Paul Hughes’ reserve side progressed to the quarter-finals of the President’s Cup with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Biggleswade Town.
United field a strong side at Church Road on a chilly Wednesday evening as both Lee Harrison and Adam Green got full 90 minute workouts on their return from injury. It was actually Green who went close to opening the scoring early on when he curled a free-kick, from just outside the area, around the wall and just wide of the Biggleswade goal.
Minutes later Waders striker Kieron Bishop broke through on the United goal, Charlie Wassmer gave chase and intercepted him just inside the area with an excellent defensive tackle that stopped the striker testing Harrison in the United goal.
17 minutes had passed when Romanian midfielder Florin Pelecaci played a smart ball with the outside of his boot that sent Daryl McLean into the Waders area, his shot being tipped over by keeper William Viner. The resultant corner found its way to Green at the far post but a weak connection just gifted the ball to Viner.
United were now starting to take control of the ball and minutes later Elliott Buchanan fed Paul Robinson on the left, his low centre picked out Pelecaci who screwed his effort wide from the edge of the box, Viner was again in action on the half hour mark when he dived at the foot of his post to deny Buchanan.
Buchanan was not to be denied though and just four minutes later he opened the scoring by smashing home a low McLean cross at the far post.
McLean was proving to be a real handful for Waders left-back Danny Nickels-Benson who just could not keep up with the flying United man and just minutes after creating the opener another cross was evaded Robinson and fell again to Buchanan but this time Viner was equal to his volley.
United took control straight from the re-start with McLean taking less than two minutes to add his name to the scoresheet. Ahmed Deen sent Buchanan down the left channel, he cut into the area and fired goalwards, Viner was able to parry his shot but only to McLean who netted easily.
Chances started coming for both sides, Buchanan was just too high with a near post volley from Wassmer’s centre for United before Deen was caught in possession by Bradley O’Donovan who was well off target from the edge of the area.
On the hour Robinson touched the ball off smartly to Buchanan who cut in and tried his luck with his weaker right foot but Viner was equal to it, turning it around the post. The resultant corner by Richard Langley fell to Wassmer but Viner ws quick to snuff out the danger.
The last half hour seemed fairly devoid of close calls as both sides almost appeared to settle for the 2-0 scoreline.
Waders striker Bishop did break through just after the hour mark but Harrison did well to block his effort away with his trailing leg and then ten minutes from time a quick exchange between Bishop and O’Donovan ended with the former bringing the ball down well on his chest before hitting a volley that flew over the top of Harrison’s goal.
Another plus for United was the return to the bench of Colin Davis who has returned to Church Road to assist Paul Hughes with the running of the United reserve side.
Report by Kevin Watts.
United Man of the Match: Daryl McLean.