South Bank defence shines as title creeps into sight

South Bank defence shines as title creeps into sight

Darnell Depradine’s brilliant header saw LSBU take the spoils over UCL in this table topping six pointer


Having comfortably dispatched a spirited but underwhelming Middlesex the week before with ease, this game proved to be the exact opposite in more than just score line. It was a game that held all the hallmarks of a top of the table clash. LSBU were just a point behind UCL but with a game in hand. UCL had dispensed with the other team vying for the title – Suffolk the week before. A draw would have made South Bank favourites for the title, a defeat would hand the initiative back to UCL.


The pitch before South Bank ensured that a smooth, quick passing rhythm was unlikely to flow. The bobbles meant the fall never stayed flat across the turf. Acclimatising to this surface from the smooth astro turf of Burgess Park meant that South Bank started the game firmly on the back foot.


After a poor clearance, the ball was slid into the LSBU box, some grappling failed to stop the ball being squared to the middle where the pitch made its first intervention, the ball bobbled up meaning the scuffed goalwards shot was comfortably, yet vitally blocked on the line by Clive Sarireni.


It was South Bank that had the best chance of the game so far. Exploiting a weak UCL backline, a brilliant lofted through ball from Amin Martinez found LSBU striker James Leyton. Having already bagged a dozen goals this season, you would have bet that after showing excellent control to bring the ball down and bear down on goal, he would have slotted his shot past the keeper but it wasn’t to be as his poked shot went agonisingly wide.


In game of such fine margins, it often takes either a moment of brilliance or moment of luck to produce a goal. In the case of the opening goal, it was neither. Just a long through into the box from the left wing. The ball sailed over everyone only to be met on the six-yard line by a gleeful UCL poacher who volley home the simplest and most frustrating of goals to reward UCL’s dominance thus far.


South Bank were firmly on the back foot and were indebted to their keeper Joe Cook who made the first of a string of saves to keep his team in the game. A well placed through ball from the left wing was seized upon by the UCL man who without needing a touch, struck his shot goalwards bring a smart save from Cook and keeping the game to within the one goal. South Bank almost broke the dominant period by scoring against the run of play. A throw in of their own from Bradley Baterip on the right was controlled by Leyton despite a big shunt in the back, getting back up quickly and showing all the dogged determination that has shone throughout his season, he turned his man and dinked a cross to the back post. It found an onrushing Kaylem Weadock who planted his volley straight into the ground where it bounced painfully over the bar and it was yet another golden chance gone awry.


UCL responded with the best chance since going in front. An interception in midfield was grabbed by the UCL defender, the loose ball was nudged around the oncoming LSBU defender leaving the UCL frontman with a one on one of his own. Charging to the edge of the box before picking his moment to strike, the fierce shot was met by a powerful and brave save by Cook, standing up strongly to deny UCL once again.


If LSBU had ridden their luck before-hand, they were perhaps fortunate to benefit from their own slice as half-time approached. As mentioned, luck can make all the difference but good teams make their own luck and it was with that luck that South Bank equalised. A corner from the left sailed across the six-yard box where it was only half-cleared. Connor Burrows managed to half control the ball before it was kicked of his toes. Matt Clarke on the edge of the box brought the ball back under control before moving it on to Weadock on his right. His first-time cross was only flicked on by Burrows but luckily behind him lurked Pol Basso-Pinol. There were claims that he was offside but before they came, he headed goal-wards over the keeper but the lack of power gave UCL a golden chance to clear. Bizarrely however, the UCL man on the line chose to stoop to head clear rather than the obvious option to boot it clear. His header could only fall as far as Burrows who had stayed up and volley home easily from six yards to give South Bank a crucial leveller.


Connor Burrows (L) scored a crucial equaliser for LSBU whilst keeper Joe Cook (R) made a number of vital saves


There is never a bad time to score in football, but there are most definitely better times than others to score. And with only a few minutes remaining in the half when you’re one-nil down is certainly one of the better times to score.


After a warning shot from LSBU substitute Ishmail sailed wide of the post. South Bank got their chance and they grabbed it. A throw in from the left was flicked into the path of Leyton by Darnell Depradine. He twisted and turned, trying to find a route further into the UCL penalty area. Unable to advance further, he laid the ball off to Ishmail. He took one step to his right before swinging a cross into the box where it was met by Depradine who thundered his header into the top corner and fired his team into the lead.


Darnell Depradine (center) scored the crucial winning goal with an excellent header


Being at your most vulnerable when you have just scored almost proved true for South Bank. Another poor clearance allowed UCL in again, initially one on one before being chased back by Baterip. It almost stalled the attack completely before the UCL forward shimmied his way into a shooting position and with his left foot, unleashed a snap shot that Cool did excellently to keep out given it travelled through the legs of Baterip.


South Bank finally began to settle on their lead and almost increased it soon after that chance. A free kick out on the left was whipped in by Ishmail and bounced all the way to the back post where Depradine nodded it back across goal, Leyton was waiting to pounce but the ball was whipped away from him at the crucial moment.


That chance wasn’t to prove costly though as the referee brought the curtain down on a brilliant and determined victory that could prove invaluable as the league comes towards its conclusion. Two points clear and with a game in hand on UCL mean the initiative is well and truly with South Bank in the run in. However, three games still remain and they will be wary of conceding any ground and giving any hope to those chasing as they remain in the pursuit of title glory.

Weadock quadruple sends South Bank top

Weadock quadruple sends South Bank top

The LSBU winger eased to his 12th goal of the season against Middlesex but second half defensive frailties will be of concern going forward.


In what could have easily passed for a carbon copy of the reverse fixture in November last year, the game against Middlesex followed an oh so similar pattern. Race into a massive lead in the first half, score some great goals, win the game after 45 minutes. Then come out again and sit off, and leave the first half magic in the changing room. The only difference here today, is that sitting off cost them more dearly than the first time, three goals rather than one, and they did at least check the poor defensive errors by scoring four more goals to make it 9-3 at full-time.


Fast starts have been a bedrock of LSBU’s impressive form this season. In fact, they scored their quickest goal of the season in the reverse fixture. Today was no exception. Racing onto a loose Middlesex pass, Amin Martinez charged forward before sliding through a pass to Kaylem Weadock who took the ball out of the path of the defender and slotted home from 12 yards.



That goal meant Weadock and James Leyton were tied for goals scored this season and the LSBU frontman almost responded immediately. A flick from Darnell Depadrine was chested down and from the edge of the area, Leyton fired a powerful volley that looked for all the world like it was going to nestle in the bottom corner only for the post to come to Middlesex’s rescue.


South Bank pressure kept up relentlessly. Matt Clarke had a powerful shot tipped over the crossbar and Mo Gani shot narrowly wide from outside the box before a rare Middlesex foray into LSBU’s half almost gave them a shock equaliser. A cross from the left went deep to the back post, initially headed half clear from Clive Sarireni, the ball was controlled by the Middlesex forward who spun well before unleashing a ferocious volley goal-wards only to see it met by a spectacular block from Sarireni who denied Middlesex a certain equaliser.


After preventing a goal at one end, Sarireni turned from saviour to provider just moments later. Latching onto a through ball from Clarke, Sarireni, turned inside his man and despite being harassed by the Middlesex defender, managed to hold up the ball long enough to lay it off to Leyton who dropped back to receive the ball and fired home a brilliant first time left-footed shot from the edge of the box and South Bank had powered into a two-goal lead.


Leyton was instrumental in LSBU’s next goal. His quick feet and trickery drawing a cynical foul from the Middlesex defender just outside the box. Up step Weadock. Having found the net twice already this season from free-kicks, this one was presented to him on the other side of the goal, better suited for a right footer. But nothing was going to prevent him curling another sublime effort into the top right corner, leaving the keeper flat-footed. 3-0 and nothing less than South Bank deserved.


LSBU’s forth also came courtesy of a free-kick, although, with a huge degree of fortuity about it. Wide out on the right wing. Clarke swung a left-footed curling ball into the box that flicked off a Middlesex head and nestled perfectly – if unluckily into the corner. A cruel own goal but an own goal nonetheless.


LSBU’s fifth was as simplistic as they come really. Depadrine won a good tackle just inside the Middlesex half, spun and released Mo Gani who charged at the solo defender in front of him. To his left was the lurking Leyton who tucked away with ease after Gani’s simple forward pass.


Easy enough to say a job well done at half-time and that the second-half emphasis would be on pushing on with ruthless aggression. But far from keeping Middlesex on the back foot, it was South Bank that found themselves going backwards. Despite the scoreline, Middlesex possessed their own danger man who struggled to get going in the first-half but wasted no time asserting his ability in the second. The number seven received the ball just inside the LSBU half and proceeded to carve through the entire South Bank team like a blowtorch through butter. Poking the ball home past stand-in keeper Charlie Wetton to ruin any chances of second successive clean sheet.


5-1 however is no reason to fret but it almost became 5-2 almost straight after. A corner was only half cleared and as the ball ran away from the goal, the referee blew after adjudging that Depadrine had tripped the Middlesex man. Penalty to Middlesex. Usually players are pushing to take the penalty, in this case though, it was trying to give the ball to someone else. Once responsibility had finally been assigned, Wetton got down quickly to his left to push the penalty behind for a corner, the lack of power reflected the lack in confidence in the penalty taker.


The chance may have gone but more kept coming. A lobbed ball was seized upon by the Middlesex frontman who had beaten the offside trap, the bouncing ball made it awkward and may have been the reason his shot cannoned off of the post rather than nesting the corner of the net.


The game started to drift afterwards. Weadock had a chance to complete his hat-trick after an excellent one-two with substitute Pol Basso-Pinol but could only roll his shot into the keeper hands. At the other end, Wetton pushed a long shot wide with Middlesex’s number seven continuing to run all of his team’s attacks. LSBU got themselves on the second-half scoresheet soon after. Finding himself in a chasm of space in the centre of the Middlesex defence, Basso-Pinol received a straight forward pass and one on one with the keeper, toyed with one shot before slotting home South Bank’s sixth.


Middlesex responded with a quick one-two of their own. Receiving a defence splitting long ball through the middle, the Middlesex number seven latched onto the loose ball and initially completely missed his first kick at goal, but made no mistake with his second, rolling the ball home. He ran on to another long ball only a few minutes later, taking the ball past the on-rushing South Bank keeper and finishing well from a tight angle to complete his hat-trick.


After being kicked back into reality and finding themselves reduced from a five-goal lead to a three-goal lead. South Bank finally found the extra gear they needed to put Middlesex to the sword. Basso-Pinol kicked things off with his second since coming off the bench. A goal very similar to his first. Weadock received a pass to feet from substitute Brian Yego he waited on his pass through, finally releasing the ball to Basso-Pinol, he finished with a smart side-footed strike that made the score 7-3.


Weadock had dominated the Middlesex midfield and defence all afternoon and easily deserved his hat-trick. And he could not have been given an easier goal to get it with. Amin Martinez’s corner was curled in; it could have easily gone straight in under the bar. Rather it bounced off the top of the crossbar and then delicately fell to an unmarked Weadock who couldn’t miss his nod home from two yards.


The final goal of the game came from a cross from the right. Full-back Bradley Baterip’s deep cross was controlled after the bounce by Yego. Only six yards out, his fierce shot was blocked but Yego persevered to find Basso-Pinol. He was crowded by two defenders but in an attempt to clear, the ball only succeeded in bouncing straight to Weadock who tucked away his second simple tap in and his fourth overall to round of the score at 9-3.


The result in truth was never really in doubt. Despite the wobble at 6-3. South Bank’s five goal cushion at half-time was always going to prove insurmountable. The irritation will be conceding three goals to a team bottom of the league with minus three points. That said, to score nine against any opponent is a startling achievement. To do it two games in a row is remarkable. No doubt they will not meet as generous a defence in UCL next time round but the knowledge is there that even when one good opposition player can take a game to them, they can always respond by simply outscoring whoever stands in their way of the title.

“We’d like to be done out of a job” – life on the foodbank frontline.

“We’d like to be done out of a job” – life on the foodbank frontline.

With hundreds of thousands of visits to foodbanks occurring every year, coupled with benefit cuts and delays, how do staff on the frontline cope, reports Charlie Wetton

It’s not often you find people who will so openly preach about wanting to lose their job. But for the coordinator of a Kennington foodbank – Rebekah Gibson, it is something that she longs for. I sat down with her during the middle of a standard two-hour session of the Oasis Centre in Kennington.


Foodbanks, benefit cuts and delays and endless parliamentary debates have kept foodbanks in the news for years now. Those on the frontline of this ongoing struggle are left to pick up societies pieces. According to the Trussel Trust, more than one million three-day emergency food supplies were issued between April 2016 and March 2017. In the six months following, another half a million were given out as the true reality of the Universal Credit switchover bore out.


Rebekah is the only paid staff member of the Waterloo branch of the Trussel Trust. With her are a group of up to 50 regular volunteers. She explained why so many people offered their time.

“A lot of our volunteers have recently seen the film I Daniel Blake… They saw that and thought ‘I didn’t realise how big this problem was’ and they felt the couldn’t sit back.”


Throughout this 20-minute sit down, it was refreshing to hear the passion of someone talking about their career. Even when asked about the hard times and how the job can affect her.

“Lots of the people coming in here are in really horrible situations, they’ve had really tough and really traumatic events happen to them… When people open up and share those stories with you, it’s great that you can be a part of their journey, a part of their story but obviously it does affect you emotionally and does cause impact to you. “


There is no doubt to her that cuts and delays to benefits have been the primary driver of people to foodbanks. This interview came just two days after Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced the switchover period to Universal Credit would be reduced to five from six weeks. Rebekah described the six-week wait as “crippling” to people living hand to mouth. The end of the interview leads to me to ask bluntly. Is this a battle you can win?

“All foodbank managers would like to say that they would be done out of a job. Our vision is to see the door of the last foodbank close”.

Unsurprisingly she qualifies that this is unlikely to happen anytime soon.


Downstairs in the store room, plastic tubs full of cereals and canned goods adorn the shelves. I see the laminated sheets that spell out how much of what different groups of people should get.


The laminated sheets tell the volunteers what quantity of what products should be given out

Down there, I meet two volunteers, sifting through large boxes of donations. One of them, Katie told me that being in-between jobs means she wanted to do something with her spare time. The bureaucracy of the benefits system is castigated, how heavy handed it can be because you may miss one appointment or fill out a form incorrectly.

“Just doing something and not knowing it’s the wrong thing to do. The idea that you can end up not being able to feed your family because of that is just awful”.

Essex swept aside as imperious South Bank march on

Essex swept aside as imperious South Bank march on

LSBUFC recover from a first half deficit to obliterate Essex thirds and reach the quarter finals


Facing the prospect of a team with exactly the same record as them this season, only in a higher league. LSBU once again faced the daunting prospect of a team a division above them. On what was on paper, their toughest game of the season in reality was a mismatch with the supposed lower division team putting a shoddy and largely toothless opposition to the sword.


It was an insult to the scoreboard as much as a shock to the system that South Bank walked in at half time one-nil down, Essex having pounced on a rare defensive mistake to take a shock and undeserved lead. But in what can only be described as a right old rollicking at half time had the effect of producing two goals in two minutes on two occasions within the first ten minutes of the second half. If the game was being played in a large stadium, fans returning late after their half time pie and pint could have easily not known the score had gone from 0-1 to 4-1 in a matter of moments. 



The first half was an equivalent to a boxing match where one boxer lands blow after blow without getting the knockout whilst the other retreats to the corner, keeps his arms up and yet still manages to flatten his opponent once during the half. The initial onslaught started quickly, when James Leyton exchanged an excellent one-two with Kaylem Weadock on the edge of the box, working the ball to a tight angle, the shot was easily parried by the Essex keeper but still, it was an early warning shot.


A dangerous free kick from Amin Martinez was swung into the box. Rising above his marker was Connor Burrows whose header seemed goal bound until it was hooked clear, both of the goal and the onrushing Harry Thompson who was lurking at the back post. Burrows was finding little luck from excellent jumping, the resulting corner was beautifully floated in by Mo Gani. Burrows rose again, his header destined to find the net but for a good goal line clearance that left the South Bank players with their heads in their hands.


Piling forward and with Essex yet to settle at all and constantly losing possession in the final third of their own half, South Bank carved out yet another opportunity. A rather tame shot from the edge of the box from Ishmail was spilled by the keeper. However, Leyton who has already poached a couple of goals this season wasn’t quite able to clip the ball home, the Essex keeper making amends with a smart save. The ball was cleared for a matter of seconds before an excellent ball from Thompson found Martinez who dangerous cross just evaded Leyton. Falling unmarked at the back post, an onrushing Weadock attempted to volley home and was disappointed when the ball sailed over the bar and South Bank’s best chance so far had gone begging.


The next couple of chances denied to LSBU were the result, first of bad luck, then brilliant defending. Far out next to the sidelines. Left back Clive Sarireni lofted the ball into the box, surely what was meant as cross completely missed all of his teammates but the swirling ball dropped painfully onto the top of the crossbar bringing a sigh of relief for the floundering Essex keeper.


James Leyton came close a number of times and was unlucky not to add to his 4 goals this season

Only minutes later, after more brilliant play down the left from Weadock, he surged into the box having evaded an attempted tackle, cutting the ball back from the byline found Leyton. Believing he faced an open goal, he opened up his body and calmly slotted the ball towards goal. Having done everything right, the pain when the Essex defender brilliantly threw himself in front of the ball caused disbelief that South Bank were still level although, huge credit should be given to the Essex defender for a magnificent block.


Bad enough was it that South Bank had spurned so many chances. What came next was a cruel and unlucky blow. After a tackle on Darnell Depadrine in midfield that could easily have been given as a foul, the ball was played in behind Sarireni at full back, with minimum pressure behind him, his backpass to South Bank keeper Joe Cook was too light allowing the Essex frontman to take the ball around Cook and slot into an empty net to give Essex a lucky, unfortunate and underserved lead.


While it could have been that South Bank became deflated after such a sucker punch, as has been proved repeatedly throughout the season, their resilience rallied them and they continued to push forward, now in the search of an equaliser. Good work on the right by full back Bradley Baterip released Gani again. His deep cross was met by Weadock who skewed his volley into the path of Leyton. With his back to goal, he tried a speculative left-footed bicycle kick that just cleared the bar.


Leyton as always continued to be involved in most of South Bank’s attacking forays. He was unlucky, having latched onto a brilliant Ishmail pass to be flagged offside after applying a tidy finish. His long pass out to the right found the ever dangerous Gani who tricked his way around the full back with ease, his cross rebounded to Martinez lurking on the edge of the box but like Leyton before found his shot on goal changed down by the Essex defence.


“Not good enough” was the message at half time. South Bank responded by scoring 4 times in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half


As half time approached, South Bank launched one final attack. Burrows hoofed a huge volley downfield. The ball, swerving all over the place wasn’t cleared by the Essex centre back, eventually controlled by Leyton who rushed through on goal only to be met with an out coming goalkeeper who managed to kick the ball away from Leyton just outside the box where it rebounded kindly for the keeper to clear safely.


Upon the whistle for half time. The question “how on earth are we one-nil down” was asked with a lot more force and with choicer language than can be written. A half which had seen South Bank produce a level of dominance that could only be compared to the first half mauling of Middlesex where they scored four times without reply. In all honesty, if they had walked in at half time two-nil up, the team talk would likely have been pretty much the same. I.E – why are we not out of sight?


Much is credited to half time team talks. Whether it is justified as to if it does actually make a difference is up for debate. Today however, it wasn’t in doubt that South Bank heeded the warnings, both of what is expected of them and what was at stake for them. It took a matter of seconds to turn scoreline worry into scoreline delight. Stooping to direct a header from a long Essex pass into the pass of Martinez. His one touch laid it off to Ishmail who allowed it to run before unloading an unstoppable 25-yard rocket into the left corner. Coming straight from the Essex kick off after half time, they found themselves kicking off for the second time in 60 seconds. But they didn’t learn their lesson.


Losing possession in his own half to Depadrine, he looked up and attempted to play in Ishamil behind the centre back. What should have been a routine clearance skipped over his boot and Ishmail was able to walk the ball out to the right-hand side. Depadrine had stayed over and received the ball, looked up once again and picked out Weadock unmarked at the back post with a pinpoint cross leaving Weadock to head home well and within two minutes, South Bank went from one down to two one up.


After an entire half of pounded the Essex dam, LSBU ensured that when it burst, a flood would follow. A long clearance from Cook was excellent controlled by Leyton. Suddenly along with Ishmail to his left and the freshly introduced Callum Bedward to his right, South Bank found themselves with a three on one. Leyton chose left to Ishamil who almost effortlessly lifted the ball over the sole Essex defender to the marauding Bedward who with his first touch nodded the bouncing ball over the onrushing Essex keeper finishing a sublime move. From Cook’s kick to Leyton’s touch and pass, Ishmail’s sublime lobbed pass and Bedward’s deft and brave header. This was one of South Bank’s goals of the season purely because at no point did they allow the Essex defence to get close to them.


LSBU’s tackling this season as a whole has been both excellent and dangerous to opponents who have been caught napping and suddenly have to find themselves defending. Another recent substitute Pol Basso Pinol but in what is fast become a trademark challenge on the halfway line, robbing the ball, powering forward and finding Ishmail to his left with a precise pass. Allowing the ball to roll past him onto his left foot, he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper and gave South Bank an assured three goal lead.


Amin Martinez (R) chats with Kaylem Weadock. Weadock scored his 4th and 5th goals of the season


South Bank were blessed this day to have top quality reserves on the bench, Bedward and Basso Pinol had already made their mark. Now the returning Matt Clarke was also introduced, his heaving run forward set up South Bank’s next chance, his pass to Leyton produced a snap shot that was blocked, another substitute Jack Haywood got to the loose ball first passing to Bedward on the left. He took aim and his looping shot was heading were it not for a good save from the Essex keeper who pushed it over the bar.


Seemingly content with 4-1 lead. South Bank stepped off the gas, whilst not an uncommon feature among cruising teams, it doesn’t seem to suit LSBU who started to get a little sloppy. Essex were unlucky when a great run into the box on the right saw a shot cannon of the left post. At that stage in the game with almost half an hour remaining, it could have been a dangerous end to the game. Another sloppy mistake followed. Thompson receiving a pass from Weadock attempted to pass first time, however it was charged down by the Essex striker who manoeuvred forward to goal, going clean through his shot was excellently saved by Cook. South Bank could only half clear before Essex found themselves one on one again but this time the weak shot was saved by Cook and the rebound which was perhaps an even easier chance was put wide. South Bank had survived a period of play that should have seen the scoreline narrow.


Essex did keep pushing and after having a goal ruled out for offside they got the goal they had been threatening. A long ball down the right was met by the Essex winger. He lobbed the ball over Cook who had come off his line in an attempt to meet the ball. The ball bobbled across the goal, Thompson attempted to clear but couldn’t quite hook it clear leaving a tap in at the far post. It was too little too late, but still an irritant to South Bank who had played and defended so well throughout the game.


However. Typical of South Bank all season, they responded with renewed attacking intent. The ball broke to Basso Pinol on the edge of the box, having weaved into the penalty area he set to shoot before the ball was knocked away from him, but only into the path of Ishmail who had a golden chance to seal his hat-trick, but his powerful shot cleared the bar.


As the game wound down, a handball by the Essex defender on the edge of the box gave South Bank a free kick that was perfectly set up for a left-footed strike. Naturally of course, up stepped Weadock. Whilst it certainly didn’t match his sublime free kick against Suffolk on the first day of the season, the skill to get a ball up and over a wall and on target is not an easy one to replicate. And yet again, the ball sailed over the ball and nestled into the bottom corner. The Essex keeper looked a little suspect in his attempt to save and the muted but happy celebrations seemed more a reflection that the day was a job well done.


The full-time whistle brought the game to an end on a thoroughly efficient days’ work. The nature of the goals conceded from two bits of sloppy play were annoying but not issues South Bank should be concerned about going forward for they were confident on the ball, and brilliant at winning back possession from an Essex team that will be disappointed in the nature of their defeat to a team a division below them. But as South Bank have proved three times already in the cup this season and will have to prove again against Chichester in February, facing higher league opposition means nothing because they will believe, rightly so, that they can beat anyone.



Live show role November 15th

On the live show that week. I worked as an on the day reporter. I went out with Sidney to the Student life centre where a entrepreneurial market was taking place. Together we interviewed the person responsible for organising the event as well as some of the stall owners. When I was back in the newsroom, I transcribed the interview that I had recorded in order to give Sidney quotes that he could use to write the written article.


After that I again edited and uploaded another football clip to be used in the bulletins as well as writing the script that the bulletins presenter read out on the show.

Live show role November 9th

On the November 9th show. I did not have an actual on the day role. However because I had recorded the University football team the previous day. I edited and uploaded one of the goals scored in the game so that it could be shown during the bulletins. In addition to that, I also wrote the script that the bulletins presenter read out. 


In addition, as I had been the director for the previous two live shows, I also offered any help or advice to the new director this time around. 

Weadock double condemns UCL and lifts South Bank

Weadock double condemns UCL and lifts South Bank

The LSBU winger scored twice adding to a James Leyton penalty as LSBUFC claimed their fourth successive victory


Whilst no one could deny the quality of football South Bank had played in their previous two games was excellent, they were certainly helped by poor opposition defending and goalkeeping. Today however, as they lined up for their toughest league match of the season against table topping UCL, they knew that nothing was going to be given to them.

The LSBU players prepare for the match with UCL

Fast and positive starts to games have been a staple of South Bank’s season so far but it was the visitors who dominated the early exchanges and could have easily found themselves out of sight had it not been for LSBU keeper Joe Cook and some poor finishing. Called into action early on to push a well struck volley wide, UCL were imposing whilst South Bank were sluggish.


What LSBU have found this season is the ability to create danger from very little. The always dangerous Mo Gani marauding down the right wing has baffled opponents in every game this season and after he was released by a superb pass from the excellent Pol Basso Pinol, he sped towards the box, bamboozled the full back and squared to James Leyton in the box who could only direct his shot over the bar. However, this period of danger from South Bank proved to be the exception rather than the norm in these early stages.


South Bank keeper Joe Cook (L) kept his team in the game with a string of first half saves

UCL were back on the front foot and threatening again soon after. A cross into the box was only parried away from Cook, but his quick reactions ensured the following shot was well blocked by his body. Again, UCL attacked down the left, weaving into the box, a powerful shot from an angle was straight at Cook who reacted quickly to push it wide again. Set pieces have been a thorn in South Bank’s side this season, a free kick just over the half way line was pumped into the box. Cook punched clear and was able to push the ball away twice after, thus not allowing a shot on goal.


After all the UCL pressure, the chances saved and squandered, it was LSBU that carved out the best chance of the half. Again, it was Basso Pinol who seems to have a gift for winning a tackle and releasing an attacker, again after stealing the ball, he instantly played in Gani through the right. With only the keeper to beat, he lashed his shot goalwards but the UCL keeper got down smartly to produce an excellent save.  


That shot really spurred South Bank into life and they were playing with a lot more intensity. A familiar attacking pattern was now emerging as Basso Pinol pass to Gani resulted in a superb cross into the box. Still up after a previous corner, centre half Harry Thompson found himself unmarked but will be disappointed that his header only skimmed his head and never troubled the keeper.


Attacking a Mo Gani corner that was played deep to the edge of the box, Kaylem Weadock rushed on to volley towards goal, the shot was well struck and only a solid clearance on the line prevented LSBU taking the lead. The game was now opening up as half-time approached. UCL then spurred their golden chance of the half. Some neat play down the right saw a perfectly weighted pass find the space between the two centre halves, unmarked from 6 yards out and only needing a decent connection, the UCL striker somehow managed to trickle his volley into the grateful arms of Cook. One more UCL was shot was savaged wide before the referee blew for half-time. Whilst it was perhaps a fair result at the break, the score line could easily have been 2-2 or 3-3.

The South Bank players are given a half time talking to after a sluggish start

South Bank attacked the first half with the same intensity from the off. Left back Clive Sarireni bombed down the left wing and his crossed picked out Leyton who couldn’t quite direct his shot on target. He came close shortly after, receiving a pass from Amin Martinez. With his back to goal, he span, worked an opening but his shot went just over the bar.


James Leyton (pictured) came close a number of times before scoring his 4th goal of the season

If the start of the first half was centred around the LSBU keeper, the start of the second was all about Leyton. The most controversial moment of the game came after a throw in from the right. It bounced to him from about 12 yards where he unleashed an unstoppable left footed volley which clattered against the underside of the post. The ball ricocheted down and the cheers from the South Bank players were an indication of if they thought the ball had crossed the line. The referee however disagreed and play continued with South Bank left to feel aggrieved.


As if that wasn’t bad enough on its own, what happened next was gut wrenching. The thorn in South Bank’s side returned to haunt them once again. A corner from the right was floated in and, climbing above his marker, the UCL centre back powered a good header towards to top corner. A desperate attempt by Weadock to head the ball clear was in vain and UCL found themselves in front with the simplest of goals.


South Bank heads didn’t drop however, they kept going forward and creating chances. Connor Burrows shot wide after some near play in the middle. Weadock came closer with one of his seemingly trademark curling free kicks that was well saved but only at the expense of a corner that gave South Bank their way back into the game. The keeper punched the first ball clear but some pinball ensued, with the ball bouncing all over the place, it eventually dropped down onto the arm of the UCL defender and the referee had no hesitation at pointing to the spot.


Kaylem Weadock (pictured) scored his 2nd and 3rd goals of the season

As sure as the referee was about the decision, as decisive Leyton was with the finish, giving the keeper no chance whatsoever and LSBU were deservedly level. With UCL still licking their wounds, South Bank went for the jugular. And they received a big dollop of help from the UCL full back. After Brian Yego attempted to run onto a through ball from Callum Bedward, the full back who had easily won the race inexplicably squared the ball across his own goal right into the path of a gleeful Weadock who gobbled up the chance and within five minutes, South Bank had come from behind to lead.


Chances then came to put the game to bed. The talented midfielder Ishmail twice game close and was twice thwarted by the impressive UCL keeper who had really been keeping his team in the game up to this point. Yego also had a double bite of the cherry. His first shot was blocked and he reacted quickly to get a rebound shot off but it went agonisingly wide.


All of this pressure from South Bank was still only yielding a vulnerable one goal lead. Cook had to be wary and made sure a trickling shot was pushed wide. It was always going to be safe but it was a reminder as the game ticked towards full time that LSBU needed to put UCL down. After all the neat play, close chances and controversy, it took a relatively route one approach to kill the game and claim all three points.A deep free kick from Cook bounced once, was flicked forward by Leyton, bounced again and was volley home from Weadock against a keeper who was off balance after coming up to attack a corner. However, it was no less than South Bank deserved.

It was indeed the last action of the match. LSBU had been made to work harder in this game than any other of their league matches. Putting aside a disappointing opening day defeat on this ground, they have responded with four wins, scoring 13 times. The football played at times was as good as anything they have produced this season. Coming a week before they return to Burgess Park for their crunch last 16 cup match against Essex thirds. They will also be boosted by the return to of Matt Clarke who made his first appearance since January after suffering a serious knee injury. The task ahead is great but belief can carry you a long way.