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Unlucky 13 for Reds

FC United’s 100% record was blown apart as Salford City snatched a last gasp 2-1 victory with two late, late goals in an explosive encounter in front of 4,058 at The Willows.

It turned out to be unlucky 13 for United as Salford put an
end to the Reds’ 12 game unbeaten run and stopped them achieving the best ever start to a North West Counties Division One season.

A wet night at The Willows saw both sides struggle to find their footing on a skiddy surface early on. David Chadwick and Robert Nugent were kept busy at the back and the home side were unlucky not to take the lead when Whitehead’s 30 yard screamer hit the bar with Sam Ashton beaten.

United’s first real opportunity came after 25 minutes. Chadwick found himself unmarked from a Josh Howard corner, but the captain’s header sailed slowly wide.

With half time approaching, Rory Patterson beat three men with extraordinary ease down the right wing before moving infield and into the box. He seemed sure to score before a vital goal line clearance from McNally saved Salford’s blushes.

Both sides fought hard in the second half and even banner waving pitch invaders couldn’t divert attention away from what was becoming a gripping battle.

After nearly 80 minutes of a tough tackling stalemate, Howard looked to have grabbed all three points for the Reds when he latched on to Sam Ashton’s free kick over the top before finishing calmly to make it 1-0.

But Salford had other ideas. With seconds left on the clock, City won a free kick roughly 25 yards out and substitute Nick Bagguley stepped up to curl it magnificently round the wall and into the right hand corner of Ashton’s goal.

A draw could well have been the fair result as both teams had fought well and had an equal amount of chances, but Salford threw men forwards for a late winner and there was a crushing inevitability that it would be the home side that would snatched it at the end.

Deep into injury time, a tired looking United switched off allowing Nick Robinson to wrestle his way on to a cross field ball three minutes into time added on before slipping it past Ashton to send Salford away happy.

Despite the uncharacteristic defeat, a bigger concern of the night could well be injuries to Nugent and Patterson, who both had to be substituted, ahead of the FA Vase First Round trip to Padiham. News on this will be released when it is available.

Mark Swanwick

Match Information:

Salford City
1. A Moores
2. S Whitehead
3. R Watson
4. A Pendlebury
5. A Watson
6. M Burke
7. L McNally
8. D Whitehead
9. J Robinson
10. N Robinson
11. M Eckersley
12. W Bancroft (10, 85)
14. S Moses (3, 65)
15. J Bagguley (7, 65)

Goals: Bagguley 89, N Robinson 90

FC United
1. S Ashton
2. M Taylor
3. A Mortimer
4. S Spencer
5. D Chadwick (C)
6. R Nugent
7. J Howard
8. W Ahern
9. S Rudd
10. A Orr
11. R Patterson

12. R Giggs (10, 79)
14. S Carden (11, 62)
15. S Smith (6, 40)

Goal: Howard 80

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First Posted ~ 00:50 Wed 4 Oct 2006
News ID ~ 565
Last Updated ~ 17:34 Fri 11 Oct 2013