FC United of Manchester FC United of Manchester FC United of Manchester

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Match Report

      

3.00pm Saturday 23rd March 2013

EvoStik League Premier Division

Gigg Lane, Gigg Lane, Bury, BL9 9HR


FC United of Manchester

2 - 1

Blyth Spartans

Norton 81
Greaves 83
 Kendrick 12

Attendance: 1,730

FC United of Manchester 2

Norton 81
Greaves 83

Blyth Spartans 1

Kendrick 12

Attendance: 1,730
FC United of Manchester
1 James Spencer
2 Dean Stott
3 Lee Neville
4 Dave Birch
5 Adam Jones (capt)
6 Travis Gray
7 Astley Mulholland
8 Samuel Fitzgerald
9 Mike Norton
10 Jerome Wright
11 Matthew Wolfenden

Subs.
12 Tom Greaves (for 7, 72 mins)
15 Rhodri Giggs (for 8, 81 mins)
16 Carlos Roca (for 6, 60 mins)


Blyth Spartans
1 Mark Cook
2 Phil Airey
3 Richie Slaughter
4 Joe Kendrick
5 Wayne Buchanan (capt)
6 Stephen Turnbull
7 Lee Mason
8 Neal Hooks
9 Craig Hubbard
10 Daniel Maguire
11 Robert Dale

Subs:
12 Andrew Jennings (for 8, 85 mins)
16 Tom Berj (for 6, 86 mins)


Match Report

FC United kept their promotion dream alive by snatching a vital 2-1 victory over Blyth Spartans with two goals in the last 10 minutes at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon.

Michael Norton and substitute Tom Greaves grabbed the goals - the perfect reward for the FC United faithful who had volunteered to clear the pitch of snow before kick-off in order to allow the game to be played.

In the only surviving game in the whole of the Evo-Stik league, the Reds were hoping to put a fairly forgettable few weeks firmly behind them.

There were changes to the usual defensive line-up; Kyle Jacobs had been ruled out and a last minute shuffle of the team sheet was required as centre-half Lewis Lacy sustained an injury during the warm-up. Karl Marginson drafted in Travis Gray to make his second appearance for the club.

Amongst the swirling specks of snow, FC made an attacking start, moving the ball well up field with debutant Sam Fitzgerald linking up the play to good effect.

Gray, on his first home start, was also looking to get forward down the right flank, and his cross into the Blyth box was headed clear only as far as Stott on the edge of the area who looked up and struck a curling effort inches wide of Mark Cook’s left post.

A couple of minutes later and as with the reverse fixture at Croft Park back in December, United fell behind. The visitors won a corner which was swung in by Stephen Turnbull to Joe Kendrick. It was all too easy for Spartans, as indecisive defending allowed Kendrick a free header which beat the rooted Spencer from inside the six yard box only 12 minutes into the game.

After three consecutive defeats, United looked to be short of confidence, particularly at the back as the defensive line-up seemed unfamiliar with each other. The Reds’ prospects of scoring also looked low, and with half an hour played, Cook had had very little to do but keep warm in the freezing Bury climes.

As the half neared its end, Blyth seemed to block every ball that United threw their way and the only other notable chance came from Fitzgerald who dragged his shot from the edge of the area wide and Spartans went into the warmth of the dressing room at half time with their early lead still intact.

At the start of the second half, following good work from Astley Mulholland, United won a free kick on the right. Jerome Wright lined up the set piece and picked out Adam Jones on the back post. The strong centre half headed towards goal from close range but the save was simple for Cook who caught the ball comfortably.

United were trying to fire things up, and won two corners in quick succession. Unfortunately, both deliveries failed to clear the first man and from the second flag kick, Blyth were able to break. The visitors’ venture forward culminated in Daniel McGuire, who had looked a likely threat for Spartans all afternoon, turning well to drag the ball along the ground with his left foot. More power on the shot would have been required to test Spencer who got down well to claim.

Mulholland had a good chance to draw level as Matthew Wolfenden made a run into the area before finding Mulholland who hit well just wide of the far post.

On the hour mark, Marginson rang in the first of three changes: the long-awaited return of Carlos Roca. Making his first appearance since 5th January, Roca replaced Gray who had certainly done nothing to disgrace himself in front of a home crowd.

As Roca tried to make an impression on the game, the second substitute of the afternoon, Tom Greaves, joined in on the battle against Spartans, Mulholland making way.

Greaves’ first touch was an overhead kick goal wards from inside the area, and although straight at the keeper, this surely showed signs of his desire to help get his team back into the game.

As the clock ticked down, Blyth were causing problems for FC United and were inches away from doubling their advantage. Robert Dale curled a lofted a shot from the edge of the area which met with the crossbar and was extremely close to putting the game beyond doubt.

The lifeline thrown to United seemed to spur them into action and with less than ten minutes remaining, the Reds were finally able to get onto the score sheet. Greaves picked up the ball and found Roca who managed to find Norton with a pass along the ground into the six yard box. The centre forward wasn’t about to let the valuable opportunity slip away and netted the ball on 81 minutes.

Although the temperatures were showing no signs of rising, the game was certainly hotting up for United and the 1,730 inside the ground were in for an eventful last few minutes.

As with the first two, Marginson’s third and final change, Rhodri Giggs, was also to make an impact on the encounter.
Jones’ header at the far post was scooped out from the underside of the bar by Cook and Giggs picked up the loose ball and intelligently put it back into the box along the ground. Greaves got the final touch as the keeper scrambled and the United Faithful erupted to celebrate a two minute turnaround in which the Reds had taken the lead.

Blyth weren’t about the give up and Lee Mason had the chance to break United hearts. A free kick into the box was only punched by Spencer, and the keeper now off his line left an inviting open net. Luckily, the home support was able to breathe a sigh of relief as his shot sailed over the bar.
Greaves tried to have another say in the dying moments, as he tried to roll the ball around the advancing Blyth keeper. It looked as if the striker may have just put enough on it, before a defender swooped in to prevent United increasing their lead.
A third goal may have been a bonus, but all focus was surely on the fact that FC United have finally managed to claim a victory in March, rewarding the efforts of the fans who made the game possible, epitomising the spirit of the club.

The Reds have now made it back into the play-off places, and weather permitting, will be looking to add another three points to the board at Stocksbridge on Tuesday night.

Report by Victoria Fullen.

Match Report

FC United kept their promotion dream alive by snatching a vital 2-1 victory over Blyth Spartans with two goals in the last 10 minutes at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon.

Michael Norton and substitute Tom Greaves grabbed the goals - the perfect reward for the FC United faithful who had volunteered to clear the pitch of snow before kick-off in order to allow the game to be played.

In the only surviving game in the whole of the Evo-Stik league, the Reds were hoping to put a fairly forgettable few weeks firmly behind them.

There were changes to the usual defensive line-up; Kyle Jacobs had been ruled out and a last minute shuffle of the team sheet was required as centre-half Lewis Lacy sustained an injury during the warm-up. Karl Marginson drafted in Travis Gray to make his second appearance for the club.

Amongst the swirling specks of snow, FC made an attacking start, moving the ball well up field with debutant Sam Fitzgerald linking up the play to good effect.

Gray, on his first home start, was also looking to get forward down the right flank, and his cross into the Blyth box was headed clear only as far as Stott on the edge of the area who looked up and struck a curling effort inches wide of Mark Cook’s left post.

A couple of minutes later and as with the reverse fixture at Croft Park back in December, United fell behind. The visitors won a corner which was swung in by Stephen Turnbull to Joe Kendrick. It was all too easy for Spartans, as indecisive defending allowed Kendrick a free header which beat the rooted Spencer from inside the six yard box only 12 minutes into the game.

After three consecutive defeats, United looked to be short of confidence, particularly at the back as the defensive line-up seemed unfamiliar with each other. The Reds’ prospects of scoring also looked low, and with half an hour played, Cook had had very little to do but keep warm in the freezing Bury climes.

As the half neared its end, Blyth seemed to block every ball that United threw their way and the only other notable chance came from Fitzgerald who dragged his shot from the edge of the area wide and Spartans went into the warmth of the dressing room at half time with their early lead still intact.

At the start of the second half, following good work from Astley Mulholland, United won a free kick on the right. Jerome Wright lined up the set piece and picked out Adam Jones on the back post. The strong centre half headed towards goal from close range but the save was simple for Cook who caught the ball comfortably.

United were trying to fire things up, and won two corners in quick succession. Unfortunately, both deliveries failed to clear the first man and from the second flag kick, Blyth were able to break. The visitors’ venture forward culminated in Daniel McGuire, who had looked a likely threat for Spartans all afternoon, turning well to drag the ball along the ground with his left foot. More power on the shot would have been required to test Spencer who got down well to claim.

Mulholland had a good chance to draw level as Matthew Wolfenden made a run into the area before finding Mulholland who hit well just wide of the far post.

On the hour mark, Marginson rang in the first of three changes: the long-awaited return of Carlos Roca. Making his first appearance since 5th January, Roca replaced Gray who had certainly done nothing to disgrace himself in front of a home crowd.

As Roca tried to make an impression on the game, the second substitute of the afternoon, Tom Greaves, joined in on the battle against Spartans, Mulholland making way.

Greaves’ first touch was an overhead kick goal wards from inside the area, and although straight at the keeper, this surely showed signs of his desire to help get his team back into the game.

As the clock ticked down, Blyth were causing problems for FC United and were inches away from doubling their advantage. Robert Dale curled a lofted a shot from the edge of the area which met with the crossbar and was extremely close to putting the game beyond doubt.

The lifeline thrown to United seemed to spur them into action and with less than ten minutes remaining, the Reds were finally able to get onto the score sheet. Greaves picked up the ball and found Roca who managed to find Norton with a pass along the ground into the six yard box. The centre forward wasn’t about to let the valuable opportunity slip away and netted the ball on 81 minutes.

Although the temperatures were showing no signs of rising, the game was certainly hotting up for United and the 1,730 inside the ground were in for an eventful last few minutes.

As with the first two, Marginson’s third and final change, Rhodri Giggs, was also to make an impact on the encounter.
Jones’ header at the far post was scooped out from the underside of the bar by Cook and Giggs picked up the loose ball and intelligently put it back into the box along the ground. Greaves got the final touch as the keeper scrambled and the United Faithful erupted to celebrate a two minute turnaround in which the Reds had taken the lead.

Blyth weren’t about the give up and Lee Mason had the chance to break United hearts. A free kick into the box was only punched by Spencer, and the keeper now off his line left an inviting open net. Luckily, the home support was able to breathe a sigh of relief as his shot sailed over the bar.
Greaves tried to have another say in the dying moments, as he tried to roll the ball around the advancing Blyth keeper. It looked as if the striker may have just put enough on it, before a defender swooped in to prevent United increasing their lead.
A third goal may have been a bonus, but all focus was surely on the fact that FC United have finally managed to claim a victory in March, rewarding the efforts of the fans who made the game possible, epitomising the spirit of the club.

The Reds have now made it back into the play-off places, and weather permitting, will be looking to add another three points to the board at Stocksbridge on Tuesday night.

Report by Victoria Fullen.