By Jamil Bin-Salih
USW Men’s 2nds got their 2018-19 BUCS Western 2B league campaign off to a flyer with a dominant 2-0 victory over University of Gloucestershire 1sts.
It was a frantic start at the Sport Park as USW nearly broke the deadlock after just five minutes.
Abdi Noor was set away by Ben Rose-Miles, but his shot was well kept out by Gloucestershire stopper Jacob Cross.
The visitors responded well, Connor Webb’s whipped cross was met by Billy Stone, who glanced his header just wide of the USW goal after seven minutes.
After a period of possession for USW, the 27th minute saw them register the opener.
Noor fired a pass down the right flank to Rose-Miles who floated the ball to the back post where Callum Bateman smashed home.
USW’s pressure was relentless and just four minutes later there were penalty appeals from the home side as Noor’s cross caused all sorts of trouble in the Gloucestershire box.
Luke Sylvester went down under a challenge from Alex Barrett, but nothing was awarded.
Gloucestershire went straight on the attack after those appeals as Webb’s cross reached Stone at the back post only for Morgan Davies to get down well to deny the visitors a goal.
Not long after USW were further ahead.
A free-kick from Noor ricocheted against the defensive wall and found its way to Callum Bateman at the back post who headed home his second.
two goals to the good at the interval, USW started where they left off after the break.
The second half saw much less action than the first 45 minutes, with USW looking comfortable defending their lead.
The 74th minute saw the ball in the back of the net again for USW after Noor crossed to Rose-Miles from the right wing, but the linesman’s flag was up quickly to signal an offside.
Ultimately, the win was a real statement of intent for the upcoming season.
Speaking after the game, USW’s Jordan Pike said: “Expectations are set very high after somewhat underachieving last season, we are aiming to at least win a trophy as well as hopefully pushing for the league.”