United Frozen Out Again
Steve BrownRound 9 on a near freezing late Monday evening saw Doncaster United facing Regent for the first time. United took the field with the formation of McCulloch, Machin, McLoughlin, Gough, Coard, Gulec, Attwood, Boyte, Lamb, Singh, Brown and with a 3 man bench of Hassan, Dykes & Whan. As the teams trotted out it was clear that it was going to be another tough night with Regent having bolstered their squad with some Masters players. The early action saw Attwood spraying (not the ball but his teammates) as Regent looked to gain the ascendancy almost from the get-go. Their poise on the ball and lateral running was causing the United defence a few problems and they eventually put one of their chances away with some neat passing exposing McCulloch who was unable to prevent the opening goal. The response to this early setback for United was positive with the midfield group of Lamb, Attwood, Boyte & Gulec able to gain a bit of possession and territorial advantage to ease the strain on the defence. Coard was also able to make a break down the left flank and setting Brown free but his lofted shot fell comfortably into the keeper’s arms. Unfortunately Regent’s running caused more problems and yet again the defence was undone with a clever run along the back springing the offside and making it 2-0 to Regent. Some changes saw Dykes & Hassan introduced to the game. United were determined to keep in the game and Lamb on the right began to make some probing runs. Another break on the left saw Coard again link with Brown whose ball across the 6 yard line was just beyond the reach of Hassan. McLoughlin broke up the next attack from Regent, sent Boyte through the middle who found Hassan free on the right edge of the box and his cross shot just evaded the outstretched leg of Brown on the 6 yard line. As the game edged toward half-time another lateral run from a Regent striker found him in on goal with only McCulloch to beat but fortunately the referee blew the whistle to end hostilities before the ball was put into the net for a half time score of 2-0 against United. The game was still in the balance and the half-time team talk re-inforced the need to anticipate the lateral runs from the Regent strikers but also to keep hold of possession and not be in too much of a hurry to rush the ball forward. Whan also came on for Lamb. The second half saw Regentus (Juvegent) take to the field and score almost immediately when Ivan danced his way through the middle and coolly slotted past McCulloch and this was quickly followed by another when an overlap on the right exposed Machin and again Ivan took advantage to make it 4-0. It was not all one way traffic with Gough and McLoughlin often being instigators in breaking up Regent’s forward moves and then feeding the central midfield duo of Attwood and Boyte. Singh and Hassan combined well up front and twice they were able to breach the Regent defence but on both occassions were unable to get a meaningful shot on target. The game seemed to take on a grave tone when McLoughlin went down in the middle of the park clutching his leg and screaming (a la Rathner) and it was relief all round when it appeared that it was only a case of cramp although it did end his participation for the night. Whan also ended his short time on the field with a troublesome hip niggle. This saw the team being juggled around with Emery making a guest appearance at the back and Lamb slotting into central midfield. Emery was immediately put under pressure at the back being forced to twist and turn to shake off his opponent in the box and then seeming to pass the ball back to McCulloch who gratefully flopped on top of it much to the chagrin of the Regent players claiming for a free kick. The game opened up as the legs were beginning to tire and some strong running from Hassan forced a rushed clearance resulting in a corner for United. The incoming ball was flicked on by Singh at the near post but was unable to find a United player to finish it off. At the other end, a well hit shot was parried by McCulloch but the force was still strong enough for it to creep over the line to make it 5-0. United did not want to go a second week without a goal so pushed forward with Brown being set away on the right by Lamb and bearing in on goal. However, his carefully placed shot lacked sufficient power to get past the keeper and another chance went abegging. Again, United’s profligacy in front of goal was punished with Ivan rounding out his guest appearance with a hat trick to make the final score 6-0. So, for the second match in a row United go down 6-0 and copping a few more injuries to boot.
|MMM||Memorable Moment –The Big Zairean McLouglin for attempting to impersonate Gideon whilst writhing on the ground in apparent agony.|
|MMM||Muppet Moment – Brown – for forgetting his shin pads and then not repeating the feat of last year when he did the same|
|BMW BoP||Graham Atwood – 100% commitment in the middle of the park both with the ball and his mouth and with maybe only a few mis-directed sprays and passes !!!|
Some of the match highlights can be seen via clicking on the word “VIDEO” here.