More changes were forced upon Manager Paul Hughes for today’s FA Trophy tie against New Salamis with Ryan Hall and Ezra Ikebuasi not being allowed to participate by their parent clubs while top scorer Moses Emmanuel missed out due to personal reasons.
The game was also to see the strange entity of two goalkeepers making their United debut in the same match as an injury to new loanee Rhys Byrne led to a first introduction for a patient Drew Churchwell in the second half.
United started confidently with the lead coming after just 11 minutes as Alfie Williams fed the ball to Hassan Jalloh who moved forwards 10 yards before smashing a screamer into the top left-hand corner of the New Salamis net giving ‘keeper Emmanuel Olajide no chance.
In what was to be a half of few chances, the next also fell to United on 19 minutes, Williams' corner from the right was met by the towering figure of skipper Charlie Wassmer at the far post only for his goalbound header to be clawed out superbly by Olajide but only to Jaden Thompson-Brissett who having missed his initial kick somehow managed to fire over from 6 yards out.
A couple of minutes later a throughball by the visitors found 41 year-old striker Derek Asamoah through on goal but United loanee stopper Rhys Byrne did well to stay tall and the striker scuffed his effort wide of the post.
A second almost came for Paul Hughes’ side as we hit stoppage time as Williams and Mo Bettamer combined to feed Luke Brophy on the left side, his centre found Bettamer who had made his way in to the box but his header was just wide of the target.
Five minutes after the break Amos Nasha and Bettamer worked the ball to Williams who saw his 20 yard effort held by Olajide and on the hour Lauran Luke presented the ball to Jalloh who hit a snapshot from the edge of the box but the ball flew just the wrong side of the upright.
Around the 70th minute Byrne slid out to grab a throughball only to be cluttered into by Asamoah who from a distance looked to be out of control however the referee Mr Lamping only deemed the challenge a cautionable offence when from the stand a red card looked a more acceptable outcome.
Sadly for Byrne his debut was to only last a few more minutes with Drew Churchwell being called upon to make his own United debut between the sticks in the 74th minute.
The final seven minutes of the game saw more chances than the rest of the second half as firstly for the visitors Evander De Brito’s cross from the right found Luke Foster on the edge of the box but he fired over and a minute later United should have put the game out of reach when Adam Liddle broke away and squared the ball to Bettamer but he fired straight into Olajide’s midriff.
Williams soon after fed Liddle but his effort was too high and as the clock hit 90 a New Salamis free-kick was played in to the United six yard box and as the ball pinged around substitute Mitchal Gough was perfectly placed to clear the ball away off the line.
The final effort saw a dipping Taufee Skandari effort for the visitors clear Churchwell’s goal and seconds later the game came to an end with United moving through to Monday’s first round draw in the Isuzu FA Trophy.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Sponsors Man of the Match: Charlie Wassmer.
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