Date: Saturday 14th October 2017
Venue: Butts Park Arena
Well hello one and all. After progressing into the 3rd round of the Polymac Packaging league cup with a mid-week 2-0 victory over Leicester Road, United are rewarded with a home tie against Premier rivals Quorn FC. Before that though United today welcome Shawbury United to the Butts Park Arena for a league fixture on paper they should win. We all know though that league standings in this division stand for nothing as Worcester City found out last week after Shawbury ground out a fine 2-1 victory against the title favourites.
With United starting to show the form they opened their league campaign with, they will need to be at their best to overcome the challenge of their opponents for sure. With the announcement of some new signings into the club also, will no doubt add healthy competition to the squad. Manager Terry Anderson will have an array of talent at his disposal to pick his starting line up from so that should be an interesting scenario come the KO.
The referee gets the game under way and United see most of the ball in the early stages without creating any clear cut chances other than 4 corners that are all easily dealt with inside the first 18 minutes.
It’s SUFC who in fact have the first decent opportunity in the 19th minute when they break with pace down the left. The ball is played into the path of the No11 Joe Cuff who races into the area only for debutant United keeper Scott Dutton to deny him with a good confident take low at his feet.
United’s first chance comes in the 22nd minute when Dave Moli does well before sending in a great low cross into the box and Aron Wint’s attempted flick goal wards goes just wide of the target.
The game is pretty open at the minute and both teams are looking to make the breakthrough. SUFC soon after break again and the No9 Ben Cullen is set free into the area and United keeper Scott Dutton is forced into making a great save to keep the scores level in the 24th minute.
The next 15 minutes sees United have the lion’s share of the ball without causing the SUFC defence any problems. SUFC though from a free kick in the 31st minute sees the No10’s attempted overhead kick drop wide of the target. They have another even better chance moments later in the 32nd minute when they break forward again and the No9 Ben Cullen sees his fierce drive smash off the cross bar.
The first yellow card of the game goes to SUFC’s No6 Jeff Watkins for his challenge on Lewis Rankin in the 34th minute.
The deadlock is finally broken in the 36th minute from a United corner by Lewis Rankin. His cross is goes into the heart of the box and Aron Wint’s shot is blocked before Dave Moli stabs the loose ball into the back of the net for the opening goal.
UNITED 1 SUFC 0
On play United just about deserve that lead but they are by no means having it their own way as SUFC are happy to try and catch United on the break. United though have so far kept them at bay and straight from the restart power forward again with a fantastic penetrating run down the right by Dave Moli. He gets to the by line and squares the ball back for Joshua O’Grady to fire his drive into the back of the net from 10yrds in the 38th minute to double his teams lead just before the break.
UNITED 2 SUFC 0
That’s a blow to SUFC as they now have a mountain to climb. The game restarts and United are playing some good stuff to end the half as the referee soon after blows up for half time.
UNITED 2 SUFC 0
The second half gets under way with neither side making any half time changes. SUFC come out buoyed up as they go looking to get themselves back into the game. They break with another long ball that sets the No7 Ross Jones through on goal. United’s keeper Scott Dutton makes a great save to deny them a certain goal in the 50th minute.
United then respond when they power forward in the 52nd minute and Lewis Rankin finds himself in space before he unleashes a great shot that crashes off the post and the rebound is picked up by Aaron Opoku who then hits the side netting. In the same minute United make their first change of the game when they take off the hard working Dave Moli and send on Mitchell Piggon.
Then SUFC hit back with a sucker punch of their own. They send a quick long throw into the area and the No9 Ben Cullen reacts quickest to send his firm header into the back of the net and SUFC are back in it now in the 53rd minute.
UNITED 2 SUFC 1
The game resumes and it’s game back on now. United were caught on the hop there with that throw in and need to get fully focussed on the game. They get a great chance to restore a two goal lead in the 55th minute when Joshua O’Grady is upended inside the area and the referee points straight to the spot for a penalty. Aaron Opoku steps up to take it and his shot is well saved by the SUFC keeper Ian Havard.
Well let’s hope that miss is not a costly one as this game is by no means over. United soon after make another change when they take off Aaron Opoku and send on Craig Reid in the 59th minute.
The next few minutes sees SUFC pick up the pace and are filled with confidence since their goal. They see a chance by the No9 Ben Cullen go just over the bar in the 61st minute before they stun the Red and Green army in the 64th minute with a screamer of a goal from the No3 Sean Evans (captain) from at least 25yrds out leaving keeper Scott Dutton with no chance.
UNITED 2 SUFC 2
Nearly everyone in the ground is stunned, from leading 2-0 United now find themselves back on level terms and have it all to do again. The game restarts and United race straight up the other end and as Lewis Rankin moves into the area, he is upended in the box and the referee blows up for another United penalty in the 65th minute. Before the penalty can be taken, the SUFC No7 Ross Jones is booked for his tackle on Rankin. Then Mitchell Piggon steps up to coolly slot the ball into the corner of the net to restore United into a slender lead.
UNITED 3 SUFC 2
The relief was there for all to see as united crept back in front, but can they see the game out to seal the 3pts?
The game resumes and it’s nip and tuck between the two sides as the clock ticks on. United press on and go looking for another when Craig Reid is put through and his shot brings out another great save from the keeper Ian Havard in the 69th minute.
United try to bolster up the midfield in a bid to see the game out when they make their final change in the 70th minute by taking off Lewis Rankin and sending on Robert Prinzel. SUFC decide to make a change of their own at the same time when they take off the No7 Ross Jones and send on the No12 Bensi Robinson.
United soon after create another good chance when Mitchell Piggon does well to get the ball to Brad Jones who then sees his shot very well saved by the keeper Ian Havard in the 71st minute. As the game moves into the last 10 minutes United seem to be in control of the game seeing plenty of the ball. Mitchell Piggon works his way into the box from wide on the left but decides to shoot when a simple pass to the unmarked Craig Reid would have been the better option in the 80th minute after his shot goes well wide of the target.
SUFC decide to make their final change in the 84th minute when they take off No6 Jeff Watkins and send on the No14 Tom Worthington.
With the game now into added time, surely United must hold on? With the clock on 90+2 minutes, SUFC’s No10 Steve Faux sends in what looked like a hopeful cross into the box. The ball drops into the six yard box and it’s allowed to bounce and the ball creeps past the keeper Scott Dutton and nestles in the back of the net for a late late equaliser.
UNITED 3 SUFC 3
What a cruel blow that is for United. Two more minutes are played out before the referee finally blows up for full time and the points are shared.
UNITED 3 SUFC 3
In summing up this game the word that comes to mind is frustration. Although this game was quite an open game with good chances coming from both sides, United once again have created more and seem to be making the opposing keepers look like world beaters of late. United had more of the possession throughout the game and went into the break with a healthy 2-0 lead.
The second half carried on the same as the first but SUFC pulled one back from a long throw in and that put them right back in the game. United were then awarded a penalty that was saved by the keeper Ian Havard and soon after SUFC were level with a screamer of a shot. Then with 25 minutes to go United were awarded another penalty that Mitchell Piggon converted to give United the lead again only for them to be pegged back in added time from what looked like a cross that United failed to clear and the ball squeezed it’s way inside the post to give SUFC a share of the points.
Some might say that a point for SUFC was justified for their persistent performance but for me I would have to say that this was definitely 2pts dropped with the chances United had during this game.
Players worthy of a mention today would have to be the SUFC keeper Ian Havard who made a string of great saves that included a penalty.
For United they worked hard and created plenty of good chances. Dave Moli had a good game scoring one goal and claiming an assist for another. Robert Prinzel did well when he came on to bolster up the midfield but for me today my man of the match goes to Gift Mussa. Gift had to be strong in the middle today and he was definitely that. He was here there and everywhere and he needed to be in a very busy and competitive midfield so well played Gift Mussa.
Match stats (United) (SUFC)
On target (9) (5)
Off target (10) (7)
Corners (4) (4)
Free kicks (12) (13)
Yellow cards (0) (2)
Red cards (0) (0)
Offside (1) (4)