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United through to play-off final

FC United set up a play-off final clash with Skelmersdale United on Saturday by overcoming their Bamber Bridge hoodoo 3-2 in a tense semi-final at Gigg Lane on Wednesday night.

United had enough to see off the dangerous visitors with goals from Adam Carden, Rory Patterson and Jerome Wright, and were cheered on all the way by one of the noisiest crowds of the season.

The opening exchanges between the two were a little nervous and both could have been forgiven for being cagey in a game with so much on the line.

Brig had the first opportunity to take the lead but striker Ryan Salmon’s shot deflected off Adam Turner and hit the United bar.

But it was the home team who took the lead after Adam Carden; who had an exceptional game, broke on the right beating a couple of defenders before firing past Bridge ’keeper Terry McCormick to put the home team in front.

The goal picked up an already energised crowd and United kicked on looking for the second, which came when Carden again broke on the right and found himself one-on-one with McCormick for a second time but squared to Patterson who slotted home for his 40th, and possibly simplest, goal of the season.

United held a two goal lead going into the break, but were not home and dry as the visitors always looked dangerous coming forward and an early goal in the second half would see the game take on a whole new complexion.

The dreaded goal did indeed come early in the second half when a free kick from deep on the left was headed back across the box for Neil Zarac to head past Sam Ashton to bring Brig back into the game.

The goal didn’t make United retreat, in fact it spurred them on a little and they began to pressurise the visitors with good possession play and dangerous balls into the box.

The two goal advantage was restored via the pressure United were applying a ball from the right was sent into the box and never dealt with properly by the Brig defence. Jerome Wright picked the ball up on the left hand side of the box, shifted the ball onto his left foot and put the ball away to trigger all kinds of celebrations from the United faithful.

But anyone who thought United were home and dry were given something to think about for the last ten minutes when substitute Allan Fleming score the fifth goal of the evening with a well placed volley into the United net.

But other than a few nervous balls into the box late on United had enough to see off their opponents and see themselves into Saturdays final with Skelmersdale.

If the atmosphere by tonight’s game was anything to go by then Saturday’s game will be something special and could go down as the biggest game in United’s history as they look for their third successive promotion in the club’s three year existence.

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First Posted ~ 15:54 Thu 1 May 2008
News ID ~ 1645
Last Updated ~ 12:34 Mon 21 May 2018