The first game of 2014 saw United at home against Alexandra Park, currently sitting third in the red division.
It was always going to be interesting seeing how all the boys coped with a several week break and with the heavy pitch.
The boys did not disappoint and actually put in a performance that they could be proud of, making it all the more disappointing to come away with a 2 – 1 defeat.
Given the league position of our opposition, it was encouraging to see that we were more than a match for them and had we come away with a win, I doubt they could have had any complaints.
The first half was a tight affair but having conceded a goal from a corner a few minutes from the break to go 1 – 0 down, we knew we needed another strong performance in the second half to get anything from the game.
If anything, our boys were even stronger in the second half and bar a few breaks from Alexandra Park, we played much of the game in their half. That said, it was one of these breaks and some less decisive defending that allowed Alexandra Park to go 2 – 0 up. A shame as we had been defending well to that point, and in particular using Matt as an additional defender to relieve any pressure when it did come our way.
For the next five or ten minutes we seemed to spring back into life and a well worked ball across the six yard box from Luke was met by Ben to get us back into the game at 2 – 1.
For another few minutes it really looked like there was an equaliser in the game for us but as the clock started to run down we struggled to find players with our passes and spent the last four or five minutes of the game defending our own goal.
All said and done, it was an encouraging performance that the boys should be happy with, just a shame that we couldn’t find the win we needed to put us back into the top half of the table.
Most pleasing of the performances today were from the mid-field, especially the three boys (TJ, Jake and Luke) who rotated through the centre of mid-field and were solid throughout the game. Kieran was also at his most mischievous and created problems for Alexandra Park with his pace when he had the ball at his feet.
The captain’s armband was awarded to Luke for his very promising return from injury.