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United crash out of FA Cup

FC United crashed out of the FA Cup 3-0 to Northwich Victoria with three second half goals coming from the penalty spot, an own goal and injury time tap-in.

The score line flattered the hosts somewhat as United’s brave cup run came to an end in front of 2,615 at the Victoria Stadium. The atmosphere was a heady mixture of tension and excitement as the Reds embarked on the latest stage of their FA Cup journey. As one banner said "FC United - Punk Cup Run."

The starting line-up remained unchanged from the side that beat Ashton United last Saturday, with the exception of David Chadwick, returning from injury and replacing Rob Nugent to captain the team.

Early into the game, United made attempts to threaten the Northwich goal, including a low shot from Carlos Roca, wide of Curtis Aspden’s right post.

The home side however showed intent from the opening stages and the in-form Sam Ashton was forced to make a string of excellent saves, keeping the Reds in the game inside the first 15 minutes.

Northwich’s September player of the month, Mark Danks, found himself one-on-one with Ashton who judged the shot well and was able to close the striker down to deny the home side.

FC United showed class of their own in the form of Roca who displayed skill raiding down the right. Roca was brought down by Ryan Brown who was booked for his troubles and Jerome Wright’s resulting free kick was played into the box for a dangerous free header on goal that was sent just over the cross bar.

Just after the half hour mark Wright also made a good run and was heading full throttle towards the Northwich box when he was cynically obstructed by Simon Grand. The free kick was to no avail, and the game continued, with an increased tempo as the rivalry intensified.

Despite some United pressure, the majority of the attack was in the Vics’ favour and as half-time drew nearer, the Reds did well to fend off a series of free kicks and corners as the home side looked to threaten.

Early into the second half, Phil Marsh received the ball from Wright and made a run down the right, beating the full-back and putting the ball across the Northwich box. Unfortunately for the Reds, Aspden claimed the ball.

Danks broke the deadlock and put the Vics in front 56 minutes in from the penalty spot. Lee Elam made a run into the box, beating Simon Garner, and was brought down by Chadwick. Danks confidently converted, leaving FC United chasing the game.

United were inches away from an immediate response but Aspden denied the them a glorious chance to come back into the game. The keeper producing a fine save to deny Wright’s shot on goal that looked almost certain to be heading for the back of the Northwich net following a clever cut back by Ben Deegan.

Vic’s defence held strong and gave the hosts a fine platform from which to build whilst restricting any attempts United could muster to find an equaliser.

Just seconds later, Sam Ashton once again turned saviour for FC, denying another one-on-one effort from Danks as Northwich looked to confirm the result.

With 15 minutes to go, Joseph Yoffe made his second substitute appearance for the club, replacing Si Garner. The Reds went three at the back, reinforcing the attack in the closing stages.

But it was Northwich’s own substitute, John Newby, had the chance to seal the victory as he found himself one on one with Ashton. The FC number one did well to close him down and divert the ball out for a corner.

It wasn’t until five minutes of normal time remaining that the Vics added to the score line. A cross was whipped in from Danks and failure to clear from the FC United defence saw Adam Tong turn the ball into his own net.

United’s fate had been all but sealed. However, there was still time for Tong to redeem himself but he sent a free header over the cross bar from a corner.

And all hopes, albeit faint, of a earning a replay were abolished when Northwich added a third inside added time. Elam outran the United defence and squared the ball to Wayne Riley who made no mistake in firing into an open net.

As dreams of a First Round tie were dashed, United by no means went down without a fight, showing determination and desire throughout a magnificent run in the competition.

Attention now turns back to the league, and then to the FA Trophy next Saturday: dreams of the road to Wembley aren’t over yet.

Supporters can vote for their FC United man-of-the-match by clicking here.

Report by Victoria Fullen.

Northwich Victoria
FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
24th October 2009
Played at: Victoria Stadium, Northwich

Result: Lost 3-0
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 2615

FC United
1. S Ashton
2. A Carden
3. S Garner
4. T Moses
5. D Chadwick (capt)
6. A Tong
7. C Roca
8. J Cottrell (cautioned 83)
9. B Deegan (cautioned 31)
10. J Wright
11. P Marsh
12. S Carden (for 4 73)
13. G Shenton
14. R Nugent
15. J Yoffe (for 3 77)
16. A Ibrahim (for 9 82)
17. J Mack
18. N Swirad


Northwich Victoria
1. C Aspden
2. M Aspin
3. R Bryan (cautioned 14)
4. M Bailey
5. S Grand (capt) (cautioned 31)
6. I Herring
7. J D’Laryea
8. M Connor
9. M Danks (cautioned 70)
10. J Allan
11. L Elam (cautioned 69)
12. W Riley (for 8 80)
14. S Vaughan (for 9 89)
15. N Kerr
16. H Winter
17. J Newby (for 11 72)
18. D Edwards
19. J Spencer (GK)

Scorers: Danks 56 pen, Tong (og) 85, Riley 90(+3)

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First Posted ~ 10:30 Mon 26 Oct 2009
News ID ~ 2499
Last Updated ~ 12:56 Mon 21 May 2018