|Venue||Selby Place, Skelmersdale, Lancs, WN8 8EF, West Lancashire College Stadium|
|Competition||EvoStik League Premier Division|
|3 (0)||-||5 (3)|
|Beesley 57, 65|
| ||Norton 14, 18|
Roca 25, 56
|1 C Ellison|
2 J Comozzi
3 M Crowder
4 A Farley
5 J Connolly (capt)
6 C Roberts
7 M Parry
8 L Blakeman
9 M Beesley
10 A Higgins
11 P Quirk
12 G King (for 7, 82 mins)
14 W Jones (for 10, 63 mins)
16 P Ojapah (for 11, 83 mins)
|1 James Spencer|
2 Richard Battersby
3 Lee Neville
4 Michael Carr (capt)
5 Adam Jones
6 Dean Stott
7 Carlos Roca
8 Nick Platt
9 Mike Norton
10 Steve Torpey
11 Daniel Grimshaw
12 Jake Cottrell (for 4, 27 mins)
15 Ryan McGreevy (for 10, 38 mins)
17 Kyle Jacobs (for 2, 63 mins)
|FC United claimed three points with a 5-3 win over Burscough on Saturday afternoon but the Reds were given an almighty scare in the second half when the Linnets nearly fought level in a game that should have been well out of sight.|
United raced into a 4-0 lead at the West Lancashire College Stadium with a brace each from Michael Norton and Carlos Roca but within eight second half minutes Burscough had pulled it back to 4-3. Fortunately, United kept their nerve to get back to winning ways in the Evo-Stik Premier Division and Adam Jones netted the fifth with 13 minutes to go to seal victory.
After a scrappy opening, United broke the deadlock on 13 minutes when a great ball released Roca on the right who produced a superb cross for Norton to side-foot the ball into the net.
The lead was doubled four minutes later when a long range Roca shot was fumbled by home keeper Craig Ellison and Norton was on hand to slot home the rebound.
At the other end, Conor Roberts fired a shot that was straight at United goalkeeper James Spencer. On 24 minutes the lead was extended when Roca was played into the box and was challenged from behind. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. It was Roca himself who stepped up to send Ellison the wrong way for the third goal.
Shortly before half time, The Linnets had a decent chance but Ashley Higgins shot straight at Spencer. The Reds were still looking dangerous and Nicky Platt played in a great cross that Norton headed just wide.
The second half started brighter for the home side who exerted some pressure on the FC defence with Mark Beesley heading wide just two minutes after the restart. On 50 minutes the lead should have been extended when a mistake between James Connolly and keeper Ellison let in Daniel Grimshaw. The young midfielder probably should have shot but instead he chose to pass to debutant striker Ryan McGreevy and his shot was saved.
The lead was extended on 55 minutes when Ellison dropped a Roca cross, the ball fell to McGreevy who was then brought down by the keeper. Again Roca took the penalty. This time it was saved by Ellison, however the ball came back to Roca who took a touch and fired into the roof of the net.
For some reason, the goal seemed to make the visiting players switch off and it took just two minutes for Burscough to pull a goal back. A long ball into the box wasn’t dealt with by the defence and the ball found its way back to Beesley who fired a shot into the net.
Two minutes later, the FC United goal was in danger again as a slip in the defence let in Beesley but Lee Neville cleared from the line and Spencer made a good save from the rebound.
The home side pulled another goal back on the hour mark. A break from the left found Matty Parry in front of goal and he tapped in. Four minutes later it was 4-3 when the referee adjudged substitute Jake Cottrell to have handled the ball in the box, Beesley squeezing the ball past Spencer who got a hand to it.
United were in danger of throwing all their hard work away but thankfully they settled back down and with 14 minutes left on the clock, Roca put in a corner that was powerfully headed home by Jones to seal the points. In the last minute, Cottrell was unlucky to see a shot tipped over.
Every credit to Burscough for the impassioned fight-back but this was a game that was much closer that it really should really ever been and the Reds will be pleased with the three points but will also be looking to cut out the silly mistakes ahead of Whitby’s visit to Gigg Lane on Wednesday.
Website man of the match: Carlos Roca.
Report by Steven Wood.