Team Sunderland were this week’s hosts of the National Futsal Series League matches. There were 4 games in action across the day:
Washington Pumas 3-9 Derby Futsal (10.30 kick off)
Loughborough Students Development 1-10 Cheshire Futsal (12.40 kick off)
Team Sunderland 5-6 University of Nottingham (14.50 kick off)
Durham 12-0 Birmingham Tigers (17.00 kick off)
Washington Pumas 3-9 Derby Futsal
Derby Futsal beat Washington Pumas 3-9 in the first game of the NFS Round Robin.
The first half was a relatively close affair, with the half time score at 3-4.
Derby showed their class in the second half, scoring 5 goals in the second half and stopping the Pumas from getting a foothold in the game.
Derby opened the scoring with an early goal in the second minute, but the Pumas quickly responded when a long ball over the top was not dealt with and the Pumas number 2 scored the rebound.
Both teams utilised the wings well and both scored goals from crosses across the box to make it 2-2.
Washington took the lead to make it 3-2, but two clinical finishes from Derby meant they led at half time at 3-4.
Derby’s game plan of pressing higher up the pitch prevailed in the second half, making it hard for the Pumas to play further up the pitch.
Some brilliant interplay and yet more clinical finishing in the second half saw the score finish at 3-9 to Derby.
Sam Huntingdon of Derby Futsal offered his thoughts on the match and how the league is going so far.
“The first half was tough for us. After half time we settled into the game and worked it really well.”
“I think the league is going to be tight. It’s the sort of league at the minute where one slip can cost you the league, but we’re enjoying the competitive side of it.”
Pumas captain, Adam Richmond, was asked about Futsal’s popularity in the North East.
“It’s hard to say. There are three teams in the area now whereas there used to be one.”
“It’s not as popular as in areas like London, but hopefully in a few years when schools play more and they have scholarships, then hopefully more players will be coming through.”
Pumas Goalkeeper Andy Lindridge shared his views on the structure of the league and whether he thinks Futsal is gaining more of a profile.
“There’s been a few teething problems but I can see the idea behind it and it is an improvement on what has been in the past. We are all learning this season.”
“It’s becoming more mainstream. I’ve been involved for 15 years and now there’s kids’ teams and academies in the professional game. As these kids get older, there’ll be more people in the game.
“If the FA get this right and push it as they are, and the clubs buy into it, there’s no reason why it can’t keep growing.”
Loughborough 1-10 Cheshire Futsal
Cheshire maintain the top spot in the league after beating Loughborough 10-1.
Both teams started the game relatively well, forcing early saves from both keepers.
Cheshire became more dominant in the game, scoring four goals in the first half with some great play around Loughborough’s box.
Loughborough scored the first goal in the second half, after a kick in was laid off and excellently struck into the top left corner.
Despite an early goal, Cheshire still got control of the game and responded with a chip over the keeper to make it 1-5.
Cheshire showed why they were league leaders, scoring 5 more goals in the second half to end the game 1-10.
Cheshire’s coach said:
“I thought we controlled it as best as we could. The boys were dominant on the ball and they were clinical in the end.”
“We have had a good start to the league. It’s four wins from four and the goal difference is good so we need to keep the momentum up.”
“I think the new format has raised the profile of Futsal. There’s more coverage and the quality’s a bit better.”
Loughborough coach, Jose Llorente said:
“We didn’t know how to deal well with their press, especially in the first half. In the second half we opened too much space.”
“It’s an ambitious set up from the NFS. It gives people the opportunity to see more teams and to have a day of Futsal.’
“Hopefully it will bring more people into the sport and to make more people join.”
Team Sunderland 5-6 University of Nottingham
Team Sunderland were narrowly defeated 5-6 against University of Nottingham.
Nottingham started the game on the front foot, and capitalised with two early goals.
Nottingham then made it 0-3 and looked clinical in front of Sunderland’s goal.
Sunderland got a goal back after some good attacking play from Sunderland, and Lewis Cann was there to score the rebound.
Sunderland narrowed Nottingham’s lead further when the kick in was expertly finished by Lewis Cann for his second of the game.
Nottingham scored the next goal but Sunderland gave them no breathing space. Good interplay from the back led to Lewis Cann scoring yet another to make it 3-4.
Nottingham made it 3-5 and Sunderland went into the second half a man down after Ahmed Abdelraouf was dismissed for two fouls.
Sunderland started the second half well, forcing early saves from the Nottingham goalkeeper.
Sunderland were made to rue missed chances and Nottingham made the score 3-6, and could have had more had it not been for heroics from goalkeeper Matty Ellis.
Captain Jack McCaig got Sunderland back into the game, showing great resilience to get his shot away and past the keeper.
Sunderland kept pressing and made it 5-6 with 5 seconds to go.
Sunderland were much stronger in the second half, but just couldn’t manage to get back into the game.
Durham 12-0 Birmingham
Durham showed their class in a 12-0 win over Birmingham to keep the pressure on Cheshire and Derby.
The first five minutes of the game were tight, with no goals for either side.
Durham started to dominate the game and played some very good futsal in the first half, scoring three goals.
Birmingham only had 6 players and Durham exploited their tired legs in the second half, controlling the game even more.
Durham turned on the style in the second half, scoring 9 goals, including some brilliant strikes, and could have had more were it not for the woodwork.
The score ended 12-0 in a tough affair for Birmingham, but Durham looked very classy as they look to close the gap on the league leaders.