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Last gasp Reds through to next round

Adam Turner headed a 94th minute winner to edge FC United past Radcliffe Borough 1-0 and through to the second qualifying round of the FA Carlsberg Trophy.

The Reds took to the field with the same starting eleven for the fourth game running and began the game by pressing their opponents into their own half.

The home side enjoyed large amounts of possession early on and it was clear what Radcliffe’s tactics were as they got back with eight men behind the ball and fought for every ball when United came forward.

Such resolute defending meant that the Reds were restricted to long range efforts, with the first and probably best of these coming after three minutes as Chris Baguley forced Phil Priestley into a strong save.

With Radcliffe keeping up their strong defensive performance Jerome Wright took it upon himself to take matters into his own hands and a mazy run saw him go past several defenders before he saw his effort saved by the legs of the experienced Priestley.

The game was a bit messy, but that can’t be completely blamed on the visitor’s tactics, as to be fair to them they did come forward when they could although they struggled to force Sam Ashton into making a meaningful save.

United were dealt a blow before half time when Chris Baguley pulled up and had to be substituted with a suspected groin strain which could see him miss out for a few weeks.

Liam Foster came back into the team in place of the injured Baguley; minus the orange boots, and Danny Warrender moved into centre midfield to fill the void left by Baguley.

The reshuffling of the pack affected United’s performance in the second half as they lacked that creative spark and whilst they enjoyed good possession they lacked the cutting edge in the final third.

The pace of Carlos Roca and Jerome Wright caused problems to the Radcliffe defence and both Simon Kelly and Richard Battersby were booked for strong challenges made on Wright.

That pace gave United a great chance as they broke well from a corner and Roca released Wright who put the ball back across the box but Roca just couldn’t get enough on the ball to steer it goalwards.

The half chances continued with Adam Carden getting the best of these when his left footed shot from the edge of the box left Priestley flat footed, but the ball flew over for a goal kick.

With United’s inability to find the goal there was always a feeling that Radcliffe may snatch it and with ten minutes left they came on strong and forced Sam Ashton to make a close range save when prolific striker Steve Howson got through one-on-one.

It looked as though the game would end in a draw and we would be at Stainton Park on Tuesday for a replay but United were given a free kick inside their own half with only seconds remaining.

Simon Garner pumped the ball forward and was helped on by Adam Carden on the right. The Borough defence failed to clear their lines and David Chadwick was able to lay the ball back to Carden for another go.

This time Carden was able to drift a good cross into the box which was met by the head of Adam Turner - the ball looped over Priestly and into the far corner to give United the vital victory and a passage intop the next round.

The cold, wet day had ended on a high and a chorus of ’que sera, sera’ echoed around Gigg Lane as the teams made their way from the pitch.


FC United

1 Sam Ashton
2 Danny Warrender
3 Simon Garner
4 Chris Baguley (off for 14, 45+1)
5 David Chadwick (captain)
6 Adam Turner
7 Adam Carden
8 Simon Carden
9 Kyle Wilson
10 Jerome Wright
11 Carlos Roca (off for 12, 71)

12 Danny Williams (on for 11, 71)
14 Liam Foster (on for 4, 45+1)

Goals: Turner (90+4) Booked: Wright

Radcliffe Borough

1 Phil Priestley
2 Richard Battersby
3 Steve Hill
4 Simon Kelly (captain)
5 Lee Unsworth
6 Craig Dawson
7 Lee Connell (off for 12, 45)
8 Mark Jones
9 Steve Howson
10 Griff Jones
11 Neil Chappell (off for 16, 74)

12 Michael Oakes (on for 7, 45)
14 Greg Fraynor (on for 11, 74)

Booked: Battersby, Kelly

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First Posted ~ 16:39 Sun 19 Oct 2008
News ID ~ 1880
Last Updated ~ 12:34 Mon 21 May 2018