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United win seven goal FA Cup thriller - full report

A hat-trick from Mike Norton helped FC United come from 2-1 down to beat Norton & Stockton Ancients 5-2 in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON on Saturday afternoon.

Ben Deegan and Glynn Hurst were also on the score-sheet as the Reds went through to the fourth and final qualifying round - matching last year’s achievement which is the furthest they have ever progressed in the competition.

The Reds saw off the resilient home team who probably won’t be given the credit they deserved from the scoreline alone.

The game got underway after a 15 minute delay and it looked like United still had their heads in the dressing room as The Ancients striker Daniel Earl got through one-on-one with goalkeeper Sam Ashton early on, just firing his shot wide.

That close call was a real wake up call to United and minutes later they were a goal up after Carlos Roca, making his 100th appearance for the club, dribbled the ball across field. It looked like Roca had taken the ball too far onto the left wing but he managed to fire a ball across goal where the ever alert Norton slid in to put the ball away at the far post, giving United a goal advantage with only five minutes on the clock.

The Reds rested on their laurels a little after that looking to play the long ball and possibly thinking they had the upper hand over the home team. The game again faced another delay as The Ancients defender Andrew Burton went down on the edge of his box. Burton was treated for around five minutes before being stretchered off with what could have been a bad injury.

The break saw United lose momentum and focus and after Ashton spilled a hard and low free-kick from the edge of the box it was Ancients’ Dale Mulligan who reacted the quickest putting the ball away and putting the home team back in the cup tie.

As the teams came out for the second half it was United who pushed on for that second goal, looking dangerous on the attack and pressurising the home team’s defence. However, The Ancients proved to be good counter attackers and almost scored on the break as Ashton did well to force the ball out for a corner.

From that corner Shaun Clarke cut inside from the right and unleashed a powerful shot with his left foot that flew past Ashton into the bottom corner giving the home team a goal advantage with just over half an hour to go.

United again put the pressure on with Wright and Roca becoming more menacing from either flank and just six minutes later, after a ball into the box caused confusion between goalkeeper James Provett and one of his defenders, Hurst was on hand to poke the ball into the home team’s goal to level the match.

That goal was the turning point of what had been a very close game to that point. In the final quarter of the game United looked the fitter, fresher team who were always the more likely to take the game.

Karl Marginson’s side made the breakthrough with 15 minutes left as Glynn Hurst’s headed the ball through to Norton to put the striker one-on-one with ’keeper Provett. Norton delicately lofted the ball into the net and rushed into the arms of the ecstatic travelling faithful who were packed in behind the goal.

Minutes later, Deegan was brought on for Hurst and The Ancients defence struggled to deal with the striker’s physical presence. Deegan got himself on the scoresheet as he rose to head a ball from Wright on the left across to the far post. The ball seemed to take an eternity to drop into the goal and give United the two goal advantage that surely meant they were the team progressing to the next qualifying round.

Norton made certain of this in stoppage time, completing his hat-trick to give United’s victory a scoreline that flattered to deceive a little. Even so, the scenes at the final whistle were those of yet another fantastic cup game that will go down in FC United folklore as the fans rushed onto the pitch to congratulate the players, even carrying Jerome Wright off the pitch as he waved one supporter’s banner.

FC United must wait to see what the fourth qualifying round holds for them in Monday’s draw.

Report by Craig Phillips.


FC United of Manchester

Sam Ashton
Kyle Jacobs (Capt)
Lee Neville
Nicky Platt
Martine Parker
Scott McManus
Carlos Roca
Jake Cottrell
Mike Norton
Jerome Wright
Glynn Hurst

Subs: James Holden, Zach Hibbert, Simon Carden, Ben Deegan, Chris Ovington

Goals: Norton (5, 74, 90), Glynn Hurst (64), Deegan (84)

Norton & Stockton Ancients

James Provett
Andrew Burton
Craig Bishop
Dale Mulligan
Richard Gaston (Capt)
Craig Gott
Steven Higgins
Shaun Clarke
Jamie Clarke
Theodore Furness
Daniel Earl

Subs: Leon Carling, Phillip Wilson, Lewis McCardle, Nathan Mulligan, Callum Brown, Shaun Lambert

Goals: Mulligan (40), S.Clarke (58)

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First Posted ~ 10:34 Mon 11 Oct 2010
News ID ~ 3150
Last Updated ~ 12:36 Mon 21 May 2018