UNITED GO TOP AT FORTRESS FEARNS

KSB UNITED 2–0 OASIS REDS – SMCCFL Division 3 – 16th September 2017 – SLS Stadium @ Fearns

An opening day win at !Audacious was harder work than it needed to be, and their second match would be a sterner test. Oasis Reds were re–formed in the summer after Warrington Ambassadors B disbanded. Jamie Coughlan stepped in to take charge, only to have to disband his own Oasis first team (but that may not be happening after all). Confused? You would be when Oasis Reds turned up in white and orange.

Brett Aspden was without goalkeeper Matt Gosnell, but had the more than able deputy Josh Hughes to call upon. Sam Lord and Harry Connor dropped out and so Josh Guest formed a centre back partnership with player of the season Ste Evans. Alex Marsh replaced Matt Jones in midfield, but all else was as it was.

The opening half hour was extremely tight, with both sides looking dangerous but lacking that killer instinct. Hughes made some good stops from long distance efforts but was not called upon too often. At the other end Wayne Archer and Jonathan Rigby were linking up well but couldn’t find goal. Several set pieces either went straight to the ‘keeper or were headed wide.

It would take a goal out of nowhere to break the deadlock. Captain Joel Brown received the ball in space all of 35 yards out, and saw the goalkeeper slightly off his line. The audacious effort was perfectly struck and swirled up and over him into the roof of the net – already a goal of the season contender.

Aspden made two changes at the break – Luke Hobson came on for Tom Pickup, shifting Rob English to right back and Johnny English to left back. Max Beswick replaced Rigby, as he did last weekend. Oasis had spells of pressure, but nearly all shots were fired a couple of feet over the bar, barely causing Hughes trouble.

United still needed that cushion to bolster their lead, and they duly got it. A lovely long ball from Johnny found Beswick in space just inside the box. He took a nice touch before slotting the ball confidently past the ‘keeper to maintain his goal per game (half game) ratio.

Pickup replaced Rob English and Marsh could have got a third late on, but his effort was brilliantly tipped over. As the 80 minutes were up, United could be well pleased with their effort, professionality and fitness levels. The defence were outstanding, with everyone making an effort to get back and help out. This leaves Aspden’s men top of the table and United have now won their last 5 games at Fearns, conceding just 2 in the process.

 

Team (4–2–3–1)

13. Josh Hughes (GK)

2. Johnny English (DR)

5. Ste Evans (DC)

20. Josh Guest (DC)

3. Tom Pickup (DL)

6. Rob English (MDC)

8. Matthew Painter (MDC)

10. Alex Marsh (AMC)

9. Joel Brown (AMR) (c)

11. Wayne Archer (AML)

7. Jonathan Rigby (SC)

 

Subs – 4. Luke Hobson (MDC), 25. Max Beswick (SC), 16. Brett Aspden (unused)

Man of the match – Josh Guest