United travelled to Millbrook, Larne for this league encounter with Wellington Rec who are one of the leading teams in the division this season. The pitch was in good condition and United were able to pick from a full squad. The opening few minutes were very much a case of both teams trying to size each other up however it was United who seemed to carry the biggest attacking threat and in the 10th minute they took the lead when Matty Shaw stabbed home from close in after a great cross from Aaron Cheevers. United continued to carry the biggest threat as they out passed a midfield and defence that struggled to close them down. The passing movements involving David Kelly, Dylan Carberry, Dalton Tate, Aaron Cheevers and Matty Shaw were excellent and they justifiably scored a second when Matty Shaw chipped the Wellington keeper from 25 yards. After this Wellington seemed to get a spurt of energy and for the last quarter of the first half they started to dominate proceedings forcing corner after corner. Try as they might they were we unable to stop the onslaught and minutes before half time they conceded a goal when a midfielder shot from the edge of the penalty giving Bryan McMullan no chance.
In the second half the United defence came under constant pressure with Dalton Tate, Ross Hayes, Scott Brashaw, Ben Wilson and Ethan Majury, who had gone to left back for the injured Stuart McMullan, having to work overtime to withstand their barrage of crosses. Not surprisingly Wellington equalised on the hour mark and although they did have a few other chances the defence held firm. It was not until the middle of the second half that United eventually got back into the game with their best chance falling to Stuart Hunter who had the ball taken off his head by a last gasp defensive clearance as he was about to head into an empty net.
The game ebbed and flowed over the remainder of the second half with Matty Shaw almost scoring again in the closing minutes when he almost connected with a cross from Dylan Carberry who was making his debut for the team. Ian McMullan and Gavin Crawford were introduced into the fray late on however United probably went away happy to have secured a valuable away point.
This weekend they entertain Bloomfield in a league fixture at Millbridge.
Goals in each half from Stephen Megoran and Niall Walsh secured three points and the bragging rights in the early part of the season from this exciting derby game at the Millbridge last Saturday.
Millbridge was packed by supporters from both sides each keen to encourage their side on to victory and in the early exchanges it was the home team who did most of the attacking with Johnny Stevenson going close in the opening minutes. Greg Allison caused the Olympic defence considerable trouble in the early stages of the game putting in a succession of crosses that lead to several corners one of which led to a Matty Shaw header being cleared off the goal line.
Olympic took the lead after ten minutes when Megoran’s left wing cross from thirty odd yards looped high over United keeper Bryan McMullan to drop under the cross bar into the net. This was a very lucky break for the visitors which gave them an advantage in the game which they worked tirelessly to hold onto. It was a cruel blow to United’s defence of Alex Miller, Davy Boal, Matty Shaw and Stuart McMullan who had restricted Olympics’ forward threat.
On the half hour mark United had a genuine claim for a penalty when Alan Patterson was bundled over from behind in the act of shooting for goal however referee Mark Domican did not share the United supporter’s opinion.
In the second half United pressed for an equaliser with Dalton Tate, Stuart Hunter and JJ Carlisle prominent however Olympic worked tirelessly to reduce the number of scoring opportunities with their keeper in superb form.
Olympic got their second midway through the second half when Niall Walsh rose above the United defence to head home a superb right wing cross past Bryan McMullan. They could well have been three up when they missed a penalty after Boal, who was sent off for a second bookable offence, had brought down an attacker however the spot kick came back off the crossbar.
United introduced Gareth McMullan and Dee Stewart to the fray and they combined very well when Stewarts shot was headed goal wards by McMullan only for the Olympic keeper to miraculously palm it over the bar.
This was an encouraging start from Olympic who have high hopes for the season ahead while the United supporters will have been encouraged by a battling performance from a team that was missing six players through injury.
United now have a succession of away games against Rathfern Rangers [last night], Ballywalter [Saturday] and next week against opponents who have to be confirmed before they meet Valley Rangers in the Irish Cup on Saturday 22nd August.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.