FC United moved up to second in the BetVictor Northern Premier Division after Tunde Owolabi netted a hat-trick and Adam Dodd scored a fourth to beat Mickleover Sports 4-0 on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds outclassed their mid-table opponents from start to finish and were 1-0 up after just two minutes. They also hit the woodwork three times in a game where goalkeeper Cameron Belford barely had to make a save.
United broke the deadlock when Paul Ennis and Dodd combined on the left to give Owolabi an easy tap-in from two yards out.
Three minutes later, Owolabi saw his header cannon off the crossbar from Ennis’ free-kick. It was a sign of things to come.
A little over 10 minutes were on the clock when Owolabi terrorised the Mickleover defence with a powerful run. As he tried to round goalkeeper Nathan Broome, his strike partner Morgan Homson-Smith stole the ball off his toes but somehow hit the post with the goal at his mercy.
Fortunately, it wouldn’t matter but the second goal didn’t arrive until the stroke of halftime. Owolabi hit the other post two minutes before the interval after another good run down the left. But moments later, there was no denying him.
FC United’s star man was tormenting a defence that couldn’t cope with his strength and skill. After breaking away to the edge of the box, he found half a yard of space in between two defenders and rifled the ball into the top right corner for his 30th goal of the season. And some goal it was too.
Into the second half and it felt inevitable that the Reds would add to their tally. Homson-Smith went close just after the hour mark but his powerful drive from wide on the left was well saved by Broome.
With 10 minutes to go, substitute Michael Donohue was once again the provider for the Reds as he burst forward and played Owolabi through one-on-one. Broome made a good save from the initial shot but the ball looped up invitingly for Owolabi and he made it look easy as he volleyed the ball home for 3-0.
With three minutes remaining, Dodd put the icing on the cake. He ran free down the left hand side and without hesitation smashed the ball into the far corner to make it 4-0.
Such was FC United’s dominance, it was surprising that Mickleover didn’t try to charge Belford to get into the ground as he was a spectator for most of the afternoon.
The Reds now go into next Saturday’s top of the table clash at South Shields full of confidence, knowing that a win would close the gap to just three points.
Website man of the match: Tunde Owolabi. Bagged a hat-trick and could have had five on another day where he looked far too good for this level of football.
Report by Matthew Haley
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