Futsal FA Cup
Sunday 18th March 2018 (11:45am KO)
University of Bedford – Aspire Gym
FT: Cambridge United FC Futsal 1- 5 Birmingham Futsal Club (HT: 0 – 2)
Goals – Monty Bouttell
Squad – Lino Cebey (GK), Chay Jakes (GK), Angel Martinez, Alberto Morcillo, Toby Hardwick ©, Monty Bouttell, Paulo Rodrigues, Vitalii Burnus, George Harlow, Jonathan Tofts, Greg Birch, Inaki Prado
Coach – Luis Mendonca
Mascot – JJ Hewitt
Attendance – 50
Cambridge United FC Futsal crash out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking.
It was 3rd vs 4th when National Super League sides Cambridge United FC Futsal hosted Birmingham Futsal Club in the first round of the Futsal FA Cup in unfamiliar surroundings. Due to scheduling, CUFC’s home cup tie had to be played at the University of Bedford. Given the teams involved from all tiers of English Futsal, United were somewhat unfortunate to draw top 3 side Birmingham Futsal Club at this first stage of the competition but the thrilling 5 – 5 draw the last time the two sides met gave the Us great confidence of securing a result going into the game. United were also looking to bounce back from the defeat against 2nd placed Helvecia the previous weekend.
Despite preparing well in training in the week leading up to the game, the Us didn’t do themselves justice in the first half and soon found themselves 2 goals down after 5 minutes to two well taken Birmingham goals. Cambridge United, despite being below par, did compete better for the remainder of the half and fashioned chances of their own. Indeed, it could have been all square at half time but for two good chances that fell to Alberto Morcillo and Monty Bouttell but were unable to capitalise on. So, United were both fortunate and unfortunate to go in at half time 2 – 0 down.
However, Coach Luis Mendonca clearly fired his troops up at half time and it was all Cambridge United at the start of the 2nd half. Their pressure soon told when an excellent passage of play saw Toby Hardwick pick out Monty Bouttell to make no mistake this time from close range to make it 2-1 with 16 minutes of the 2nd half remaining.
At this point there only looked like there would be one winner as the Us maintained their momentum and surely it was only a matter of time before they found the equaliser with Birmingham clearly rattled. But chance after chance went begging, final balls went astray and almost predictably all of the Us good work was undone by a sucker punch when a long clearance fell to a Birmingham player who made no mistake with a well executed chip over the stranded Us keeper Lino Cebey who had bravely played on despite breaking his finger earlier in the game.
Despite being 3-1 down now, United kept plugging away but it just wasn’t to be as Birmingham made no mistake with two more clinical finishes and the game ended 5-1 with Birmingham progressing to the next round.
Luis Mendonca and his Us team will have been disappointed to exit the Futsal FA Cup at the first stage, especially having reached the semi-finals in Manchester two seasons ago.
Cambridge United FC Futsal will be looking to get back to winning ways this weekend when they make the long trip north to face a resurgent Manchester Futsal Club who were themselves disappointed to somewhat surprisingly go out of the cup to a Tranmere Rovers side struggling in the Super League. United will be looking to cement 4th place and keep challenging for 3rd.
The Us will next enjoy home comforts after Easter when they face Oxford City in futsal’s own varsity match at the University of Cambridge Sports Centre on Sunday 8th April.
University of Bedford