USW men’s football 3rd 2-3 Bristol University 5th

USW 3rds in action against Bristol 5ths. Pic: Michael Addison

By Liam Owen and Max Drinkwater-James

USW 3rds were edged out by a strong Bristol side despite a spirited and gutsy display at the Sport Park.

A double from Theo Radicopoulous plus a goal from Jamie Challis gave Bristol a hard-fought victory, despite a brace from USW’s Josh Hawkins.

In what was an end-to-end first half, Bristol were the more dominant and were ahead in just the 4th minute when Radicopoulous scored with a simple finish.

And it didn’t take Radicopoulous long to claim his second via a 25-yard screamer after he benefited from a deflected pass.

Bristol’s fortunes took a nosedive though when right-back Imran Vloemans brought down USW midfielder Jayden Poiner to concede a penalty that was cooly converted by midfielder Hawkins in the 29th minute.

It got better for just before half-time.

USW 3rds in action against Bristol 5ths. Pic: Michael Addison

Winger Jake Hastings flicked the ball up on the edge of the area to Hawkins who volleyed into the top corner for his second of the afternoon and a deserved equaliser.

The second half started with a great save from USW keeper Freddie Owers, whose diving effort denied Radicopoulous from just outside the 18-yard box.

USW threatened to take the lead with some dangerous attacks, but in the 61st minute Challis grabbed a third for the visitors after good work from Thornton and Ethan Young.

Bristol twice had goals ruled out for offside before the final whistle with their greater attacking efficiency getting them the win in the end.