Wolverhampton Sporting (H) 18/19
Well hello one and all. After Monday night’s 2-1 victory over Long Eaton Utd, United today welcome Wolverhampton Sporting Community FC to the Butts Park Arena for this MFLP clash.
Sporting have had a bit of a stuttering start to their campaign so far, but I’m sure that until everybody has played each other we won’t get a true reading of the table. So once again this will no doubt be another tough challenge for United today.
United manager Terry Anderson should again have a near full squad to choose from and with the team’s performances picking up of late, the starting line up will be a bit of a mystery right up until kick off.
The referee gets the game under way and the game starts a bit scrappy with neither side being able to control the ball for any length of time. Apart from a couple of Sporting corners and a couple of United set pieces that all come to nothing, the first 18 minutes have soon passed us by.
The 19thminute though sees some great build up play pay off when United’s Kyle Barnett starts a move off on the half way line before linking up well with Shaquille McDonald. Barnett does a quick one two with McDonald and sets him off into the area before coolly lifting the ball past the Sporting keeper Tom Allsopp for a great opening goal.
UNITED 1 SPORTING 0
What a great team goal that was with some good quick first time passing that cut through the Sporting defence with ease. The game resumes and Sporting try to respond in the 25thminute when the Sporting No9 Joshua Cooke (a United old boy) turns well before seeing his tamely hit shot easily gathered by the United keeper Brendan Bunn. That little bit of Sporting pressure continues in the 35thminute when they win a corner that finds the Sporting No11 Edilson Antonio just inside the area before seeing his half volley fizz wide of the target.
United thought they were through on goal with Ryan Palmer but their hopes were dashed when the flag went up for a suspicious offside to the dismay of the home support in the 37thminute.
The first half is coming to an end and the first booking of the game comes in the 40thminute when the Sporting No6 Mark Ganderton is penalised for hauling down United’s Luke Downes. The resulting free kick sees Shay Nicholson shoot and brings out a good save by the keeper Tom Allsopp in the 41stminute. Soon after the referee blows up for half time with United with the slender lead.
UNITED 1 SPORTING 0
The second half gets under way with neither side making any changes during the break. Sporting try to catch United on the hop in the 46thminute when the No10 Dan Scragg tries his luck from range but fortunately his effort goes straight to the United keeper Brendan Bunn for an easy gather. Sporting continue to press and blaze a couple of efforts from corners over the bar in the 47th& 53rdminutes respectively.
United then respond with a succession of 3 quick corners in the 58thminute by Kyle Carey that culminates in a Kevin Thornton shot being cleared off the line. United’s first booking of the game goes to surprisingly Ben Vallance for catching the Sporting No7 Passeka Kargbo in the 62ndminute.
United soon after decide to make a change when they take off the hard working Ryan Palmer and send on Scott Hammond in the 63rdminute. United have started to take control of the game and are showing more purpose when in possession of the ball. They are passing the ball better and with some good inter passing in the 64thminute sees United’s Shaquille McDonald brought down inside the area and the referee points straight to the spot for a penalty. Before the penalty is taken though , the referee deems the offence serious enough to warrant the offending No8 Mitchell Evans a red card. Kevin Thornton steps up to take the penalty and duly sends the keeper the wrong way with a cool finish to double United’s lead.
UNITED 2 SPORTING 0
That goal should hopefully settle the nerves of the watching home support, not to mention the players. From the restart United decide to make another change when they take off the Captain Kevin Thornton and send on Jake Holt in the 66thminute. Then shortly after Sporting make a change too when they take off the No7 Passeka Kargbo and send on the No16 Nick Haynes in the 72ndminute. Sporting are trying to get the ball forward when they get it and the No9 Joshua Cooke turns inside from out wide on the left before seeing his shot fall wide of the target in the 74thminute. Soon after Sporting are making another change when they take off the No10 Dan Scragg and send on the No14 Nehemia Zazi in the 77thminute.
The game is now approaching the last 10 minutes and United are looking comfortable on their two goal lead. The 80thminute sees United’s Shaquille McDonald do really well to force himself into the area before seeing his shot brilliantly saved by the Sporting keeper Tom Allsopp but the loose ball is then drilled into the back of the net by the lurking Jake Holt to surely seal the points for United.
UNITED 3 SPORTING 0
The game resumes and Sporting make their final change when they take off the No11 Edilson Antonio and send on the No17 Regan Smith in the 81stminute. United soon after make their final change when they take off Kyle Carey and send on Emmanuel Kofi-Gunndaat in the 86thminute.
To Sporting’s credit they have not gave up at all and get their reward for that in the 89thminute when they press forward and a cross by the No14 Nehemia Zazi sees United’s Robert Prinzel’s attempted clearance nestle into the back of the net for a consolation goal.
UNITED 3 SPORTING 1
So close from keeping a clean sheet but it’s not to be today. We are now into added time and with very little time added the referee blows up for full time and another 3pts are chalked up.
UNITED 3 SPORTING 1
In summing up this game I would have to say that once again this was a PATIENTLY DICIPLINED TEAM PERFORMANCE. The game started off sluggishly with both sides finding it hard to string a few passes together until the 19thminute when United did just that and scored a great opening team goal. Chances remained sparse as they went into the break with united still 1-0 to the good.
The second half sees United take the game to sporting and started to create some good chances as the half progressed. When United played the ball on the floor they looked more threatening and chances would come. Their pressure started to count and went into a 3 goal lead before conceding a late consolation goal just minutes before the final whistle.
Players worthy of a mention would have to be the No8 Mitchell Evans. He looked comfortable in the middle of the park and was very confident on the ball. He was also looking to help out his defence when required but his only blight was his sending off for his foul on Kevin Thornton.
For United, No one really took the game by the scruff of the neck but they remained patient and worked hard as a team to grind out a result. That’s a sign of a good team and I think that this team still has a lot more to offer and as their confidence grows we will start to see a few more convincing victories. Ryan Palmer had another game and tried to get forward when he could with his direct style of play. Kyle Barnett and Robert Prinzel kept the visitors at bay for most parts at the back. Shaquille McDonald ran the line well and chased for everything but for me my man of the match for me is again Gift Mussa. Gift did what was required and that was to hold things together in the midfield when it wasn’t quite going for them in the early stages. Gift runs all day long for the team and is always on hand to dig out that ball and turn a defensive situation into an attacking one so well played Gift mussa.
Match stats United Sporting
On target (7) (4)
Off target (3) (7)
Corners (5) (7)
Free kicks (17) (18)
Yellow cards (1) (1)
Red cards (0) (1)
Offside (2) (0)