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Simply Red as FC nick Hucknall win - full report

FC United’s veteran midfielder Simon Carden was holding back the years as he and captain Mike Norton scored the goals to help the Reds come from behind to snatch a dramatic 2-1 victory at Hucknall Town on Saturday afternoon.

It was a game that FC United dominated from start to finish. However, Karl Marginson’s side will be pleased to have picked up all three points especially considering they went 1-0 down with 17 minutes to go.

There weren’t many clear cut chances in the first half but it was all one way traffic with Jake Cottrell and Jerome Wright both testing Hucknall keeper Ross Whalin from distance. Matthew Wolfenden and full-backs Jimmy Holden and Lee Neville also provided teasing crosses into the box during the first half but no-one was able to get on the end of them.

Probably the best chance of the half came five minutes before the break but even that didn’t actually result in a shot. Wright gave right-back Fabian Smith a torrid time all afternoon and it was no surprise to see the winger burst past him and get to the by-line. Norton had escaped his marker on the edge of the six yard box and was looking for a tap in but Wright’s cut back was behind him.

Down at the other end, Reds keeper Sam Ashton didn’t have to make a save in the opening 45 minutes as Hucknall had just one attempt at goal, which rolled harmlessly wide.

The second half began in explosive fashion, giving an indication of what was about to come. FC United midfielder Matt Tierney dived in late on Tyeisse Nightingale and a 21 man melée ensued with only Ashton deciding not to produce his handbag.

With flashes of Red shirts and yellow jerseys clashing on a boggy surface, older supporters may have been reminded of October 1990 when United and Arsenal were involved in a similar level of disorder. After calm was restored, the referee Mark Sutton sent off Tierney for the foul and Nightingale for the retaliation.

Moments later, Hucknall had their first effort on target. United failed to clear a corner and the hosts tried to scramble the ball over the line but Ashton and Martin Parker were on hand to make last ditch blocks.

United continued to press but couldn’t find the break through and as has so often been the case this season, the opposition hit the Reds on the counterattack. Smith whipped a low ball in from the right and although Ashton managed to parry it, the ball became stuck in the mud and allowed Callum Lloyd to squeeze the ball past the covering Holden and into the net at the back post.

As always, going a goal behind sparked United into life. Seconds later Wright looked to be pulled and tripped in the box by Smith but the referee viewed otherwise as he waved play-on. Thankfully though, United’s equaliser wasn’t long in coming. Holden played a low throughball to Carden and FC United’s midfielder rolled back the years with a cool first time finish into the bottom left corner.

United were in the ascendancy. Three minutes after the equaliser, Wright burst through and fired just wide. And with five minutes to go, FC United sealed victory. Cottrell picked out Holden on the right and the fullback curled a deep cross to the far post where it was met by Wolfenden. An outstretched leg managed to flick the ball along the goal line in mid-air and captain Norton was on hand to force the ball into the net to spark wild scenes on the pitch and the terraces.

United then held out for the remaining five minutes plus injury time whilst almost scoring a third. Substitute Chris Ovington played through Norton but with Hucknall keeper Whalin stranded inside FC United’s half after going up for a corner, Norton was always going to be off-side. It didn’t matter in the end though, the Reds were well worth their victory.

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First Posted ~ 15:48 Mon 7 Feb 2011
News ID ~ 3396
Last Updated ~ 15:48 Mon 7 Feb 2011