In their first every BUCs encounters, Stirling Futsal’s 1st and 2nd teams showed just why they have been included in only their 3rd year of existence. After a long trip to Sheffield Area the 1sts faced Sheffield Hallam University, while the 2nds had a shorter, but no less daunting, campaign against the University of Manchester 1sts.
The match in Sheffield gave new coach Farncisco De Sa Fardilha plenty to think about. The new look side, made up primarily of footballers who are new to Futsal, initially struggled to link in attack and moments of individual brilliance were responsible for the first two Stirling goals. However, it was in defence that Stirling had the most worries. After conceding and equalizer, two defensive errors led to a 3-2 lead for the hosts.
It was in the final fifteen minutes that the most important attribute of this team shone through-resolve. Despite their previous errors, gritty buy effective tackling and interceptions led to two goals from counter attacks.
In the final ten minutes of the match, with Stirling 4-3 up, the defence displayed little of the fragility which had dogged them earlier in the game. With workhorse captain Alexandru Bogdan leading by example the determined attacks of Sheffield Hallam could not materialise into genuine chances.
Back in Stirling, the Stirling 2nds faced up to the Manchester 1sts with the same gritty approach. The English side fought hard for very metre of the court and put three goals past the hosts. However the Stirling reserves, made up primarily of experienced footballers, adapted well to the indoor game, eventually winning 5-3.