United set out to Greenock in high spirits going into today's fixture, with a desire to settle the score against league opponents. The previous two fixtures against Belleaire had gone against United and the determination to rectify this injustice will sadly have to wait for the next fixture against them, which looks now to be in the Thompson Cup in early September.
The first half had very little in the way of action, with Belleaire carving out very few chances. However their danger man undoubtedly was their centre midfielder number 7 who, without any real pressure, found the corner of the net from outside the box which, on another day, United's replacement goalkeeper Paul 'the salmon' Georgie might have clawed to safety. The first half was not without United's chances, particularly Harry who showed his magic with a glorious flick over the defender's head, only to have the chance go a begging.
United began the second half with more purpose, following coach McLeod's instructions to match their opposition physically in midfield and, for the large part, began putting together great moves to get up the pitch and create more chances with some nice flowing passing moves. At times United showed exactly the kind of footballing spirit that showcases the promise of competing high up in the West of Scotland Amateur League this season.
United's increasing pressure was rewarded early in the second half after a powerfully driven free kick from Hndrin was parried by the goalkeeper only for Chris to react quicker than all to smash home the equaliser.
This should have been United's queue to go on to win the match however too many remained too feart to compete the physical side of the game, losing out on many of the 50-50s and caught guilty of simply waiting for the ball to come to them. That said, Belleaire were once again gifted a goal (even more so this time) by some poor goalkeeping from Paul after Belaire's right back (yes, right back) found enough space and time to build Greenock a new ship yard from 30 yards to get away the shot. Driven straight and low (albeit with a slight deflection), the ball seemingly ghosted by United's goalkeeper, with Paul thankful that there was no Facebook Live action being filmed at the time.
The goal however brought more life about the United eleven who continued to try and carve out chances. Despite this, Belleaire were gifted with a penalty after an uncharacteristic misplaced tackle from Chayna. Up stepped Belleaire's number 10 who sent the keeper the wrong way to give the home side a 3 - 1 advantage.
United, already feeling the looming injustice of a third straight defeat to their Greenock hosts, went into overdrive to try and salvage something from the game. Quick passing and more fluid moves unsurprisingly unlocked the Belleaire defence, with United reaching the byline on several occasions but again lacked that lethal final finish. Cue Bobby who, from centre back, dissected the Belleaire defence with a fine through ball to send Harry in who finished the move with a lovely chip over the keeper.
Only minutes remained and United were left feeling heavily disappointed to drive away from without a second league win under their belts. A game which, if started with the right mentality and spirit to compete, should have been seen the away team put clear distance between themselves and Belleaire. A game that many will want to simultaneously forget and keep in mind this season.
United: Paul, Sam, Gerry, Bobby, Chris, Sabeel, Hndrin, Chayna, Abdulhakim, Kamal, Harry
Subs: Josh, Kwaby
Goals: Chris Malone, Harry Agyeman
Assists: Hndrin, Bobby