USW rue missed chances as UWE claim tense victory in varsity football clash

USW lost out to UWE 1-0. Pic: Sam Hill

By Flynn Galliford

UWE went back to Bristol with the football bragging rights after a 1-0 at the Sport Park.

Striker Sevi Bala’s first-half goal was enough to hand the visitors victory in a game that was evenly matched for long spells.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors, when a free-kick was delivered towards the back post however it was cleared by USW’s Oli Noble.

USW responded minutes later when right winger Ethan Dallaway tested his luck from just outside the area, his shot whistling over the crossbar.

The hosts continued to push for an opener, with a great chance falling to Laurent Ngunjoh who managed to get round UWE goalkeeper Rudy Stilgoe but couldn’t fire his shot off in time.

UWE broke the deadlock when Bala managed to get on the end of a square pass across the USW box and tapped home from close range.

Pic: Sam Hill

A lack of discipline crept into the home side following the UWE goal, with a number of tame fouls conceded in the midfield.

USW started the second period strongly, when a poor clearance from UWE right back Lewis Robinson put Nico Gowran through on goal, however his effort went wide of the post.

Both teams struggled to carve out any substantial chances for large periods of the second half, finding it difficult to get the ball

UWE left winger Sam Thomas got the better of his opposite number and managed to get off a curled shot from a narrow angle, which found itself rattling the crossbar.

A pinpoint over-the-top through pass from Alex Cherry found Gowran in behind the UWE defence however once again he missed the target.

This would prove to be the last chance of the game with the referee blowing for full-time shortly after, confirming UWE’s title of Varsity Football winners for 2024.