Man Met finish off the year with a 3-0 win to continue their unbeaten run in the league
- Man Met FC remain top of the table as they enter their final four games of the season
- 'We knew before the game what we needed to do to win an we implimented that so it felt good'
- MMU players wear rainbow laces to show their support for the Stonewall campaign to help fight against homophobic and transphobic behaviour
The two sides had met on several occasions already this season with Man Met winning in both the league and cup fixtures.
And it was likely to be a tough return to Platt Lane for Man Met after their defeat here a couple of weeks ago in the cup to Edge Hill.
However, the boys in black, orange and white quickly regained their winning form despite the challenging weather conditions.
It was a well contested first 10 minutes of the match as both teams pressed each other well.
Man Met quickly found freedom down the flanks with wingers, Ben Coward and Mark Faflik creating serious problems for the opposing full backs.
However, it was UCFB who almost took the lead. A bending free kick by their number 14 flew just wide of the post in the eighth minute.
Chances began to come for MMU too. The pick of the bunch falling for Ben Coward who found the ball at his feet infront of an almost empty net following an impressive run by Faflik.
However, the winger struggled to find his balance as the ball narrowly missed the goal.
Twenty-nine minutes in and finally it was lift off for Man Met.
A driving run down the left once again from Coward saw him lay the ball off inside the box to Tom Carr who expertly side footed the ball into the bottom right to make it 1-0.
The remaining fifteen minutes of the first half saw UCFB edge their way back into the game.
That was until their number 17 was sent off for verbal abuse towards the referee, creating a mountain to climb in the second half against an inform Man Met side.
It was a quick start to the second half for Gareth Smith's men who instantly took advantage of the extra space left by their ten man opposition.
However, UCFB didn't give up easily and forced a brilliant save from Prince Attah in the 65th minute.
The keeper had to stretch to keep out a looping volley which seriously threatened their 1-0 lead.
Moving into the last quarter of the game and Man Met really began to dominate in the center of the park, patientally waiting for the right oppurtunity.
And when that oppurtunity did arrive there was no mistake. It was Coward again creating problems down the right and collecting himself a well deserved assist as he laid the ball to Faflik inside the box.
The number 7 calmly rolled the ball past the keepers left to settle the nerves of his manager.
From this point on MMU were confidently seeing the game out and in the 88th minute made sure of the three points. Tom Carr returned the favour from his goal in the first half to set up Ben Coward with a delightfull low driven cross.
The first time finish was the highlight of a man of the match performance, killing the game off at 3-0.
Post Match Reaction
Speaking after the game, Man Met FC Captain Tom Richardson said: "Before the game we knew we needed to bounce back. We all know in ourselves weve not been good enough the last couple of weeks."
"We started well, we started fast and we started strong which is what the gaffer wanted us to do. We knew before the game what we needed to do to win an we implimented that so it felt good."
Head Coach Gareth Smith went onto mention the inclusion of rainbow laces used in todays game. All players of Man Met wore them in solidarity with Stonewall and MMU Union to help fight against homophobic and transphobic behaviour within society.
Listen to Man Met FC Head Coach, @garethandsmith talk about his teams rainbow laces which they wore in their most recent game to show their support with @stonewalluk in the fight against homophobic and transphobic behaviour within society. pic.twitter.com/pxrOVt1dik— Joe Ward (@Joe_Journalism) December 9, 2021
The win sees Man Met going into the Christmas break sat top of the pile in the Men's Northern Tier 3.
And with only a handful of games remaining promotion is looking very much on the cards.
Their next game will see them face Liverpool John Moores seconds. The only team to have taken points from MMU this season. The game will take place January 26th at Platt Lane.