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FC United thrash Whitby Town - full report

FC United thrashed Whitby Town 4-0 at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon with goals coming from Jimmy Holden, Matthew Wolfenden, Mike Norton and an own goal by Ashley Lyth.

The Reds started the game strongly, pushing forward and having decent spells of passing play, leaving FC United goalkeeper Sam Ashton untested in the opening stages.

United’s early pressure paid off as Holden opened the scoring with little over a quarter of an hour on the clock. A corner ball was played in and cleared only as far as Holden whose spectacular volley from the edge of the area struck the angle of David Campbell’s right hand post and the crossbar before the ball dropped behind the keeper to give FC the lead.

The Reds continued to build on the attack and Jerome Wright and David Chadwick both forced the visiting keeper into action. Whitby’s first real attempt on goal came via Andrew Campbell who was able to produce a glancing header on target from inside the six yard box, however Ashton was untroubled and was in a good position to catch.

Despite beginning to offer more in the way of attack, the Seasiders were dealt a blow with around 40 minutes gone when captain Anthony Hackworth needed to be stretchered off after stumbling inside the centre circle, appearing to land awkwardly on his ankle.

The visitors’ best chance of the half came close to the break as the ball was played from the left across to the far post. Andrew Campbell latched onto the cross which evaded Chadwick and looked to have Ashton beaten from close range, however the striker was unable to convert the opportunity as his header hit the bar.

An excellent attacking move resulted in FC United’s second goal on the stroke of half time. An accurate pass from Jake Cottrell into the path of Wright allowed the winger to storm down the left, beat the fullback and play in a superb cross from close to the by-line. Wolfenden was on hand inside the box to connect with the cross and poke the ball beyond the keeper to double the advantage.

Early into the second half, Scott McManus, after picking up a knock earlier in the game, was replaced by Nicky Platt. Matthew Tierney, a graduate of the youth team, then proved capable and versatile by dropping back to fill in at centre-half alongside Chadwick for the remainder of the encounter.

The industrious Norton was next on the score-sheet as United’s lone striker beat the offside trap to run one-on-one with Campbell following a first-time ball by Lee Neville. As the keeper rushed off his line, Norton coolly slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner from just inside the area.

With 25 minutes to go and United sitting on a comfortable three goal cushion, manager Karl Marginson changed the team around slightly, giving a debut appearance to newly-signed midfielder Oliver Devenney who came on in place of Cottrell and settled into the game well. Richard Battersby, on his return for the club, also gave way to Carlos Roca.

As the match entered time added on, FC United capped off a good afternoon’s performance with a fourth goal. Chadwick’s header from close range was parried then cleared only as far as Wolfenden who drilled the ball back in. Norton slid in at the far post to knock the ball over the line; however in a last-ditch attempt to clear, Whitby’s full-back Lyth inadvertently put the ball over his own line.

As the final scoreline reflects, the Reds were much the better side for the majority of the game, linking up well and demonstrating good strength in depth within the squad.

All eyes are now on the visit of Chasetown on Wednesday which has undoubtedly become a six-pointer as FC United aim to produce a spring-time surge towards the play-off zone. A win in midweek could put the Reds up to seventh place.

Report by Victoria Fullen.

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First Posted ~ 13:45 Mon 14 Feb 2011
News ID ~ 3412
Last Updated ~ 13:45 Mon 14 Feb 2011