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United held at home by Borough

Simon Carden rescued a point with a late equaliser as FC United were held at home 2-2 by bottom of the league side, Radcliffe Borough on Saturday in front of 2,163 supporters at Gigg Lane.

Relegation threatened Borough have firmly established themselves as the Reds’ bogey team as the title chasers have failed to beat them on three attempts so far this season.

With games in hand the title is still in United’s hands, however, they will have to do much better than they did on Saturday if they are going to convert the games into points and their hopes into reality.

The Reds looked completely out of sorts in the first half and Radcliffe could easily have taken a comfortable lead into the break had it not been for some fine smothering saves by Sam Ashton and a slice of good fortune.

As it was the visitors had a one goal lead by half time with Steve Howson slotting the ball home after going through one-on-one with Ashton. Borough had earlier had one disallowed for off-side and later saw another effort narrowly deflected round the post.

Margy obviously gave his side a rollicking at half-time because two minutes into the second half Jerome Wright and Josh Howard combined to grab an equaliser in front of the Manchester Road End.

United then began to play some of the football that has got them where they are today. Stuart Rudd fired one agonisingly wide of the far post after surging into the right hand side of the box. Howard, Wright, Carden and Patterson were proving to be a handful but Radcliffe were digging in and getting men behind the ball to limit them to half chances.

Then, almost inevitably, with the vast majority of the second half action in the visitors’ half, Borough struck one on the counter attack with Howson again calmly picking his spot and finishing with aplomb inside the box.

Despite the setback, United had been playing some good football and there was a sense that a goal was coming. Patterson was making a nuisance of himself down the right and he lifted a ball in to just inside the box. It should have been dealt with by the Radcliffe defence but Carden was on hand to steal in, flicked the ball forward with one touch and hammer it home on the half volley with his second. Another fine goal from United’s midfield maestro.

Patterson came close to stealing victory when he fired a free-kick just wide of the right up-right with Phil Priestly beaten. Radcliffe were probably just about worth the draw though and United must turn their attentions to Monday and a trip to Woodley Sports.

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First Posted ~ 12:08 Sun 23 Mar 2008
News ID ~ 1568
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013