United travelled to Hillsborough for this league game against old rivals Downshire YM. In recent seasons games both home and away between the teams have generally been drawn so a tight match was expected and so it would be.
The home side started in lively form but United were well organised with the experienced Scott Brashaw and Adam Herron back after missing last week’s game due to the wedding of central defender Ross Hayes who was still absent along with Paul Dickson. A surprise but welcome inclusion in the team was Gregg Allison who has not played in the team due to injury.
The United back three of Brashaw, Boal and Stuart McMullan along with goalkeeper Brian McMullan were in dominant form sweeping the ball across their line with ease while midfielders Crawford, Tate, Herron and Kelly worked tenaciously supplying the willing runners of Allison, Ian McMullan and McCaffrey with good possession.
In the first half Allison was the focus point for most of United’s attacking and it was he who was fouled for the penalty which eventually won the game. A superb through ball from Crawford saw Allison run in on goal only to be bundled over by a Downshire central defender. Referee Munn awarded the penalty and David Kelly dispatched it into the net sending the keeper the wrong way.
In the second half United were once again the dominant force however Downshire were dangerous on the break and Brashaw, Stuart McMullan always had to be on their guard. United almost doubled their lead early in the second half when Allison just failed to connect with a low cross from Kelly.
Ethan Majury added energy to United’s midfield and despite a couple of late corners in the closing minutes which were really well defended United held out to deservedly retain all three points.
Late in the game the Downshire goal keeper pulled off a point blank save from Ian McMullan injuring himself in the process.