U'S DEFEAT YORK IN PLAY-OFF FINAL
Cambridge United Futsal Club seal a 5-3 victory over York at the University of East Anglia, to clinch promotion to the FA Futsal Super League for the 2016/17 season!
Luis Mendonca’s side rounded off a superb debut season in amber and black with a stunning performance that seals promotion having already claimed the Midlands Division Two title this season.
It was the visitors from Yorkshire who began the game brightest, with U’s goalkeeper Jose Lima forced into a series of early saves to keep United in the contest.
However, the pressure eventually told with York skilfully finding a player at the back post to tap in and open up a one goal lead.
This acted as the wake-up call that the U’s were in need of, as Mendonca’s men responded in blistering fashion by moving the ball around with pace and creating an increasing number of goal scoring opportunities.
Captain Morcillo soon levelled the score line when he finished off a parallel pass with an excellent finish to find the back of the net.
York now seemed to be unsettled and United capitalised through Chadwick, who got his name on the score sheet to bring the U’s the lead for the first time in the afternoon. They now had a firm grip of the game and continued to find space between York's defensive lines.
It was therefore a little surprising that Cambridge’s third, Chadwick’s second, came from a counter attacking move as the U’s put daylight between the teams.
However, York responded by pulling a goal back just 0.6 seconds before the half time hooter sounded, after the U’s were unlucky in conceding a foul close to their own area.
The second half continued to be a very tight and tense affair with the goalkeepers at both ends called into regular action.
It was to be the U’s who registered in the next foray of note, as Morcillo bagged his second of the match following a fantastically well-worked set play, that brought calm to United’s rising nerves.
With just over eight minutes left on the clock Chadwick received his second caution of the game, which meant that Cambridge were left to play with four men for two minutes or until they conceded a goal.
Mendonca’s side remained very well-organised defensively and managed to keep the two goal difference for the duration of the two minutes, despite some heavy legs from the men in the blue away jersey.
York were now playing the fly goalkeeper and having hit the woodwork once, Cambridge kept trying to push the opposition back and through a break almost got the three goal margin that would have put the game to bed.
Unfortunately for the U’s, it backfired as a long ball by York found a player in the Cambridge area who managed to skip past Martinez and round Lima to bring the score to 4-3.
The game moved into the dying embers and Cambridge nearly took advantage of York’s fly keeper, with Hardwick close to scoring in an empty net from distance.
York managed to get one last chance through a corner with six seconds left on the clock, but this time Hardwick retook possession and fired on target from his own half to secure the win for the U's.
Speaking post-match, first team goalkeeper Jose Lima said: "It's an incredible achievement! Around this time last year when we found out we would be part of the National League, I wouldn't have told anyone that we had a good chance of getting promoted, but the results just kept going our way.
“It just shows how much hard work has been put in both on and off the court by everyone involved. It's been a fantastic season and we’re hoping that we've made everyone connected to Cambridge United Football Club proud, whether it's the board or the fans!
“We'll do our best next Sunday against Manchester in the FA Futsal Cup, we know it will be a tough game away but we are going there to enjoy our Futsal, which is what we've been doing all season.
“If we work hard as we have been doing since August last year maybe there could be a surprise, who knows?”
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CUFC - University of York FC = 5-3 (HT: 3-2)
CUFC goals: L. Chadwick (2), A. Morcillo (2), T. Hardwick (1)