United 3-5 AC Kelvingrove
United Men's Sunday Team's first post-split GCCL fixture was against AC Kelvingrove at Toryglen in the shadow of Hampden Park. 50,000 supporters leaving the national stadium en masse after the Challenge Cup Final meant gridlocked traffic around the ground and many within United ranks arrived late for the match as a result!
Such chaotic preparation was evident early in the match. AC Kelvingrove raced to a three goal lead within 15mins. Barry pulled up with a hamstring injury and Sean was forced to withdraw soon after as things went from bad to worse for United. Content things couldn't really get much worse, they knuckled down and began to fight their way back into the game. United absolutely battered Kelvingrove for the remainder of the first half. Saturday Team loanee, Chayna, played in Abdul down the left channel who fired home to reduce United's arrears. He almost scored a second goal 5mins later but his shot cannoned off the post.
Cosar's direct running with the ball caused the opposition problems all day. He twice tested the goalkeeper and Dominik's shot was blocked after good play by Abdul on the left wing. Chayna pinged a volley wide from the edge of the box and Hama dragged his shot wide with time and space 8yards out not long after. United looked in the ascendency but their good work was undone when AC Kelvingrove restored their three-goal advantage just before half-time when a free header was converted from inside the United 18yard box.
Having weathered an early bout of pressure in the second half, United were back in attack. Often finding promising situations, a final killer pass was all that was lacking. Just that little bit of composure in the final third. You felt if they scored another they might just fight their way back and take a point at least. When Dominik was barged over in the penalty box Eddie sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot and United were back within two goals of their opponents. There was real belief a memorable comeback was on the cards when Hama stroked home Cosar's incisive pass. 3-4. Game on!
Parity was almost restored when Laurie's low fizzing cross cannoned off a Kelvingrove defender inside his own 6 yard box but it fortunately plugged into the goalkeepers mid-drift. The keeper knew little about it. When its your lucky day, chances like that nestle in the back of the net. Unfortunately it wasn't to be United's day and AC Kelvingrove notched a late goal to settle the tie.
3-5 it finished. United left wondering how the score would have looked had they started the first half with the intensity levels they finished it with!
UNITED: Paul C, Laurie, Barry, Seve, Chris P, Chayna, Eddie, Abdul, Samil, Sean, Neil
Subs: Hama, Alex, Dominik, Cosar, Albin, Ali
Goals: Abdul, Eddie (pen), Hama