By Ethan Harris
University of South Wales 3rd’s 5-2 University of South Wales 4th’s
USW 3rd’s triumphed in their rematch with the 4th side, as an Alex Bevan double helped secure the three points for Rob Bailey’s men.
It was a scrappy affair with both sides tackling fiercely and the bitter rivalry clear from the first whistle.
With just over 10 minutes on the clock, the fourths took the lead.
A long throw-in from the wing sailed into the thirds’ penalty area, with Jake Ashley rising highest to nod the ball into the top-right corner.
But the lead didn’t last long.
A free-kick from 25-yards was clipped towards the back post, with Bevan waiting to send a powerful header into the back of the net.
Awoken from their sloppy start, the thirds looked to double their lead moments later.
A driven corner found the head of Jackson Huxley, who pinged a header into the back of the net.
There were very few clear chances in the first half, but the fourths made it all-square just before the break.
A pass from the right wing found Joe Smith in space, and his clipped effort over the outstretched hand of Danni Jones, tied the score.
The second period took some time to get going, with challenges from both sides flying in.
Just after the hour mark, the thirds moved ahead.
Mike Wicherek plucked a delightful ball into the path of Rich Abbott, who shrugged off a challenge from the last man before sliding the ball into the bottom right to give his side the lead.
It would not get much better for the fourths, with Danny Chadwick sent off for dissent moments later, his transgression leaving his side with a mountain to climb.
The thirds looked to press their man advantage, and found breathing room moments after the dismissal.
A long kick from goalkeeper Danni Jones was collected high up the field by Mael Evans, with the fullback pushing high to keep the pressure on.
Stopping on a dime, the left-back cut inside before firing a bullet shot into the bottom right corner, giving the fourths little hope of hauling themselves back into the game with 20 minutes remaining.
And with 10 minutes on the clock, the thirds made sure of their victory with another goal.
With Abbott making his way into the area, the forward found himself clipped as he shot for goal and the referee pointed to the spot.
Bevan stepped up to put the game beyond doubt and despite the initial effort being saved, the ball rebounded off his knee and found its way over the line.