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FC United get a point on the board with Tamworth draw - report & video

FC United of Manchester vs Tamworth FC from FCUM TV on Vimeo.

FC United won their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw against Tamworth at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon with Luke Ashworth volleying home a first half equaliser.

In a well fought and good natured game, both sides finished the match with 10 men as referee Peter Wright became the main attraction for the final 10 minutes with some curious decisions. With five minutes to go, captain Jerome Wright was given a straight red card for apparently stamping on an opponent whilst challenging for the ball. Moments later, Curtis Strong was dismissed for his second bookable offence – a mistimed challenge on Rory Fallon.

After narrowly losing the first two games of the season, the Reds were desperate to kick-start their campaign and 3,580 supporters packed into Broadhurst Park for the ground’s first ever competitive Saturday fixture.

FC United went a goal down after just three minutes and had to stage a fightback. Right-winger Elliott Durrell carved open the home defence by playing a one-two on the edge of the box with his captain, Paul Green and slotted the ball underneath Dave Carnell at the near post. Thankfully, Ashworth came to the rescue midway through the second half by volleying home a superb cross from the left Wright.

It was all one-way red traffic in the second half, United were so dominant after the break that they were unfortunate not to find a winner but creating clear cut chances does appear to be a concern so far this season.

That said, goalkeeper James Belshaw had to produce a superb save barely 10 minutes into the second half to deny Greg Daniels putting FC United into the lead with a well directed close range header.

The relentlessly Reds pressed forward throughout the second period and towards the end of the match Tamworth were on the ropes. The Lambs looked ready for the slaughter when referee Wright came to their rescue by reducing the Reds to 10 men.

It was hard to see from the stands whether FC United’s Wright had deliberately kicked out but the reaction from players on both sides suggested there wasn’t much in it. Obviously, the referee made what he felt was the right call but some of his previous decisions and the frequent production of his yellow card in the closing stages also added weight to the theory that Wright was hard done by. He must now serve a three match suspension.

With Karl Marginson’s side down to 10 men, they had to ease off going forward and instead settle for a draw. Overall, FC United will be reasonably pleased with the performance and result but they will know that they could have gained all three points. The most pleasing aspect is that they showed belief to bounce back from an early setback, rather than crumbling under the pressure.

One point from the first nine is obviously disappointing, however, in all three of their opening Vanarama National League North games, the Reds have demonstrated they can compete with their opponents, which bodes well. They must now turn the decent performances into points.

Website man of the match: Jerome Wright. The FC United captain led the side well. He could have done better for Tamworth’s goal but recovered to put it a commanding and energetic performance, which was capped off by providing a perfect cross for the equaliser, before being marred by an extremely debatable sending off.

Report by Matthew Haley

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First Posted ~ 18:39 Sat 15 Aug 2015
News ID ~ 6324
Last Updated ~ 15:06 Mon 17 Aug 2015