By Tanaka Mvere
Leeds Trinity University men’s first team have secured their second promotion in three years.
A second half goal from defender Jamie Connor clinched the title at University of York. It comes two years after Leeds Trinity won promotion to the Northern 2B division.
Centre back Ashley Chamberlain said: “Winning the league is the best moment I’ve had playing for my university. Getting promoted to a league the university has never been in shows how far we have come as a squad.”
Trinity went into this game knowing a win would secure top spot. The last time these two met was back in December when Leeds Trinity won 4 – 1.
But the first half proved tricky, playing into the wind, as York dominated possession and looked dangerous on their set pieces.
However, the winds of change came in the second half when Trinity played with the breeze. Their first real chance on goal came from the left side as a low shot to the near post was blocked by the foot of the York keeper and bobbled up into the air and bounced just wide.
Trinity continued to apply pressure, closing down quickly and forcing defensive errors. Their efforts almost paid off as a Jamal Stewart cross from a break away found Tom Mucklin in the York penalty area, who placed his header beyond the keeper. However, the referee disallowed the goal, ruling the ball had gone out of play before the cross.
Trinity carried on testing the York keeper with chances from strikers Jamal Stewart and Matt Broadley. On the hour mark, an in-swinging cross from midfielder Alasdair Gurney was met by a powerful Jamie Connor header, which proved to be the winner.
Trinity almost doubled their lead when unmarked Stephen Smith a raced on to meet a cross from the right side. But his effort hit the woodwork and a goal mouth scramble failed to force the ball over the line.
Leeds Trinity snuffed out a handful of half chances for York and at the final whistle, the celebrations began.
Centre forward Jamal Stewart said: “I feel over the moon winning the league and getting promoted in my first season.”
Teammate Ashley Chamberlain added: “My aims next year are to keep our team in the new league so in future seasons they can build a squad good enough to eventually climb even higher.”