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Weary Reds put to bed at Wakey

Despite a spirited display, a tired looking United were edged out 3-2 in the latest instalment of their packed run in.

Goals from substitute Simon Carden and a rare left-foot strike from skipper David Chadwick were no answer to Wakefield’s counter attacking, which caught United napping twice in the second half and have affectively seen their title aspirations put to bed.

Playing a game virtually every other day towards the end of the season, FC United made numerous changes in an attempt to freshen things up and rest legs. And the much-changed XI put in a decent performance against a side with a superb home record.

Jamie Baguley impressed in the centre of midfield, pulling the strings and spreading the ball about at will, but the Reds lacked a true cutting edge with Rory Patterson and Stuart Rudd restricted to warming the bench.

Assistant manager Phil Power toiled away up front, but was largely ineffectual against a well-organised Yorkshire backline.

James Holden sat in alongside Baguley and also put in a decent display and with Jerome Wright back to his best marauding down the left, there were positive signs.

Rob Nugent headed past the post following a Wright corner and Dave Swarbrick, playing wide right, fired a decent chance high over the bar into someone’s back garden.

Soon after, Wakefield broke and scored a fortuitous opener. Sam Ashton failed to gather a speculative shot from Chris Howarth and in trying to clear the ball Chadwick fired it against Bradley Howard and it dribbled over the line.

Baguley was determined to score the goal that his first half display merited but could only hit the keeper with a shot from 12 yards and moments later his left volley again had the neighbours worried as it arrowed high and wide. Wakefield were pleased to go in 1-0.

Early into the second period Kyle Harrop, in at right back after impressing for the reserves this season, sent over a cross, which Nick Robinson failed to connect with. Holden then cleared off the line miraculously to keep the Reds in the game.

In an attempt to salvage something from the match Margy introduced Patterson to proceedings. He immediately tried his luck with a shot from 25 yards, which cut the daisies in the long grass on its way to being comfortably collected by the Wakey keeper.

The home side then broke and extended their lead through a well-taken goal by Ferguson. Margy’s response was to bring Simon Carden off the bench, for the clearly exhausted Baguley, and the move paid almost immediate dividends. A Power header from a Patterson cross was saved, but Carden was on hand to scramble it home. Game on.

Rudd came on and headed over after a great cross from Wright. The big Wiganer should have done better. Then strike partner Patterson appeared to be felled from behind, but the referee waved play on and Wakey flew down the other end, but somehow Howarth missed a sitter.

Rudd then had two chances in quick succession, the latter hitting the foot of the post, before the hosts broke again to seal the points.

It was a copybook break away, well finished by substitute Marchant. It appeared all over for the Reds, but Chadwick gave them brief hope with an injury time strike after a Wright free-kick had caused havoc in the box.

It wasn’t enough though, as FC United now face an up hill battle to stay in touch with the league leaders. Holding on to a play-off place may be a more realistic ambition after this result. If the players can stay awake long enough.

Elsewhere, Curzon Ashton beat Bradford Park Avenue to go top and Ossett Albion won to go level on points with FC United in the final play-off place in fifth.

United are 11 points behind the leaders with just two games in hand and are now looking over their shoulder at Ossett’s impressive charge up the table. The Reds have two games in hand on them and will need to win those to remain in the play-off places. Otherwise the season will be asleep before April ends.

Report by Tony Howard.

5th April 2008
Unibond First Division North
Played at: College Grove, Wakefield
Lost: 3-2
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 1,378

FC United

1. S Ashton
2. K Harrop
3. B Howard
4. J Holden
5. D Chadwick (capt)
6. R Nugent
7. D Swarbrick
8. J Baguley
9. N Robinson (cautioned 81)
10. P Power
11. J Wright


12. R Patterson (for 7, 61)
14. S Rudd (for 4, 61)
15. S Carden (for 8, 73)

Scorers: S Carden 78, Chadwick 90(+4)


1. A Woods (capt)
2. S Nicholson
3. P Turner
4. D Normaschild (cautioned 46)
5. W Milnes
6. C Laight
7. D Ferguson
8. J Jackson
9. T Denton
10. C Howarth
11. W Ryder (cautioned 89)


12. G Marchant (for 9 77)
14. A Jones (for 7 90(+3))
15. C Hitchings (for 10 88)

Scorers: Howarth 32, Ferguson 72, Marchant 90(+2)

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First Posted ~ 15:15 Tue 8 Apr 2008
News ID ~ 1593
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013