by Robert Jones
Date: Wednesday 21st February, 2018
Venue: USW Sports Park, Treforest
USW Men’s 1st shocked Scottish side Stirling in the last 16 of the BUCS Championship Cup with a 3-2 victory.
The game started in typical fashion for a cup match, with both teams trying to find their feet. USW however, took the upper hand early on forcing several corners, which lead to the first opportunity when winger Sam Jones scuffed his shot wide from six yards out.
USW again on the attack created their fourth corner of the game which saw Louis Gerrard have his header cleared off the line by the Stirling defence.
Stirling gradually grew into the game after the early onslaught of pressure, enjoying their best period,which culminated in a free kick being awarded. Lewis Bonor’s attempt from 30 yards out thumped the crossbar and hit Ashley Morris on the back to end up in the back of the net, giving Stirling a 1-0 lead just before half time.
Soon after the goal was the turning point however, when a corner was cleared by the USW defence but an off the ball altercation in the penalty area between Joe Evans and Blair Lyons resulted in Lyons being sent off for hitting the defender in the stomach.
Just before half time, USW started to dominate proceedings with the extra man and were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, Louis Gerrard stepped up only for his effort to hit the left upright.
USW started the second half exactly like the first, dominating possession, and found their reward when after consecutive corners, Stirling failed to clear their lines and Ellis Bellamy, who was in the right spot and the right time volleyed home from inside the six-yard box.
The equaliser was clearly a turning point, with USW having renewed confidence. They kept pushing forward and half-time substitute Mikey George made a blistering run into the penalty area to head home for USW after a great cross from Jones, giving the home team a 2-1 lead.
After a flurry of changes for the visitors, Stirling managed to get a foot-hold in what was a totally dominating second half from the home side. With 10 minutes to go, Stirling created their first real opportunity of the second half from a corner, which resulted in Dominic Slattey slotting home from close range after USW failed to clear their lines.
With the equaliser looking for all the world like extra time was on the cards, USW pushed forward one final time, with Tyrell Webbe who was originally brought on as a defender moved upfront once Gerrard was replaced.
He collected the ball on the left side of the pitch, he cut inside past the final defender and calmly slotted home in the dying seconds to give the home team an incredible victory, with the celebration proving to be just as good as the finish.