The annual RAW vs Warwick Women’s Football game never fails to disappoint, with this year being no exception, as the Student Radio team pulled off a famous victory, whilst also presenting why they should keep on, well, presenting.
RAW started off brightly, having long spells of possession without creating any real chances with Women’s Football looking dangerous on the break. In fact it took around 15 minutes for the first real save of the game as the precise RAW build up play led to two one on ones that the Women’s Football keeper came out on top in with two magnificent saves. So impressive was the oppositions defence that RAW’s best chances seemed to only come from corners with the combination of some excellent goalkeeping and poor finishing keeping the game goalless. A highlight of the first half was Nick Harris’s venomous strike from a cleared corner, which was launched miles over the bar and the fence behind.
RAW started to tire towards the end of the half with huge gaps being left in midfield as the frustration of not being able to break the deadlock, alongside a complete lack of match fitness, starting to become telling. It was soon decided that a bit more muscle needed to be injected into the RAW defence, however within seconds of station manager Henry Riley and Sports Officer Ted Crowson being introduced, RAW went 1-0 down as a lack of pressing allowed a viciously struck long range effort which, due to vicious winds, swerve and a poorly prepared pitch, Head of Sport Ed Farrar was unable to keep from finding the net.
RAW went into half-time a goal down, with Henry Riley declaring “I don’t want to be cocky, but I was Man of the Match,” despite being at fault for the first goal, and Barnaby Merrill proclaiming that “everything wrong in the world is Ed Farrar’s fault.” All was not well in the student radio ranks with a decisive change in tactics needed to get back into the game. The Second-Hal began with Ted Crowson and a perturbed Barnaby Merrill, it’s unclear whether this was at having to betray his beloved student radio station or just laziness, moving into the Women’s team as the game was reduced to 10 players a side.
RAW again started brightly and were creating space out wide for the wing backs to exploit with any attacking threat from the opposition being thwarted by clever, if often clumsy RAW defence. Women’s Football were creating opportunities as some mazy runs and clever passing meant RAW were put under considerable pressure before RAW equalised as some opportunistic play from RAW Sport favourite Matt Delaney allowed the student radio a foothold in the game. Whilst many described the goal as scuffed, lucky and miles offside, RAW were back in the game and started to pile on the pressure, with the Women’s Football keeper making a string of fine saves to keep the score at 1-1. Michael Kynaston was proving a physical threat up front, nearly forcing a couple of openings, with Matt Delaney opening up space again and again down the right flank, but RAW just couldn’t produce that moment of magic to pull ahead.
RAW’s lack of a clinical finisher ending up hurting them as Women’s Football capitalised on a lucky bounce of the ball, and a lack of a linesman, to slot home their second goal, against the run of play. At this point it became clear that drastic measures were needed, with dramatic tactical changes being enforced, as Jack Abbey put on the gloves and RAW moved players forward in an attempt to win back the initiative. These tactics were nearly proven horribly misjudged as Jack Abbey kicked his standing leg rather than the ball attempting to deal with a back pass. Quickly though this initiative paid off as Elliot Mulligan, looking far more dangerous to the Women’s Football goal from Left-Back compared to Centre-Forward, raced through on goal to calmly slot home an equaliser. The quality of James Lewis and Nick Harris, dropping deep to control the game, was starting to show as RAW began to create more and more space across the park, and soon went ahead through an Elliot Mulligan strike from just outside the box with snuck under the keeper.
RAW had all the momentum behind them and quickly doubled their lead as Captain Ed Farrar scored a wonder goal, to create a Pandemoanium hat-trick, which led to one opposition player comparing him to the ‘Fat Ronaldo’, although it is unclear if this was a compliment or not. After flicking the ball over his marker, Farrar controlled the ball with his head, before striking the ball over the keeper and into the top left corner from distance. This moment of brilliance left everyone present speechless, apart from the man himself when he found out it had not actually been filmed, and unfortunately convinced the new Head of Sport that he was in fact brilliant at football, leading to even more audacious attempts in the middle of the park.
The game from this point was effectively reduced to an unorganised farce as formation and tactics were abandoned in search of overall glory. RAW’s very own Social Secretary James Lewis suffered from this as he was nutmegged by Ted Crowson on the wing before being tackled three consecutive times by Women’s Football’s Elle who terrorised RAW’s star player towards the end of the game. Neither team looked like having the energy to be able to change the game at this point and soon the full time whistle was much welcomed by both sides at the end of the game with the score being…
RAW Sport- 4 (Delaney, Mulligan (2) , Farrar)
Women’s Football- 2
Player of the Match for RAW went to Matt Delaney for his tireless work at right-back for the entire game, however the overall player of the match was Women’s Football’s Left Winger Elle who ran rings around us all day, and made even the brilliant James Lewis look a little bit silly. What next for RAW after this grand victory? We will just have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, the Pandemoanium team will likely need their egos brought back down to earth for the new season.
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