Atherstone Town FA Vase 16-9-2018


Well hello one and all. After another great team performance in the midweek 1-0 win against Romulus, United today turn their attentions to the FA Vase Cup. This is a great competition with a fantastic prize at the end of it, not to mention the financial rewards too that we would love to progress in I’m sure. Standing in our way is Atherstone Town who are currently flying high in the MFL division one and are surely one of the favourites to gain promotion come the end of the season. That said, this is sure to be another stern test for United as they look to progress into the next round.

United manager Terry Anderson will have another near full squad to choose from and with the lad’s currently playing well and putting a bit of a run together, hopefully they will be on point to put the Adders to the sword.

The referee gets the game under way and it starts with a great tempo as both teams go looking for an early breakthrough. Town do just that when in the 3rdminute the Town No3 Jonathan Gould picks up the ball in midfield and proceeds to skip past three United players before coolly sliding the ball past the United keeper Brad Caswell for the opening goal of the game.


That’s a very well taken goal that will have shocked the United faithful in the early stages. United respond in the 8thminute when they break forward with pace. Shaquille McDonald odes well to find some space before seeing his powerful drive fantastically saved by the Town keeper Carl O’neill. Soon after, Town are forced into an early substitution when the No5 Kyle Cartwright has to go off injured and is replaced with the No14 Darren Eggleton in the 9thminute.

United see Shaquille McDonald fire a shot just wide of the target from a Kyle Carey free kick in the 14thminute before Town respond with a couple of chances of their own. The best chance coming from the busy No3 Jonathan Gould when his attempted cheeky back heel towards goal is easily gathered by the keeper Brad Caswell in the 19thminute.

This game is end to end at the moment and both teams are trying to play football though to be fair the passing is letting United down a bit so far with them frequently giving the ball away too easily to the opposition.

The 24thminute sees United press again as they look for the equaliser. Gift Mussa runs with the ball before sending his pile driver of a shot smashing off the post and then rebound off the keeper and out for a corner that was dealt with comfortably.

With United seeing more of the ball in the latter stages of the first half, United break with Ben Valance in the 40thminute and sets up Jake Holt, but his shot flies high over the bar. Then in the next minute they break again with Shaquille McDonald as he does well before laying the ball off to Kyle Carey who sends his angled low drive just wide of the target in the 41stminute. Soon after the referee blows up for half time.

Half Time


Second Half

The second half gets under way and United have made a change during the break. They take off Ryan Palmer and send on Curvin Ellis.

United start the half in buoyant mood and Gift Mussa goes close with a shot that goes just over the bar in the 46thminute. More pressure ensues when they break again in the 52ndminute. Shaquille McDonald linked up well with Curvin Ellis before Ellis laid the ball wide to Kyle Carey who ran into the area and superbly directed the ball past the Town keeper Carl O’Neill for a well deserved equaliser.


United have come out strong in this half and that was a well worked goal to get them back on level terms. Town shortly after make another change when they take off the No9 Joe Obi and send on the No15 Liam Kirton in the 56thminute.

United are soon on the attack again and break with Curvin Ellis in the 57thminute. Ellis shields and runs with the ball well before again feeding it to Kyle Carey out wide on the left. Kyle then once again despatches another cool finish to mirror his first to send United into the lead.


United have stepped up a gear and are full value for their lead. Town though are no mugs and will be thinking that they can still get something from this game. That said though, United are not letting Town get hold of the ball in this half and are looking dominant. The press forward again in the 64thminute when Gift Mussa won the ball and laid it off to Kyle Carey. Carey’s shot was heading for the back of the net but the Town No8 Kyle Baxter managed to clear the ball off the line to keep his team in the hunt.

Town decide to make their final change of the afternoon when they take off the No7 Mitch Thompson and send on the No12 Josh Ruff in the 70thminute.

Town start to see more of the ball and create a couple of great chances. They press forward quickly in the 75thminute and the No11 James Dance saw his goal bound shot fantastically saved by the United keeper Brad Caswell. Their next chance is not long in coming when they break free again in the 77thminute. The No3 Jonathan Gould who has been a constant thorn In United’s side all afternoon did well again dribbling around a couple of players before bringing out another great save from United’s keeper Brad Caswell.

The 80thminute sees United’s Jamal Clarke shown a yellow card for his challenge just outside the area but gladly the resulting free kick came to nothing. The game is now into the last 10 minutes and 82ndminute sees the Town No12 Josh Ruff booked for a foul on Jake Holt.

United are finishing the game the stronger and break forward with pace in the 84thminute when that man Curvin Ellis did well again before setting up Shaquille McDonald. McDonald weaved his way into space before seeing his shot hit the cross bar. The frustrations are starting to show in the 87thminute when the Town No8 captain Kyle Baxter is booked for dissent.

The game is now into added time and United break again with the man mountain Curvin Ellis. Ellis once again finds Kyle Carey out wide as Carey runs into the area and sees his shot smash off the bar in the 90+4 minutes. The last action of the game sees United’s Gift Mussa pick up a yellow card for kicking the ball away in the 90+5thminute before the referee blows up for full time and United make their way into the next round.

Full Time


In summing up this game I would have to say that HARD WORK AND ENDEAVOUR PAID OFF. United went behind to an early goal and that seemed to knock them back a bit as they were giving the ball away too easily in the early stages of the first half. They did though slowly start to settle down and start to keep hold of the ball for longer periods. Town are no mugs and would I’m sure be more than capable of holding their own in the Premier division and proved to be a very good well organised outfit.

They went into the break still a goal down but were soon back on level terms early in the second half with a well taken goal by Kyle Carey. From then on United were mostly in control of the game in my opinion and soon after they went in front with a copy of the first goal. United though had keeper Brad Caswell to thank on a couple of occasions for some fantastic saves to keep the Town at bay.

United also created plenty of chances of their own and on another day they would have had a few more goals to their credit as the hit the bar a further 3 times during the second half.

This was a good tough keenly contested encounter that both teams should be proud of and was a great advert for non-league football. This was a typical no nonsense cup tie that kept you on the edge of your seat right till the end of the game.

Players worthy of a mention would have to be the No3 Jonathan Gould for Town. I’d heard he would be the one to watch before the game and I was not mis-informed. This lad was outstanding today in my opinion and showed great composure many times today when running with the ball. That was highlighted when he scored his fabulous solo goal to give his side the lead so very well played Jonathan Gould.

For United this was another great all round team performance. Kyle Barnett and Jamal Clarke once again stood strong in the heart of the defence, Shaquille McDonald worked hard all day with his constant running and chasing lost causes. Kyle Carey had a fantastic game out wide on the left and always made himself available witch rewarded his with two finely taken goals to put his team into the next round. For me though today’s man of the match must surely go to Curvin Ellis. Not for the first time now has his introduction into the game has changed the course of the game. Today he made a massive impact and was the architect for the assists of both of Kyle Carey’s goals and created many more chances for his team mates. He holds the ball up well and is also able to run with the ball to and bring other players into the game so very well played Curvin Ellis.


Match Stats              UNITED         TOWN

On target                       (6)                 (5)

Off target                       (8)                 (2)

Corners                         (4)                  (4)

Free kicks                      (20)                 (11)

Yellow cards                (2)                   (2)

Red cards                      (0)                   (0)

Offside                           (2)                   (3)