This was United’s last match of the season and many would have said that their chances of getting anything out of this game would be pretty slim with Portaferry pushing for promotion with plenty of games to play, and having won 2 – 0 vs United the previous week.
The task was made all the more difficult given the absence of a number of experienced players and the management team having to draft a few untried second teamers and themselves.
Havng travelled across on the ferry, like a proper away day, things started well for the visitors. An early battling performance was strenghtened when Ian McMullan intercepted near the half way line and shrugged off a Portaferry midfielder before fizzing a fierce effort from far out beyond the flailing ‘ferry keeper and finding the corner after 20 minutes to put United 1 up.
The home team laid siege to the United goal but the defence of Boal, Majury, Brashaw and Wilson gave the outstanding Bryan McMullan great cover. The home team’s pressure paid off when they equalised before half time.
After the break, United’s midfield of Stuart McMullan, Dalton Tate, Aaron Cheevers and Gregg Allison continued to worked tirelessly, with Ian McMullan and teenager Scott Cheevers up front running endlessly and causing the Portaferry defence all sorts of problems.
Midway through the second half Ian McMullan banged in his second. A through ball from Aaron Cheevers found the forward through on goal, his left footed finish slotted past the keeper to give United the lead again.
Gregg Allison with pace to burn left his full back for dead and floated a cross from the right. Once again McMullan was on the end of it and rose like Shearer to head home the perfect hat-trick, United’s third and ensure the 3 points for United.
The goal also snatched the Top Goalscorer award away from the absent David Kelly.
Portaferry laid siege to the visitor’s goal once again, but left numbers short at the back allowing United to break.
The Gaffer, Murph, brought himself and coach Keith Hamilton on near the end of the game, to push the
average age experience up significantly.
Murph found space on the right and with a swish of his wand of a left foot, he whipped a wonderful ball into the box, Ian lost his marker but the ‘keeper finally was able to stop McMullan from adding another.
An excellent performance all round with McMullan taking home the match ball… figuratively.
The small band of loyal United supporters ended their season’s travels with a great win, and the club finished in a respectable 6th place in NAFL Division 1B.