NAFL DIVISION 1B
United’s long unbeaten run of nine games came to a disappointing end when they lost this league game at the Millbridge on Saturday last.
The game was quite even in the opening stages although United had the lion share of the possession with Cheevers prominent on the right wing.
The best chance of the first ten minutes fell to Patterson who found himself free inside the penalty area but as he delayed his shot the ball was cleared off his foot to safety for a corner. From the corner Stuart McMullan had the ball in the net but he was correctly adjudged by the referee to be offside.
On 20 minutes Sirocco took the lead from the penalty spot a decision that was hotly disputed. The ball had broken free in midfield and a Sirocco player picked it up and passed it into the path of his team mate who ran into the penalty area. He was challenged by at least three defenders and keeper Brian McMullan who cleared the ball for a corner however the player plunged to the ground and the referee who was quite well back gave the spot kick which Brian McMullan was unable to save.
United pressed forward but despite the amount of possession they had they did not threaten the Sirocco keeper. Just before the half hour mark Sirocco were 2-0 up when they again found space through the middle of the park to slip a forward in to score past Brian McMullan with a well executed finish.
In the second half United pressed to get back into the game and did so when a shot was defelcted into the Sirocco net by a defender but despite all their efforts they could not get the equaliser.
This was a disappointing result for the home team who were looking to this game to guage how much they had progressed as Sirocco are expected to challenge for honours this year. United were every bit their match however overplaying in the centre of the midfield area was their undoing for both of the goals. The other area that they need to improve in is in converting the opportunities they create into goals. At the end of the day they proved themselves to be every bit as good as Sirocco. This week they travel to another of the fancied teams away to Lisburn Rangers.