United players Jacob Schilt and Matthew Grimstone were remembered on the year anniversary of the Shoreham Airshow crash with a minute’s silence before the 2-1 win over Littlehampton in the Peter Bentley Cup.
Mavericks won with goals from Owen Callaghan and Matt Hards, and United boss Nigel Geary said: “It was a very emotional day but Littlehampton were brilliant.
“Both teams laid wreaths on the pitch before the game and there was then a minute’s silence. There’s a lot of friends between the clubs and Littlehampton were excellent all the way through the day.”
United played with the strong wind behind them in the first half, with Pat Rose and Hards going closest to opening the scoring.
Mavericks played some excellent football after the break and took the lead on 50 minutes. Alfie Gritt released Callaghan, who fired into the top corner under pressure.
Gritt and Rose then combined to set up Worthing loanee Hards to net his first senior goal with a low finish.
Callaghan then had an effort cleared off the line and Chamal Fenelon was denied by an excellent save, before Littlehampton got a goal back on 82 minutes. Chris Darwin’s shot came back off a post and rebounded into the net off United keeper Fraser Trigwell.
United held on to progress and could have added a third late on but Wayne Joseph had a one-on-one chance saved.
Geary added: “It was good to get the first win of the season.
“We played with the wind in the first half but didn’t really create that many chances. However the second half was some of the best football we have played for a long time.
“We got the ball down, played some really good football and created chance after chance.”
UNITED v Littlehampton: Trigwell; Marsh, Gregory, Stideford, Hasan, Gilmour, Callaghan, Hards, Gritt, Rose, Fenelon. Subs: Joseph (Fenelon 70), Goldson (Rose 81), Davison, Wells.
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