United 2-2 Glasgow Diverse
A high-profile fight in Las Vegas may steal most of the headlines this weekend but there would be no early submission at Petershill Stadium where United’s Men's Sunday Team and Glasgow Diverse went pound-for-pound and traded blows throughout an engrossing 90 minutes. After coming up short in their pursuit for their first points of 2016 in recent weeks, it was clear few in black had stayed up late to watch the fight as United came out swinging.
Diverse are a team of heavyweights and United matched their physicality well throughout the game, none more so than Chris Priestley and Severiano in the heart of defence.
Monzir and Neil dictated the majority of the first half for United's benefit from midfield. The former saw his shot cleared off the line from 6 yards out after 20 minutes and the latter skewed a half volley over the crossbar soon after but United's most incisive play during the opening period tended to involve Sabeel. He frequently linked well with Fraser and Abdul in particular and caused Diverse a lot of trouble down the right. Indeed it was the industrious winger who broke the deadlock after 35 minutes, lobbing the keeper with a cool finish after a magnificent weighted pass from Monzir had dissected the Diverse defence.
Diverse levelled from the penalty spot as half time approached after Severiano was judged to have fouled their attacker in the box. An important save from Paul Capuano ensured United went into the break all square.
The second half was a lot scrappier than the first and a lot more even in terms of possession and territory. Diverse re-emerged in the ascendancy and took the lead when a breakdown in communication allowed their attacker to beat the out-rushing Paul to the ball and poke it past him but United rallied and equalised in a similar fashion when Rex’s persistence, chasing what seemed a lost cause, forced the opposing goalkeeper into an error and he fired home his second of the season into an empty net from close range.
The rest of the game was played at a frantic pace with chances at both ends. Paul tipped a goal-bound shot on to the crossbar and the Diverse attacker tapped home the rebound only to be ruled offside, Rex shot into the side netting from a tight angle and minutes later was only inches away from reaching a teasing cross by Cosar, who impressed on his United debut. Severiano and Samil both made fantastic saving tackles and Paul’s vital one-handed save prevented disaster with five minutes to go. Hama could have stolen the points for United at the death but, after chasing down Eddie's flick on, he was off-balance as he fired wide.
All square it ended. A point well-earned that could easily have been three. Feeling they might have won this match on points, this is definitely a performance United will look to build on and kick-start their season.
United: Paul C, Fraser, Severiano, Chris P, Laurie, Dominik, Neil, Monzir, Sabeel, Abdul, Hama
Subs: Eddie, Rex, Cosar, Calum, Samil
Goals: Sabeel + Rex