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Christmas cracker as FC United come back to win five goal thriller against Salford

Christmas cracker as FC United come back to win five goal thriller against Salford

FC United fought back from 2-1 down at halftime to beat top of the table Salford City 3-2 in front of 3,041 supporters at the ’Broadhurst Fortress’ on Boxing Day thanks to goals from Connor McCarthy, Zac Corbett and a late winner by player-manager Tom Greaves.

The visitors played almost half the match with 10 men as Scott Burton was dismissed after he crocked United midfielder Steve Irwin with a dangerous tackle just moments into the second half.

With the man advantage gladly accepted, the rampant Reds went on to extend their formidable unbeaten home record to nine matches in all competitions with a thoroughly deserved and thrilling eighth victory in four months at Broadhurst Park.

The Ammies were big favourites going into the local derby due to being comfortably six points clear at the top of the Vanarama National League North. They went ahead twice in the first half as their strength and power got the better of the hosts.

But whilst the visitors tried to steamroll their way to victory with brute force, FC United got the ball on the deck and played some fantastic passing football which reaped dividends.

It was a trademark FC United performance - going 1-0 down inside the first 10 minutes before fighting back to snatch a late winner to send the boisterous Red Army around the ground into ecstasy.

The Reds were caught sleeping by their wealthy neighbours when Michael Nottingham crossed a ball to the back post for Ritchie Allen to fire back across goal into the bottom right corner.

Salford largely controlled the first 20 minutes and the early signs looked ominous. However, midway through the first half United started to come into the match with some tidy link up play. Greaves, Irwin, McCarthy and Kieran Glynn began to display signs of how the afternoon would unfold.

On 26 minutes, Greaves had a header saved after a cross from strike-partner McCarthy but it didn’t matter as three minutes later United were level. The unmarked McCarthy headed home a deflected Craig Lindfield cross at the back post.

But United were level for no more than 90 seconds. The Ammies quickly won a free-kick on the right which fullback Ibou Touray whipped high into the danger zone for Lois Maynard to rise above a crowd of players and head home past a stranded Lloyd Allinson.

The visitors had their noses in front at the break in what was an intriguing first half and they might have hoped to have pushed on in the second half. However, once the Ammies were reduced to 10 men, they were barely a match for the Reds.

Salford tried to shut up shop for 45 minutes but it was a tactic that simply wouldn’t work as the electric atmosphere inside Broadhurst Park went up a notch. The Reds were urged to attack the St Mary’s Road End at every opportunity.

And attack they did. Again and again. The Reds were piling forward with purpose, in particular Glynn and left wingback Tom Walker, who came into his own in the second half.

Around the hour mark, United forced three consecutive corners. Moments later, Max Crocombe got down well to tip a McCarthy effort round the post. Salford we’re struggling to cope with the pressure but were holding out. It wouldn’t last.

With 16 minutes to go, Walker raced down the left again and when his cross was only partially cleared to the edge of the box, Corbett smashed the ball beautifully past two despairing defenders and Crocombe into the roof of the net for the equaliser.

Broadhurst Park was rocking and the match was only going to go one way after that. With nine minutes to go, Irwin released Walker down the left and his chipped cross to the back post eluded Crocombe. Who else but Greaves was there to head home the winner as his season continues to read like a storyline from Roy of the Rovers. (If you’re a younger reader, maybe ask your dad. Or Google.)

The result moves FC United up to 13th in the table, seven points from the play-off places and five points above the relegation zone. Next up, it’s the return fixture at Salford on New Year’s Day.

Report by Matthew Haley

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First Posted ~ 17:39 Tue 26 Dec 2017
News ID ~ 7732
Last Updated ~ 15:52 Mon 1 Jan 2018