Duntocher Hibs 3-0 UGFC
Duntocher Hibs were United’s WoSAFL League Cup hosts at Donald Dewer Leisure Centre in Drumchapel. Paul Georgie, Kevin and Rob returned to don the black jersey for the first time this year as Glasgow’s famously treacherous weather had threatened postponement of the tie until late in the week. United’s preparations were further hampered as a mixture of virus and injuries ruled out China, Chris Malone, Donald and Fraser whilst Callum's knee injury unfortunately looks like ruling him out for the remainder of the season.
On paper this tie looked like a fairly comfortable home win as third placed in the Premier Division faced bottom of the First and, in truth, it largely played out that way. Hungrier and physically dominant from the first whistle, Duntocher bullied United into submitting possession again and again, and a sharpness to their play made life tough for United all over the pitch.
After surviving an early close call, United’s ill-set offside trap was breached after 16 minutes and the ball soundly dispatched beyond Paul Georgie. Quite the masters of their own demise, two more goals were gifted to the hosts as United’s vulnerability and hesitation on the ball was ruthlessly punished twice in quick succession. Evan and Scott were both caught dithering and, at 0-3 down after 25 minutes, United's League Cup hopes were sinking like a stone. One chance they did manage to carve out was supplied from Gerry's inviting cross but headed over the crossbar by David Perez. The half-time whistle was warmly welcomed by their gaffer.
With pride at stake, a far improved second half performance saw them at least create more chances. Whilst not exactly stemming the tide of what was largely one-way traffic, United endured and were more competitive. Kwaby and Bobby in particular made many great timed tackles and blocks. Scott tested the keeper and Marc could have scored a wonderful goal but shot straight at the keeper after quick, incisive combinations with Harry, and some magical footwork, saw him skip clear of the Duntocher defence.
David Thomson was introduced to make his United debut on the hour mark. In his first competitive match since 2014, suffering an ACL injury during that time, the attacker would be forgiven for any rustiness and looks a handy signing showing some flashes of quality. Sunday and Development Team loanees, Chris Priestley and Rabbi, were also introduced to the action.
Duntocher Hibs were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes remaining after Rob was judged to have felled their attacked in the area. Though somewhat dubious, if culpable it was a rare mistimed tackle among many throughout an industrious and combative display from the man judged United's Player of the Match. Paul Georgie spared his blushes as the self-described “Salmon” dived to his left and palmed the spot kick round the post. Rabbi might have scored late consolation but skewered his effort wide. Half-hearted claims for a United penalty were waved away late on after neat footwork from Rabbi saw him chip the ball over a defenders head and his volley was blocked at close range.
No League Cup run for United then. No two ways about it...
United: Paul Georgie, Gerry, Evan, Kwaby, Bobby, Rob, Scott, David P(Chris Priestly 60'), Kevin (David T 63'), Marc (Rabbi 80'), Harry
Player of the Match: Rob