.
With key defender Andy Vernon down injured following a blatant foul, the referee chose to play on, despite the protests, allowing an Imperial attacker to burst through unopposed and score the equaliser just before half-time.
That goal just before the break galvanized Imperial, and they dominated much of the second half but, it was UCA who took the lead once again.
Running from inside his own half and beating no less than four defenders, Sullivan was pushed to the floor inside the Imperial penalty area and the referee pointed straight to the spot.
Hosken stepped up and fired the ball to the ‘keepers left, sending him in the wrong direction and giving UCA the lead for a third time, also making him UCA’s top goal scorer in the process.
However, they were not able to hold, conceding a long-range drive just moments later to draw the game level at 3-3.
UCA had chances to win it at the death, with Hosken missing a one-on-one he should have scored. Max Fox forced a vital save and UCA saw a header cleared off the line but, they had to settle for a frustrating draw.
The result all but ends any hope UCA had of winning the league title, requiring a win by 39 goals over current table-toppers UCFB in the final game of the season next Wednesday.
A win for Queen Mary against West London also saw UCA drop to third but, a win next week will see them secure second place, the highest finish achieved by a UCA football team ever.