Shepshed (H) 18/19
Well hello one and all. The long rest is over, some players have departed for pastures new and new faces have arrived to stamp their mark on United’s newest campaign. This seasons campaign kicks off with a home fixture against Shepshed Dynamo FC on what looks like being a fine summers afternoon.
Not really a lot to say about the visitors at this stage as all teams would have many changes from last season so we are all in the unknown as to what we are to expect from them, though I’m sure they will be up for the opening game and full of early confidence.
United’s Manager Terry Anderson has seen a few players leave during the close season but he’s been busy building his squad for the new season ahead. He’s mixed things up this season with a blend of experience and some promising youngsters that will hopefully settle into the team seamlessly.
The referee gets the game under way and United fly out of the blocks right from the off. They create their first chance inside 20 seconds when a Kyle Carey through ball sets Shaquille McDonald free and he brings out a good early save from the Dynamo keeper Brandon Ganley. Then in the 5thminute United press forward again with a good penetrating run from Curvin Ellis before he sees his fierce shot well parried away by the keeper Brandon Ganley but the loose ball falls to Shaquille McDonald and his low drive is also well saved by the impressive Brandon Ganley.
What a great start by United, all they need for their efforts is a goal. Dynamo try to respond when they force three successive corners but fail to trouble the stout United defence in the 13thminute.
United pick up the pace again soon after and force a corner of their own in the 15thminute when Kyle Carey’s cross picks out Curvin Ellis but his header falls straight into the arms of the keeper Brandon Ganley.
The next 17 minutes sees United continue to dominate the proceedings without creating any clear cut chances. Then in the 32ndminute United’s Kyle Carey sends over a good cross to pick out Shaquille Mcdonald but his resulting shot flies high over the bar. Dynamo can’t seem to get hold of the ball for any length of time and it’s United who once again test their resolve in the 38thminute when a delightful through ball set Curvin Ellis through on goal and has he rounded the keeper and coolly put the ball into the back of the net, the linesman raised his flag for offside and the goal was chalked off. In my opinion, I think he got that wrong as it looked to me that Curvin Ellis was on side though Shaquille Mcdonald looked to be in an off side position but did not interfere with play. Either way the goal did not count.
With the first half coming to an end, United finish it strongly and win a free kick in a great position just outside the area on the left hand side. Shaquille McDonald stands over the ball and his angled shot brings out another good save from the keeper Brandon Ganley in the 43rdminute. Soon after the referee blows up for half time and Dynamo have held on to keep the score at 0-0.
United 0 Dynamo 0
The second half gets under way with neither side making any half time changes. United though start the second period in the same fashion as the first and power forward from the start again. This time though they make it count when an intelligent angled pass to strike partner Curvin Ellis sees Ellis steady himself before seeing his shot scramble over the line off the keeper for the opening goal of the game in the 46thminute.
UNITED 1 DYNAMO 0
There can be no complaints that United deserve their lead but there is still a long time to go for dynamo to get themselves back into the game. To do that though they will have to get hold of the ball and apply some attacking verve of their own if they are to do just that.
The goal seems to wake Dynamo up and from a Karl Whymark corner in the 50thminute the No9 Ryan Robins shoots and brings out a good low save from the United keeper Bradley Casswell. They again cause problems for United when they break forward with a long ball that picks out the No10 Courtney Meade who turns neatly before seeing his shot go just wide of the target in the 52ndminute.
The 53rdminute sees United make their first change when they take off stand in captain for the day Dominik Alleyne and send on Yohan Tsamas.
More changes follow in the 71stminute for both teams with United taking off Gift Mussa and sending on Aron Wint and Dynamo taking off the No10 Courtney Meade and sending on the No14 Chris Acott.
The changes seem to see the game going a little scrappy before more changes occur in the 83rdminute with United taking off Daniel Cassidy and sending on Liam Kennedy and Dynamo taking off the No6 Zach Hill and sending on the No16 Ryan Foster.
With the game now into the last 10 minutes, Dynamo try to force the issue and break in the 85thminute with the No14 Chris Acott as he tries his luck from long range but his effort thankfully goes high over the bar. They continue to press forward and are single handedly on many occasions in the dying minutes denied by the very dependable Ben Vallance with some fantastic last ditch tackling and blocking of Dynamo shots. The 90thminute sees Dynamo make their final change when they take off the No2 Luke Day and send on the No15 Jovel Potter.
The game is now into added time and United win a corner in the 91stminute that’s swung in by Kyle Carey. He finds Robert Prinzel at the free at the back and Robert Prinzel smashes his shot against the post from a tight angle. Then Dynamo race up the other end and win a free kick in a dangerous position. It’s taken by the No7 Pearson Mwanyongo and his sublime shot is well saved by the United keeper Bradley Casswell in the 93rdminute to keep his team in the lead. The referee a few minutes later finally blows up for full time and United start their campaign with a win and the all important 3pts.
UNITED 1 DYNAMO 0
In summing up this game United totally dominated the first half and created plenty of good chances to score but they were thwarted by the heroics of the Dynamo keeper Brandon Ganley. He was called upon to make a handful of great saves to take his team into the break on level terms.
The second half saw United continue to dominate and broke the deadlock at the start of the second half with some good link up play between Curvin Ellis and Shaquille McDonald that saw Ellis finish with a shot that went in off the keeper.
Dynamo soon after came out and went looking for the equaliser but United were always able to cope with what they had to offer and saw the game out for the 1-0 win.
Players worthy of a mention would have to be the Dynamo keeper Brandon Ganley. He had a great game and had to make a string of good saves to keep his team in the hunt till the end.
For United, this was a workman like team performance that saw them create plenty of chances that on another day would have seen the game won well before half time. Kyle Carey looked lively in the first half and always looked to get the ball forward. Gift Mussa also put in one of his usual shifts before being taken off in the 70thminute. Both Shaquille McDonald and strike partner Curvin Ellis combined well throughout always looking dangerous with Curvin chalking up his first of the season from a Shaq pass. But for me there is only one player that stood out above all the rest and that was Ben Vallance. We all know Ben is a class act and a very dependable member of the team but today he stood strong throughout and if it was not for some of his last ditch tackles or blocking of shots then we might not have kept all the points for ourselves. Ben reads the game so well and also has the pace to get himself out of trouble if the needs be so very well played Ben Vallance.
Match Stats United Dynamo
On target (8) (3)
Off target (7) (3)
Corners (5) (8)
Free kicks (17) (13)
Yellow cards (0) (0)
Red cards (0) (0)
Offside (3) (1)