Honours Even as United Let Lead Slip
Steve BrownAnother balmy Monday evening saw United take on Regent with the line up of McCulloch, Rathner, Gough, Attwood, Machin, Dykes, Scafrace, Valencia, Stock, Hassan, Brown with Moore, Lamb, Coard starting on the bench. All the early play was dominated by Regent who were supremely comfortable on the ball and controlled possession without ever really looking threatening. Then a clinical move by United started at the back by Rathner who found Brown on the left touchline. He flicked the ball inside to Dykes who then set off the galloping Stock through the middle and his lay off to Hassan was finished in style putting the ball firmly into the corner of the net for a surprise lead. There then followed another period of Regent possession but good pressure from United saw Coard intercept a throw in and headed the ball toward the box. Stock followed up by pressurising the defender and was able to somehow flick the ball into the net to continue his rich vein of scoring this season to make it 2-0. Legends injury list added another name when Brown seemed to be shot by a sniper in the box damaging his plantar fasciia in the process and he hobbled from the field to be replaced by Lamb. Moore also replaced Scafrace and United were able to see the half out with a handy 2 goal lead. The second half started with a very quick goal to Regent who were able to spring the offside trap and reduced their deficit to only one goal. Then it was time to introduce the Maltese Falcon, Sims, fresh from his European travels. He nearly added to United’s score with his first touch and then followed that up with a high and wide attempt at goal from a free kick. The game was starting to open up as both teams tired and Regent again took advantage of some slack defending and their striker raced in on goal on the left and as McCulloch came out he lofted it over him to bring the game back to level at 2-2. No game featuring Rathner would be complete without some amateur dramatics and he duly obliged although maybe Coard should give him a few acting lessons. Valencia and Hassan were finding lots of space in the forward third but were unable to translate any into scoring opportunities and the closest effort came from Machin who picked up a loose ball, drove into the box and shot across the face of goal. Dykes, who was pushed into the centre forward role also had an opportunity when Sims and Lamb combined to set him up but his effort went wide. At the other end it was down to McCulloch to pull off a match saving effort when he went down to stop a Regent player from stealing the game at the death. So, an excellently fought encounter ended in a 2-2 draw which probably was a fair reflection of the game and the effort produced by both teams.
|MMM||Muppet Moment – Brown thinking he had been kicked and looking for a penalty|
|MMM||Memorable Moment – The Giraffe (Stock) gliding through the middle of the park to set up the first goal|
|BMW BoP||Jeremy Stock – one goal, one assist and plenty of running all night.|