United travelled to East Belfast for this league encounter against Bloomfield at Orangefield velodrome which is the only cycling facility of its type in Northern Ireland.
From early on in the game United took control and spent most of the first half camped in the Bloomfield half however they failed to bring the home goal keeper into any serious action. The same could not be said for United’s Brian McMullan who whilst spending most of the afternoon spectating pulled off one of his best saves this season which played a major role in his team’s success. In the 43rd minute Bloomfield broke clear on the right wing and their centre forward raced onto the edge of the six yard box to receive a great pass from his team mate. Just as he was about to shoot into the net defender Ethan Majury managed to block the shot but it was still heading into the goal until Brian McMullan dived to palm it around the post for a corner.
In the second half United came out full of purpose and were ahead in the 50th minute when Stuart McMullan was released on the right wing following interplay between Dalton Tate and Gavin Crawford. He cut into the penalty area and toe poked the ball into the net past the advancing keeper. Having controlled the game up to this stage United seemed to lose their composure and it took some solid defending from the back line of Majury, Hayes, Boal, Brashaw and Herron to stem a steady stream of Bloomfield attacks. In the 65th minute Bloomfield were reduced to ten players when their No. 5 was dismissed for a second yellow card which could easily have been a straight red following a rather nasty tackle.
At this stage United were enjoying much more possession and in the 70th minute they were 2 – 0 up when Aaron ‘Beattie’ McCaffrey got on the end of a cross to score into the roof of the net off the keeper. ‘Beattie’ who has been an ever present in the team following some excellent seasons with the Swifts has been a hard working partner to Ian McMullan however the goals just didn’t seem to go in for him so was this was a well-deserved success.
For the closing quarter manager Keith Hamilton replaced his forward line with Gareth McMullan and Greg Allison and they provided a constant threat with Gareth McMullan’s first touch, a lob shot from ten yards, drifting over the crossbar while Greg Allison had a few long range shots which went narrowly wide.
This was another good team performance with every player contributing to a well-earned three points which take United into 3rd place however this Saturday they will have to be at their best to take on an improving Sirocco Works side that after a poor start to the season have been picking up points in recent weeks. The game kicks off at 2pm at Millbridge.