Clifton Robinsons were on the road for the second week in a row up against a skilful and fit University of Birmingham team. The visitors were travelling without a number of keys players due to injuries picked up in the week but were still confident due to the quality and depth of the squad this season.
Clifton started tentatively, feeling their way into the game with little to show for the first quarter. The second quarter was a different story; Clifton came out in a different gear with a flurry of quality attacks, neatly switching the ball from one side of the pitch to another. This allowed the likes of Eloise Laity and Jess Lea to show their speed and drive down the outside to win a number of penalty corners in quick succession. The decisive moment came for Clifton in the 24th minute with a silky carry on the baseline by SJ Thornburn, who got the better of the home side’s defence to pull the ball back for Phoebe Richards who darted in front of her defender to thunder the ball into the top of the net.
Clifton took the lead going into half time but University of Birmingham’s continued pressure in the second half forced Clifton to make some last ditch tackles from the defensive back three and fine saves from Goal keeper Aline De Visser. Clifton conceded a number of circle entries and penalty corners and with 12 minutes to go the equaliser came for the home side from a hit at the top of the circle. Clifton responded with some fine attacks but failed to capitalise, leaving University of Birmingham to catch them on the counter and upgrade to a penalty corner. A familiar hit took a big deflection into the top of Clifton’s goal and sealed victory for the home side.