USW men’s football 5th 4-1 USW 4th

USW 4ths and 5ths grapple with each other in a bad-tempered affair. Pic: Joe Henry

By Michael Addison

Fabio Dias’ audacious halfway-line lob rounded off a memorable win for USW 5ths against the 4ths in a fiery grudge match in Aldi Men’s Western Tier 6B.

Dias’ sublime strike punished sloppy defending from the 4ths and left goalkeeper Dylan Pearce embarrassed. It also put the game beyond doubt.

The 5ths win was perhaps all the more remarkable given they saw out the game with nine men after both Jacob Sykes and Ceiron Williams were sent-off.

Centre-back Nikolas Stephanatos bundled the ball home after 10 minutes to set the 5ths on their way, the defender getting on the end of a free-kick to net.

Just minutes later, the 5ths found themselves two up as striker Dayron Gauthierot’s mishit shot was seized on by Joe Doyle who calmly slotted home.

It was a largely scrappy, low quality encounter. The  4ths’ most likely opportunity of a reply was through midfielder Elliot Balchin-Love whose brilliant corner just evaded the head of Sam Hill.

The game sprang into life in the second half, with a goal-line clearance by Doyle preventing the 4ths from finding a way back into the game.

And the 5ths made it worse for their opponents soon after when Cole Peddler latched onto the ball, evaded Thomas Davies, and found the net with a fine near-post strike.

At 3-0 there was no way back for the 4ths, and the encounter became a whole lot more niggly.

A glut of yellow cards arrived for Gautheriot, Doyle, Friday Mbode and Stephanatos, with both Gautheriot and Pearce being sin-binned.

Keeper Mbode put his body on the line, pulling off a string of important saves to preserve a clean sheet for the 5ths.

A red card for Sykes reduced the 5ths to 10 men before Dias’ moment of magic, his lob putting the visitors 4-0 ahead. Such was the elation of the 5ths that Ceiron Williams was sent off for taking his shirt off in the celebrations.

Although, the 4ths’ Dylan Martin scored from the penalty spot after goalkeeper Mbode clattered into Balchin-Love, there was never any way back.

This result registered USW 5ths first win of their BUCS season and puts them just three points behind the 4ths.