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Ten men United up to third with thrashing of Frickley

FC United moved back up to third place after coming from 1-0 down to win 4-1 with ten men against Frickley Athletic on Wednesday night with goals from Jerome Wright, Scott McManus, Mike Norton and Ben Deegan.

Centre-back Karl Munroe was sent off with just over 20 minutes played for conceding a penalty and the visitors took the lead from the spot. However, the Reds hit back in typically emphatic fashion to gain a victory which takes them to within three points of second placed Colwyn Bay with a game in hand.

Ashley Burbeary broke the deadlock for the West Yorkshire side on 22 minutes but despite the double setback United equalised 15 minutes later through Wright to make it level at the break.

Seven minutes into the second half, McManus headed home his first goal for FC United and 11 minutes later Norton notched his 30th goal of the season. The rampant Reds then hit the woodwork twice before substitute Deegan scored the club’s 700th competitive goal in the final minute.

United began the game looking to reclaim the third spot Buxton had taken the evening before as the season draws into its final week and a half. The Reds began their task by controlling the game through good possession early on.

United had a good shout for a penalty turn down as Frickley left back James Kay seemed to deny Matthew Wolfenden a passage through on goal with his arm but the cries of handball were turned down by the referee.

The best early opportunity came when, after some good possession, United moved the ball out to Nicky Platt, whose effort from 25 yards just skimmed the visitor’s crossbar. It looked though like United would take the lead sooner rather than later.

But Frickley looked to throw a spanner in the works as Munroe seemed to be in a bit of a kerfuffle as he brought down Burbeary in the box and was shown a straight red for his troubles. Burbeary got to his feet and sent Sam Ashton the wrong way to put the visiting team a goal to the good.

But in true United fashion the Reds showed a never say die attitude and kept the red flag flying high as they got the equaliser just before half-time. A good piece of holding up at the edge of the box saw Norton with his back to goal. He knocked the ball back to the right flank where substitute Kyle Jacobs floated a ball into the box which was bundled in by Jerome Wright to bring United level.

In the second half it would have been hard to say that United were the team with only ten men as it was the Reds who pressed on looking to take the game to their opponents. Within seven minutes of the restart McManus rose well from a Platt corner from the left and headed home to give United a 2-1 lead.

Wright just couldn’t get enough on a Wolfenden cross and Platt stumbled his way through the visiting defence before bungling over from inside the area as United looked for the two goal cushion.

Frickley nearly made United pay for not converting either of the good chances when a free-kick near the corner flag provided a goal mouth scramble which saw United clear their lines… just.

The result was put beyond doubt as Norton got his obligatory goal in the game, again some good work on the ball saw McManus chip a ball forward for Wright and he hooked a first time cross over his shoulder into the box. Norton didn’t look the favourite to win the ball against Frickley ‘keeper Ben Simpson but the striker rose well to head in off the far post and put United 3-1 up.

Margy used the cushion to rest the hard working Norton and brought on Deegan who was given nothing short of a heroes reception for his penalty saving antics in the previous match. Deegan showed his versatility in playing at the opposite end of the pitch for this match and should have had a goal sooner than he eventually did when he turned on the ball in the box and just shot wide of Simpson’s post.

A flurry of half chances came United’s way with the best falling to Jake Cottrell and Deegan. Cottrell hit the upright with a thunderous low drive from 25 yards after Frickley had failed to clear their lines. And Deegan who must have wondered what he had to do to get on the scoresheet as he connected with a cross that hit the base of the post and bounced out.

But Deegan did get his goal, and the club’s 700th, in the final minute rushing into the box late to finish off a beautiful flowing United move that saw passing football move the ball around the pitch. Cottrell played it out wide to Wright and the winger played it in from the left for ‘England’s number one’ to squeeze in and give the ten men an emphatic 4-1 victory that saw them move back to third and put the pressure on second placed Colwyn Bay.

Report by Craig Phillips

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First Posted ~ 13:15 Fri 15 Apr 2011
News ID ~ 3536
Last Updated ~ 13:15 Fri 15 Apr 2011