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FC United thrash Hucknall Town - full report

Jerome Wright, Matthew Wolfenden and Jake Cottrell were all on the score-sheet for the second week running as FC United thrashed Hucknall Town 4-1 at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon with Mike Norton also finding the back of the net.

The resurgent Reds made it four consecutive wins in 2011 to leap-frog their Nottinghamshire opponents in the Evo-Stik Premier Division as our bid for a place in the end of season play-offs continues to build momentum.

United are now just nine points short of the play-off places with games in hand on most of the top half of the league.

Coming into the game on the back of three straight victories, the Reds were clearly the more confident of the two teams and began looking for a goal straight from the off.

It only took five minutes for United to break the deadlock as Wolfenden broke down the right. A ball fired across the box missed all those on coming in the middle but as Wright played the ball back across the box Norton connected with it and put United into an early lead.

After this though the Reds seemed to get a little complacent and allowed Hucknall back into the game. They had a golden opportunity to equal the scores when Martin Parker left a ball from a corner; presumably thinking he heard a shout behind him, and captain Martin Ball fired over Sam Ashton’s goal from just yards out.

Hucknall were level after 25 minutes when they were awarded a corner which seemed to come off their player rather than Wright in the left corner. As is often the case with disputed decisions in football, Hucknall took full advantage as Joe Pheasant headed the ball home at the near post to level things up.

That seemed to provide the proverbial kick up the backside United needed and they got back to the way they were playing early on in the game and looked the more lively and indeed, more likely to get the game’s next goal.

Simon Carden went close when it looked easier to score than miss as the ball came to him unmarked in the box. But United’s record appearance maker put the ball well over the bar.

Having laid on the first for Norton, Wright grabbed his fourth goal in five games as he deafly chipped the ball over Hucknall ‘keeper Ross Whalin to give United the lead just minutes before the break.

The second-half began much in the same way the first ended with United looking to add the third goal that would kill the game. The Reds were looking particularly dangerous through Wolfenden and Wright as the two switched sides throughout the half.

Wolfenden went close when a nice one-two on the edge of the box was played back into him but he just fired over into the Manchester Road End. Moments later, Wright beat his man on the left and cut into the box but saw his low drive saved well by Whalin who got down quickly to keep the winger from getting his second.

But the third did come and Wolfenden was the scorer. After a ball into the box fell to him in space he took the goal coolly and calmly and gave United the two goal cushion they had been looking for.

The game was wrapped up when Jake Cottrell played a ball towards goal from about 30 yards out, ‘keeper Whalin thought defender Grant Brindley had it covered but Brindley missed the interception and left Whalin no time to react as United took an emphatic 4-1 lead.

Hucknall had their chances in the second half but United were the far better team and it was clear from early in the afternoon that the three points were simply Red.

Craig Phillips

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First Posted ~ 11:18 Sun 23 Jan 2011
News ID ~ 3369
Last Updated ~ 11:18 Sun 23 Jan 2011