By DYLAN INGLIS
CRAIG GUPWELL wondered if his playing days were behind him - now he’s ready to front up again for Newmains.
The United co-boss thought about hanging up his boots when he injured his knee over ten months ago.
But he plunged himself into action in the weekend’s clash with St Cadoc’s after injuries hit the Victoria Park side.
Now after coming through his first 90 minutes since last October he’s considering keeping going again in a bid to help United’s defensive woes.
Gupwell said: “That game was the first time I’ve completed 90 minutes in ten months since I did my knee.
“To be honest I had no intentions of really playing again this year because through pre-season we had a team that was performing quite well.
“But it’s just been through losing bodies to holidays, covid and injuries that it’s kind of forced my hand to play again.
“Sometimes I feel as if I can offer a bit of help on the park so if I can stay fit there’s a possibility I’ll continue to play for the short-term just to steady the ship a bit.”
United lost 5-0 at McKenna Park but this was a more encouraging display against Craig McEwan’s unbeaten side.
Goals from Dylan Dykes and Max Kerr had the home side two ahead in the opening 15 minutes.
A third from Joe Bradley on the brink of half-time was harsh on United before two late strikes from Ross Barbour and Fraser Cowan as the visitors tired completed the scoring.
Gupwell added: “At the start of the season we could have identified four or five teams in our division who we expected to be better than us. St Cadoc’s was one of them.
“But on the actual team performance I thought it was definitely a lot better than we’d seen in previous games.
“We seemed to be in it together and I think if we perform like that over the next couple of games results will start to pick up.
“Everybody put 100 percent in and that’s a positive we can take. If we can build on the performance then we’ve got to go into the game on Wednesday with a bit more optimism.”
United return to action on Wednesday night against Glasgow United at Victoria Park. Kick-off is 7.15pm with entry £5 for adults, £2.50 for OAPs and FREE for under 16s.