Words by Joe Harmer
A brace for Dale Hodge was enough to ensure a deserved victory for John Moores over the University of Liverpool in the Varsity match at Wyncote. Initially a game of few chances, UoL were lucky to escape with a one goal deficit as John Moores had numerous chances to extend their lead before Matt Turner grabbed a consolation goal at the death.
In a first half largely devoid of quality in either final third John Moores had the better of the possession and looked the more likely to score throughout. However, the first threat to the scoreline came from UoL in the 12th minute, after some neat work down the left hand side. The cross was whipped deep where Chris Anele stretched to head the ball back where it came from. Despite his valiant effort, the ball could only loop agonisingly onto the crossbar and behind.
The opening goal would come 10 minutes later after a scything challenge in the centre circle allowed JMU the opportunity to lump the ball into the box. A perfectly placed knock down header followed and Hodge was waiting to put a perfectly placed half volley into the bottom right corner, well beyond the reach of UoL keeper Graeme Smith.
Half time came and went and JMU increased their stranglehold on the game. Surely enough the second goal came, with a devastating counter attack. An overlap down the right wing led to the ball being cut back to Hodge who was on hand to sweep the ball home. After that the game was effectively over. Hodge was denied a hat trick by a goal line clearance as UoL lost all discipline. The final whistle couldn’t come quick enough for a weary UoL backline, but not before Turner could grab a goal at the death.
Final Score: 1-2