Well hello one and all. After a worthwhile long trip to Westfields FC on Saturday, we today have a home clash against title favourites Worcester City. This game is set up very nicely as both teams set about denting one another’s unbeaten start to the season with both teams boasting three straight wins apiece. There is expected to be a large crowd for today’s game on this Bank holiday Monday fixture and promises to be a great spectacle for non - league football.
United manager Terry Anderson I’m sure will be asking his players for more of the same after such a commanding performance at Westfields. He should have a full strength side to pick from though there were a couple of knocks picked up!!!!!
The referee gets the game under way and United show their intentions when winning an early Lewis Rankin corner in the 2nd minute that see’s Jeff Woodward shoot wide of the target. Then in the 5th minute the roles are reversed when Jeff Woodward laid the ball to Lewis Rankin but his shot went straight to the WCFC keeper Thomas Palmer. United have started the game brightly and another chance is not long in coming. Mitchell Piggon did really well to win the ball and press forward before laying the ball through to Craig Reid whose shot also went straight to the keeper Thomas Palmer in the 9th minute. Craig Reid has another shot at goal in the 10th minute after Craig did well to make space to get his shot in but the keeper Thomas Palmer once again gathers the ball with ease.
The next 7 minutes sees United continue to press and force another couple of corners and a free kick that are all comfortably dealt with before United’s Jeff Woodward get a yellow card for a tackle on WCFC’s No11 James Baldwin in the 19th minute.
WCFC get their first sight at goal in the 21st minute when they manage to get into United’s final third for the No11 James Baldwin to fire his attempt well wide of the target.
The game is still at a stalemate and WCFC are having a little bit of possession but are failing to create any guilt edged chances. They manage to win a couple of free kicks in decent areas but United soon snuff the threat out.
United pick up their second yellow of the game in the 41st minute when Mitchell Piggon is booked for a hand ball. Moments later WCFC’s No10 David Reynolds is also booked for his late tackle on United’s Kyle Barnett in the 43rd minute. The first half is almost up but not before United’s Chris Cox does really well to win back the ball before firing in a shot and seeing it well saved by the keeper Thomas Palmer in the 45th minute. Soon after the referee blows up for half time.
UNITED 0 WCFC 0
The second half gets under way and United carry on where they left off and race up field right from the off. Jeff Woodward and Craig Reid combine well to set up Lewis Rankin but his effort goes wide of the target in the 46th minute. United are starting to pass the ball around with purpose when Mitchell Piggon is released down the left, he sends in a cross that somehow makes its way to Lewis Rankin lurking at the back. He then coolly picks his spot as he drills the ball into the back of the net for the opening goal of the game in the 49th minute.
UNITED 1 WCFC 0
The breakthrough has finally come and it’s a well deserved lead that WCFC can have no complaints about. The roar from the stand was a noticeable relief in this tense affair and WCFC tried to respond immediately when their No9 Mark Danks picked up the ball on the edge of the area. He did well to turn his marker before seeing his shot very well saved by the United keeper Richard Morris in the 50th minute.
That bit of WCFC pressure is short lived as United are not letting their opponents settle on the ball at all. They soon win it back and are on the attack again with Gift Mussa doing well to win the ball and move forward. He lays off a neat ball to Craig Reid who in turn steers the ball over the line from close range to double his team’s advantage in the 52nd minute.
UNITED 2 WCFC 0
WCFC are in shock and now have a mountain to climb to get back in this game. United are threatening to run riot and WCFC decide to make a couple of changes in the 55th & 57th minute when they take off No11 James Baldwin and No3 Jamie Smith and send on No12 Aaron Brett and No16 Hamilton Chiwara. Then 8 minutes later United decide to make a change of their own when they take off the impressive Lewis Rankin and send on Aron Wint in the 65th minute.
WCFC are still struggling to cope with the intensity of United’s play and United soon break forward again with Mitchell Piggon doing well before slipping the ball to Craig Reid who sees his firmly hit shot very well saved by the WCFC keeper Thomas Palmer in the 69th minute.
United are now starting to turn the screw with countless attempts at pressing forward. The 71st minute sees this pressure bear fruit when Jeff Woodward is fed the ball out wide on the right. Jeff moves the ball forward slightly before sending a high and deep cross/shot that loops over the keeper and drops into the top corner of the net to almost certainly seal the points for United.
UNITED 3 WCFC 0
Now I’m not going to say that I think Jeff meant that though he may say differently but has they say, a goal is a goal no matter how they are scored but it did look impressive from where I was sitting.
The next 6 minutes sees both teams make further changes with WCFC taking off No7 Matthew Birley and sending on No15 Wesley Lewis in the 72nd minute and United taking off the hard working Mitchell Piggon and sending on Aaron Opoku in the 77th minute.
The game is now into the last 10 minutes and WCFC venture forward for a rare chance on goal. The No12 Aaron Brett breaks free of the United defence and sees his powerful drive superbly saved by keeper Richard Morris in the 82nd minute. Another chance falls to them for the No16 Hamilton Chiwara in the 84th minute but Richard Morris once again deals with it comfortably.
The game is drawing to a close and united make their final change of the afternoon when they take off Joshua O’Grady and send on Robert Prinzel in the 86th minute. United are then happy to see the game out by keeping possession without venturing forward in numbers as the referee soon blows up for full time and another 3pts are claimed.
UNITED 3 WCFC 0
In summing up this game I would have to say that United for the second time this weekend totally controlled the game from start to finish. The first half saw United create a few good chances but were thwarted by the WCFC keeper Thomas Palmer. WCFC tried in vain to compete with united but for all their efforts they just could not get a hold on the game and did well to go in at half time level.
The second half saw United move up a gear and right from the restart went about bombarding the WCFC defence with plenty of attacking vigour. Their resolve was finally broken twice in quick succession early in the second half and stayed controlled throughout and crowned their performance off with another strike with 20 minutes remaining.
Once again the opposing keeper, this time Thomas Palmer had a lot to do with keeping the score line down and was their best performer on the day.
For United, it was another great team performance against a top quality side that to be fair was missing a few key players but we can’t take anything away from our shift today. Players worthy of a mention would have to be Richard Morris who made two really good saves to keep his team out in front. Jamie Coleman stood firm against what has been of late a prolific attacking force and read the game really well throughout. Mitchell Piggon worked hard for his team mates without reward but I’m sure another tap –in will soon present itself for him. Lewis Rankin also once again had another cracking game and always looks a threat going forward and also popped up with another goal to add to his ever increasing tally. But for me today, the man of the match must go to captain Chris Cox. Chris today was immense and once again covered every blade of grass and was either trying to spring an attack or helping to break down anything they had to offer so once again well played Chris Cox.
Another special mention should go to the Red and Green army who were today fantastic. They created a great atmosphere and the cracking crowd of 623 must have all enjoyed a good game of football. A run of home games await us over the next few weeks so will hope to see you all very soon. PUCU
Match stats (United) (WCFC)
On target (9) (3)
Off target (4) (3)
Corners (3) (2)
Free kicks (9) (13)
Yellow cards (2) (1)
Red cards (0) (0)
Offside (1) (2)