Lincolnshire Junior Cup - round three
United moved into the fourth round of the Lincs Junior Cup after an excellent all-round team performance in a victory over a strong Horncastle side.
From the kick off Horncastle took the game to United, however the first effort on goal came after five minutes from United when Paul Watts sent in a header from a Sean Chamberlain cross which was easily saved by Wood.
The game had developed into an end to end match but it was the United who looked the most likely to break the deadlock with the formidable Watts and Crossley partnership causing all sorts of problems for the home defence, along with the excellent work of wide men Rayner-Mistry and Scutt who worked tirelessly both in defence and attack.
United took the lead on 27 minutes when good passing in the middle between Broom and Reeson found Crossley, who cleverly released his strike partner just inside the area and, when Wood came off his line, Paul Watts nonchalantly slotted the ball past him from around 15 yards.
Horncastle were looking dangerous on set pieces using the height of Bent, Melia and Ollie Johnson, to good effect but the United defence held firm.
United increased their lead on 35 minutes when Sean Chamberlain placed a perfect ball over the home defence for Andy Reeson to run on to and, with Wood coming off his line, the United midfielder lofted the ball over him exquisitely from 25 yards to make it 2-0.
At the half time break both sides went in after giving their all in a pulsating cup tie, however United’s more clinical finishing was the difference.
At the start of the second half Horncastle came out with a much higher tempo looking to get back into the game.
Within five minutes they had reduced the arrears when a poor United clearance fell to Ollie Johnson on the edge of the area and his well struck shot flew into the corner of the net past Howard.
For the next 15 minutes Horncastle piled on the pressure in search of the equaliser, however they were finding it difficult to get shots on target due to the defensive play of the United back line.
On 78 minutes United increased their lead when Sean Chamberlain’s rampaging run finished with him cutting inside and coolly slotting the ball past Wood from 10 yards to give United a two-goal cushion.
With the game going into the last 10 minutes United began to take control and dominated possession. On a number of occasions it needed last ditch desperate defending to prevent United increasing their lead. The best of these was when Wood had to produce an excellent save to tip a Reeson shot round the post.
The game ended with United deservedly moving into the next round after an enthralling cup tie.
Manager Mark Hallam said: “From the first whistle today our desire to work for each other was the defining factor in our victory against a very good team.
“Despite his lack of fitness it was great to see Watty score on his return and his telepathic link up with Crossley will have excited an excellent travelling support.”
Man of the Match: Adam Broom
Team: Howard, S Chamberlain, Appleby, Broom, McGuigan, Skinner, Scutt (J Smith), Watts, Rayner-Mistry, Reeson, and Crossley.
This Saturday (November 16) the United entertain league leaders Boston United Reserves at Wainfleet Road in a re-arranged match. Kick off is at 2pm.