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Tuesday 22 May 2012

NTU women lose 1-0 as Varsity Trophy is Beeston bound

NTU Womens footballer in action
NTU Women's fought hard but were unable to comeback after Beeston scored

The Nottingham Trent University Women’s football team lost in the 2012 Varsity match to the University of Nottingham (UoN) in a closely fought affair. UoN left in late to seal a 1-0 Victory. With 13 minutes to go, Jenny Bradley fired in from close range to secure the game and the 2012 Varsity series in the process – UoN leading eight matches to five with only two fixtures left to play, including the men’s fixture which took place immediately after.

Before the game kicked off, there was a minute’s applause for UoN player Ariel Olsen who tragically died after contracting meningitis. A cagey start from both teams meant there were no real openings in the early exchanges. It wasn't until the tenth minute that the first effort on goal was registered, NTU’s two Nottingham Forest Ladies linking up well, Brogan Jones slipping in striker Aileen Whelan to force UoN keeper into a smart save. It was Jones again who was involved moments later, taking a shot at goal, but unfortunately going high and wide. UoN began to penetrate NTU’s defence and were unlucky not to go in front, NTU keeper, Chanelle Swadling was rooted to the spot after a header from Sinead King flashed just wide of the mark. The game began to open up as NTU settled the better and started to pass the ball around. Full back Lauren Plummer sent a lovely ball in to Jones’ feet, Jones turned and played a ball inside the back four to Whelan, who fired just over.

Minutes later, UoN’s Bradley did manage to hit the target. She was sent through one on one with Swadling but Swadling foiled her attempts making a crucial save diving to left. The rebound fell kindly to Bradley but she still couldn’t find the net, Jenni Foster clearing off the line.

The second half began evenly with both teams having half chances. The first real opportunity came to NTU as Jones drove in a corner that fell for Whelan. She did well to find space in the box but shot wide of the right hand post. With the game becoming scrappier as players tired, Bradley produced a piece of brilliance. The UoN keeper could only look on as she crashed a shot against the bar which look destined for the top corner.

With 15 minutes left to play, Whelan showed her class winning the ball herself and driving at the UoN defence but as three UoN defenders immediately swarmed on her, she could only manage to win a corner. Jones received the ball back from the short corner and hit a cross come shot towards the goal which bounced agonisingly of the top of bar twice with Bates beaten all ends up. The game was end to end and UoN finally broke the deadlock, Livie Thompson whipped in a dangerous ball that Swadling could only palm into Bradley’s path and she had the simple task of firing in from 3 yards out. The rally that was needed from NTU didn’t come as UoN closed the game out well. And with NTU pushing bodies forward it was UoN who had the best opportunities to seal it. With five minutes of injury time, NTU still couldn’t find the elusive goal they longed for and UoN ran out 1-0 winners

This was a disappointing defeat as it meant NTU surrendered the Varsity trophy for the first time in three years. But with no fewer than six freshers in the NTU starting line up, there is no doubt this team will be a very strong outfit come next campaign.