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Last gasp United keep title dreams alive

Adam Carden came off the bench and scored an injury time winner to steal a 3-2 victory over Newcastle Blue Star on Saturday at Gigg Lane as FC United kept their title hopes alive.

The Reds got off to a quick start with two first half goals from Rory Patterson but let the lead slip as they took their foot off the gas in the second half and let their opponents draw level before Carden’s late strike.

United fans would have been forgiven for thinking the game may have been a goal glut after Patterson broke down the right and slotted home from a narrow angle in the opening minutes to put United in an early lead.

Those fans looking for a big score would have been buoyed on when Patterson took a ball from Wright and turned beautifully before putting United 2-0 with less than twenty minutes on the clock.

But United simply didn’t build on it and looked for long balls which created little or no chances for the remainder of the half.

On the other hand warning signs were there that Blue Star were always dangerous, a team that like to get the ball down and play are always dangerous opponents and the few chances they had were close including an early strike which beat Aaron Grundy and hit the post.

But it was United who went in two goals the better and looked to be cruising towards another three points.

The second half really never got going on a cold and chilly day and even some of the Manchester Road End natives became a bit flat in a messy second half.

There were half chances for Patterson, Rudd and Jerome but nothing that you felt could have increased the lead.

With less than fifteen minutes left Blue Star were suddenly thrust back into the game when Sheeran scored, and ten minutes later the away team drew level when Emms slotted home from outside the area.

It looked as though the Reds had let two points slip after conceding a late equaliser. However, going into stoppage time United hoofed an aimless ball from the back down the left flank; Jerome Wright set off looking to get to the ball but was never favourite.

Somehow Wright’s pace saw him get to the ball first and thrust into the opposition area. Keeping his cool, Wright squared to substitute Carden who slotted home the winner sending the 2,048 in attendance into a state of ecstasy.

Any description of the euphoria in the crowd at that moment could never do it justice, but it would be fair to say it felt like a cup winning goal. Its importance might be fully assessed and understood at the end of the season.

Untied saw out the remaining minutes to hold onto a 3-2 victory, which moves them closer to the top spot after Skelmersdale were beaten 1-0 at home to Bradford PA, while fellow promotion contenders Curzon Ashton were beaten away by Garforth Town 1-0.

Margy’s men now lie nine points off the summit with five games in hand, and although the old expression says points in the bag are better than games in hand there’s a real buzz around the club looking for three titles in three seasons.

The team will now turn their attention to Tuesday’s Manchester Premier Cup semi-final clash with Radcliffe Borough, before resuming league duties next Saturday against the same opposition.

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First Posted ~ 10:04 Mon 17 Mar 2008
News ID ~ 1553
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013