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Roca double as FC United thrash Ossett - full report

Goals from Mike Norton, Jerome Wright and two from Carlos Roca saw FC United get back to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over Ossett Town on a quite bizarre Wednesday night at Bower Fold.

It was third time lucky for the Reds as they finally won a match at their second home. Norton broke the deadlock on 13 minutes and it took just five more for Wright to double the lead. Roca made it 3-0 two minutes after the break and although Matthew Stirland pulled one back for the West Yorkshire visitors with around 25 minutes to go, Roca sealed all three points with the goal of the game in injury time.

The 1,333-strong crowd were treated to some good passages of play from the Reds as well as the weird spectacle of the match officials being forced to wear hi-vis vests due to a floodlight failure and the fact that the Ossett kit was similar in colour to the black outfits of the officials.

It took just five minutes for the first shot on goal with Wright firing wide. Minutes later, the Reds took the lead when a lucky bounce in the Ossett defence found Norton who calmly fired into the bottom of the net.

That was the cue for the first bizarre moment of the game - just after the restart one of the Stalybridge floodlight pylons went out. A moment of confusion arose before the referee, to his credit, decided to continue with the match before donning high-vis vests, much to the delight of the crowd.

The lead was doubled just five minutes later, when a long ball released Norton on the left, who marginally beat the offside trap. The striker centred the ball for the oncoming Wright, who drilled a shot low into the corner of the net.

It had been a positive start to the game by the home side and there was more to come. Glynn Hurst had a good chance on 21 minutes, Norton chesting a long ball into his path but Hurst’s shot was straight at the keeper. A minute later, Wright almost doubled his tally when a free-kick wasn’t defended by Ossett but his follow-up shot was palmed away by Neil Bennett in the goal.

The second half couldn’t have started in a better way for United as the recalled Jake Cottrell was released down the left. His superb far post cross was met on the volley by Roca who saw the ball fly into the goal.

At 3-0 up, the Reds took their foot off the gas slightly and Ossett had a few chances. Daniel Sheriffe made the most of a defensive mix up but Sam Ashton, who was back from concussion, was alert to the danger - coming off his line to clear. Substitute Stirland also had a shot wide from a long throw.

On the hour, Karl Munroe almost opened his FC goal account but his header was just wide. Three minutes later, Ossett pulled a goal back when a left wing cross was fired towards goal by Stirland, the shot taking a deflection on its way past Ashton.

This provoked FC United into playing some great football on the counter, a Roca cross was headed wide by Norton and many breaks at pace were sadly ended with the offside flag. The football being played at times was a world away from some of the recent performances.

The win was completed in injury time when Scott McManus played a long ball for substitute Ben Deegan to chase. Deegan checked back and passed the ball over to Roca who smashed it into the top corner.

At times during the game the football played by the Reds was a joy to watch, albeit against a team who didn’t offer much for an hour. Manager Karl Marginson declared after the game that this was only a start. But it sets up the team well for an exciting FA Cup encounter at the weekend against Norton & Stockton Ancients.

Report by Steven Wood.

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First Posted ~ 11:30 Thu 7 Oct 2010
News ID ~ 3146
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013