Cambridge United FC Futsal 9 - 5 University of Nottingham Futsal = 9-5 (HT: 3-1)
Having finished as FA National Futsal League Division 2 Midlands Champions in their maiden 2015/2016 season and securing promotion via the end of season play-off finals, Cambridge United FC Futsal began their Super League North campaign on Sunday as they welcomed a strong, young University of Nottingham Futsal side to the Cambridge University Sports Centre.
After a good pre-season, CUFC Coach Luis Mendonca had left his side in no doubt that a strong start to the season was imperative and that is exactly what he got.
CUFC started strongly, defending effectively when not in possession and testing UoN when with the ball. The U’s were rewarded by racing into a 3-0 first half lead courtesy of some fine finishing from captain Alberto Morcillo. 3-0 would have been a fair reflection of the first half and the U’s were seeing out the last few seconds when a lapse in concentration gave Nottingham an opportunity which they took.
So, a less comfortable 3-1 score line at the break and a shift in momentum as UoN went into half time with lifted spirits.
The visitors started the second half where they left off the first and soon narrowed the gap to 3-2 with an unfortunate own goal as a result of some concerted pressure.
However, Cambridge United showed tremendous character, re-grouped and continued playing their futsal. The U’s were justly rewarded with four quick fire goals, two apiece from Toby Hardwick and Alberto Morcillo again, racing back into a more comfortable 7-2 lead.
This should have been enough but Nottingham didn’t give up and came back again with a goal of their own to make it 7-3. By this time the game was getting a little fractious and as a result of a lack of discipline Cambridge found themselves on five fouls meaning that every subsequent foul would result in a 10m penalty. UoN exploited this and soon won a penalty which was deftly converted narrowing the gap to 7-4.
Again, CUFC could have wobbled but instead stood strong, regained their composure and hit back with 2 goals of their own through a deserving Angel Antelo Martinez capping a fine performance and a 6th of the game for Alberto Morcillo playing a captain’s role. The 9-4 score line effectively put the game out of sight of UoN despite a late consolation goal making it 9-5 at full time.
So, Cambridge United FC Futsal start the season with a deserved win which augers well for the season ahead and share top spot in the early Super League with favourites Birmingham, both with three points and a plus four goal difference.
It’s straight back into action for the U’s as they host Loughborough Futsal Club this Sunday, with tickets available on the door at the University of Cambridge Sports Centre and online at cufcdirect.com.
CUFC Goals: Morcillo (6), Hardwick (2), Martinez (1)
Match day squad: Lino Cebey, Chay Jakes, Alberto Morcillo ©, Chema Cruz, Angel Antelo Martinez, Toby Hardwick, Monty Bouttell , Justo Lopez, Pedro Pereira, Vitalii Burnus, Greg Birch, Luis Mendonca