Oh What a Night

Steve Brown

Another Monday evening at Park Avenue with United still searching for their 2nd win playing Juventus Ashburtold Boys.

Dramas to be had before the game even commenced with Rathner ensuring he got an early mention in the match report by completing a half somersault in the changing rooms and ending up on his arse and Gulec being transferred to the opposition for turning up late and after the team had been announced. United lined up with McCulloch in goal, Coard, Gough, Attwood and Whan in defence, Moore, Sciola, Stock & Marcus in midfield and Brown & Boyte up front with Rathner, Lamb and Sims on the bench.

As has been the case so often this season United started slow and flat footed and an easy goal was conceded very early into the match. However, to their credit, the heads refused to drop and some good possession football saw them claw their way back into the game and Sims saw his shot from outside the box tipped over the bar. However, the resulting corner was scrambled clear and somehow the ball found its way to Ivan (why was he even on the pitch?) who ran for 20 metres before lobbing McCulloch perfectly to double the score.

Undeterred by this setback, United continued to play controlled football and Sims played a ball into the box which saw Boyte beat his man and as he was about to bear in on goal Brown snuck in to take the ball off his toes and buried it under the keeper to make it 2-1.

A free kick was awarded to Old Boys when Hassan simulated on the edge of the box under pressure from Whan. This incensed Eddie who debated hotly with the ref and at one stage his arms looked like a propeller preparing for take off. However, the free kick came to nothing and it stayed 2-1 at half time.

The 2nd half saw United continuing their forward dominance and it looked like they were going to reap the rewards when a penalty was awarded for a dubious hand ball. Brown, wisely chose to defer this time and handed the ball to Sciola – much to the disgust of Sims and the joy of Ivan who chose to don the keepers gloves (without changing shirt). He successfully managed to put Sciola off and the penalty kick was pushed away and in the ensuing scramble Ivan managed to pluck the ball out of the air – which should have resulted in another penalty, but was overlooked in all the mayhem.

This incident clearly spurred United on and the attacking moves continued and eventually United were rewarded when a Sims effort from outside the box was spilled by the keeper and Brown was first to react to tap the ball home to draw the game level at 2-2. United could sense that the game was there for the taking and another attack was broken up by the keeper  but his clearance fell to Moore on the edge of the box who stroked the ball beautifully into the unguarded net to give United a 3-2 lead.

It looked to be plain sailing from here on in as the Old Boys started to bicker amongst themselves and Gulec almost added to their misery as his pass back to the keeper almost crept over the line. However, from nowhere Old Boys conjured up a 3rd goal and almost regained the lead but were denied by McCulloch diving full length to tip a goal bound shot round the post.

As the game crept into the final few minutes United were awarded a free kick just outside of the box which saw Sciola, Gough and Attwood all standing over the ball in deep discussion. A simple training ground move was elected and Sciola was to lay the ball off to the left and Attwood would unleash a shot on goal. Unfortunately, as Sciola was facing Attwood it meant that when he laid it off it went to Attwood’s right. However, the ever alert Gough was on hand to stroll up and place the ball perfectly into the top corner to give United a 4-3 lead. Thankfully, the drama was over and United were able to claim their 2nd victory of the season.

 

MMM Ivan for his antics with the penalty and also the referee for actually taking the kick off for Old Boys in the 2nd half.
MMM John McCulloch’s full length diving stop to keep us in the game.
BMW BoP Steve Gough was a pillar in defence and he made many saving tackles but his Sublime finish to the free kick topped the lot.