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Last gasp United snatch draw at Buxton

An injury time equaliser by Mike Norton grabbed a priceless point for FC United at promotion rivals Buxton on Saturday afternoon as the Reds drew 2-2.

After picking up a point on the road midweek, the Reds’ visit to Silverlands was a another important fixture in a string of games against teams also contending for the play-offs.

FC United looked for a bright start as inside the first minute Jerome Wright battled well, carrying the ball from the left hand side into a more central position before playing in Simon Carden who was just beaten to the ball inside the box.

Any hopes of gaining an early advantage were however ruined in the third minute as the United defence looked to switch off, allowing Buxton’s Kieran Lugsden to convert for the home side, collecting an attempted clearance close to the dead-ball line and beating Sam Ashton from close range.

Despite Buxton’s lead, it was United who controlled the majority of the half. Norton found himself in a good position unmarked in the six-yard box and connected with an excellent cross from Lee Neville to put a goal-wards header just wide. A few half chances followed, but the Reds were unable to produce an end product before the break.

United showed desire from the starting whistle in the second half, getting the ball forward and continuing with decent passing play, however a mistake at the back gave Lugsden the opportunity to score his second, doubling Buxton’s advantage on 54 minutes. Ashton failed to deal with Dave Chadwick’s back-pass and the forward was able to bag himself a simple goal, robbing Ashton of the ball and heading it into the empty net.

A change in formation to 4-4-2 then gave United an extra attacking outlet as Ben Deegan was introduced, replacing Jimmy Holden to partner Norton upfront. Kyle Jacobs also came on for Richard Battersby in a like-for-like swap at right-back.

With around half an hour remaining, the ever industrious Norton pulled one back for the Reds as the striker connected with Wright’s corner on the 18 yard line and drilled a low volley through the crowded area, beating the keeper.

United continued to press, testing the Buxton back-line. Good work between Jacobs and Deegan down the right resulted in a cross to Norton who was closed down by some last-ditch defending by the home side.

As a lengthy added time of six minutes were announced, United’s efforts redoubled as it could be sensed that the only justice in the game was at least a draw. Buoyed by the magnificent travelling support, the Reds battled well and produced a magnificent end to the game as Norton levelled, burying a storming shot from just inside the area across the keeper and into the bottom right hand corner.

All eyes will now be on FC’s trip to Whitby on Wednesday as the Reds, now unbeaten in 11, will look to put more points on the board as the challenge for the play-offs intensifies.

Report by Victoria Fullen.

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First Posted ~ 21:10 Sun 20 Mar 2011
News ID ~ 3482
Last Updated ~ 21:10 Sun 20 Mar 2011