05.05.2008 – Nick Bailey

Sydney University Soccer Club breathed a collective sigh of relief as the Men’s NSW Super League side recorded their first victory of the season on Sunday, notching up at 2-0 defeat of the Northern Tigers at University Oval.

In an impressive display against the third placed and highly fancied Tigers, Uni young gun Aaron Kidd netted both goals for the Students in a vital win that puts their season back on track and draws them away from the foot of the ladder.

Coming off three straight losses, Uni knew that defeat this week could have spelled the end of their finals chances. Those fears were quickly allayed as goals to Kidd in the 16th and 45th minutes saw the Students take a 2-0 lead into the break, just rewards for a dominant first half display. Uni held their nerve in the second half to hold the Tigers out and taste victory for the first time in 2008.

In a much improved performance, Uni played with a passion and commitment on home soil which impressed Head Coach Bruce Tilt:

“We’ve been close to a win most of the year, and really took a lot out of the loss to Bonnyrigg – and that was our motivation. We thought that if we did so well against Bonnyrigg and got nothing out of it, we could beat the Tigers.” he said.

“It was a good all-round display. Look, we’re a little naïve, a little young, and we’ll have good days and not so good days. People have to understand that the players are so young. For many of them, this is their first time in first grade and they are still feeling their way.”

“The quality is not quite there but the spirit is something different. The camaraderie at the club is tremendous.”

It was a busy week for Uni, having played their rescheduled Tiger Turf Cup fixture midweek, which unfortunately resulted in a second round 3-2 loss to Mounties SC.

Uni will be looking to continue their good form in the Super League when they take on league leaders Liverpool this Sunday afternoon at Ernie Smith Reserve, in what promises to be a tough, enthralling encounter. Buoyed by their success this weekend, Tilt isn’t ruling out the possibility of the Students producing what would be the upset of the season:

“Now we know we can win, the question is can we do it again next week against Liverpool. We are taking a lot of confidence into the next match, but we must realise that we built up to this point through hard work, not luck. We’re ready for it and I think it will be quite a good match.”

Kick-off is at 3pm, with the Under 20’s side playing the curtain raiser at 12:30, looking to bounce back from their 7-1 humbling by the Tigers last weekend.

It was a scoreline that haunted Sydney Uni sides, with the Women’s Premier League side also going down 7-1 to the Macarthur Rams in their Round 6 encounter. This Sunday they will host Central Coast Lightning at Hensley Athletic Field, with kickoff at 3pm.