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Match Reports

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


Boston Seniors vs United

Boston Seniors vs United


United were looking to get back on the winning path after the set back after the defeat by Friskney the previous week.

Returning to the starting line up were Ryan O’Loughlin, Jamie Lyall, John Courtney, Alex Simpson and Danny Wilkes.

The pitch was in good condition after the morning heavy rain.

The early play came from the home side without causing any major problems to the United defence. In fact the nearest danger to either goal came when an O’Loughlin cross was clawed away by home keeper Williams.

On 12 minutes a shot from Callum Barlow was wide of the home side’s goal.

United went one up on 20 minutes when a cross from the right was flicked on by CALLUM BARLOW hit a defender and beat Williams.

Within 5 minutes United were two up when good played on the edge of the Boston area by O’Loughlin released SAIMEN TSELA who fired a shot across Williams into the far corner.

At this stage United had to replace Simpson with Kyle McGuigan due to injury.

United were looking in command at this stage, however Boston pulled a goal back two minutes later. From a free kick the ball hit a United defender and the ball bounced up and Jack Minor got his hands to it, however could not prevent it entering the net.

On 35 minutes United came close to a third when John Courtney was only just wide with a shot.

On 40 minutes United did restore their two goal advantage when DANNY WILKES was brought down in the area. He took the resulting spot kick and sent Williams the wrong way.

United went in at half time with a deserved two goal lead.

Boston started the second half looking to get back into the game quickly. They had two long range shot’s, however one did bring the best out of Minor.

On around 52 minutes a good move by United down the right resulted in Saimen getting shot in, but it took a deflection which took the pace out of the strike.

At this stage of the game Wyberton and Boston Town player Curtis Revell was beginning to cause problems with his pace.

Then Minor made a good save from a Revell free kick. Then on 63 minutes a good through ball by O’Loughlin released Barlow, but his shot was wide of the target.

Then after O’Loughlin was brought down just outside the home area, Saimen took the free kick which was tipped over by Williams.

The home side pulled a goal back when a slip by McGuigan allowed a Boston player a free strike on goal which he dispatched past Minor.

Then Minor had to bring off an excellent save at the feet of a home forward.

With 5 minutes remaining the home side drew level when a ball into the United area hit Lyall and fell kindly for a Boston forward to knock home.

United for a large part of the match were looking at three points but had to settle for one. The result was not as bad when other results came in and both Boston College and Woodhall Spa had lost, and United remain in top position.

Team: Jack Minor, Alex Kendrick, Jonny Hodson (Daniel Wager), Saimen Tsela, Jamie Lyall, Alex Simpson (Kyle McGuigan), John Courtney, Rhys Mansell, Callum Barlow, Ryan O’Loughlin and Danny Wilkes.

Hodgkinsons Man of the Match went to Daniel Wager

United vs Friskney


United went into the match looking to maintain their 100% record, however visitors Friskney had other ideas.

United had 10 regular squad members missing, however they should have had enough in the starting line up to maintain their winning league start to the season.

The home side started the brighter of the two sides and the pace of Callum Barlow and Alex Kendrick down the right side was causing problems to the visitors. They produced a number of crosses which opened up a number of half chances, however United could not take advantage.

Visiting keeper Josh Brown produced one excellent safe with his legs during this period of pressure. United thought they should have had a penalty when a player was brought down in the area, however, the referee thought otherwise. This was a number of strange decisions the official made for both sides during the match.

United finally took the lead when good play by Barlow found SAIMEN TSELA on the edge of the area who sidestepped his marker and fired into the corner of the net.

The visitor’s were using the long ball aided by the wind to get over the United defence, and on a couple of occasions they had to be alert to clear their lines.

With half time approach following a free kick from Jonny Hodson which was blocked, the visitors quickly broke down the left and when a shot came in it squeezed under Jack Minor’s dive, and Friskney found themselves level. The keeper would accept he should have done better with the strike.

Both sides went in at half time on level terms, however United would feel with better application in the final third would have gone in with a lead.

Within three minutes of the restart United re-took the lead when a break down the left by KEATON GRAINGER who went on to place his shot past Brown.

At this stage United should have pressed home their advantage, however they allowed the visitors to take more command of the game.

Friskney drew level with help from the referee. He adjudged that Ross Muirhead had pushed Greg Brown on the edge of the area. However, it was clear to everyone else he had taken advantage of the situation.

From the resulting penalty VICTOR SIBERT fired home.

This gave a lift to Friskney and they could see three points coming their way and they took the lead for the first time in the match. After a United attack had broken down they found themselves short at the back on the counter, and following a shot which hit the bar GREG BROWN was on hand to knock home the rebound with a well placed shot from the edge of the area.

United continued to attack for the remainder of the match, however they managed to only produce one good save from Brown in the visiting goal. The visitors were always dangerous on the break with United pushing forward.

At the final whistle it was the visitors who took the three points which was deserved on their second half performance.

Manager Michael Howard said after the match “Not a great day for us. Very frustrated with the officiating with some very poor decisions. Wasn’t happy at all with penalty as everyone knew the player took advantage of the situation. The referee wasn’t great all the game and made some weird decisions. Friskney didn’t cause too many problems to us but two mistakes lead to their goals. Doesn’t matter how many players we had out, we should all step up and be counted, but we didn’t want it enough”

Team: Jack Minor, Alex Kendrick, Daniel Howitt, Saimen Tsela, Ross Muirhead, Rhys Mansell, Zak Bray, Jonny Hodson, Elliott Clarke, Callum Barlow and Keaton Grainger.

Hodgkinon’s Man of the Match went to Keaton Grainger

"Stamus in Victoria Unita"