The University of Nottingham (UoN ) Women’s Futsal Team narrowly lost to the Nottingham Trent University (NTU) Women’s Futsal Team, losing 4-3 in a pulsating, swinging game at Jubilee Campus.

The ladies knew that a win would mean that UoN took home the Varsity 2016 crown, and it was evident from the start that both teams were fired up by the stakes of the game.

The game started at a quick pace, with both teams guilty of unforced errors and misplaced passes. It was Trent who had the first chance of the game, however, as goalkeeper Emily Garland was forced into a great save from close range after 5 minutes.

“UoN were the team that broke the deadlock, however, with Ejupi played in by a fantastic Mariah Cameron pass”

At the other end, Elizabeta Ejupi was showing the sort of skill that has made her one of the stand-out performers for both the women’s football and futsal teams, beating two players and flashing a shot just wide of the top corner, in UoN’s first chance of the game.

The game was opening out as we approached the ten-minute mark, with both teams having chances to take the lead, including a goal-mouth scramble in which UoN managed to save what looked like a certain goal, along with a near own-goal which Garland did well to get down to.

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UoN were the team that broke the deadlock, however, with Ejupi played in by a fantastic Mariah Cameron pass, who was UoN’s stand-out performer, and a calm finish under the Trent keeper.

Trent came firing back, and should have made it 1-1 when clean through on Garland, but the Trent striker screwed the shot wide, and less than a minute later, were made to pay for it.

Cameron stole the ball in the middle of the park, and showed unbelievable composure to round the keeper and fire in, giving UoN a 2-0 advantage with 8 minutes to go of the first half.

Only some phenomenal Garland saves kept the score at 2-0 for as long as it was, and when Trent finally scored, the sense was that it had been coming.

“The UoN pressure finally told, however, as Cameron scored the goal of the game with a crisp strike, right into the top corner”

Trent, buoyed by their first goal, then grabbed their second of the game to equalise just before half-time, with UoN’s lead wiped out and the game finely poised again.

The second half began in much the same vein as the first, with both team misplacing passes; Lauren Heria picked out the pass of the game, however, with a delightful ball over the top which was narrowly headed wide.

Heria was at it again a minute later, another great pass playing Cameron in, but her shot was saved well by the Trent keeper. The UoN pressure finally told, however, as Cameron scored the goal of the game with a crisp strike, right into the top corner.

Against the run of play, however, Trent managed to hit back, and with that goal, the momentum shifted in Trent’s favour. Cameron was forced to take a yellow for a professional foul on a Trent player clean-through, and from the resulting free-kick Trent struck, leading for the first time in the game.

Try as they might, UoN could not break down the Trent defence, and were consigned to defeat, despite what had been a very good performance.

UoN Women’s Futsal Team Roster:

Nicole Butterfield

Elizabeta Ejupi

Emily Garland

Lauren Heria

Ana Mihajlovic

Ellen Salter

Mariah Cameron

Natalie Flanagan

Beth Garner

Joanna Loayza

Ellie Readman

Anna Tilley

Words by Connor Higgs

Images: Connor Higgs

Follow @ImpactVarsity16 for more updates on the 2016 Varsity Series.

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