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Second place United to meet Bamber Bridge

FC United secured second place in the UniBond Division One North after a 2-1 victory in West Yorkshire against Garforth Town setting up a play-off semi-final date with Bamber Bridge on Wednesday night at Gigg Lane.

Jamie Baguley got the opener in the second half and, after a Garforth equaliser, Nicky Platt snatched victory late-on from the penalty spot. Against an efficient home side, the Reds did well defensively to keep the hosts quiet before pulling clear in an exciting second half.

Sam Ashton was again at this best to deny a De Melo free kick and produce a fantastic one-handed save from Duncan Williams early on. While a Platt effort that glanced the upright was the closest United came to breaking the deadlock themselves in the first 45 minutes.

Soon after the restart the marauding Platt again hit the post, this time with a long range shot, before the Reds took a deserved lead. After another impressive run from Adam Carden down the right released Jamie Baguley on the edge of the penalty box. The striker’s left foot strike twisted and bent in the wind to wrong-foot the Garforth keeper and make it 1-0.

The home side pressed and levelled the scores minutes later, captain Richard Carrick rising unchallenged at the far post to head home from a corner kick.

However, Garforth’s joy was short lived as minutes later captain Brett Renshaw handled blatantly on the goal-line and was given his marching orders. Jamie Baguley’s wickedly swinging corner beat everyone in the box and the Garforth centre-half had little choice but to handle the ball on the line and accept the inevitable red card.

Nicky Platt overcame any fears that it might not be his day to calmly slot the ball into the bottom corner and seal the 2-1 scoreline. United could and probably should have added to their lead, with assistant player-manager Phil Power being guilty of wasting a great one-one-one opportunity.

But in the end two goals were enough to seal victory and second place in a hard fought season. At the final whistle Margy’s men embarked on a lap of honour, proudly parading the President’s Cup. FC United fans will be hoping for more celebrations this time next week.

By finishing second, the Reds will now have home advantage if they also get to the play-off final. However, they must first overcome bogey-side Bamber Bridge after they held onto fifth place by drawing 2-2 away at Clitheroe.

In the other semi-final, Curzon Ashton must travel back to Skelmersdale United after being thrashed 4-1 there on Saturday.

Report by Mark Swanwick

Teams:

Garforth Town
1. K Spratt
2. N Kamara
3. M Turner
4. B Renshaw
5. R Carrick (Capt.)
6. L Ryan
7. A Clark
8. D Williams
9. C Brown
10. L De Melo
11. M Piper

Subs
12. K Simpkins
14. V Blair
15. S Douglas

Goal: Carrick 65
Sent off: Renshaw 75

FC United
1. S Ashton
2. K Harrop
3. S Roscoe
4. N Platt
5. M Bleau
6. R Nugent (Capt.)
7. A Carden
8. C Baguley
9. S Rudd
10. N Robinson
11. J Baguley

Subs
12. B Howard (5, 45)
14. P Power (9, 45)
15. S Carden (8, 45)

Goals: J Baguley 52, Platt 78
Bookings: Roscoe 13, Nugent 69, Harrop 69, Power 69

Attendance: 1,215


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First Posted ~ 09:44 Tue 29 Apr 2008
News ID ~ 1639
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013