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United too strong for Nantwich

Former FC United hero Steve Torpey was in the crowd on Remembrance Day at Jackson Avenue to see the Reds brush aside title rivals Nantwich Town 3-0 and ease into Round Three of the North West Counties Challenge Cup.

It wasn’t as easy as the score line suggests though because the Dabbers were keen to have a crack at beating the men from Manchester and it took until the second half for Rhodri Giggs to break the deadlock before Stuart Rudd and captain David Chadwick put the tie beyond doubt.

Dave Brown was ably partnering Chadwick at the back as Rob Nugent was given a rest after needing stitches in a nasty head wound he received at Maine Road last week. A different partnership was tested out up front too with Simon Carden playing alongside Rudd because Rory Patterson will miss the FA Vase encounter with Salford next week due to picking up five yellow cards this season.

It was end to end stuff for most of the first half, Carden hit the post for United early on and Rudd later fired over the bar with a volley after being put through by Josh Howard. In between those chances, Sam Ashton had to make a point blank save from the hosts’ Adam Beasley.

Minutes before half time the Dabbers’ ‘keeper Rob Hackney had to pull out a stop which was just as impressive when he tipped a Rudd effort over the bar from close range after Giggs had crossed the ball from the left wing.

If Nantwich were starting to think that they had contained the threat of United, they were given a rude awakening in the second half because, after Karl Marginson’s talk at the interval, the Reds looked like a different side.

Slick passing and moving saw Giggs latch onto a through ball from Howard just three minutes in to the second half and the Welshman torn down the left wing before cutting into the box and firing home low with his right foot passed Beasley. The two wingers, who switched flanks at half time, were integral to the second half performance and caused the FA Vase holders no end of problems.

Less than ten minutes later, Howard was again the provider as he put Rudd through on goal. With two defenders still to beat the North West Counties’ top scorer still had it all to do, but as ever he made it look easy. Holding the ball up, he took his time to angle his body into the right position and then unleashed an unstoppable curling shot from 25 yards which flew into the top right hand corner.

With less than ten minutes to go Margy’s men were over running the home side and keen to add more to their tally. Carden was put through on goal but two covering defenders combined to dive in and send his shot looping up into the swirling wind and just wide of the post.

Giggs curled in the resulting corner from the left and Rudd headed against the bar, Chadwick was the quickest to react, bravely diving in to beat two defenders and the ‘keeper to volley the bar over the line from a yard out.

United could also have had a penalty late on when substitute Danny Allen followed up a saved Giggs effort and a defender pushed the ball out for a corner with part of his upper body, but the referee deemed it to be just a corner.

The Reds will now face a tricky away tie against Colne or Nelson in the next round, the two teams dumped United out of the Challenge Cup and the Division Two Trophy respectively last season.

Match information:

Nantwich Town
1 Rob Hackney
2 Murray McCulloch
3 Paul Taylor
4 Richard Smith
5 Mark Fitton
6 Phil Parkinson (Capt.)
7 Adam Beasley
8 Gyorgy Kiss
9 Andy Bott
10 Matt Blake
11 Michalis Chailis
12 Matthew Platt (for 11, 67 mins)
14 James Marrow (details to follow)
15 Ismael Reade (for 10, 85 mins)

FC United
1 Sam Ashton
2 Mathew Taylor
3 Alex Mortimer
4 Steven Spencer
5 David Chadwick (capt)
6 Dave Brown
7 Rhodri Giggs
8 Simon Carden
9 Stuart Rudd
10 Joshua Howard
11 Nick Platt
12 Danny Allen (for 11, 67 mins)
14 Gary Sampson (for 4, 81 mins)
15 Mike Lomax (for 3, 85 mins)

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First Posted ~ 12:41 Sun 12 Nov 2006
News ID ~ 666
Last Updated ~ 17:51 Fri 11 Oct 2013