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FC United start 2011 with defeat at Halifax

FC United threw away a goal lead against Evo-Stik Premier Division leaders Halifax Town to go down 4-1 in front of a New Year’s Day crowd of 4,023 supporters in West Yorkshire.

Jerome Wright put the Reds ahead from the penalty spot but the Shaymen got a vital equaliser on the stroke of half-time before gaining the lead early in the second half and adding two more right at the death as United pushed forward in search of the equaliser.

The Reds started the game brightly and almost took the lead inside two minutes when a Wright cross was fired just wide by Mike Norton. Halifax didn’t take too long to find a footing in the game, ex FC United player Simon Garner firing just wide and Sam Ashton also had to punch clear under pressure.

The match was open, with FC playing the ball around well, and one flowing move almost brought a goal, with Richard Battersby firing a long range shot towards goal but sadly for him Hedge was equal to it and tipped the ball over.

The home side almost took the lead a minute later when Holland, looking suspiciously offside, was set clear, Ashton pushing the ball wide for a corner. Ashton was also called upon on 24 minutes when the dangerous Vardy was played in but the FC keeper saved well.

The Reds took the lead on the half hour mark when a ball by captain Kyle Jacobs played in Matthew Wolfenden on the right, who was brought down by the home keeper as he played the ball goalwards.

The referee played on to see where the ball would drop but when there was no advantage, he pointed to the spot. Despite the away fans’ call for Ashton to take the penalty, Wright picked up the ball and fired his shot down the middle of the goal.

The lead lasted 10 minutes, when a loose FC United pass in midfield was picked up by the home team and the ball played into the box, where Jacobs turned it behind. From the resultant corner, the FC defence seemed to pause, allowing Vardy time to bring the ball under control and fire into the net to grab the equaliser seconds before the break.

Into the second half and the Reds went close with Simon Carden shooting just wide. However, it took just nine minutes of the half for Halifax to take the lead when a long ball forward wasn’t dealt with by Ludovic Quistin. The ball was worked out to the right, where it was crossed in for Gregory to sidefoot home.

Despite this setback, FC continued to get the ball out wide and attack the home defence, Wright using his pace to pass two defenders only to fire over the goal. At the other end, the home side continued to make chances, Vardy sending a piledriver wide and substitute Marshall firing into the side netting.

With less than 15 minutes to go, a flowing FC United move involving Ben Deegan, Wright and James Holden ended with Wright firing just over.

With FC pressing for the equaliser, they were leaving space at the back, allowing the home side to attack pretty much at will but despite this, it took the Shaymen till the 89th minute to extend their lead when a cross from the right fell to Marshall who had time to turn and slot the ball into the corner of the net.

In injury time, Halifax scored a fourth when Taylor ran free and chipped the ball over Ashton, who despite getting his fingers to the shot couldn’t prevent it going over the line.

The scoreline was maybe slightly harsh on United who at times played some good football approaching the penalty area only to be blighted more often than not with a poor final ball.

The Reds must now pick themselves up for the Bank Holiday Monday visit of Ashton United.

Report by Steven Wood

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First Posted ~ 14:21 Wed 5 Jan 2011
News ID ~ 3323
Last Updated ~ 14:21 Wed 5 Jan 2011