USW men’s hockey 1st 1-2 Cardiff University 5th

USW do battle against Cardiff. Pic: Michael Addison

By Max Drinkwater-James

A spirited second-half comeback and a goalkeeping masterclass from Theo Sanders secured Cardiff University 5ths’ 2-1 victory against USW. 

A controversial goal from Matt Winfield and a tap in from Ollie Gregory cancelled out Andrew Smith’s first-half finish to give Cardiff the win on the road. 

USW started the game with a flurry of quick-fire chances. 

Sanders kept the hosts at bay and his side in the game, until Smith bagged the first goal of the match via a lovely reverse-angled shot from close range. 

The rest of the half played out in dreary fashion, with both sides having chances but neither being able to convert.

By half-time the conditions were dismal, with wind and rain sweeping across the Sport Park. 

But the weather didn’t dampen Cardiff’s spirits, with the visitors looking far more composed and in control as the second half progressed.

They got their reward in the 41st minute when Winfield was able to capitalise on a scrambled free-kick. 

USW defenders protested the ball was outside the shooting area when Winfield struck it, but the umpire dismissed their appeals and the goal stood.

Nine minutes later and Cardiff were ahead through Ollie Gregory. 

The Cardiff attacker pounced on the end of a well-worked move to grab himself a tap in.

The goal set up a nervy finish for both sides, but Sanders was the difference with his fantastic saves securing Cardiff the win.