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Westfields (A) 18/19

Teams

Well hello one and all. United today make the long trip to the Allpay Stadium to take on high flying 

Westfields in this MFLP encounter.

The referee gets the game under way and it’s United who show the early signs as they go looking for an early breakthrough. United’s Arum Soleman sees his 20yrd effort pass wide of the target in the 4thminute. Then three minutes later in the 7thminute, they win a free kick wide on the left that’s taken by Kevin Thornton. His cross picks out Arum Soleman and again his  shot falls wide of the target.

Westfields first attempt at goal comes in the 11thminute when they press and the No11 Josh Thomas is put through on goal but thankfully his effort goes wide of the post.

Both teams are sussing each other out at the minute and neither side want to make an error to let their opponents in. The 13thminute brought a controversial moment when United’s Curvin Ellis was put through with only the keeper to beat. As Ellis tried to go round the Westfields keeper Keiron Blackburn, Ellis looked to have been brought down inside the area but somehow the referee just waved play on when most would have expected a penalty.

Westfields finish the half strongly and carve out a few half chances that fall narrowly wide of the target from the No8 Keanu Cooper in the 14thminute and the No5 Paul Hurrell doing the same in the 31stminute.

With both teams pretty much cancelling each other out for most of this half, chances were few and far between. The final chance of the half falls to Westfields in the 40thminute when they broke free with the No9 Carlos Mureira racing into the area but United’s keeper Bradley Caswell did really well to save at the feet of opponent to keep the scores level going into the break as shortly after the referee blew up for half time.

Half Time

WESTFIELDS 0 UNITED 0

Second Half

The second half gets under way with neither side making any changes during the break. A change is not long in coming though when Westfields decide to take off the No10 Ben Miller and send on the No16 Jamie Molyneux in the 49thminute.

The pattern of this half has started pretty much the same as the first with both teams probing each other but not wanting to leave any space behind them for their opponents to exploit. United though win a free kick that’s taken by Kevin Thornton and his cross picks out Jake Holt but his shot is tamely hit straight to the keeper Keiron Blackburn in the 55thminiute.

The deadlock is finally broken when Westfields break down the left with the No16 Jamie Molyneux. He cuts inside and into the area before seeing his powerful shot well saved by the United keeper Bradley Caswell but the loose ball is turned into the net for the opening goal by the No9 Carlos Mureira in the 56thminute.

WESTFIELDS 1 UNITED 0

The way this game has been panning out, it was always going to be a bit of fortune or a mistake that was going to open this game up and that’s how its proved.

Westfields now have their tales up and are starting to be more adventurous as they go looking for a second goal. They press again in the 61stminute with the No16 Jamie Molyneux causing United plenty of problems and work’s his way into the area before shooting and bringing out a great save from the keeper Bradley Caswell. Soon after Westfields make another change when they take off the No9 Carlos Mureira and send on the No15 Mark Magee in the 62ndminute.

The first booking of the game comes in the 64thminute and it goes to United’s Kevin Thornton for dissent.

United are now forcing the issue themselves and are getting closer to getting back on level terms. Their pressure finally pays off in the 68thminute when they power forward down the right with Arum Soleman. Soleman cuts inside before shooting and his shot gets a deflection off a Westfields player wrong footing the Keeper and the ball flies into the net for a deserved equaliser.

WESTFIELDS 1 UNITED 1

That’s more like it and its game on. United decide to make a change when they take off Jake Holt and send on Luke Jones in the 69thminute. Jones makes an immediate impact when he lays the ball into Curvin Ellis who in turn powers into the area before sending a powerful angled drive blasting past the Westfields keeper Keiron Blackburn to send United into the lead in the 70thminute.

WESTFIELDS 1 UNITED 2

Well what a great couple of minutes that has been for United. They now have 20 minutes to hold on for the win but anything can happen in this game. Westfields No2 Sam Gwynne earns himself a yellow card for his challenge on United’s Shay Nicholson in the 79thminute. Then more bookings follow when United’s Luke Jones is booked for what looked like a nothing challenge in the 83rdminute.

The game is now into the last 10 minutes and disaster strikes in the 87thminute when Westfields win a free kick on the edge of the area. It’s taken by the No7 Craig Jones and his shot is deemed to be handled by the referee and he points straight to the spot. The No15 Mark Magee steps up to take it and sends the keeper Bradley Caswell the wrong way for the equaliser.

WESTFIELDS 2 UNITED 2

Now that’s a dam shame that with only a couple of minutes to play. In the discussions before the penalty was taken, United’s Luke Downes was booked for dissent. Another United booking is soon to follow and it goes to Gift Mussa for a challenge in the 90+1 minute. Now well into added time United decide to make another change when they take off Curvin Ellis and send on Emmanuel Kofi-Gundaat in the 90+3rdminute.

Soon after the referee blew up for full time and the points are shared in a hard fought and highly contested game of football.

Full Time

WESTFIELDS 2 UNITED 2

In summing up this game I would have to say ENTHRALLING. Both sides were very tentative early doors and they cancelled each other out for most of the first half. United were trying to build up attacks from the back and Westfields were employing the long ball over the top to good effect so a game of cat and mouse ensued.

After the stalemate of the first half, the second half started pretty much in the same vein until the breakthrough was made by the home side. The game then opened right up and when united scored those two quick goals to edge in front, they nearly held on for maximum points until the last few minutes when they conceded that late penalty to give Westfields a share of the points. United though to be fair should think themselves unlucky not to have been awarded at least one penalty and in my opinion the referee got a couple of important decisions wrong today but I suppose that’s why they say “That’s football”.

Players worthy of a mention would have to be the Westfields No7 Craig Jones. He looks a class player and was always in the thick of it today and put in a good shift for his team. His set piece deliveries were of a good quality all day too.

For United, once again the whole team worked like Trojans in a pulsating game that required plenty of patience. They are growing in confidence and are showing a steely determination to try and grind out results. My only concern if I’m honest is our lack of goals and our goals for column seems to confirm that so once we start converting a higher percentage of our chances I’m sure our points tally will increase with it.

Kevin Thornton once again had a good game always demanding the ball and trying to get his team on the front foot. Kyle Barnett also had a good solid game alongside Jamal Clarke and they seem to complement each other well. For me though today my man of the match goes to Jamal Clarke. Jamal has been immense of late and he reads the game so well. He made some really good timely clearances today to keep his team in the hunt so well played Jamal Clarke.

Match stats                    United            Westfields

On target                           (6)                      (4)

Off target                          (5)                     (5)

Corners                               (1)                     (4)

Free kicks                           (13)                   (18)

Yellow cards                       (4)                     (1)

Red cards                            (0)                     (0)

Off side                               (2)                     (2)