Player and journalist Kieran Baldwin reports on an afternoon of missed chances for the UEL football 3rds…
The University of East London 3rds suffered back to back defeats as they lost 4-2 to Queen Mary’s University 4ths at Hackney Marshes.
Joel Kalambyi and Ayman Ahmed were the scorers for UEL to give them a 2-1 lead but the visitors’ clinical finishing secured the three points.
Speaking after the game, UEL Manager Ryan Gordon was critical of his sides finishing: “If you don’t take your chances you can’t expect to win games. We created so many opportunities from throw-ins and corners but not once took advantage.”
UEL had a chance early on in the game but Amaar Edwards’ volley cannoned off the crossbar and went behind for a goal kick.
The home side were caught out by a long ball over their defence, which left Kane Taylor isolated and he brought down the attacker – the second consecutive penalty UEL have conceded. The Queen Mary’s striker brushed himself down to convert the penalty and put the away side in the lead.
UEL responded positively after going behind and had several chances to bring themselves level. They eventually took one of those opportunities, as the ball was switched across midfield to find Kalambyi, who played a classic one-two with Conor Denham before calmly slotting the ball into the net past the keeper.
Kalambyi almost put the East London side ahead moments later after his shot from the edge of the box forced the Queen Mary’s keeper into a fantastic save down to his right.
Despite UEL looking the more dominant, Queen Mary’s threatened on the break and had a chance to take the lead but could not take the advantage.
UEL did make their pressure count to take the lead, as Edwards stole the ball back on the edge of the Queen Mary’s box and Ahmed was on hand to poke the ball past the oncoming keeper.
The hosts lack of concentration with half-time approaching gifted Queen Mary’s the leveller, as they failed to clear their lines and the Queen Mary’s midfielder intercepted the ball and curled his effort into the top corner.
The turning point in the match came just seconds before half time, when UEL were awarded a penalty as Kieran Baldwin was brought down inside the Queen Mary’s box. Denham stepped up but his weak effort was stopped by the visiting keeper and the half ended on level terms.
The missed chance from the spot lifted the away side in the second half, as they regained the lead for the second time from a set piece – which caught UEL’s back-line napping.
Queen Mary’s extended their lead with a fourth shortly after, as they punished UEL from another set piece. A long throw came in from the left and the Queen Mary’s striker met the ball first to head in and claim his brace.
UEL pushed to get back into the match but all their efforts were denied by the Queen Mary’s solid defence. The home side could not make the pressure count in the final third for the UEL forwards, as Queen Mary’s were able to see the game out.
UEL will now look to secure their league status as opposed to challenging for the league title after a week’s break.