It will really be a lunch(time) crunch, when the Sky Blues take on H & W Welders tomorrow at Tillysburn, 13-30, lick-off. We at 'Sport don't see the need for this game to kick-off as early as that, its not dark until about 6 o'clock now and if the game runs to extra-time and the dreaded penalty kicks, it should be over in under three hours and could start as late as 14-30 hrs, in our opinion. But the IFA is running the competition and they are still stuck in the dark ages.
We cannot stress the importance of this game to United's season, we succumbed to Chickenville last Saturday and blew our outside chance of being involved in the top six. The Irish cup is all we have to keep our fans interested until the seasons end. The crowds will be dwindling when all we have to look forward to is meaningless games against Dungannon, Warrenpoint and the Ducks, our manager assures us, we are ready for the task ahead.
We think Fergie will revert to his favoured 4,3,3, formation, with Tony, Thommo and Captain Jenks as his midfield three. In the absence of the suspended Steeky, we expect Mike Ruddy to play in the back-four alongside Jimer, JT and Paddy Mac. We freely admit to be only guessing at the make-up of the team, but Spike has to make the correct decision of who to play in his three striking roles, or who gets a place on the bench.
Despite a terrible loss of form, we would expect him to select Cush and Cutch, but its the other two strikers, Darboy and Tippers, that he has to choose between. Despite denials from our management, Tippers seems to be out of favour and the 'Sport crew was idly wondering if he's fallen out with Spike or some other member of our management team. If that's not the case and he has been carrying an injury, denied by Spike, we think he should get the nod tomorrow, if not, it will be Darboy.
On the opposite side of the pitch will be an ex-United player, Michael McClellan (MM for short), trying to put one over us and our management team. He was discarded by our manager at the end of last season and didn't even warrant a place on the bench or indeed in the panel, at the Irish cup final in May, when we were crying out for a striker. MM has scored 30 odd goals this season and will prove a handful to our defence, but he isn't the only danger-man in the Welders team.
We fully expect the Welders team to lift their 'game' as they have a chance to get to the Irish cup semi-final and maybe it will be the greatest achievement for some of them in their whole career. We think they won't let us play football, they'll be wanting to get stuck in and try to unsettle us from the start, we have to be prepared for that. It will be hard game, but if we want it enough, we should do it, but we sincerely hope they'll be no pussyfooting around, so come Sky Blues, lets shag those Welders!