The University Of Liverpool Football 1st Team came from two goals down to salvage 2-2 draw against local rivals Liverpool John Moores University on Wednesday afternoon. In a frantic contest filled with drama and passion, Ed Simon and Owen Pollard completed a strong fightback for the Blues in their last away fixture of the season, giving them a second draw in succession.
UoLFC made the short trip down the road to Aigburth looking to end a run of three games without a victory, and their early dominance in the match suggested there was a strong possibility of this happening. The Blues had all of the early chances, including a one-on-one for Simon that was saved well by the JMU ‘keeper following a smart flick from Tom Rutnam. The home team worked their way into the contest, though, with their striker squandering two chances to give them the lead. He made amends for this soon after, though, meeting a ball over the top and flicking it over Ben Atkinson before calmly slotting home on 25 minutes.
This shook the UoLFC players as they struggled to impose themselves on John Moores again for the rest of the half. Besides a Ross Phillips pass nearly being prodded in by Josh Dally, the attacking threat was all one-way traffic in favour of their opponents. Only a smart block by Harry Roe prevented the Blues falling even further behind, and a speculative bicycle kick from the JMU striker showed his confidence after the UoLFC defence was unable to clear its lines.
Having regrouped at half-time, the University of Liverpool came back out with much more intent, embracing the feistiness of the derby and having the majority of possession once more. They found more joy down the right-hand side, with Simon’s flicked effort on the hour trickling just wide after coming from this source. A sucker-punch blow came just two minutes later, with the JMU centre-back finding space in the box and arrowing a header into the bottom corner of UoLFC’s goal. The Blues made clear they were up for a battle, though, as Rutnam’s overhit free-kick crashed against the bar and Simon duly tucked home the rebound in the 67th minute.
John Moores had two brilliant opportunities to put the game to bed, including a miss from a yard out, but UoLFC hung on and ended the game as they started it – on top. With 10 minutes to go, a fantastic Rutnam strike was tipped aside by the JMU ‘keeper, but, from the resulting corner, Pollard rose highest to fire through the crowd and level the score. Pushing hard for a winner, the away side kept John Moores penned in, but were wary not to forget defensive responsibilities. A great tackle from Tomari Healy prevented a certain JMU winner, before a corner at the other end saw a UoLFC effort cleared off of the line.
Ultimately, the match ended all square, but Lewis Singleton and the squad can take pride in the way they fought back to share the bragging rights with their rival university. The 1st Team remain in second place after the result, having played a game more than the teams below them in the table, and round off their season on 13th March at home to Lancaster University. In the day’s other fixtures, the 2nd Team went down 2-1 to UCLAN, the 3rds lost 5-3 against Manchester Metropolitan and the 4th Team also suffered a 2-0 loss to the same opposition.