Fixture: BUCS Futsal Premier League Western
Results: Plymouth 0-6 Team Bath / Hartbury 2-3 Team Bath
Date: Sunday 5 February 2012
Venue: @Futsal Arena in Swindon
Team Bath 1sts travelled to the @Futsal Arena in Swindon with the knowledge that wins over Plymouth and Hartbury 1st would guarantee them a top two finish and a fourth successive place at the BUCS Futsal Finals.
Bath kicked off the third round of qualifying matches with an early start against Plymouth 1sts who were also vying for a top two finish in the Western Premier League.
Team Bath started slowly and struggled to find much rhythm, however, after Dorin’s goal at the backpost from a Yilmaz pass, Bath began to find their feet and string some good plays together, yet were still far from top gear. A crisp strike from Ingram, deflected into the net by a Plymouth defender, capped a comfortable first half for Bath.
Bath noticeably stepped it up in the second period, scoring early on through Dorin who then completed his trick firing in after good build up play.
Plymouth had difficulty coping with Yilmaz’s direct dribbling and was punished with two goals from the Team Bath player to seal a much improved second half display and a clean sheet that Davies helped protect with some smart second half saves.
After a short break, Bath came up against a strong Hartbury side that were seeking revenge for a 6-3 defeat earlier on in Round 1 of qualifying.
The Bath players needed little motivation for this game as a win against the long-time rivals guaranteed a spot in the BUCS Finals held in Sheffield in March. It was therefore little surprise that Bath started on the front foot and scored early on as Jennings slotted in after Dorin fired across goal.
A solid team defensive display in the first half allowed Hartbury few opportunities to score while at the other end Bath were unable to capitalise on some promising counter-attacking opportunities.
At the start of the second half Hartbury found it hard to cope with Bath’s pressure further up the court. As the half wore on Bath began to drop deeper, soaking up the Hartbury pressure and relying on some strong tackling and instinctive saves to stay ahead.
A moment of quality from Yilmaz, who arrowed in a screamer from his own half with the keeper off his line was a great reward from some dogged defending.
As the game entered its final stages with Hartbury power-playing, Lima grabbed his first goal for the club with a delicate half-volley from his own goal that sailed into the empty Hartbury net on the international sized court.
Hartbury grabbed two late goals to end the game at 3-2 to Bath after a few lapses in concentration from the Bath defense, yet this did little to dampen the spirits from what was a well-earned victory.
Team Bath will now look secure top spot in the Western Premier League as the final round of qualifying takes place at home this weekend.
Team Bath: Lima (GK), Davies (GK), Jennings (c), Yilmaz, Dorin, Ingram, Ott, Gardiner, Gavaghan, Kiyamov