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First victory of the New Year for FC United - full report

FC United came from a goal down to beat Ashton United 2-1 on Bank Holiday Monday with goals from Mike Norton and Matthew Wolfenden.

The visitors took the lead inside five minutes but Norton equalised after 18 minutes and just six minutes later Wolfenden struck, sealing the Reds’ first competitive victory since Rochdale in the FA Cup on 5th November.

It was the Robins who started the brighter of the two sides as Sam Ashton had to be alert on two minutes - tipping a shot from Steve Hall past the post. He was beaten two minutes later however, when a mazy run by Liam Dawson was ended with a shot into the far corner of the net.

This seemed to spark the home team into action with Jerome Wright having a shot easily saved by Terry Smith but despite this Ashton could have doubled their lead on 13 minutes when a free-kick from the edge of the box by Dawson crashed onto the post and was cleared to safety.

Four minutes later, the scores were level thanks to a well taken goal by Norton. James Holden played a superb ball into the box where Norton took it down on his chest and lobbed an exquisite finish over Smith.

Six minutes later and the Reds were in the lead, Norton the provider this time with a run down the right. He played a ball into the box where Wolfenden was waiting to loft a shot into the roof of the net.

The game was almost all square a minute later when a mistake by Richard Battersby let in Dawson but his shot was well saved by Ashton in the FC goal. Despite this, FC were the team in control of the game and could easily have extended their lead, Holden heading over a Jake Cottrell cross and Nicky Platt putting a overhead kick just over the bar.

The second half was a much quieter affair, though it started with a penalty claim from Ashton, as ex FC forward Aaron Burns felt he was fouled in the box, the referee seemed correct in waving away his protest.

Holden was unlucky a couple of minutes later with a shot that was deflected wide but the half was pretty short of goalmouth action. However, the away side could have nicked a point on 78 minutes when a fortunate ricochet played in sub Jonathon Bathurst but Ashton was equal to the task and saved well.

All in all, it was a decent performance from FC United, especially given the slow start to the game, but more importantly it was three vital points against a team who the Reds had failed to beat in two previous games this season. The win should give the players confidence going into Saturday’s game against bogey side Bradford Park Avenue who United have never defeated.

Report by Steven Wood

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First Posted ~ 12:23 Tue 4 Jan 2011
News ID ~ 3324
Last Updated ~ 12:23 Tue 4 Jan 2011