United Hit for Six
Steve Brown with additional reporting from Eric LambRound 8 on a crisp Monday evening saw Doncaster United facing a Masters team determined to seek revenge after the 1-1 draw in the opening round. United took the field with the formation of McCulloch, Machin, Attwood, Gough, Gulec, Capodistrias, Stock, Boyte, Lamb, Crompton, Brown and with a 3 man bench of Coard, Kearney & Whan. United knew it was going to be a tough match and the team talk from Attwood emphasised the need to keep to our structures and run our hearts out. As to be expected, Masters were quickly on the front foot with some neat interplay which saw some early thrusts forward thankfully resulting in some wayward shots which failed to trouble the keeper. However this continual probing at the United defence saw Ivan drifting in from the left and driving in a low shot to the corner of the goal which was powerful enough to just get through McCulloch’s outstretched arm for the opening goal. Rather than sitting on this early lead it inspired Masters to press for more goals and surely enough they obliged with some more neat footwork opening up a path to goal for the second of the night. A bit of re-grouping by United saw a spell of possession with both wide midfielders, Capodistrias and Lamb setting Crompton off on some forays forward but unable to create any real scoring opportunities. Boyte and Stock in the middle of the park were continually in the game trying to stem the forward momentum of Masters and the tightened defence forced Masters into some long range efforts which were comfortably held by McCulloch and on one occasion this set off Gulec from the back who interplayed well with Lamb who then fed Brown on the left but his attempted cross was well blocked. Masters then took control of the game again and a thundering shot from outside the box found the net via the underside of the crossbar to make it 3-0. United were determined to keep this score until half time and a timely interception from Machin saw the ball out for a corner as the seconds ticked over towards half time. The short corner was played backwards and then a hurried ball into the box was missed by everyone (except possibly a faint touch by Gough) and somehow sneaked into the far corner of the net to make it 4-0 on the stroke of half time. The half-time team talk was all about keeping our structures and playing the simple ball to feet with some changes seeing Kearney replacing the hard running Crompton, Whan for Lamb and Coard for Gulec. This half started with Masters pushing forward and playing a lot through their man hugging the left touchline and giving Machin plenty of work to do. There seemed to be a bit more space and time in the middle of the park and this allowed Stock to put his foot on the ball and distribute it wide to ease the pressure on the defence. Boyte was also able to start pushing a little further forward and managed to find Kearney who was fouled around 30 metres from goal. Attwood managed to get the free kick on target but the keeper was 100% behind it and held the shot comfortably. Another Masters attack originating from the wide left again saw a wicked ball go right across the six yard line where little Joey had squeaked in, sorry sneaked in, and poked the ball into the vacant goal to make it 5-0. United were desperate to have something to show for their efforts and Machin mopped up another Masters attack and set Brown off forward on the right only to be unceremoniously bumped off the ball and almost into the concrete wall. The resulting free kick was floated into the box by Attwood and seemed destined to find Brown who once again was taken out before the ball reached him and the referee chose to ignore the penalty claim saying “it was a crowded box and these things always happen” !! Capodistrias left the game clutching his leg (hopefully nothing too serious) and back came Lamb joining the fray in the forward line. Another break out of defence saw Coard and Whan release Boyte whose cross was cleared for a corner. Lamb swung in an inch perfect cross to Brown whose header was scrambled clear back out to Lamb. With precise control he unleashed a fierce powerful shot to the near post. Sadly a Juve defender put his life on the line and blocked the stunning strike. Masters were still extremely dangerous on the attack and McCulloch was very fortunate when a shot from the right cannoned off the far post and directly into his grateful arms and the woodwork came to his rescue on another couple of occasions too. As the game wore into the final stages Machin made a break forward and found Lamb on the edge of the box. With his back to goal he faked right then turned left and fired off only for the ball to be blocked by yet another defender with no thought for his own safety. Into the final minute and one last attack by Juventus saw the ball rattle around in the box off Attwood, Gough and Stock and somehow drop right at the feet of a Masters player who made it 6-0 with the last kick of the game. A valiant effort all round by a very tired United team but Masters were just too good with their close control and flowing movement.
|MMM||Memorable Moment –Daree apologising to Brown at the end of the game for nearly face planting him into the concrete wall by saying it was an accident!!!|
|MMM||Muppet Moment – The referee who chose to ignore a blatant penalty claim and then 2 minutes later gave a free kick for obstruction on the half way line “ to make up for the last one…”|
|BMW BoP||Stu Machin – An extremely solid game in defence keeping Masters marauding attack at bay on our right hand side and then on a couple of occasions in the second half breaking into the opposite half trying to teach our forwards a thing or two.|