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Rudd at the ready as Reds rock Railway

Two goals from Stuart Rudd and one from Chris Baguley in the second half, following a penalty in the first half for Harrogate, were enough to get FC United back to winning ways.

The Reds travelled over to Yorkshire for their fourth successive match on the other side of the Pennines and were extremely hungry for a victory after failing to secure three points on the board since beating Chorley at home last month.

The first real chance of the game came for FC inside the first ten minutes. A good bit of link up play through the midfield allowed Patterson to latch onto a pass from Jamie Baguley: the shot on goal was fairly easily collected by the Railwaymen’s keeper and play continued. After conceding a free kick on the right side of the field, United were forced back to defend. The ball was played into the far side of the box and headed back out to the penalty spot for Harrogate’s number 10 to hit it on the volley, forcing an excellent save from Sam Ashton in the FC goal.

Play was then fairly even with FC having chances but failing to convert; including a shot on goal from Stuart Rudd when he tried to recreate his Woodley overhead kick winner and a clear chance on goal for Rory Patterson which he put wide, earning The Man With No Name the revised title of The Man With No Aim.

The first goal of the game came for the home team on 25 minutes when Ben Jones converted a penalty for Harrogate after being brought down by stand-in centre half Shaun Roscoe. Ashton gambled on diving to the right of his goal and Jones coolly slotted the ball into the left corner.

The Reds had a couple of chances to equalise, including a header from FC captain Dave Chadwick that was saved on the line, but went in at the break 1-0 down after failing to reply to Harrogate’s penalty.

United lined up for the second half raring to go after some half time training on the pitch. The Reds were in full attack mode as the half kicked off, having three chances on goal in quick succession. A low cross in from Jerome Wright to Stuart Rudd waiting in the box was deflected out to Chris Baguley whose shot was saved on the line. The ball came out to Nicky Platt who hit it on the volley, forcing a save from the under-pressure Railway keeper.

FC continued to pile on the pressure and their attacking efforts didn’t go without reward as Stuart Rudd made the scores even four minutes into the second half. The ball was headed forward to Rudd by left-back Bradley Howard. Rudd managed to turn his defender at 25 yards out and pressured Harrogate’s defence. The Red’s striker then slotted the ball under the keeper to make the score 1-1 on 49 minutes.

The Reds didn’t have to wait long for another FC goal as Rudd put United a goal in front on 53 minutes. A speculative ball was played forward to the striker and has marking defender made the mistake of letting it bounce. Rudd extended his leg and managed to delicately lob the keeper from the edge of the box.

Positive link-up play for FC United saw Margy’s men constantly attacking Railway’s goal and a chance came for Mr Mystery just after United’s second goal. Jamie Baguley was able to play the ball through to Patterson who struck it well towards goal. Unluckily for the Irishman, the ball hit the angle of the bar and post and bounced out as the Reds upped the tempo once again.

United were then put under slight pressure and were left feeling lucky as Harrogate’s number four made an excellent run down the left wing. The player put the ball across the box and fortunately for FC, no one was on the end of it to score.

United’s lack of positive play in the first half was certainly accounted for after the break with the Red’s continuing to pile on the pressure. Harrogate made a substitution, replacing number eight for 12, which was closely followed by Liam Foster coming off to give way for Kyle Harrop, recently breaking through from the reserves.

A cat on the pitch obviously wanted to join in with the substitution proceedings as it made a storming run down the left wing with ten minutes to go. The superstitious amongst the FC faithful may have seen this as a good omen as just seconds later Chris Baguley put United’s victory beyond doubt by scoring the Red’s third goal of the game.

Patterson put a cross into Jamie Baguley who headed the ball on goal, only for it to be cleared as far as his brother, Chris, who blasted the ball past the Harrogate keeper on 82 minutes.

All that was left to do for FC in the closing minutes of the game was make a double substitution: Jamie Baguley and Jerome Wright were replaced by Nick Robinson and Dave Swarbrick. United finished the game strongly and went away from the Station View stadium with three points after a hard earned and well deserved victory over Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Report by Victoria Fullen.

FC United:
S Ashton
L Foster
B Howard
N Platt
D Chadwick (capt)
S Roscoe
J Baguley
C Baguley
S Rudd
J Wright
R Patterson
K Harrop (for 2)
N Robinson (for 10)
D Swarbrick (for 7)

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First Posted ~ 08:20 Fri 11 Apr 2008
News ID ~ 1601
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013