United Back on Winning Track
Steve Brown

At last, a still Monday evening with no gale force winds, WHICH meant United were able to take to the field to demonstrate some of the learnings which were drilled into us from the previous training session reviewing the drone footage under the expert guidance of Professor Emery.
There was a late change from the published line up with McCulloch taking a leave of absence to be with his wife receiving emergency surgery (we hope all is well and she is recovering quickly) so Attwood donned the keepers gloves. The rest of the team lined up with Machin, McLoughlin, Jenkins G, Whan, Lamb, Boyte, Gough, Singh, Brown and Hassan with Harrison, Shaw, Stock and Scafrace on the bench being marshalled by the Professor.
The early exchanges were lively with the conditions allowing for good controlled football from both teams but United should have opened the scoring when Lamb sent Brown racing to the byeline however he failed to pick out Boyte with his cut back and the chance was lost. Hassan was also looking dangerous but was repeatedly called off-side by the flag happy Shaw running the line.
Against the run of play, Bayside managed to string a few passes together which saw them inside the box and a powerful shot past an exposed Attwood saw them take a surprise lead. This aberration was short lived as Singh fed Brown who rushed in on the keeper and with an exquisite (according to the Gaffer) touch took it round him and slotted into the empty net to level the scores.
A second seemed on the cards when Hassan unleashed a powerful shot from inside the box only for Tony, our Wednesday training partner, to launch himself on the goal line to head it clear.
With United having their tails up they started to dominate possession in the middle with McLoughlin pushing up from the back and Gough putting in some solid tackles. Another move up the left side saw Whan and Singh combine to set Hassan free and surprisingly with no flag raised he went on to finish the move off in style. The Professor then hauled off the 2 goal scorers and replaced them with understudies Stock and Scafrace but despite their hard running they were unable to add to the scoreline even when Scafrace had done all the hard work in robbing the keeper of the ball only to see his effort on goal almost going out for a throw in. So the half time score remained with a lead of 2-1 to United.
Harrison and Shaw joined the fray in the second half and United looked to ram home their ascendancy with both full backs, Machin and Whan pushing forward whenever possible. But occasionally Bayside created some danger and another goal line clearance was required, this time by Whan who copped a ferocious shot in his unmentionables to prevent Bayside from equalising.
The United dominance continued when Boyte played through to Brown who left his marker for dead and surged into the box. His angled shot across the keeper was touched but still found the corner of the net to make it 3-1.
Another goal came when Jenkins played a ball through the middle for Brown to chase and as the keeper ran out to clear he took an air swipe which left Brown with the simplest of opportunities to grab his third for the night and United’s fourth. United then squandered some excellent opportunities. Jenkins played in another telling cross and Brown should have shown more composure rather than blasting his shot over the bar. Hassan also had two goalden opportunities being sent clear with only the keeper to beat but on both occasions coming off second best to the keeper.
With all the action in the United attacking half it came as a bit of a surprise when Bayside sneaked a second goal with a slick move finishing with a well hit shot landing high into the net.
Despite more goalmouth action there was no further adding to the score and United ran out well deserved 4-2 winners.

MMM Muppet Moment – Ray’s application to join the striker’s club being rejected
MMM Memorable Moment – Split between Tony and Eddie for their goal line clearances
BMW BoP Rod Boyte – For his tireless running all night and he’s my boss and I can’t award it to myself !!!

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