Tim Wallace prepares to lauch a Cambridge attackJonny Coffey

The men’s football Blues failed to capitalise on a 2-0 lead on Wednesday afternoon, conceding two second-half goals to draw against league leaders Nottingham 2s. An imperious first-half performance gave way to a lethargic second-half effort, and Nottingham clawed their way back to deny the Blues a potentially season-saving three points.  

Nottingham looked the more threatening side in a frantic opening, forcing goalkeeper Tim Wallace into two excellent saves. However, as the game settled, Cambridge began to dominate. Josce Syrett starred from attacking-midfield, drifting wide and stretching the Nottingham defence with incisive runs in behind. Syrett was instrumental as Cambridge took the lead. Combining with Asa Campbell, he raced down the left flank and fired a ball into the box. A Nottingham flick diverted the ball, but only as far as Matt Harris, whose side-footed volley found the top left-hand corner.  

The Blues continued to dominate. Gritty defensive work from centre-backs Ben Adam and Matt Hawthorn staved off the Nottingham counter, and the irrepressible Syrett continued to orchestrate play through the middle. Drifting right, he slotted in full-back Sonny McPherson. McPherson then found Tom Randall, whose lashed effort was deflected narrowly wide.  


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Now moving over to the left, Syrett sped onto a deft Alex Bragg through-ball and found Sean Cusack with his low-driven cross. The striker failed to convert on this occasion, but would show a clinical edge early in the second half. Charging beyond his defender, Cusack was brought down in the Nottingham box. He stepped up to take the penalty himself and his composed finish found the bottom left corner, evading the outstretched hand of the Nottingham keeper.  

The Blues invited pressure onto themselves in the later stages and the visitors took advantage. A looping header from a corner made it 2-1 and, minutes later, a Bragg handball gave Nottingham a penalty. Sending Wallace the wrong way, their striker completed the comeback. To make matters worse, the frustrated Harris and Bragg found themselves sin-binned for dissent.

Despite only having nine players on the field, the Blues showed desire to claim victory in the final minutes. Substitute Brody Wooding was whiskers away from a breathtaking match-winner. Cutting inside from the left flank, the winger drove past four Nottingham defenders before unleashing a swerving effort from the edge of the box. Agonisingly, the ball whistled past the post and Cambridge were forced to settle for a draw. Currently sitting in the relegation zone with two games to go in the league, the Blues’ upcoming clashes with Birmingham 1s and Loughborough 2s are now must-wins.  

Varsity Player of the Match: Josce Syrett