A 0-0 draw between the University of Portsmouth and the University of Chichester 1st teams at Langstone brought the first week of BUCS to a close.
A bumper and animated crowd surrounded the main pitch at the Langstone Student Village to see the first side grind out a goalless draw.
The result was a unfortunate end to an other wise successful day at Langstone amidst ‘This Girl Can’ week.
It was a mixed bag all round for the whole of UPFC with the other squads coming away from their fixtures with mixed results.
At Langstone Portsmouth’s 5th team overcame late pressure to beat the University of Brunel’s 5th team 2-1 to go third in the league.
On the road the Men’s 4th team beat the University of Surrey’s 3rd 5-2, the 6th ground out a 2-0 win against the University of Winchester 2nd squad, the 3rd drew 1-1 with the University of Chichester 4th and the men’s 2nd were frustratingly beaten 5-2 by Royal Holloway in a heated away fixture.
Pompey got off to a solid start thanks to George Dance, Thomas King and captain Harry Markatis locking the game down in midfield.
The home side went from strength to strength and were quickly rewarded. Helix passed the ball to Matt Addison who put it into the back of the net.
Unfortunately, moments later the whistle went and the referee brought back play. At this point a huge roar came up from the side of the pitch from the passionate home support.
The shot stung the keeper’s hands sending him into a Jakupovic like jig.
During the first half, goalkeeper Sam Gray was tested quite a few times but saved and parried well to prevent the visitors from taking the lead.
The centre back pairing of Michael Carroll and Liam Thomas stood firm to prevent a breakthrough.
Andrea Carrera and Iheanyi Helix frustrated the Chichester backline but couldn’t find a way to take the advantage and the two sides went into the break without a goal.
Portsmouth began the second half positively with a high pressing tempo. Tom Farmer also came on for akupames Witt, making his competitive debut.
Hayato Yokota first came close to opening the score line when his shot whizzed over the bar, captain Harry Markatis then had his shot from range saved by the goalkeeper. The shot stung the keeper’s hands sending him into a Jakupovic like jig.
It wasn’t long until Witt was in the thick of the action. A great cross from the left wing found fellow sub Sean McMonagle in the centre, but his header was saved by the keeper.
As the game came to a close, Chichester started to get their head back in it. After a long period of Portsmouth dominance, the visitors could have stolen the victory had it not been for Liam Thomas’s fantastic challenge.
Seconds from time, Portsmouth then had the best winning chance of the match from a free kick. Captain Harry Markatis stepped up to the mark and wrapped his right foot around the ball.
Markatis hit it perfectly with the right amount of swerve and dip to get it on target but the keeper had other ideas and with what seemed like a solitary finger parried it onto the bar.
A huge collective exhale came from the side of the pitch as fans were denied their last minute winner.
Markatis’s free kick would prove to be the final action of the game, one of the most exciting goalless draws for quite a while.
The goalless draw puts the UPFC 1st team mid-table in the South Eastern 2A league behind Brunel and St Mary’s. The side will look to to go onto bigger and better things in the next couple of weeks.
The 1st team travel away to Brighton and Brunel University in the league, plus Imperial College London for the cup before returning to Langstone on the 16th November to face St Mary’s University College Men’s 1st squad.
All photos by Kieran Clarke