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Reds slump to defeat

FC United slumped to a 3-0 defeat against promotion rivals Nantwich Town at the Weaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,547 supporters.

Michael Lennon broke the deadlock with a penalty in the 13th minute and after that the Reds were always chasing the game. Ashley Carter doubled the lead with a good counter attacking goal on the hour and Lennon delivered a sucker punch by netting his second with four minutes to go.

Despite having a great deal of possession, it was a rather toothless performance from United as they were clearly missing the capabilities of the UniBond’s leading goal scorer, Kyle Wilson.

Both teams began brightly. Striker Tommy Turner looked lively going forward and Tunji Moses, making his first start for FC United, was on hand several times to break up Nantwich’s play in the middle of the park.

The Reds looked strong at the back with Adam Tong partnering Rob Nugent, who was back in the side as David Chadwick was on the bench due to having a slight ankle strain.

Neither Sam Ashton nor his counterpart, former Bury and Bristol Rovers shot stopper Lee Jones had to make a save in the early stages as both teams toiled without creating any clear goal scoring opportunities.

However, United’s hard work was soon undone. A ball in to the back post from the left wing saw the Reds trying to clear their lines and Tong was judged to have used his arm to block a goal bound shot from Glyn Blackhurst.

Fortunately, the referee was content just to book the big centre back rather than send him off in only his second performance for United since joining from Bamber Bridge. That was where the luck ended though. Lennon converted the penalty down the middle to put the Dabbers 1-0 up.

United did their best to take the game to the Cheshire side for the rest of the first half as the leaders seemed content to protect their one goal cushion. Despite plenty of possession, Jones still didn’t have to make a save.

Nugent headed over the bar from a Jerome Wright cross and United’s best opportunity came a minute before the break when Danny Warrender and Adam Carden linked up well down the right wing. Warrender overlapped the midfielder and sent in a teasing cross for Tristam Whitman but Nantwich scrambled the ball clear.

Straight down at the other end, the Dabbers hit United on the break. Lennon breezed past Tong and drew Ashton out of his goal before squaring to Whittaker for what looked like a certain goal. Somehow the United keeper got his finger tips to the striker’s shot to prevent the hosts doubling their lead.

The second half followed a similar pattern; Nantwich sat back, soaked up United’s pressure and hit them on the break. The best chance to get back into the match fell to Moses. Simon Garner was cynically taken out as he press forward but the referee played a good advantage as the ball fell to Moses. He checked inside to avoid one challenge and then unleashed a long-range drive. However, his shot fizzed wide of the right hand post.

Soon afterwards Nantwich made it 2-0. With United pushing forward, Carter latched on to a through ball from Dave MacPherson, raced clear of a static defence and coolly finished. Manager Karl Marginson rang out the changes, bringing Chadwick, Jamie Baguley and Danny Williams on for Simon Carden, Turner and Whitman whilst Tong moved to centre forward.

Despite the reshuffle, United still could not break down a resolute home defence and as they became more and more desperate they left themselves exposed at the back. Nantwich took full advantage of the situation and Lennon added a third in the 86th minute to give the home side a deserved win, albeit with a somewhat flattering score-line.

Nantwich Town
1. L Jones
2. D Jarrett
3. D Tickle
4. R Smith
5. C O’Loughlin (cautioned 48)
6. G Blackhurst
7. A Carter
8. D Macpherson
9. D Whittaker
10. M Lennon (cautioned 90(+2))
11. D Griggs (cautioned 74)
12. L Francis
14. R Hawthorne (for 2, 79)
15. R Jack (for 11, 90(+3))
16. N Southern
17. O Mahmoud

FC United
1. S Ashton
2. D Warrender (cautioned 43)
3. S Garner
4. T Moses
5. A Tong (cautioned 13)
6. R Nugent (capt)
7. A Carden (cautioned 90(+2))
8. S Carden
9. T Turner
10. J Wright
11. T Whitman
12. N Chappell
14. D Williams (for 8, 68)
15. J Baguley (for 9, 68)
16. P Dieyte
17. D Chadwick (for 11, 68)

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First Posted ~ 16:12 Mon 9 Feb 2009
News ID ~ 2066
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013