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Ten men FC United draw at Frickley - full report

Goalkeeper Sam Ashton saved a penalty as FC United held on for a goalless draw at Frickley Athletic in the Evo-Stik Premier Division on Tuesday night.

Ashton was the hero, saving a spot-kick for the second time this season, whilst Scott McManus was sent off for the second time this season.

The game was FC United’s first draw in the league this season and only their second overall. In a strange coincidence, the Reds’ only previous draw came at Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup second round when Ashton saved a penalty and McManus was sent off.

As well as the red card and the penalty, the match also saw some bizarre refereeing decisions and a good old bout of nonleague push and shove.

The Reds started the game brightly and could have been in the lead inside the first minute when a Jerome Wright cross just eluded Mike Norton with the goal at his mercy. Norton could have scored a few minutes later when broke clear on the right but his shot was wide.

As the half wore on, the home side started to get a foothold in the game with a shot knocked from the line as it was rolling in and Longstaff heading wide. FC United almost broke the deadlock on 20 minutes with a Wright free-kick that was fired straight at Simpson in the home goal.

Norton did have the ball in the net on 35 minutes but it was rightly ruled out for a push on the defender. Right on half-time, Jimmy Holden sent in a long cross from the right which was headed back into the area by Wright only for the defence to clear.

The second half started with Frickley on the attack with a shot that was narrowly wide. Despite this, it was FC United who should have taken the lead when Wright was sent clear on the left with only the keeper to beat. Only Jerome himself will know how he managed to send the ball wide when it seemed easier to score.

The game had its first major flashpoint shortly after when McManus tangled with Longstaff in the centre circle. Both players receiving a caution for the bout of handbags that followed.

McManus seemed to be being marked out by the home side as the bad guy, especially when Burbeary hit the ground off the ball. The referee, who was stood close by saw nothing untoward but the night turned worse from McManus shortly after he was penalised for a pull on a Frickley player in the box.

To compound matters, McManus received his second yellow. Happily for The Reds, Ashton saved the spot-kick and the follow up.

Following the penalty, the game was constantly stopped for a succession of fouls which bemused the benches of both teams.

Despite Frickley’s lowly league position, FC United will probably take this as a decent point away from home, considering the penalty save and playing out the last 20 minutes or so with 10 players.

Report by Steven Wood

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First Posted ~ 16:23 Wed 9 Feb 2011
News ID ~ 3403
Last Updated ~ 16:23 Wed 9 Feb 2011