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Durham double gives United vital victory

FC United laboured to an important 2-1 victory over basement club Durham City on Saturday afternoon with second half strikes from Joe Yoffe and Phil Marsh.

The Reds were always in control of the match but a resolute Durham side held out until the 50th minute when Yoffe flicked home a Marsh cross. Rob Nugent had a header disallowed for off-side before Marsh doubled the lead with 13 minutes to go.

The hosts struck an injury time consolation goal when Carl Heiniger curled in a stunning free-kick off the underside of the bar but United held on and will be glad to finally get a win under their belts.

Despite snowfall in Durham, hard work to clear the pitch ensured that the game went ahead. David Chadwick made his return to the heart of the United defence to captain the side in pursuit of the first victory since November.

The Reds had a chance early on in the game, with a swift link up on the left between Ludovic Quistin and Jerome Wright leading to Wright’s cross which Kyle Wilson narrowly failed to latch onto inside the six-yard box.

Minutes later, Wilson came through on goal and could have gone one-on-one with keeper Richard Heiniger, if not for a strong Durham tackle in the box.

It was the home side who put the ball into the back of the net first, however the goal was disallowed and all stayed level. Good work from Nugent saw the centre half skilfully bring the ball out of defence to Wilson, unfortunately the waiting Yoffe was beaten to the cross by the keeper as the Durham backline held firm, showing no signs of being the side which were defeated 10-0 last week.

In spite of United’s attacking ability, Durham were also given the opportunity to go forward, making a few good touches in their build-up play. The home side came close on a good run through the midfield but lacked in their finishing, firing wide.

A final bout of FC United pressure came in added time at the end of the half as Wright ran through on goal and earned a free-kick. However, United couldn’t break the deadlock as Marsh struck wide of the keeper’s right post. Keeping the Reds at bay for all of the first half, Durham were not playing like a team heading for certain relegation.

With the game level as the second half began, United were in need of the opening that came five minutes in, courtesy of Yoffe. The striker ran to the near post to meet a cross from Marsh on the right and looped a side-footed shot over the keeper and into the roof of the net.

A rise in confidence was evident once United had broken the deadlock as the Reds went on in search of a second. Wilson’s header on goal forced a good tip over the bar from Heiniger and the visitors had the ball in the net once more as Nugent headed home, only to have the goal deemed offside.

Wilson, in his second game since returning on loan to the club, pressured Durham, pursuing a run down to the left side of the area and winning a free kick for his efforts.

Marsh also looked hungry, having an excellent game on the right wing. A throw from Sam Ashton released the former Manchester United player down the right and a speedy run just lacked a finish as the shot on goal was off target.

Jake Cotterell also found himself in a position to go for goal, battling into the box, however not managing to produce the final killer touch.

On 66 minutes, goal scorer Yoffe made way for Carlos Roca, coming back from an injury picked up last Saturday at Stocksbridge.

With just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Marsh rounded off an excellent performance with a well deserved goal. Durham’s centre half headed a long ball from Cottrell out of the defence, however it fell to Marsh who brought the ball under control and drilled home from 25 yards out.

United came close to a third in the final stages. Wright’s corner in met Nugent whose glancing header on target was cleared off the line. Moments later Roca tried to guide the ball past Heiniger’s left post but the keeper reacted well to smother the shot.

Ben Deegan came on in the closing stages in place of Wilson and despite a few attacking runs down the right and a close attempt on goal, a return looked to be too soon for Roca, who had to be replaced by James Holden.

As the five minutes of added time came to an end, Durham picked up a consolation goal through a free-kick on the edge of the area. Substitute, Carl Heiniger sent the ball over Ashton into his top left hand corner on the stroke of full time to deny United a clean sheet.

Although it was disappointing to concede so late on, the importance will surely be on the three points picked up as FC United look to climb the table. The Reds will hope to continue this when they entertain Ashton United on Wednesday night.

Report by Victoria Fullen.

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

Durham City
30th January 2010
Played at: Belmont Industrial Estate, Durham
UniBond League Premier

Won: 2-1
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 606

FC United
1. S Ashton
2. K Jacobs
3. L Quistin
4. J Cottrell
5. D Chadwick (capt)
6. R Nugent (cautioned 71)
7. J Yoffe
8. A Rigoglioso
9. K Wilson
10. J Wright
11. P Marsh
12. S Carden
14. B Deegan (for 9 79) (cautioned 86)
15. A Tong
16. J Holden (for 17 86)
17. C Roca (for 7 66)

Scorers: Yoffe 51, Marsh 77

Durham City
1. R Heiniger
2. M Hollingsworth
3. K Wren
4. A Stephenson (capt)
5. M Stoker (cautioned 45+1)
6. G Ayers (cautioned 68)
7. C Harboard
8. E Graeme
9. J Home-Jackson
10. E Cutts
11. R Ayre
12. M Mounter (for 10 75)
14. C Heiniger (for 7 53)
15. C Winter (for 11 18)
16. A Wright
17. R Joblinger

Scorer: Heineger 90+7

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First Posted ~ 22:13 Sun 31 Jan 2010
News ID ~ 2684
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013