10-man UEL exit BUCS Cup
PUBLISHED: 15:30 19 February 2015
Football squad knocked out of Southern Conference Cup
University of East London first team fell short of a semi-final place in the Southern Conference Cup after a 3-1 defeat to Portsmouth University first team at Beckton District Park.
The hosts took an early lead through a sweetly struck free-kick by Stefan Neilson, but it was short lived as visitors equalised straight after from a close range shot.
Portsmouth went in front shortly into the second half after great individual skill from their striker and UEL went down to ten men with a third of the game remaining as Stefan Wright was sent off.
Although they pushed for an equaliser, Portsmouth wrapped up the tie with a header to put them into the semi-finals.
UEL started brightly with an immediate chance. Siao Levi-Blackwood’s crossed in for top goal scorer Johan Caney-Bryan, but his volley was straight at the away keeper.
Dillan Stephenson was then brought down on the edge of the box and Neilson stepped up and struck a low shot around the wall and into the bottom corner to give the hosts the lead in this important quarter-final.
But the lead lasted just a minute as Portsmouth broke. The ball was worked out wide and a low centre across the six yard box and was slid home for the equaliser.
Neither side could break down the other in the final third of the first half, as Portsmouth neutralised UEL’s threat of Caney-Bryan and frustrated their play.
East London had a great chance to take the lead early in the second half through Stephenson down the right flank, his mazy run worked some space for a shot just inside the box which pinged off the near post.
Again, though, Portsmouth took charge of the contest and with 53 minutes played a long floating ball split the home defence and a great first touch from the Portsmouth winger enabled an easy toe poke underneath goalkeeper Richie Robbins.
UEL were forced into an early change as Neilson was caught by an elbow, both players went up for the ball but Neilson came off worse and was replaced by Shahid Kasako and the goalscorer was taken straight to hospital with a suspected broken nose.
Matters went from bad to worse for UEL in the 64th minute when Wright was given a straight red for dissent and UEL paid the price with only ten men.
A clearance up field turned into an attack as the defence left the ball to run for Robbins. The ball did not reach him, though, and Portsmouth’s striker pounced and headed over the UEL goalie to extend their lead.
The home side’s frustration showed and despite their best efforts they could not work their way back into the match and they exited the competition.
UEL: Robbins ©, Hammond, Harold-Egole (Adesina 82), Wright, Neilson (Kasako 55), Levi-Blackwood, Kone, Stephenson, Caney-Bryan, Ola.