The grand finale of Stan Calvert 2018 took the form of a mens 1st team futsal match.
For those of you that don’t know, futsal is essentially similar to 5-a-side football, but with a smaller harder ball, rolling subs, and 20 minute halves with a stopping clock. This makes for a very fast-action, technical and often high-scoring game; a fantastic spectacle for supporters.
With Northumbria taking the M1 futsal win last year but the score as close as 6-5, Newcastle were fired up for a tense rematch. Despite being two leagues below Northumbria in BUCS, the relatively newly established Newcastle team have shown fantastic form this season, largely to the credit of player and coach Xavi Rodriguez Corral, and stepped out onto the pitch with confidence.
As seemed to be a trend throughout Stan Calvert fixtures this year, the first half of the mens futsal was fairly did not clearly belong to either side.
The starting side of Thomas Valand, Rodriguez Corral, Toby Arup, and Umar Daoud were fast to secure their first goal and giving Newcastle a 1-0 lead. Following this, Northumbria managed to equalise, their attempt to get ahead following a close-to-goal free kick was foiled by an excellent save from keeper, Thomas Crozier.
Newcastle were fired up for a tense rematch
Ten minutes into the first half, Northumbria passed through Newcastle defence and gained the lead. Following this all four Newcastle players substituted themselves. James Mckenna, shortly after returning to the pitch dramatically slid across the floor as the result of being fouled by a Northumbria player. Rodriguez Corral Scored two fantastic goals bringing the score back in Newcastle’s favour to 3-2 before the ball lost the pitch completely and found the face of an unfortunate Northumbria supporter called Amy.
In the final five minutes of the first half goals alternated between the sides. Each time the poly equalised, Newcastle restored the lead, but with less than a minute to go this trend was bucked as a penalty was awarded to Northumbria due to contact by the Newcastle keeper. This penalty brought the score to 5-4 at half time.
The second half began with two penalties being awarded to and scored by Northumbria, but this did not deter the spirits of Newcastle. Five minutes in Newcastle’s Ammar Ba Omar took a corner. He passed the ball over the Northumbria players to Valand who volleyed it into the net with tremendous precision.
Unfortunately after this event the energy of the Newcastle side waned and the rest of the game was decidedly Northumbrian. The game including the final score of 9-6 and the Northumbria-dominated supporter stands were representative of this years Stan Calvert memorial cup competition as a whole.