Posted: Mon 21st Mar 2016

USW Football Team Celebrate Cup Win /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 21st, 2016

University of South Wales (USW) footballers have made history by becoming the institution’s first national champions. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Facing reigning National Cup holders Hartpury in the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) National Cup Final, they were looking to gain some revenge after being pipped to the BUCS Premier South title on goal difference by the Gloucestershire team. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Hartpury had the first opening after 15 minutes, when a smart turn and shot by striker Scott Wilson was well saved by USW goalkeeper Ashley Morris, with Matt Long helping out by clearing off the line. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

USW opened the scoring on 25 minutes, when a great long pass from captain Clayton Green found Lewys Hydes’ driving run. He caused panic in the Hartpury goalmouth, with the keeper and a defender getting in each other’s way, allowing Hydes to roll the ball into the empty net. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

USW were then reduced to 10 men just before the break, when Louis Gerrard was sent off for reacting to a push from a Hartpury player. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The half-time team talk from manager Steve Savage and head coach Jarred Harvey was very positive, and focused on working hard as a team to defend the one-goal advantage. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Hartpury found it very difficult to break down a well organised and strong USW side, even with the man advantage. When called on, Morris and his resolute defenders dealt with Hartpury’s attacks and USW held out to take the final 1-0. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I am very proud of all our players and staff as this is a huge achievement for USW, with it being our first ever Championship final victory of any sport at our University, so they are history makers,” said Savage, who is also Head of USW Football. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“To do so after winning the league last season just shows that we are working hard to create a winning environment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We have come a long way in a short space of time, but let’s just hope it’s only the start of a successful period in our USW Football journey.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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