A packed Millbridge was treated to a real hum dinger of a cup tie at this 1st Round Intermediate Cup game.
In the early part of the match it was United who had the better of the exchanges however they were disrupted by the loss of midfielder David Kelly after only ten minutes with a dead leg sustained in the very first challenge. They should have been ahead too but Gareth McMullan and Greg Allison failed to capitalise on the openings created. As the first half progressed the visitors enjoyed a greater share of the possession and lone forward Matty Smith was proving hard to handle for defenders Boal, Hayes, Herron and Majury. It was Smith who opened the scoring for New Buildings when a misplaced pass was intercepted and a quick through ball saw the forward close in on Brian McMullan who made a valiant effort to save his shot but to no avail.
In the second half United had the strong wind in their backs and gradually as the half progressed they took control of the game creating quite a few openings. Dalton Tate who had been relatively quiet in the first half moved further forward and he got on the end of Gavin Crawford cross to volley a shot goal ward only to see the keeper get a fingertip to it and see it cannon off the crossbar. In the 60 minute United were level when an exchange of passes with JJ Carlisle saw Davy Boal venture forward and unleash an outstanding shot which whizzed into the net.
Minutes later United had a goal disallowed when the New Buildings keeper spilled a high cross from Stuart McMullan at the feet of Aaron McCaffrey who touched it over the line but the referee adjudged that the keeper had been fouled in the build-up. United pressed continually and Ross Hayes saw his downward header bounce of the crossbar to safety.
The game went into extra time with United again pressing however neither team created any clear cut chances and the game was settled minutes before the end of the first half of extra time when Wayne Glenn crossed a ball from the touchline some forty or fifty yards from goal and with Brian McMullan who had been a virtual spectator for the previous fifty odd minutes back pedalling furiously the ball dropped in under the crossbar.
The visitors put every man they could muster behind the ball to repel United’s vain attempt to equalise and they held out for a fortuitous win however they have to be congratulated for a good performance throughout for such a youthful team.