United Struggle to Master the Conditions Steve Brown
The howling wind on another wintry Monday evening just added to the challenges facing United as they lined up to take on Juventus Masters. Out trotted McCulloch, Machin, Snowball, McLoughlin, Gough, Whan, Kelly, Capodistrias, Ewinger, Hassan & Valencia. Bench Paparas, Harrison Rathner & Scafrace. The Gaffer managed to lose the toss and so the game started with United facing into the stiff wind. Masters immediately showed their intent and fortunately Snowball made a solid interception to break up their first attack. McLoughlin made a spirited run out of defence right through the middle of the park but was unlucky to just overstep the ball as he tried to break through the Masters defence. This only delayed the inevitable and when Gough was caught napping, the Masters striker stole in on goal and scored the opener. Juventus were making full use of the wind advantage and McCulloch was forced to palm away a fierce long range effort and again Snowball made a list ditch effort to clear for a corner. The corner was played back to Bogdan on the edge of the box who thumped it high into the net for the second goal. Another nervous moment ensued when McCulloch couldn’t hold on to a spinning ball and Whan had to come back to help ease the danger. Juventus earned a free kick 40m out and another rasping shot was just tipped over the bar by McCulloch. Then the defence, pushing up high, was caught out by a through ball which was lobbed over the advancing keeper and it bounced on the six yard line before then hitting the crossbar, much to the relief of Snowball who had diligently raced back to clear the danger. Still the onslaught on goal continued with Bogdan having another rasping shot hit the top corner for the third goal. Machin was doing his best to stem the tide and he stood up well in the box to prevent another attack from producing a goal. However, a fast break down the Masters right saw a cross ball into the box being clipped into the net to make it 4-0. This was then followed by another long range shot rattling off the crossbar and their striker being first to the rebound to head into an empty net to make it 5-0 at half time. A positive team talk at half time saw United come out for the second half determined to use the strengthening wind as a 12th man and the first attack saw Rathner surge forward and let fly in the general direction of the goal. United fought hard but were finding it difficult to break through the stubborn Masters back line and a penalty was awarded to Masters when McLoughlin fell in the box and the ball inadvertently struck his arm. Masters duly scored to make it 6-o. As tiredness set in Masters superior ball skills saw them retaining the bulk of the possession and they played good one touch football trying to prise open the United defence. Fortunately McCulloch was able to keep out a few shots and the woodwork also came to the rescue with both posts and the bar being hit as Juventus tried to add to their tally. With the game all but over as a contest the nasty side of Juventus still remained and Daree found himself receiving a yellow card for a needless foul on Rathner. So a very commendable second half ended with Masters only adding one goal to their total and that being from the penalty spot and a final result of 6-0.
MMM Muppet Moment – Daree for being an A**e and being over physical when the game was already won MMM Memorable Moment – Bogdan’s long range shooting and McCulloch tipping over the 40m free kick BMW BoP The whole United team for their battling performance, especially in the 2nd half.