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United round off pre-season with victory

With just under a week to go before the season begins, FC United rounded off the pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win over Division One North side Mossley AFC.

It took just minutes for Ben Deegan to put the Reds ahead, scoring his third goal in two games, and half time substitute Mike Norton headed on target with around half an hour remaining to double United’s lead.

However, Mossley were able to pull one back later in the second half and FC were perhaps fortunate to hold onto the lead in the latter stages of the game.

The starting eleven differed greatly from the midweek clash at Chester with many of the recent first team starting on the bench, giving way to a mixture of experience and new signings to line up against Mossley, who FC United last encountered competitively in 2008 with a 5-2 win at Gigg Lane.

Manager Karl Marginson also opted for a changed formation, playing three at the back for the majority of the game.

The Reds made a bright start to the game, as Simon Carden found himself unmarked on the edge of the 18 yard box and was able to calmly slip the ball through to Deegan who’d made the run inside to tap in from close range.

Both sides had opportunities to go forward as the half progressed. Carlos Roca used his pace to outrun centre half Andy Watson and set himself up for a shot on target, and at the opposite end of the park, Mike Fish was able to force Sam Ashton into a good stop from a low drive goalwards.

On the stroke of half time, Deegan was controversially denied a penalty after being brought down by Mossley keeper Peter Collinge following a run into the area. Despite strong United claims, appeals were waved away, preventing the Reds the opportunity to extend their lead just before the break and earning Deegan a yellow card for his justified yet vociferous protests.

Half time changes saw Jake Cottrell and Norton replace Jerome Wright and Deegan respectively and Zach Hibbert was introduced to the proceedings in place of Ashton.

Good link-up play between Carden and Roca at the start of the second half saw Roca receive a ball through and go on to beat the keeper to the ball, however just lacking in the finish.

Moments later in a reverse of the move, Roca played a through ball to Carden who did well to win a corner. The resulting set piece sent in by Cottrell met Norton just inside the area who made no mistake in firing a great header beyond Collinge.

Fish had a good chance to pull a goal back for the home side, going one on one with Hibbert, however the United keeper came off his line to close down the centre forward and managed to divert the shot out for a corner.

In the latter stages Mossley began to come into the game more and more, resulting in a goal for Chris Rowney. Substitute Jordan Goodeve ran into the area and pulled the ball back to Rowney who drilled it into the back of the net.

As Mossley controlled the game in the dying minutes, strong defending from Mark Ayres denied an equalising goal for the home side, leaving the Reds lucky to come away with the victory.

United will be happy to end the pre-season with a win, particularly as this means the Reds are now unbeaten in six games, giving the side confidence going into the much anticipated opening match of the season away at Marine next Sunday.

Report by Victoria Fullen.

Team Information:
FC United:
1. Sam Ashton
2. Richard Battersby
3. Karl Munroe
4. Danny Browne
5. David Chadwick ©
6. Mark Ayres
7. Carlos Roca
8. Simon Carden
9. Ben Deegan
10. Jerome Wright
11. James Holden

12. Chris Ovington
14. Kyle Jacobs
15. Lee Neville
16. Scott McManus
17. Jake Cottrell
18. Nicky Platt
20. Mike Norton
21. Martin Parker

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First Posted ~ 13:42 Mon 16 Aug 2010
News ID ~ 3023
Last Updated ~ 15:09 Mon 21 May 2018