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United held by Nantwich

FC United’s promotion hopes took a knock as they were held to a frustrating goalless draw at home by Nantwich Town on Easter Monday.

The Reds hit the woodwork numerous times with Nicky Platt and Jamie Baguley coming closest but the Dabbers had chances of their own with Jerome Wright having to make a goal-line clearance to help Sam Ashton keep his 20th cleansheet of the season.

With Bradford Park Avenue, Kendal Town and Guiseley all winning away from home, FC United’s tough task of securing a place in the play-offs just got tougher. However, Karl Marginson’s side will keep going to the end and if they can take points from their last two games against Ilkeston and Bradford there is still every chance that they might just make it.

FC United started the game the better of the two sides with a dipping shot by Carlos Roca in the third minute producing a great save by the Nantwich keeper Lee Jones. Throughout the early periods Jerome Wright and Roca continued to press the Nantwich defence with superb runs down the wings.

It was in the 21st minute when a great opportunity fell to an-in form Simon Carden. Wright went for a great run down the left wing and whipped a ball for Carden but he volleyed narrowly wide.

Nantwich could have took the lead in the 33rd minute if it wasn’t for a fantastic save by Ashton. With the Reds’ defence flapping, a ball was nudged across goal to Dave Walker to put him through one-on-one with Ashton who produced a fantastic lead to keep the game level.

FC United struck the woodwork for the first time in the 38th minute. The ball fell to Nicky Platt on the edge of the box and the midfielder smashed his shot against the post and it ricochet out for a goal kick.

Five minutes later, down at the other end Nantwich could have nicked a half-time lead after Walker beat Nugent to the ball and with Ashton caught stranded the Nantwich striker could only lob the ball over the crossbar.

The second half started well for the Reds after a neat one-two between Simon Carden and Platt left Carden one-on-one with the Nantwich keeper. Carden fired the shot low and hard, forcing the keeper to make the save.

In the 48th minute, Platt hit the woodwork again after a great shot from the edge of box smashed against the right angle of the crossbar and the right post. Marginson had to go for the win and decided to take Tunji Moses off and bring David Chadwick on up front to help the strikers aerially.

Nantwich looked as if they where going to take the lead if it wasn’t for a goal line clearance from Wright after a powerful header from Glyn Blackhurst.

With time running out, FC United piled forward in a bid to get the vital three points. And the Reds came within a whisker of winning the match with two minutes to go but they were denied by the woodwork again. Phil Parkinson was booked for Nantwich after a late challenge on Platt meant United had a free-kick on the edge of the 18yard box.

Substitute Jamie Baguley stepped up to hit the freekick which deflected off the wall and crashed against the crossbar and bounced down on the goal-line. The rebound then fell to Adam Tong but the centre-back misjudged an awkward bounce and could only weakly head the ball back to the keeper.

That was the last chance of the match and although disappointing, a draw was possibly a fair result. FC United will need at least one victory from their last two games to give them a chance of reaching the play-offs where as Nantwich must win their games in hand which start with Ilkeston at home on Wednesday.

Report by Joel Duncan

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First Posted ~ 12:08 Tue 14 Apr 2009
News ID ~ 2199
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013