This wasn’t a match for the purist, conditions demanded otherwise, but it demonstrated United’s flexibility and ability to adapt to different situations and this they did with some aplomb.
It was interesting to see the new look Wrightchoice & Unity CSA at first hand due to so many plaudits being bandied around on social media.
Quite often the rhetoric doesn’t match expectation but on this occasion it did as a young, very talented team, pushed United all the way, especially during the first half. However, I think it will be difficult for the hosts to do themselves justice on what is a difficult pitch and they may be better able to express themselves away from Cintra Park.
I do speak from some experience as United had a similar set up back in the early part of the millennial with our so called ‘young guns’ who always performed better away from the uneven surface that was Gossmore Lane. It took a move to Wilks Park for the team to fulfill its potential. Mind Gossmore Lane is in the latter part of renovation and is soon to provide a surface fit for football to which our reserve team will return for the 2019/20 season.
I’m taking nothing away from Wrightchoice & Unity CSA, they fought hard and often skillfully and both teams played in the right spirit in what was a tough encounter. They will continue to take points off teams this season and that’s for sure.
As for United, whatever was said at half time did the trick as a tactical tweak turned an anticipated second half storm into a controlled and clinical United performance that earned three priceless points.
Without the influential Fox and Gumbs let alone top goalscorer Chris Hurst United’s squad was tested yet again but when you have quality with the likes of Adam Harman, Johnny Gray and Liam Bushay to call upon you know you always have a chance, nevertheless it takes time for any team to adjust and this was demonstrated in the first half yesterday with Adam Parsons switching from central midfield to left back being a further illustration of the disruption, but this is a strong United squad.
Personally, I’m delighted to see how the new players have mixed with the old and whichever team is put out seems able and capable. One position that I’ve been impressed with is goalkeeper, such an important part of any team and in Matt Canning we have a player who appears to understand all of the simple, but vital, basics with the ability to provide the spectacular as he demonstrated yesterday with one particular stunning save that underlined his authority between the sticks.
The reserves suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat at AFC Corinthians despite a 16th minute Theo Alexander equaliser. The match was a tight affair in which Jordan Harry produced a man of the match performance.
Around the Premier Division yesterday Reading YMCA dropped two points at basement club Berks County drawing 2-2 as Mortimer kept the pace at the top with a 3-1 win at Reading City Under 23’s while Westwood Utd beat Wokingham & Emmbrook TVPL 2-0. Burghfield Recorded their first win of the season with a narrow 3-2 victory over Woodley United Royals as Wraysbury drew 1-1 at home to Cookham Dean.
United have no fixture next Saturday as the First team find themselves with a third blank Saturday already this season. United's next fixture will be at the Alfred Davis on Saturday 10 November where they face Reading YMCA in a mouth watering clash for the right to advance to the quarter final of the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Trophy.
United reserves scheduled fixture v Goring United is cancelled due to the visitors playing in the Oxfordshire Cup which takes precedence.
Updated 08:30 - 30 Oct 2018 by Alan Turner