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Reds crash out in controversial cup clash

FC United’s dreams of a FA cup run were left in tatters as they went down 4-3 to Nantwich Town in the first qualifying round replay at Gigg Lane on Wednesday evening.

A Dave Walker hat-trick dumped the Reds out of the cup but controversial refereeing decisions left the United faithful feeling hard done by.

The original encounter on Saturday was a tight, tactical affair but the replay had all the drama and excitement of an old-fashioned cup tie. The crowd were treated to end-to-end football, a late comeback and much, much more.

The two teams were fairly even in the first half and the only thing that separated them was a goal from Dabbers striker Dave Walker after eight minutes which gave the away team a slight advantage at the interval.

But the first half wasn’t all doom and gloom, United looked strong at the back and were knocking the ball around well. The only real chances of note came when Adam Carden was one-on-one and his shot was saved before the rebound was tamely struck at goal by Kyle Wilson.

Not long before the break Danny Williams had a good opportunity but the young midfielder seemed to want to put the ball on his right rather than the left footed attempt he managed to get off.

All was to play for going into the second session but within four minutes what was a good situation turned horrible wrong as the Reds found themselves three goals down.

The first of these goals came about after an extremely controversial decision. Walker was played through and slotted home but it looked as though the effort would be ruled out by the referee’s assistant who signalled for offside long before the ball was in the back of the net.

However, when referee Bankes consulted his assistant he seemed to overrule his decision and gave the goal to the Dabbers, thus ensuring he’ll finish last in any popularity contests at Gigg Lane and wiping himself from all Christmas card lists.

Just moments later the margin was three goals when defender Charlie O’Laughlin seemed to rise unmarked from a corner and headed home.

Three goals down and feeling they’d been dealt a cruel hand by more than fate it would have been easy for the home team to drop their heads and slip to defeat. But that is simply not the United way and so the Reds came forward looking for a way back into the game.

That breakthrough came when Wilson’s free-kick had it’s sting taken out of it by the wall but the ball fell kindly to Simon Carden who slotted home to close the gap to two, with more than 30 minutes remaining.

But those hopes of a comeback were dealt another blow when Adam Carden was adjudged to have brought down substitute Phil Parkinson in the box and a penalty was awarded.

After his effort was saved by Sam Ashton on Saturday; Danny Griggs was relieved of his spot kick duties and instead it was Walker who struck the ball powerfully past Ashton to put the Dabbers 4-1 up.

United made changes adding Danny Self to half-time substitute Carlos Roca and came forward strongly. And it turned out to be an inspired change as Self finished off a solo run with a lovely finish to make it 4-2.

The next 15 minutes became frustrating for United, as the Dabbers looked to waste time at all opportunities and chances became few and far between. Rob Nugent was brought on for his first appearance of the season and captain David Chadwick was put up front, with the idea of the long ball being played up to the powerful header.

It was on such ball in the 89th minute that was flicked on by Chadwick and saw Wilson slot home for his ninth of the season and put United within one goal of an amazing comeback.

The four added minutes seemed to last an eternity, as the United faithful willed their team on but there was no breakthrough to be had and United found themselves out of the world’s oldest club competition at the first qualifying stage for the second successive season.

It’s fair to say United’s fans let the referee know their feeling as he made his way from the pitch but the team left with their heads held high knowing that their second half performance showed the Untied ethos and never say die attitude that brought the club together.

Margy’s men will be looking to put the disappointment to one side and get their league form on track when they meet Worksop Town at Gigg Lane this coming Saturday.

Report by Craig Phillips

FC United

S Ashton (cautioned 68)
D Warrender
S Garner
D Neville (cautioned 82)
D Chadwick (capt) (cautioned 20)
A Turner
A Carden
S Carden (cautioned 55)
K Wilson
J Wright
D Williams

C Roca (for 11 46)

D Self (for 7 69)
J Wood
R Howarth
A Skidmore
R Nugent (for 3 79)
J Edwards

Scorers: S Carden 57, Self 73, Wilson 89.

Nantwich Town

A Arestidou
A Taylor
D Tickle
D Tinson (capt)
C O’Loughlin
R Hawthorne
P Heler
G Blackhurst
D Walker (cautioned 90(+4))
M Lennon
D Griggs (cautioned 29)

P Parkinson (for 8 63)

L Shotton (for 6 89)
A Carter
A Beasley (for 10 80)
A Nagington
R Smith
G Kiss

Scorers: Walker 9, 47, 68 pen, O’Loughlin 49.

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First Posted ~ 00:00 Thu 18 Sep 2008
News ID ~ 1827
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013