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Late Steels strike costs Reds victory

A late equaliser cost FC United three valuable points as they drew 1-1 with ten men Stocksbridge Park Steels in Sheffield on Saturday afternoon.

Carlos Roca put the Reds into a deserved lead just after the hour mark but despite creating several good chances United failed to put the game to bed and the South Yorkshire side clinched a hard fought leveller at the death through Andy Ring.

Karl Marginson’s side will be disappointed to only come away with a point after having the lion’s share possession but there were many positives to take out of the game.

United played some superb football and looked odds on to push their advantage home after the host were reduced to ten men with 20 minutes to go. Brett Lovell was dismissed for his second bookable offence - just one of eight yellow cards which were shown to the uncompromising Steels.

In the end it was probably the five week snow induced layoff that cost the Reds as they seemed to run out of steam allowing the Steels to force an 88th minute equaliser.

The game began with FC United’s travelling faithful in good voice and the first half was an evenly fought contest. Adam Tong came the closest for United early on, somehow deflecting a Phil Marsh corner over the bar whilst at the other end Sam Ashton had to be alert to collect a few potentially dangerous through balls.

Just after the half hour mark there was a moment of real controversy when Joe Yoffe went racing clear of the home defence after a long punt up field by Ashton only to be taken clean out by goalkeeper Ben Scott on the edge of the area.

The referee decided it was a free-kick rather than a penalty and just a bookable offence rather than a straight red. Both possibly the correct decisions but both could easily have gone the other way. From the free-kick Marsh curled the ball goalwards and was unfortunate to see his well directed effort headed off the line by Robert Tonks.

Goalless at half-time was a fair reflection of the first half but United came into their own after the break with Wright and Roca looking dangerous and linking up well with Marsh.

It was Jake Cottrell who had a great chance to break the deadlock though. Marsh went on a great run down the right wing, held the ball up well before cutting inside and laying the ball across the edge of the box for the young midfielder. Cottrell had time and space but elected to take one touch before shooting and his rushed effort flew over the bar.

Minutes later and Roca was in full flow. The diminutive winger was unleashed down the right flank by a great ball from Wright, he took on the full back and then drilled a ball across the six yard line. Wright and Marsh were both trying desperately to get on the end of it but Roca’s cross was too hard and too fast for anyone to turn the ball home.

Then in the 61st minute, United made their pressure count. A fast flowing move saw Ludovic Quistin link up well with Cottrell and Wright before Wright sprayed a ball into the box which Yoffe flicked on to Roca on the right wing. Roca dummied his marker, cut inside before firing low and hard underneath Scott to make it 1-0.

Minutes later, Lovell was going for an early bath and it looked like United were heading for victory. Marsh went on a great solo run after being played through by Cottrell but finished weakly after doing all the hard work.

Then, with just two minutes remaining, Stocksbridge gained what seemed like a soft free-kick for a push by Tong on Ring out on the right wing. Substitute Mark Ward whipped a ball into the box, a Steels player headed goalwards, Ashton could only parry the ball across the goal line and Ring gratefully turned the ball home past the despairing keeper who claimed that he had two hands on the ball.

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FC United
1. S Ashton
2. K Jacobs
3. L Quistin
4. J Cottrell
5. A Tong
6. R Nugent (capt)
7. C Roca
8. S Carden
9. J Yoffe
10. J Wright
11. P Marsh
12. A Rigoglioso (for 9 68)
14. B Deegan (for 7 81)
15. D Chadwick
16. N Swirad
17. J Holden

Scorer: Roca 61

Stocksbridge PS
1. B Scott (cautioned 32)
2. R Tonks (cautioned 42)
3. D Schofield (capt)
4. T Claisse (cautioned 40)
5. B Lovell (sent off 71, 2 cautions))
6. D Riordan (cautioned 53)
7. A Callery
8. C Hall
9. A Ring
10. A Clayton
11. J Vardy (cautioned 43)
12. B Kane (for 8 73)
14. M Ward (for 7 63) (cautioned 75)
15. R Stirrup (for 9 90)
16. D Thornton

Scorer: Ring 88

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First Posted ~ 15:08 Mon 25 Jan 2010
News ID ~ 2672
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013