Home league match played on 04 September 2011.
Kicked off at 10:45 AM

The UNITS got their Division 2 campaign underway with a hard fought but ultimately deserved victory over a competitive Athletico side
With some key members of the squad missing due to suspension, injuries and holidays Cuzer found himself with 15 to chose from and handed UNITS debuts to Marcus Powell and Steven Jones as we lined up as follows
Mala, Chinner, Lacey, Eggy, Barney, Jim, Turner, Jonah, Jay, Marcus & Pountney. Bench was Penna, Farron, Baker & Rossco

Credit to Athletico they were there a good hour before kick off and went through a rigorous warm up routine so the UNITS were in no doubt the opponents meant business
Cuzer reminded the boys of "first day of the season syndrome" when everybody runs around like a lunatic for 20 minutes and this was the case as both sides battled hard and cancelled each other out. The front two for Athletico were big and strong and initially Eggy and Barney were given a tough time by their front two however bar one header looping onto the top of the bar from a throw they created no clear chances of note
At the other end we threatened to get in behind them but the final ball was lacking, Pountney had a shot saved when through at a tight angle and Marcus flicked a ball across goal with nobody able to tap home
On 25 we took the lead when Jay did extremely well to hassle the Athletico defender into a mistake and win a throw in a dangerous area, he then put the throw into the box himself for MARCUS POWELL to climb highest and direct his header past the keeper for a debut goal to put us 1-0 up
It was crucial we didn't concede before HT yet we should have added to our lead when Jay had a close range shot blocked by a hand which the referee missed and from a slick team move Pountney crossed to the back post for Marcus to direct his header against the upright from 10 yards


No changes were made at HT but the message was sent home we couldn't slack off, had to keep competing for every ball as we had been doing in the first half and our chances would come
Athletico introduced a half time substitute who looked a class above anything else in their side and he started to make them tick however credit to the work rate of the UNITS as they were restricted to two long range efforts which Mala saved well but comfortably
The UNITS now started to pick Athletico off more easily and on the hour we extended our lead to 2-0 when from a fine Turner through ball Pountney beat the offside trap before clinically finishing in the bottom corner from 18 yards

This knocked the stuffing somewhat out of ATH and we should have extended the lead further, firstly Jonah on debut had a 20 yarder which the keeper spilled into the net dubiously scrubbed off as the referee changed his mind after a conversation with their linesman and then we all witnessed the miss of the century!

The Boy Farron again broke the offside trap, he beat the keeper to the ball with a header before bringing the ball under control on the 6 yard box with the goal gaping, with neither the keeper or any defender within 18 yards of him he then took a touch towards the goal, making himself a massive 3 yards out and with an empty net somehow managed to hit the side netting! Cue howls of laughter from both sets of players, anybody watching and Soccer AM for literally the best TAXI moment you will ever see! Stevie Wonder would have casually stroked it home...priceless!

Ironically whilst we were all in fits of laughter ATH had their best chance of the half when we struggled to clear our lines and their player pinged a shot in from 15 yards which Mala expertly tipped over the bar

Ross Rook came on for his long overdue and welcome return to UNITS action for Jonah who put a good shift in on debut and showed some good touches
Baker replaced Marcus and did well in the middle of the park, breaking things up and keeping it simple as he does best and Ferrera got his first action of the season late on replacing Eggy who aggravated his hamstring injury with 10 left

In the end a good, solid, opening day victory, very un-UNITS like to a degree as we worked our socks off, closed down all over the pitch and won the battle which in the end enabled us to play a bit and create our chances, you have to earn the right to play first and foremost and today we did that well

Man of the match went to Jay Lockhart for his all round workrate, class on the ball and attitude to win

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