United 0-6 Harmony Row
Having been voted Player of the Match by his team-mates seven days ago, Captain Mubarak led United Men’s Development Team’s charge in search of their first points of the season. Harmony Row were the opponents, for all that matters. Development Team top goalscorer, Omar, re-appeared from thin air midweek and had a black jersey thrown on him much to everybody’s delight. He was nonplussed as usual. Steph was given a lie-in allowing Antoine the chance to shine between the sticks, which he did despite the scoreline. Sandeep’s razor was sharpened pre-match in anticipation this was finally the day he scored, or United picked up a point…!
Fast forward 10mins. United were two down. No great change there. The floodgates had threatened to burst open but Antoine made sure they remained closed with some great saves. United steadied themselves and Rabbi had a chance to nick a goal back, racing through chasing a clipped ball forward only to be denied by the out-rushing goalkeeper who handled outside of his area. Clear as day, everybody saw it except the referee who must have been checking scores on his phone or something. It would be the first of two incidents the opposition were lucky the referee didn’t see.
United were offered an even better chance to score from 12 yards after Rabbi was fouled in the box but the goalkeeper foiled both Omar’s initial effort and the rebound. Sandeep remains supremely confident he will score in the 8 games that remain. Perhaps he should have taken the ball from the United striker on this occasion!
United played some great attacking football in the first half, despite going in behind, unfortunately they were unable to do so again in the second half as Harmony Row stepped up the tempo and scored a few more. A quality strike into Antoine’s top corner was the pick of the bunch but the score line looks unfair should anybody else have witnessed Antoine’s efforts. He was overwhelmingly voted Player of the Match after the game.
The main flashpoint of the second half from United's point of view happened with 15mins to go. Anwar put in a tough tackle on an opponent who really didn’t appreciate it. The opponent took aim at United’s giant midfielder with a kick whilst on the ground then aggressively sprung to his feet. With his nose pressed into Anwar’s chest, realisation quickly hit home that he’d likely be swung around like a child’s soft toy and the matter was declared closed. Anwar seemed fairly puzzled about the whole thing. The referee didn’t see the incident so he was lucky to escape a red card. He wasn’t so lucky to escape Alan’s helping of bearded-justice next time he touched the ball. A penalty conceded was the least of anybody’s worries by this point of the season. Another goal conceded is hardly going to dent United’s title ambitions.
Anwar flashed a late volley over the crossbar for United. When the final whistle sounded they were very unlucky not to have even a goal to show for their efforts. They certainly deserved one at least. A special mention must be made for Qasim, who played a great game, but it will rightly be Antoine who Mubarak hands the armband to for the next match!