Wellington Recreation provided the opposition at Millbridge for this vital league encounter with both teams occupying the relegation places in Division 1B. Despite an improvement in results the visitors fortunes have changed in recent weeks with their manager resigning while United have had some really encouraging performances particularly against table topping teams.
Obviously a win for the home team was essential and this was exactly what they got in more ways than one. From the outset United were on the front foot attacking on either flank driven on from central midfield by Gavin Crawford and Ben Wilson while Greg Allison and Jack Davis on the right and Stuart McMullan and Aaron Cheevers on the left. The breakthrough came in the 10th minute after a penetrating attack on the left wing saw Stuart McMullan cross for Greg Allison to shoot home. Wellington almost equalised moments later but Brian McMullan blocked the shot for what was his only serious save of the match. Greg Allison increased United’s lead on 21 minutes when he smashed the ball home after Aaron Cheevers had crossed from the right wing. On the half hour mark Matty Shaw crashed the ball off the crossbar.
Just before half time Stuart McMullan raced clear of the visitors defence and crossed for Greg Allison to head home and score his first hat trick for the first team. Wellington reorganised their defence to nullify the threat coming from United’s left flank however the emphasis changed to the right side and within ten minutes another two goals had been scored through headers from Matty Shaw and Gavin Crawford all from right wing crosses. Jack Davis, Matty Shaw and Aaron Cheever’s swarmed all over the visitors defence resulting in Cheevers scoring on the hour mark to make it 6-0. Jack Davis who has had a superb season since his promotion into the first team scored United’s seventh when he ran into the Wellington penalty area and crash a shot in from ten yards. United never let up in this game scoring a further three goals in the closing quarter with Gavin Crawford crashing a shot into the net from the edge of the penalty area and Aaron Cheevers slipping past the offside trap to score.
First team debutant Scott Cheevers came on for the closing quarter and he made an immediate impact by crashing the ball off the crossbar and in the final minutes he lobbed the onrushing keeper to score his first ever goal at this level and his teams tenth of the game. Defensively United coped easily with the odd forward excursion from the visitors and their back three of Dalton Tate, Scott Brashaw and Paul Dickson regularly joined the attack with Dickson sending several long range shots narrowly wide.
This win took United out of the bottom three but players and management are well aware that a lot of hard work remains to be done in the coming weeks and that starts with this weekend’s visit to Ballywalter.