A few weeks ago United travelled to Rathcoole to play Rathfern Rangers in an evening match and left very disappointed having lost the game in the closing stages when they felt that they at least deserved a draw. On Saturday they had the chance to get their own back and on a Millbridge pitch that was all the better for a rainless week they took full advantage.
Right from the kick off United were into their stride and with the return from injury of Johnny Hunter who came into the side for the injured Scott McKibbin they had an additional goal threat. The visitors were always dangerous on the break however Hayes, Brashaw and Boal at the heart of the defence dealt comfortably with everything that came their way.
Up front Ian McMullan and Aaron Cheevers were a constant threat with Cheevers coming close to scoring on a number of occasions particulary from a long range shot which the Rathfern keeper managed to puch over the bar.
The opening goal cam on the half hour mark when David Kelly took a chance with a long range drive to shoot into the net past the keepers dispairing dive.
Throughout the remainder of the half United pressed forward with Craig Bowman and Stuart McMullan prominent.
In the second half as the game progressed the need for United to get a second goal becaame more inportamnt as Rathfern were beginning to become more dangerous.
The second goal came around the hour mark when Alan Patterson was pushed in the penalty area as he was about the head the ball goal ward. From the resulting penalty Johnny Hunter made no mistake to make it 2 – 0.
Despite their possession Rathfern rarely troubled Brian McMullan in the United goal and more and more the home side dominated play. The third goal came after a series of corners had been won and Johnny Hunter claimbed above everyone to head home superbly to make it 3 – 0.
Just as United seemed to be coasting Rathfern scored a goal and almost immediately a sense of anxiety was created however the introduction of Gareth Bingham, Alan Massey and Greg Allison had a very positive effect and the home side held on to secure full points.
This was a really good performance with every one putting in a full afternoon’s work which will have pleased manager Colin Murray.
Next Saturday United complete their trio of home league matches when they entertain local rivals Saintfield United.