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Reds lose at Ashton

FC United’s 100% start to the season came to an end with a 1-0 defeat at unbeaten Ashton United on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon in a game that, whilst entertaining, provided little goalmouth action between two battling sides.

The all important goal came two minutes before half-time when striker Lee Steele chipped the ball home from the edge of the box. The Reds were limited to half chances as they searched for an equaliser and Ashton’s defence held firm to maintain its record of not being breached so far this season.

The away team started the brightest and could have been ahead inside the first minute, Carlos Roca and Mike Norton combining down the left and feeding Simon Carden whose volley was straight at Terry Smith in the Ashton goal.

Jake Cottrell, who scored a long range cracker on Saturday, nearly did it again, with a 25-yard-shot that the keeper did very well to tip over the bar.

The home team came more into the game as the half wore on and on 11 minutes had a succession of corners to put the FC defence under pressure. United goalkeeper Zach Hibbert, who was making his first appearance of the season, caught a header from Alex Frost to relieve some of the pressure.

On 15 minutes, former FC United forward Aaron Burns had a chance when he was played in but Hibbert blocked his shot. The Reds were starting to defend deeply and this seemed to be inviting Ashton on but they did break occasionally with Roca firing wide and Jerome Wright producing a good run but sadly his cross went into the side netting.

Minutes before the break Burns crossed the ball in from the left. The United defence seemed to deal with the dangerous cross as it was headed clear by Cottrell but the ball fell to Steele at the edge of the box and the striker looped a good shot over Hibbert and into the net to make it 1-0.

United started the second half brightly, Wright volleying the ball over inside two minutes of the restart and Scott McManus also firing over a couple of minutes later.

There was more urgency about FC’s game after the break. This urgency was highlighted by a superbly skilful run by Roca who twisted and turned his way to the by line before crossing for Wright to head back to Norton who was lurking in the box. Unfortunately, Norton’s goal bound shot was blocked.

On the hour mark, FC looked to have pulled one back with a great drive from Platt but goalkeeper Smith pulled off another good save to tip the ball over.

In truth, FC were doing most of the pressing with Ashton happy to attack on the break but the home defence were defending stoically and hardly missed a header from balls coming into the box. Steve Torpey, who re-signed for FC United on Saturday, was introduced to the game and showed some bright moments including setting up McManus who headed wide.

As FC pushed forward looking for the equaliser, gaps were left at the back which the home side almost exploited. Substitute David Owens attempted to round Hibbert who took the ball off his toes and the same players met again a minute later with the keeper blocking Owens’ shot.

All-in-all, it wasn’t a vintage FC performance. With a bit more luck a point was there for the taking but all credit to Ashton who defended superbly to go to the top of the league.

FC United are now third after four games and a 1-0 defeat away to the now league leaders, who have yet to concede a goal, will not detract too much from a good start to the season. The Reds will look to get back on track as they host fifth place Matlock Town on Sunday in a match which has been switched to Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold.

Report by Steven Wood

Ashton United
30th August 2010
Played at Husrt Cross, Ashton
Lost: 1-0
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 1069

FC United
1. Z Hibbert
2. K Jacobs
3. L Neville
4. N Platt (capt)
5. M Parker
6. S McManus
7. C Roca
8. S Carden
9. M Norton
10. J Wright (cautioned 58)
11. J Cottrell


12. C Little (for 7 71)
14. S Torpey (for 8 65)
15. M Ayres
16. J Holden
17. K Munroe



1. T Smith
2. D Young (cautioned 58)
3. D Caldecott
4. G Murphy
5. A Frost
6. C Robinson (capt)
7. M O’Neill
8. I Bennett
9. A Burns (cautioned 39)
10. L Steele
11. L Dawson


12. M Landregan (for 9 81)
14. D Owens (for 11 58)
15. K Killackey
16. S Rose
17. D Warburton

Scorer: Steele 44

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First Posted ~ 12:05 Thu 2 Sep 2010
News ID ~ 3063
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013