Sadly for United the performance did not match the result as early dominance from the visitors failed to produce a goal before the home side marched forwards and netted not once, but twice in an eight minute spell.
Manager Garry Haylock made just one change to the side that earned an excellent point at Newport with keeper Delroy Preddie replacing the unlucky Adam Thomson who had a fine debut in Wales last week.
On a heavy pitch, United were out of the blocks at a pace and just 51 seconds had passed when Staforde Palmers cross was met on the volley by Ram Marwa but his effort was inches wide of the far post. Four minutes had passed when home keeper Ryan Northmore was called into action, Will Hendry chipped over the defence to find Kieran Knight who alertly picked out Hendry with the return ball only for the midfielders strike to be palmed away by Northmore.
13 minutes was almost unlucky for United when Mike Green spread the ball wide to Lewis Powell, his shot took a deflection but was gathered safely by Preddie. With 20 minutes played United went as close as you can without actually scoring, Peter Collins won a header in the Seagulls area and found Marwa, he in turn fed skipper Nevin Saroya who saw his 20 yard drive beat Northmore but come straight out off the face of the upright.
With the ball having spent much time in the home sides half, it was somewhat surprising when they took a 29th minute lead. Barry McConnell received the ball on the right from Craig Loxton, he advanced towards the United area before firing a cross that seemed to be ducked under by a defender that fell to the feet of Mike Green with his back to goal, a neat turn saw the defender beat Preddie to give his side the lead.
Less than ten minutes later with United still shell shocked from going behind, it happened again. Jon Beswetherick swept the ball forwards to Gareth Hopkins and his cross was met by Loxton who saw his effort deflected wide. The resultant corner was fired to the far post where Loxton climbed to plant a perfect header towards the top corner that post guardian Danny Allen-Page could only help into the roof of the net.
and so endeth the first half.
Once again at the start of the second period it was United who came out of the blocks first aiming to cut the deficit as soon as possible. Beswetherick sliced a cross inches wide of his own goal before Steve Perkins knocked down a Hendry corner that Northmore managed to dive on just as Palmer was looking to strike.
Then it happened again, a quick Seagulls break by the impressive Dean Grubb saw his near post cross turned past his own keeper in an attempt to clear by the diving Peter Collins.
Chances were still coming for United to get back into the game, Marwa saw a volley saved at the foot of the post by Northmore before a Perkins surge and shot from 25 yards saw a deflection take the ball wide of the target. With 20 minutes remaining Preddie pulled off the save of the match low to his right to push away a powerful Andy Robertson header that to all and sundry appeared goalbound.
Just two minutes later United finally gave themselves a fighting chance when substitute Josh Scott ran at the home defence before cutting into the area and confidently firing past Northmore to reduce the arrears.
Just four minutes later a golden opportunity was spurned when a combination of Scott and Knight dispossessed a defender leaving the latter to run on goal. Sadly with just Northmore ahead of him Knight took what turned out to be the wrong option as he squared the ball behind his assisting teammates.
The final ten minutes passed without United testing Northmore, however Preddie was twice called upon. Firstly he was needed to block away a sharp shot on the turn from Hopkins before a breakaway by the speedy Sosthene Yao saw his angled drive pushed around the post by the United stopper.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.