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Match Reports

Swineshead Inst Res vs United

Swineshead Inst Res vs United


United returned to league action, however we were without a number of out senior players. Missing were Jamie Lyall, Ryan O’Loughlin, John Courtney and Danny Wilkes.

United started with a new central defensive partnership in Michael Hardy, and Callum Pearce. They were supported at wing back by Zak Bray and Daniel Wager.

The visitors started the game well with Kurt Crossley, Alex Kendrick and Conor Minor controlling the midfield and they were causing problems to the Swineshead back line. It was only good goalkeeping by Ben Troops in the home goal, and United’s failing to convert half chances prevented United taking an early lead.

Little was seen of Swineshead in open play having been kept in check by the United defence. The only danger to United came from set play, and from one of these Jack Minor had to be at his best to tip over a free kick.

Then a flowing move released Keaton Grainger who brings an excellent save out of Troops.

Sam Sleight came on for Anthony Hardy and took up a midfield roll with Alex Kendrick moving to a more right sided roll.

The home side’s best open play move came down their left and when a shot came in Jack Minor produced a good save to keep the score level.

On 40 minutes United took the lead which their play deserved when Kurt Crossley flicks a ball into the Swineshead area and Brett Dennis beats Troops to the ball and slots home.

At the start of the second half Kendrick and Bray changed position and Bray began to cause problems to the Swineshead with his pace with back up from Kendrick.

United started the second half in command and on 60 minutes increased their lead. A corner was not dealt with by the home defence and Daniel Wager was on hand to slam the ball home.

At this stage the home side began to tier on a pitch which had become very heavy down the centre, and Crossley and Minor began to take total control of the midfield.

On 68 minutes United took the game away from the home side. Conor Minor won the ball on the half way line and played a one two with Crossley, and goes on to make an angle for himself before placing his shot into the corner beyond Troops.

The home side tried to get back into the game however Hardy and Pearce were always first to the ball.

The final goal came on 75 minutes when a 45 yard run by Bray beating two players he pulled the ball back from the bye line to Keaton Grainger to fire home from 10 yards.

United saw the game out, and could have increased their lead on a number of occasions.

It was a solid all-round performance in difficult playing conditions.

Team: Jack Minor, Zak Bray, Daniel Wager, Michael Hardy, Callum Pearce, Conor Minor (Karl Minor), Keaton Grainger, Kurt Crossley, Brett Dennis, Alex Kendrick and Anthony Hardy (Sam Sleight).

Hodgkinson’s Man of Match: Michael Hardy

Fulbeck vs United


United put on an excellent display in defeating current 2nd placed club in the Premier League with this victory in the Round 3 of the Sports Cup.

There were a number of senior players missing from the starting line up, however those who stepped in produced 100%. By the kick off the rain had stopped, however it had made the surface slippery.  

The game started with United the brighter of the two sides and the first chance came when a 50 yard run by Zak Bray in beating two players was cleared by the home defence. Then the first real chance of the match came to United, but they could not force the ball home when it was bobbling around the Fulbeck 6 yard area. The home side began to come more into the game using both wings, however the United defence marshalled by Lyall, and aided by Minor, Howitt and Bray dealt with balls into the box.

The nearest the home side came within a goal in the first half was when Alex Kendrick had to make a double save to keep the score level. With the score level at the break it was all to play for in the second half.

United were using the wings with Keaton Grainger and John Courtney to keep the home side on their toes, with Ryan O’Loughlin and Rhys Mansell pushing forward from midfield. Brett Dennis had a lone furrow up front, however always kept the home defence on their toes.

Protection to the back four was given by Sam Sleight. United took the lead midway through the second half when Ryan O’Loughlin picked up a loose ball in the home area and fired home.

Then the referee awarded the home side a free kick on the edge of the United area for handball, which appeared a harsh decision. From the resulting kick Kendrick pushed the ball over the bar for a corner.

As in the first half the home side put plenty of balls into the United area, however they were either too long and out for a goal kick or into the hands of keeper Kendrick.

United increased their lead with around 12 minutes to go when another loose ball in the Fulbeck area was picked up Ryan O’Loughlin who side stepped his marker and slotted his shot wide of the keeper.

The home side pulled a goal with around 8 minutes to go, and again it appeared a harsh decision. This time he adjudged Kendrick had stepped outside his area when kicking from his hands. The referee was 20 yards away and could not have been in a position to see clearly.

From the resulting free kick Fulbeck reduced the arrears firing into the corner of the net.

United saw out the final minutes of the game on the attack, and moved into the next round with this deserved victory.

Man of the Match - Alex Kendrick

Team: Alex Kendrick, Zak Bray, Daniel Howitt, Karl Minor, Jamie Lyall, Sam Sleight, Rhys Mansell, John Courtney, Brett Dennis, Ryan O’Loughlin and Keaton Grainger.

Colsterworth vs United

Colsterworth vs United

United made the long journey to Colsterworth in the Quarter Final of the Challenge Cup – a journey which was our furthest travel this season so far. Buoyed by the win last week against title rivals Woodhall Spa, United looked to continue their good form in the cup. The game also also saw a welcome return for Jack Minor in goal.

The game began in a lively fashion with United taking the play directly to Colsterworth. Lots of neat, passing football opening up the Colsterworth defence and keeping them on the back foot. It only took 5 minutes for the deadlock to be broken. A break by Danny Wilkes was halted when he was felled in the area. Danny stepped up to convert the resulting penalty by sending the keeper the wrong way. This goal gave United the edge they needed and to continue with their pressing style of play. On 14 minutes, a poor clearance by the replacement Colsterworth keeper was intercepted by John Courtney who cleverly chipped the keeper from distance to make it 2-0 to United. At this point United were firmly in charge and a constant threat to the Colsterworth goal.

A long clearance by the home keeper was collected by the Colsterworth midfield but the run was halted when a free kick was awarded. From the free kick, the Colsterworth forward hit the free kick of his life and it flew into the top of the net. 2-1 United. This gave the home side a lift and prompted the to push beyond their own half. Colsterworth were playing an attacking style using both wings but the United defence held firm.

As the second half restarted, United were looking to tie the game up and continued to press but at times the passing let them down. Too many misplaced passes gave the home side more of the play than United would have liked. The 2 goal advantage was restored on 68 minutes when the ever-dangerous Kurt Crossley was picked out by John Courtney after some great work on the left. Kurt side-stepped his marker and fired home in to the corner of the net to make it 3-1 United.

The introduction of Zak Bray and Karl Minor for United only piled the pressure on the home side, as the running of Bray was too much for the defence to cope with. United increased their lead when, after another tricky run, Bray was tripped on the edge of the area. John Courtney stepped up to place the resulting free kick neatly into the corner of the net for his second and United’s 4th of the game.

By this point, the home side were tiring and the United front line were causing endless problems. On 85 minutes, Zak Bray got his reward as he was well-placed to slot home the measured pass from Man of the Match, Kurt Crossley.

The win saw United advance to the semi-final of the Challenge cup. At times a scrappy game, with neither side able to keep control of the ball for any period of time It also, at times saw some sublime football from United with clever, passing play which Colsterworth had no answer for.

Team: Jack Minor, Alex Kendrick, Keaton Grainger, Daniel Wager, Jamie Lyall, Rhys Mansell, Kurt Crossley, Michael Hardy (Karl Minor), Matt Charles (Zak Bray), John Courtney, Danny Wilkes


Hodgkison’s Man of the Match was awarded to Kurt Crossley

United vs Woodhall Spa


This was one of the games during December would could have a say in the league title for United. The other being next week’s match at Sibsey.

United included in the match day squad two former United players - Ben Drysdale and Josh Clarke.

The game started with two goals in the open ten minutes. On eight minutes it was the visitors who took the lead when misunderstanding in the United defence allowed the striker to slip the ball home.

However, within a minute United were back on level terms, when the ball was played through to RYAN O’LOUGHLIN who slammed home from the edge of the area giving visiting keeper Andy Money no chance.

The game continued in the same fashion for the rest of the half with both sides looking to attack at every opportunity. With half time approaching Alex Kendrick in the home goal had to produce a fantastic save to keep the score level.

The first half had been entertaining with both sides producing neat passing football, and both keepers making good saves.

The second half started as the first with Woodhall taking the lead with an early goal. A loose ball was seized on by a Woodhall striker who fired into the corner of the net.

With around 25 minutes to go the visitors increased their lead when from a corner a Woodhall player was left unmarked in the six yard box and headed home.

United quickly got back into the game when a great strike from KIERAN RAYNER-MISTRY on the edge of the area left visiting keeper Money no chance.

United were under the impression they had drawn level when O’Loughlin fired home, however the referee disallowed the goal to award a free kick to United when there was a clear advantage to the home side.

At this stage of the game it was all United, however they had to be aware of the counter attacks from the visitors and Kendrick had to be at his best to make two good saves. The main source of attack for the visitor’s came from their speedy winger Blake Keiveally-Forrester.

Then Money had to be at his best to turn round an O’Loughlin free kick.

At the end of the game it was Woodhall who took the three points and move themselves up the table, and are now in a better points position than United.

Team: Alex Kendrick, Kieran Rayner-Mistry, Daniel Wager, Anthony Miller, Jamie Lyall, Sam Sleight, Dom Lyons, Ben Drysdale (Josh Clarke), John Courtney, Ryan O’Loughlin and Keaton Grainger.

Unused Sub: Daniel Howitt

Hogdkinson’s Man of Match: Alex Kendrick

Frieston vs United

Frieston vs United


It was back to league action for United following their victory at FC Kirton the previous week which moved them into the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.

December will be an important month for United playing some of the leading contenders for the league title. Firstly though, we needed victory over lowly Freiston to start the month on a victory. Due to late withdrawals, United had to bring in Jamie Sleight and Karl Minor as late replacements and both played an important part in the win.

Although United had control of the match in the early stages it was not until around 22 minutes their first clear cut chance came. Ryan O’Loughlin was played in, however his shot hit the post and went out for a goal kick.

Soon after this, Jamie Sleight tried a cheeky lob, but the home keeper Joey Holland managed to get back on his line and save. United finally took the lead on 26 minutes when good play on the right between Dom Lyons and Keaton Grainger released ANTHONY MILLER who just inside the home area fired in a shot into the corner of the goal giving Holland no chance.

On 34 minutes United went two up when a delightful through ball was played into the path of DOM LYONS who went onto round Holland and placed the ball into an empty net. Freiston’s main attacks came down their right, however good covering by United’s back line of Jamie Lyall, Dan Wager, Minor and Miller gave good cover to Alex Kendrick in the visitor’s goal.

In the final 5 minutes it was all United playing some neat passing football, but they could not find the third goal which would have taken the game away from the home side.

The second half started with Freiston appearing to step up a gear, however after 15 minutes they had not produced a shot on goal. The swift running of Callum Barlow, Grainger and Lyons up front were always a constant problem to the home defence.

As the half progressed the home side were seeing plenty of the ball, but Kendrick in the visitor’s goal was dealing mainly with long range shots. Sam Sleight in a defensive mid-field role was giving good cover the United defence. The home side got a goal back in the final seconds when a shot from MARK WILLIAMS which was covered by Kendrick, however it took a wicked deflection and went wide of the keeper.

At the final whistle United had taken the three points, but on balance of play should have been a wider margin.

Team: Alex Kendrick, Jamie Lyall, Danny Wager, Anthony Miller, Karl Minor, Sam Sleight, Dom Lyons, Jamie Sleight, Callum Barlow, Ryan O’Loughlin and Keaton Grainger.

Hodgkinson’s Man of Match: Sam Sleight.

FC Kirton vs United


United moved into the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup with a hard fought victory over FC Kirton for which keeper Tom Martin was their star man. In the quarter-finals United will meet fellow Division One side Friskney at the Grammar School who beat Wrangle 4 – 0.

On a cold bright afternoon United put pressure on the home defence from the kick off with Alex Kendrick down the right and Callum Barlow and Keaton Grainger down the left causing problems on each attack. However, for all United’s pressure they failed to make a clear cut chance. Both Ryan O’Loughlin and Callum Barlow came close to opening the scoring, and Martin made a number of timely interventions. Little was seen of the home side as an attacking force and Jack Minor in the United goal was mainly dealing with long range shots. Both sides went in level at half-time with all to play for in the second, however United feel they deserved the lead on the balance of play.

Within three minutes of the second half United finally took the lead when Kendrick down the right found RYAN O’LOUGHLIN with a nicely placed pass just inside the Kirton area, and he picked his spot and fired low into the corner. The home side had a chance to draw level with their best chance of the game when they broke free of the visitor’s defence, but Minor was quickly off his line to smoother the shot, and the ball was cleared. United went two up on 58 minutes when Kendrick found O’Loughlin who in turn played KEATON GRAINGER in whose first shot was well saved by Martin, however he followed up and neatly lifted the ball over the keeper into the net.

At this stage of the game it was all United and how many would they score. However, with 20 minutes to go Kirton got themselves back into the match. From a free kick around 25 yards out JORDAN GILLIARD found the top corner with what may be his best strike of the season. Following the goal Kirton had their best period of the game, however United quickly returned to take the advantage and like the first half attacked the home side on both wings, however as in the first they could not find the final touch. Again Martin in the home goal produced a number of fine saves, and the post/cross bar saved him on a couple of occasions.

Team: Jack Minor, Jamie Lyall, Daniel Wager (Elliott Clark), John Courtney, Anthony Miller, Sam Sleight, Alex Kendrick, Daniel Howitt (Zak Bray), Callum Bray, Ryan O’Loughlin and Keaton Grainger.

Hodgkinson Man of Match: Callum Barlow. He was closely followed by Alex Kendrick


"Stamus in Victoria Unita"