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RUSTY UNITED STEAL LAST GASP DRAW

World United Select XI……2
NICRAS Select XI………..2

World United battled back from two goals down to salvage a hard-fought draw in this entertaining Seaview encounter.

Clearly showing signs of New Year rustiness, the home side were quickly on the back-foot as the enterprising visitors – showing enthusiasm for an attacking style of play – created a number of early opportunities.

Within minutes of kick-off, NICRAS took the lead. Following neat approach play, the visitors’ right winger delivered a delightful cross which caused panic in the home defence, culminating in Adrian Murphy – on loan from opponents World United – slotting the ball past ‘keeper Tom Hall from close range.

World United, unbeaten throughout 2009, continued to struggle to find rhythm in their play and further hesitancy in defence was almost costly with both Murphy and a NICRAS striker both firing wide when it seemed easier to score.

The introduction of defensive stalwart Thomas Mockey – returning from injury – helped steady the rocking World United ship, with both Reginald Vellem and Raymond Kamanga adding weight to the backline. Despite the involvement of the experienced trio, the visitors doubled the advantage following a goalmouth scramble.

With the home side staring at defeat for the first time in over 12 months, they duly stepped up a few gears with Niall Murphy’s surging runs from midfield a particular threat. Indeed it was he who reduced the deficit with 20 minutes remaining. A neat one-two between Boyd and Djalo found Murphy who powered into the box and despite the challenge of Parkinson, managed to drill home from 16 yards.

In the closing stages the youthful NICRAS side perhaps showed an element of tactical naivety by continuing to commit men forward in an attempt to seal the win and as a result, were exposed on occasions on the break by the resurgent hosts. Long range efforts from both Ciaran and Niall Murphy and front-man Michael Boyd all sizzled narrowly wide.

Just minutes from full-time in this keenly fought and end-to-end encounter, World United snatched a somewhat controversial equaliser. It had appeared that a NICRAS midfielder had been fouled and the player duly stopped to take the free-kick. However, no whistle had sounded and striker Bebe was alert to punish the visitors by slotting past the despairing ‘keeper to earn a share of the spoils.

Players of both teams are encouraged to attend training at Seaview on Friday evenings.