FA National Futsal Super League
Sunday 25th March 2018 (2:30pm KO)
Belle Vue Leisure Centre, Manchester
FT: Manchester Futsal Club 5 – 8 Cambridge United FC Futsal (HT: 2 – 3)
Goals – Alberto Morcillo (2), Angel Martinez (2), Toby Hardwick (2), Monty Bouttell (2)
Squad – Jose Lima (GK), Chay Jakes (GK), Angel Martinez, Alberto Morcillo, Toby Hardwick ©, Monty Bouttell, Vitalii Burnus, Nico Papadopoulous, George Harlow, Jonathan Tofts, Greg Birch, Enrico Barnes
Coach – Luis Mendonca
Attendance – 125
Cambridge United FC Futsal record excellent win in Manchester in the FA Futsal National Super League
Cambridge United FC Futsal made the long trip north to Manchester on Sunday in the FA Futsal National Super League to face Manchester Futsal Club. Both teams had gone out of the Futsal FA Cup the previous weekend so were looking for a response.
Cambridge and Manchester know each other well, with both playing in the Super League North last season, Manchester finishing 2nd and United 4th whilst the Us beat Manchester at the Quarter Final stage of the Futsal FA Cup the season before in United’s inaugural season. Manchester Futsal Club have a long pedigree in the English game and are traditionally always very strong but United have enjoyed a good record in their previous meetings.
Despite a disappointing two defeats in the last three games, Cambridge United were still in 4th place in the FA Futsal National Super League whilst Manchester were a disappointing 7th place after a slow start but had found some good form of late. Us Coach Luis Mendonca knew that his side would face a stern test against a strong Manchester with home advantage and counting several internationals in their ranks but had prepared his team well for this game.
Cambridge United started far the better of the two so were disappointed to find themselves a goal down after 5 minutes after a lapse in concentration was punished but Alberto Morcillo levelled matters at 1-1 just 2 minutes later.
In a fiercely contested first half, it was Manchester who again took the advantage somewhat against the run of play with a good finish from a tight angle but the Us equalised almost immediately through a long range effort from Angel Martinez to make it 2-2.
The game ebbed and flowed for the rest of the half in what was a highly entertaining game in front of a large Manchester crowd at Belle Vue with a small but noisy Us away support. It looked like the match would remain on level terms until some excellent team interplay saw Monty Bouttell tee up Alberto Morcillo for his second of the game on the stroke of half time to see United go in to the break with a well deserved 3-2 advantage.
Cambridge knew that they had to start the 2nd half with the same intensity as the 1st, instead another lapse of concentration at a Manchester set piece saw the home side level matters again at 3-3 almost immediately.
United Coach Luis Mendonca decided to tweak his tactics with the Us pressing higher up the court with great intensity, putting Manchester under sustained pressure and forcing errors. It proved to be a masterstroke as this pressure told almost immediately when Toby Hardwick reacted quickly to make it 4-3 to the Us from close range. Things got even better 5 minutes later when Toby Hardwick once again was the first to react in front of goal to grab his 2nd of the game and United’s 5th.
Manchester did manage to hit back to give them some hope at 5-4 but Cambridge responded almost immediately to make it 6-4 restoring the 2 goal cushion again through man of the match Angel Martinez for his 2nd of the game.
United’s Monty Bouttell is currently joint top goal scorer in the National Super League and soon got in on the act too. Firstly intercepting possession followed by a clinical finish to make it 7-4 before grabbing his 2nd of the game too by calmly slotting home from his own half with Manchester’s fly goal keeper out of position. Manchester did score a late consolation goal and United youngster Greg Birch’s goal bound effort was unlucky to hit the post with almost the last kick of the game but Cambridge saw the match out for a fantastic 8-5 win.
Coach Luis Mendonca was delighted afterwards with his ever improving United side and one of the better performances of the season bouncing back from a couple of under par displays.
It was also to prove to be an important win as Cambridge United not only look to have cemented 4th place in the FA Futsal National Super League, but 3rd placed Birmingham drew against Oxford City so the Us are now just 2 points behind with 5 games remaining.
The Us play their final home game of the season after the Easter break when they face Oxford City in futsal’s own varsity match at the University of Cambridge Sports Centre on Sunday 8th April.
Belle Vue Leisure Centre, Manchester