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Nine men Reds out of Vase

A last minute extra time winner by Quorn saw FC United crash out of the FA Vase 3-2 but the main talking point at Gigg Lane was referee M Duncan who sent off Liam Coyne and Josh Howard for seemingly innocuous incidents.

The Reds put in a heroic performance as they battled with nine men for the majority of the second half followed by another 30 minutes of extra time, but Quorn stole it at the death to break United’s hearts and smash the dream of a trip to Wembley.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat as even with nine men United pushed Quorn all the way and they looked to have nicked an against all odds victory when Phil Power was credited as bundling the ball over the line with less than five minutes to go to give the Reds the lead.

But fair play to the Leicestershire side they didn’t let their heads go down and grabbed an instant equaliser through Jermaine Gordon before substitute Nigel Julien’s stunning 25 yard drive into the top corner dumped United out with virtually the last kick of the game in extra time.

Paul White had given the visitors an early lead with an impressive left footed half-volley from the edge of the box after United ‘keeper Sam Ashton had punched away a swirling cross from underneath his crossbar.

Less than ten minutes later though, captain Rory Patterson got Margy’s men level by tapping home the rebound off Quorn ‘keeper Michael Payne who had done well to save a fierce effort by top scorer Stuart Rudd.

Similar to Atherton Collieries, the Midland Football Alliance side didn’t allow United the time and space that they have enjoyed in recent weeks at home and going into the interval at one a piece was a fair reflection of the first 45 minutes.

However, as usual Margy’s team talk and the opportunity to attack towards the ever raucous Manchester Road End seemed to combine to make the Reds move up a gear. The usually clinical Simon Carden had a golden opportunity to get the second early on in the second half as he was put through on goal, but he fired straight at Payne and the ‘keeper smothered the ball as Carden attempted to slot home the rebound.

However, in the 50th minute the game swung in Quorn’s favour when Coyne, deputising for suspended club captain David Chadwick, fell victim to what can at best be described as a piece of gamesmanship.

A melee erupted when Quorn captain Robert Betts reacted angrily to hard challenge from Rhodri Giggs. Betts retaliated by kicking the prostrate Giggs several times after the ball had gone out of play. Upon seeing this several United players waded over and began exchanging pushes and shoves with the opposition.

Just as referee Duncan was trying to bring the situation under control, Coyne foolishly ran over and pushed Jermaine Gordon in the midriff. Sensing the opportunity to gain an advantage the big centre forward hit the deck faster than you could say theatrical.

Coyne’s push appeared only slightly worse than what a dozen players had done seconds earlier but Gordon’s reaction seemed to convince the referee, who handed out a total of nine yellow cards, that it warranted a straight red card. Afterwards the instigator of the whole incident Betts received just a yellow and was able to walk back to his team mates grinning about the outcome of the flashpoint.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, United were reduced to nine men not long after the hour when Howard, who was booked in the first half for dissent, was given a second yellow card for what appeared to be a run of the mill foul in the centre of the park.

The Reds were really up against it and with a two man disadvantage with more than 20 minutes to go defeat looked pretty inevitable. But every man in a red shirt dug deep to put in arguably the most amazing performance ever displayed by the fledgling club.

A draw would have been more than respectable, but United had other ideas. With less than five minutes to go Rudd ran over to the touch line to launch a long throw into the box which caused panic in the visiting defence. A goalmouth scramble ensued and substitute Power bundled the ball past the ‘keeper and towards goal from a yard out. It was debatable whether it had crossed line but during chaotic appeals from both sides quick thinking Rob Nugent slammed the clearance home to make sure.

If Gigg Lane had a roof, Bury FC would be billing the FC United to fix it back on because at this point the 1,858 faithful went absolutely mental. The delirium was short lived though as Quorn replied pretty much instantly to take the tie in to extra time before cruelly delivering the hammer blow half an hour later against nine heroes who had put in probably one of the proudest displays ever to be witnessed on a football pitch.

Team line ups:

FC United
1 Sam Ashton
2 Mathew Taylor
3 Alex Mortimer
4 Steven Spencer
5 Liam Coyne
6 Robert Nugent
7 Rhodri Giggs
8 Simon Carden
9 Stuart Rudd
10 Joshua Howard
11 Rory Patterson (capt)
12 Nick Platt (for 7, 57 mins)
13 Ogden John
14 Shaun Roscoe
15 Danny Allen
16 Phil Power (for 8, 73 mins)

Quorn FC
1 Michael Payne
2 Nicholas Green
3 Adam Wigley
4 Robert Betts (Capt.)
5 Michael Smith
6 Stuart Hamilton
7 Steven Evans
8 Jermaine Gordon
9 Athur Appleton
10 Paul White
11 Adam Layfield
12 Gary Griffiths
13/17 Craig Jones (for 1, 89 mins)
14 Nigel Julien (for 11,76)
15 Scott Lower
16 Gavin O’Toole

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First Posted ~ 22:44 Sun 10 Dec 2006
News ID ~ 735
Last Updated ~ 17:51 Fri 11 Oct 2013