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Bradford crowned champions as United held

A late, late show wasn’t enough to keep FC United’s title ambition’s alive but the 1-1 draw against Woodley Sports on Wednesday moved the Reds into second place as Bradford Park Avenue were crowned champions of UniBond Division One North.

It took an injury time goal from Jerome Wright to save a point for United but it could have been more as Nick Robinson went close deep into stoppage time. However, given the fact Woodley had missed several clear cut chances earlier in the match a draw may have been a fair result.

The positive of the night was that Curzon Ashton went down 2-1 at Newcastle Blue Star meaning the Reds go into the final game of the season in second place which, if maintained, would mean home advantage in the play-offs next week.

Like a few of the previous midweek matches in recent weeks, Margy’s men were a little slow to start against Woodley although there were half chances for Wright, Stuart Rudd and Rory Patterson, but no clear cut opportunities to take the lead.

The most noticeable aspect of United’s first half performance was the edgy feeling around a make shift defence that was without Rob Nugent, but captain David Chadwick kept the defence tight stopping Woodley’s best chance of the opening 45 with his face.

The Reds had a great chance to take the lead into half time when Paterson’s through ball split the Woodley defence in two, leaving Rudd with a one-on-one chance against Woodley ’keeper Paul Horridge, but Horridge managed to do enough to make the striker just put the ball wide.

As United came out for the second half, Robinson had to come on for Chadwick, which patched up the make shift defence even further. But the crowd and team were encouraged by the announcement that promotion rivals Curzon Ashton were 2-0 down at Newcastle Blue Star and Nicky Platt fired a shot in from a poorly cleared corner which was fumbled by Horrdige but hacked away by the resilient defence.

Another chance came not long after when Wright energetically broke on the left and his shot-cum-cross was just too far in front of Rudd who was a foot away from the ball at most.

It seemed United would push on and break their opponents down but it was the visitors who took the lead in the strangest possible way. Full back Jamie Kay got the ball on the left flank and his miss-hit cross drifted over Sam Ashton’s head and into the net. It was one of those strikes that Kay will tell anyone he meant when quite probably he really didn’t.

Psychologically, United were deflated and it took them several minutes to get back on track in which time there were great chances for Woodley to steal the points when both Luke Hudson and Pat McGuire went close.

With five minutes left, Patterson beat the offside trap but seemed to hesitate a little, expecting the flag but it never came. His shot deflected of Horridge’s legs and it looked like being one of those games where the goal would never come.

However, it did come in the 90th minute when Wright beat the Liam Hogan to the ball and fired forcefully into the Woodley net. With three minutes of stoppage time United pushed on for a goal that would see the hopes of a third successive title reignited and when Patterson put a ball across the goal from the right Robinson was inches away from getting a touch from two yards out but he just couldn’t get there.

The draw sees Bradford Park Avenue crowned champions and United move into second place. A win at Garforth on Saturday would seal home advantage for the Reds in the play-offs semi finals and possibly final next week.

Congratulations to Bradford Park Avenue.

Report by Craig Phillips.

FC United

Sam Ashton
Liam Foster [off for 15, 75]
Shaun Roscoe
Nicky Platt [off for 14, 67]
David Chadwick (captain) [off for 12, 45]
Bradley Howard [booked 56]
Adam Carden
Chris Baguely
Stuart Rudd
Jerome Wright [Goal 90]
Rory Patterson

Nick Robinson [on for 5, 45]
Jamie Bagueley [on for 4, 67]
Kyle Harrop [on for 2, 75]

Goals: Wright, 90 Cautioned: Howard, 56

Woodley Sports

Paul Horridge
Liam Hogan
Jamie Kay [goal 68]
Tom Blacklee [off for 14, 75]
Nick Boothby (captain)
Danny Jarrett
Pat McGuire
Sam Walker [off for 16, 67]
Luke Hudson [off for 14, 75]
Andy Farrell
Matt Haley

Liam Berry [on for 9, 72]
Nick Challinor [on for 4, 75]
Mark Haslam [on for 8, 67]

Goals: Kay, 68

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First Posted ~ 00:21 Thu 24 Apr 2008
News ID ~ 1634
Last Updated ~ 12:34 Mon 21 May 2018