The Blues have gone unbeaten in their league campaign, winning seven out of nine gamesKane Smith/kanesmithphotography

Cambridge University Association Football Club (CUAFC) Blues have today (02/03) been crowned champions of the BUCS Midlands Tier 2B division after recording a 2-2 draw with Warwick 2.

The Blues didn’t lose a single game in their title-winning run, notching up seven wins and only two draws. They will face Leicester 2, who currently place fifth, next Wednesday (09/03) in their final game of the season.

Coach Tom Blatch named a strong side for the fixture, with Lumi Kanwei, Fortina Oshasha, and Cai La Trobe-Roberts spearheading the Cambridge attack, while big-hitters George Pugh and Brody Wooding started on the bench.

In fairly grim conditions, Cambridge did well to dominate the opening phases of the game, with midfield duo Reece Linney and Matt Harris moving the ball around well and frustrating the visitors. Warwick, despite several talented players in their midfield, were more committed to sending the ball long, to little avail in the early minutes.

Lumi Kanwei opened the scoring for CambridgeKane Smith/kanesmithphotography

Every week, up and down the country, makeshift linesmen are drafted in from either team's substitute bench and handed a flag. Often, this practice has little detrimental effect, but sometimes can err on the side of bias. In this case, the latter certainly applied. The warning signs began in the tenth minute, as La Trobe-Roberts pounced on a defensive error before the Warwick player assigned raised his flag to the outcry of the Cambridge players.

He could do little about the opening goal, however, with Oshasha winning position in the Warwick box and sliding the ball across to the prolific Kanwei, who made no mistake in rifling in from the edge of the box.

Despite their early dominance, Cambridge almost conceded right after Kanwei’s goal, with keeper Tim Wallace brilliantly aware to close down the onrushing Warwick striker to protect the 1-0 lead.

Then came the second of the linesman’s interventions, La Trobe-Roberts once again the victim after finishing well before the goal was ruled out despite looking at least half a yard onside. 

Cambridge’s Sean Cusack in actionKane Smith/

Warwick did find a way back into the game just before the half-hour mark, their winger allowed too much time to shoot before the rebound rolled across goal to give the grateful striker an opportunity he could not miss. The goal invigorated Warwick, who went close moments later with a shot from just inside the box narrowly flying over.

The pressure was telling, and Warwick pulled into the lead after 35 minutes, Cambridge’s defence slow to react to a cutback which was met with a strike that left Wallace no chance.

Cambridge weren’t behind for long though. A foul thirty yards from goal allowed Matt Harris to whip in an excellent cross, which was met by La Trobe-Roberts’ chest to level the score at 2-2.

The score remained unchanged at the half-time whistle, Cambridge deserving to be ahead by at least a goal by virtue of an erroneously disallowed effort.

The Blues went close just after the break, with Kanwei winning back possession before slipping in Oshasha, whose effort was well saved by the Warwick goalkeeper.

The Blues have two games left in the current academic year, the last of which being the annual Varsity Football match against OxfordKane Smith/kanesmithphotography

Shortly afterwards came the game’s most controversial moment. Cambridge were awarded a free-kick just outside the box, taken by midfielder Harris whose superb effort was tipped onto the bar before La Trobe-Roberts tapped in the rebound. Yet, the linesman - who had switched at half time with another Warwick player - raised his flag. After a lengthy delay involving much consternation between the two sides, the goal was disallowed, much to the vocal displeasure of the few supporters gathered on the sidelines.

Harris almost did score five minutes later, La-Trobe Roberts once again at the heart of the action, holding the ball up well before Harris stroked the ball just the wrong side of the upright.

Despite the scoreline, Cambridge continued to apply pressure, Oshasha in particular impressing as he consistently beat the Warwick left back, including one particularly audacious nutmeg. When Warwick did regain possession, the back four of Sonny McPherson, Matt Hawthorne, captain Ben Adam, and Alex Bragg did well to nullify their counter attacks.


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Kanwei had the opportunity to add to his tally, beating a man and shooting just wide from the edge of the box. He had support to his left in the form of Sean Cusack, who probably was in a better position to score but chose to go it alone instead.

Late on, George Pugh replaced La Trobe-Roberts, who probably should have had a hat-trick, and almost immediately put Cambridge ahead. A loose ball from a corner was driven on the volley by Pugh, ricocheting off the bar to prevent what would have been a stunning winner.

Celebrations ensued when the referee blew the whistle at 2-2, which ensured the Blues’ position as Tier 2B champions, an accolade that their performance in this game reflected. While they perhaps should have won this game, there will likely be little complaint in the Cambridge corner now all is said and done.

Varsity Player of the Match: Matt Harris (Cambridge)


Cambridge: Tim Wallace, Alex Bragg, Sonny McPherson, Matt Hawthorn, Ben Adam (C), Matt Harris, Reece Linney, Sean Cusack, Lumi Kanwei, Fortina Oshasha, Cai La Trobe-Roberts

Substitutes: Olamide Ogunnaike, Louie Roberts, Brody Wooding, George Pugh, Jay Paul

Warwick: Unconfirmed

Aside from their final BUCS clash with Leicester, the Blues will now turn their attention to this year’s Varsity match against Oxford, which is taking place on Sunday 13th March at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium.