UNITED GLASGOW 3-4 THIRD LANARK
UGFC and Third Lanark have played each other in almost every WoSAFL competition this season. The Challenge Cup was another ticked off the list this weekend as the pair met at Toryglen. In light of Evan’s visit to A+E seven days previously after a bruising game vs Newshot, Joe was once again drafted from the Development Team this time as an auxiliary left back. Donald and Davy both started, returning from knee injuries. After a team photo in support of Football vs Homophobia it was the latter's first start for United.
A gripping game from the off. Third Lanark were first to score after 20mins with a cute finish after a fortuitous break of the ball. United were level soon after when Bobby’s clearance turned into a great assist for Harry who finished with aplomb low into the corner. Momentum tossed and turned, again United fell behind when a snapshot trundled inside Fraser’s post. That felt against the run of play as the better chances fell United's way.
Davy Thomson was relishing his return to action. He caused chaos down Third Lanark’s left side and could have scored a magnificent solo goal after gliding past five opponents. He opted for power, not placement, when baring down on goal and sliced his shot wide. A great chance he should have scored. It sounds awful but maybe it’s best he didn’t score. A great goal like that would normally deserve to be the talking point of any game…however, had the net bulged, it would later have been eclipsed…
Going in behind at the break, United felt they won the first half on points. Harry restored parity again soon after the re-start with his tenth goal of the season in bizarre circumstances. Excellent hold up play by Donald bought him time to find an incisive pass for Harry to run on to. Baring down on goal, the Ghanian's heels were clipped and he fell over the ball. The referee waved play on. United howled for a penalty. Third Lanark defenders claimed hand-ball…everybody switched off to the fact that the referee hadn’t actually blown his whistle! Almost everybody, except Harry - he got to his feet and prodded the ball past the statuesque goalkeeper into the net. Third Lanark players picked up yellows for dissent. Had the referee given the penalty there would have been a red to issue too.
And then United took the lead…
Without exaggerating, China’s goal deserves a blog entry all of its own, such was the audacity, the vision and the execution. Controlling a seemingly innocuous clearance on his chest just in advance of the centre circle, the Somalian talisman unleashed a jaw-dropping right-footed half volley from a full 40 yards out. The ball soared through the air for what seemed an eternity. Awestruck as the rest were in attendance, by the time Third Lanark’s goalkeeper regained his senses he was powerless to stop the ball flying into the top corner. United fans erupted. Evan almost aggravated his injury. Unbelievably, it might not even be the best goal he has scored this season. This put strikes by Yeboah or James Rodriguez easily in the shade. A touch of Le Tissier? Perhaps. Zidane scored from a similar distance once for Bordeaux. This was even better. What an incredible goal.
Ultimately, it wasn’t enough though and United couldn't hang on. Forced substitutions robbed them of their rhythm in the second half and they tired as it wore on. Third Lanark levelled late then snatched an even later winner. A sickener for United as Third Lanark advance but a performance they can take pride from. If nothing else, this game will only be remembered for one thing – what a goal!
United: Fraser, Gerry (Marc 45'), Bobby, Scott, Joe, Chris Malone, China, Davy T (Paul G 65'), Kevin, Harry, Donald (David Perez 70')
Goals: Harry x2, China
Yellow: Paul G
PoTM: Davy Thomson