by Dan Cope & Ben Jones
USW 3rd defeated Cardiff University 4th 3-1 to put themselves within touching distance of the league title on a windy day in Treforest.
In a fairly quiet first half, both teams failed to create any clear cut opportunities.
However in the 20th minute, Jackson Huxley’s powerful run allowed forward Ryan Chandrinos to get in on goal but his shot flew wide of the Cardiff goal.
The wind started to play a part as another strike from Chandrinos was carried out by a throw.
However, USW finally took the lead when Josh Maksimovic’s tremendous through ball found Mikey Whicherek who drove the ball past the Cardiff keeper to put USW 1-0 up.
USW started to play with more confidence and centre back Arran Finlason nearly put the hosts 2-0 up when his curling shot was tipped over the bar.
Cardiff created very few chances but came close towards the end of the half when a free kick was well saved by USW keeper Danny Jones.
Second half proceedings began and the first action came from the referee’s pocket. A yellow card for Jake Mahoney for a high tackle gave Cardiff a freekick, and forced a save from Dan Jones.
USW’s first chance of the half fell to Ryan Chandrinos who latched onto an inch-perfect pass by Jake Maksimovkc but he dragged his left-footed strike wide.
Cardiff got their goal on the hour mark as a corner deflected in off of USW’s goalscorer Wicherek in an unfortunate turn of events.
Ten minutes later though and USW were awarded a penalty and a chance to retake the lead. Alex Bevan was pulled down in the box right under the referee’s watchful eye and Maksimovic made no mistake, restoring the home sides’ advantage.
The red-mist seemed to descend suddenly as Cardiff’s number three kicked out at USW’s Rich Abbott and the referee had no choice but to send the defender off.
The closing stages were all USW and they all but confirmed the victory when Wicherek brought down the ball and played Abbott through. His shot rifled into the roof of the net to make it 3-1.
However, the win was not enough to secure the league title as Bristol University beat USW 4th team 3-0, meaning they take the top spot and USW 3rd finish the season one point behind them in second places.