United run out 16-0 winners in Italy...
UNITED 16 (Smith (6), Hunt (3), Morison (2), Poleon (2), Walters, Norris, Murphy), GHERDEINA 0
UNITED: First Half: Silvestri, Byram, Killock, Pearce (C), C Taylor, Austin, Norris, White, Hunt, Morison, Walters.
UNITED: Second Half: S Taylor/Cairns, Thompson, Lees, Skelton, Warnock (C), Cook, Tonge, Murphy, Dawson (Blackman, trialist) Smith, Poleon.
United began the pre-season schedule with a comprehensive 16-0 win against local side FC Gherdeina.
United dominated the match from start to finish and throughout the game not one of United’s goalkeepers was called into the action by the local side.
Striker Noel Hunt opened the scoring for United in the 19th minute when he headed home an Aidy White corner. United were further ahead just one minute later when Hunt was again the scorer, this time heading a David Norris cross into the back of the net.
In the 27th minute Sam Byram ventured forward and was brought down in the penalty area. Up stepped Hunt to fire home his hat-trick goal.
Just two minutes later United got their fourth when Steve Morison, who spent last season on loan at Millwall, played the ball into an empty net following good work from Hunt.
Lewis Walters made his first appearance for the first team and marked it with a great headed goal and Morison got his second of the game just minutes later.
Norris, who was impressive in midfield completed the first half goalscoring rout with a clever finish at the near post.
Head coach David Hockaday made wholesale changes for the second half but it didn’t change the flow of the game.
United continued to pile the pressure on the local side and Matt Smith scored three headed goals to make the score 10-0 before the hour mark.
In the 67th minute Luke Murphy scored the goal of the evening, when he picked the ball up on left hand side of the pitch, he cut inside and sent a superb curling effort into the top corner.
Smith may have got his hat-trick but that didn’t stop the big striker get his fourth when he latched onto a Dominic Poleon knock-down. The striker kept his cool and finished calmly past the Gherdeina keeper.
With 12 minutes of the game remaining Poleon got himself on the scoresheet twice with two neat finishes either side of a further goal from Smith.
The evening’s scoring was completed by Smith, who secured his double hat-trick with a scooped finish over the keeper who went to ground.
With 16 unanswered goals United will be hoping for a sterner test when they face Viitorul Constata on Sunday.