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Goalkeeper Ashton scores as FC United thrash Retford

FC United goalkeeper Sam Ashton scored from his own penalty area to send the Reds on to a 4-0 victory at relegation threatened Retford with the other goals coming from Jerome Wright, Matthew Wolfenden and Jake Cottrell.

It was the third consecutive win for the Reds, a double over Retford and incredibly; United’s first away league victory on a Saturday afternoon since beating Frickley Athletic 2-0 in February 2010.

Karl Marginson’s side knew that only a win would do to keep up their New Year momentum and they couldn’t have asked for a better start. Ashton opened his FC United account with a freak goal after three minutes when his long ball up field got caught up in the swirling wind before bouncing over his opposite number, Luke Herriott.

Midway through the half, United doubled their lead. Left-back Lee Neville played a pass forward to Cottrell who pushed a first time ball out wide to Wright. The United winger surged past Rob Austin, cut into the box and effortlessly slotted a low shot into the far corner.

United were fully in control and with the struggling Badgers low on confidence Ashton was rarely troubled. So much so, the Reds’ number one is more likely to have been wondering whether he could score again rather than worrying about whether he would keep a clean sheet.

Despite the dominance, clear cut chances were hard to come by which was largely due to the extreme wind and a boggy pitch. Captain Mike Norton headed over the bar from a Jerome Wright cross and Herriott produced a save from Wolfenden but 2-0 at half-time was a fair reflection of the opening 45 minutes.

Into the second half and the Reds picked up where they left off. Nicky Platt came on for James Holden, gaining a valuable 25 minutes on the pich after shaking off the flu and finally in the 72nd minute the Reds put the game to bed.

A clearance from the back by Scott McManus was picked up Wright who dribbled across field before playing a defence splitting diagonal ball through to Wolfenden. The former Oldham Athletic player saw his fierce first time shot parried by Herriott and then showed great composure to control the rebound before lashing it past the unfortunate ’keeper at the second attempt.

Cottrell completed the rout five minutes later. More tireless running from Norton saw the striker play in Wolfenden who raced forward before laying the ball off for Cottrell and the young midfielder made no mistake - side footing the fourth and final goal into the bottom corner.

All that was left was for Margy to make a double substitution allowing another couple of flu sufferers, Ben Deegan and Carlos Roca, a short run out.

United now host another Nottinghamshire side, Hucknall Town next Saturday and will be hoping to keep the winning streak going as they aim to squeeze into the play-offs.

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First Posted ~ 12:19 Tue 18 Jan 2011
News ID ~ 3350
Last Updated ~ 12:19 Tue 18 Jan 2011