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Late penalty sinks Reds in seven goal thriller

FC United slipped to an agonising 4-3 defeat at Matlock on Tuesday night with a late winner coming from the penalty spot after the Reds had twice been leading the contest.

Goals from captain David Chadwick, Phil Marsh and Jerome Wright proved not to be enough on a frustrating night in the Peak District but the players can take heart from a performance infinitely better than Saturday’s defeat against Durham.

Manager Karl Marginson made a few changes with a recalled Nick Swirad playing alongside Chadwick and Marsh was restored to an attacking position with James Holden taking the right back slot.

United had the first chance of the game inside 20 seconds with Wright shooting just wide. The Reds started the game like a high-speed train with Ben Deegan heading over the bar and a goalmouth scramble ending with the ball being tipped up and onto the woodwork by the home keeper.

It looked like just a matter of time before FC would take the lead and it came on 15 minutes with Chadwick heading in a Wright corner from the left.

The chances continued to flow for FC with Marsh having a powerful drive well tipped over by Sollitt in the Matlock goal. There was an alarm at the other end however, when Ashton missed his punch and Mark Haran headed over.

The Reds thought they had increased their lead on 37 minutes when a free-kick from the left was headed in by Chadwick only for the linesman to flag for a push.

The mistakes that have typified the season so far reared their ugly heads again five minutes before half-time when a through ball was missed by Chadwick, allowing the prolific Hannah through on goal. As expected, he made no mistake slipping the ball under Ashton to equalise. The half ended with a Wright shot which was tipped over by Sollitt.

The second half started in the same vein as the first with an FC goal. The ball was played over the top of the home defence by Ashton for Marsh who coolly lobbed the keeper to restore United’s lead. Sadly the lead lasted just five minutes when a good run down the Matlock right ended with a cross that was slotted home by Steve Warne.

Disaster struck FC just three minutes later when a ball punted down the pitch by Sollitt deceived the United defence. Ashton misjudged an extraordinarily high bounce leaving Hannah with a simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net to make it 3-2.

The half continued to ebb and flow with both team committed to attack and United were rewarded with an equaliser on 67 minutes. Deegan collected from Marsh and powered forward before the ball broke loose, falling to Wright on the edge of the area who struck a sweet shot that the keeper could only parry into the goal.

Just as it looked like a draw would be the outcome, Matlock found a winner. With just more than 10 minutes to go, a long ball forward wasn’t dealt with by the United defence and Ashton was forced to bring down the Matlock attacker. The referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty, which Hannah stroked home to claim his hat-trick and win the game for the home side.

So all in all, a very frustrating night for FC, but the spectre of Saturday’s defeat to Durham was probably exorcised thanks to a spirited performance that probably deserved better than a defeat.

Report by Steven Wood

Matlock Town
16th March 2010
Played at: Causeway Lane
UniBond League Premier

Lost: 4-3
Half Time: 1-1
Attendance: 562

FC United
1. S Ashton (cautioned 79)
2. J Holden
3. L Quistin
4. J Cottrell
5. D Chadwick (capt)
6. N Swirad
7. C Roca
8. S Carden
9. B Deegan (cautioned 67)
10. J Wright
11. P Marsh
12. S Ioannou (for 2 89)
13. G Shenton
19 A Tsiaklis
15 C Krou (for 6 73)
16 J Mack

Scorers: Chadwick 15, Marsh 48, Wright 67

Matlock Town
1. A Sollitt
2. A Yates
3. L Featherstone
4. L King
5. M Haran
6. J Lukic (capt)
7. N Benger
8. S Warne
9. N Joynes
10. R Hannah (cautioned 73)
11. S Brough
12. D Wood (for 4 68)
14. D Cropper (for 9 77)
15. B Algar (for 2 54)
16. J Hall
17. N Buxton

Scorers: Hannah 40 56 79 pen, Warne 54

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First Posted ~ 14:12 Wed 17 Mar 2010
News ID ~ 2774
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013