spartan south midlands premier division
Despite falling behind midway through the first half, the hosts recovered to lead going into the break and clinched victory with three more strikes in the second period.
The squad had undergone major upheaval during the off-season with David Parkinson the only remaining name on the team sheet last season’s final game and combined with the managerial change it could have proved challenging to deliver an entirely fluent performance straight away.
Collecting a positive result became tougher as well when the visitors edged their way in front on 25 minutes – John Cush meeting a corner from the left to side-foot the ball into the top corner.
Fosters advantage didn’t survive the half, however, as United restored parity through George Brinkman who nipped in front of goalkeeper Marco Tuzzeo to bundle the ball in.
The skipper wouldn’t have to wait long for his second goal to arrive as the home side completed a swift turnaround when Brinkman pounced on a loose ball in the box to finish expertly into the bottom corner.
After the interval, United’s task was to sustain the momentum gathered as they overturned that first-half deficit and within 12 minutes they had extended their lead. Ieuan Lewis clipped a free-kick from just inside the opposition’s half out to Parkinson on the right flank allowing him to surge into the box and pick out Sam Holmes, who composed himself before lifting the ball over the keeper.
Firmly in the ascendency, Jimmy Martin’s men continued to threaten and an impressive counter-attack culminated in a fourth goal just five minutes after the third had arrived.
Liam Andrews wrestled back possession in the midfield and found Parkinson, who proceeded to slide Dylan Logan in down the right channel and he struck precisely across the keeper into the bottom corner to complete a swift, incisive move.
The away side had chances to reduce arrears, most notably when Mike Nduakulu latched onto a cut-back from the right and skied his effort over from close range.
United improved on an already handsome scoreline as a raking pass by Tashriq Andrews set his fellow substitute Adam Drakulic away down the left and the diminutive winger slotted home.