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FC United up to sixth with win over Worksop - full report

A 2-1 victory over Worksop Town saw FC United move above Marine into sixth place on Saturday afternoon with goals from Mike Norton and an own goal from James Cotterill.

Norton got the Reds ahead moments before half-time before on-loan striker Luke Beckett grabbed an equaliser on the hour. However, Worksop’s joy was short lived as a minute later United were back in the lead. Good work by Matthew Tierney saw a dangerous ball into the box which the hapless Cotterill turned over the line.

It wasn’t plain-sailing though as United needed goalkeeper Sam Ashton to be at his acrobatic best right at the death to tip a goal-bound header onto the bar from point blank range.

The first of several ‘six pointers’ in the run in, United knew they had to take the game by the scruff of the neck and continue their recent run, which now stands at nine games without defeat and it was Untied who began the brighter pressing the visitors from the offset.

Little over ten minutes in and United found themselves in danger as Beckett was through one-on-one with Ashton but David Chadwick managed to get back and take the ball off the Gainsborough Trinity striker with a sliding tackle which gave the 1,886 in attendance a shot in the arm and lifted the atmosphere.

Most of the first period followed the script of United pressing and Worksop using a physical side to try and negate the Reds’ good play on the ball. Two crunching tackles on Norton in the space of a minute being the prime example of that tactic.

Karl Marginson’s side kept the pressure on and it was Norton who had the last laugh of the first-half as he gave United the lead just before the break, rising well in the box to head home a Matthew Wolfenden cross from the right. It was Norton’s 22nd goal of what’s been an impressive debut season.

The second half started in much the same way, United going forward and never looking like the game was anything like the 50/50 contest it was being billed as prior to the match.

Norton was played through by Nicky Platt but saw his effort saved by Worksop ‘keeper John Worsnop and moments later Norton got the ball on the right of the box, cut inside and saw his effort again parried by Worsnop. The loose ball found its way to the ever impressive Tierney but his follow up shot was also saved by Worsnop.

Despite the ample share of possession, United couldn’t make the chances count and the Reds became a victim of that. A cross from the left was headed back across goal and Beckett pounced to level the scores on the hour.

A few times earlier in the season such a goal may have deflated the Reds but now, buoyed on a superb run of form and confidence in their own abilities, United took the ball from kick-off and took the lead once more.

Good work from Tierney on the right saw him fire two balls across goal. The first was cleared back out to him which allowed him to drill a second attempt across the six yard box. Worksop defender Cotterill tried to clear the ball at the near post but inexplicable deflected it into his own net giving United the lead back almost straight away.

United didn’t rest on their laurels and pushed on for another goal. The Reds were looking good going forward and welcomed back Jerome Wright for about half an hour in his first game in three weeks. As ever Wright used his pace to cause problems for the opposition fullbacks.

But United didn’t get the goal that would have meant a two goal cushion and were nearly put to the sword by Beckett once more in the closing minutes. The big striker was given a completely free header from just a couple of yards out. It should have been the equaliser but somehow Ashton instinctively and acrobatically pushed the ball onto the bar, sealing all three points.

The win sees United move up to sixth in the league and now for another two ‘six point’ games away to North Ferriby on Tuesday and then Buxton; who will no doubt be over the moon with their 2-1 victory over league leaders Halifax, next Saturday.

Report by Craig Phillips

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First Posted ~ 15:50 Sun 13 Mar 2011
News ID ~ 3473
Last Updated ~ 15:50 Sun 13 Mar 2011