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Two off as Reds earn victory

Stuart Rudd, Jerome Wright and Rhodri Giggs made sure that FC United didn’t live to regret a hatful of wasted chances to beat Division One strugglers Formby 3-1 at Skelmersdale’s Ashley Travel Stadium after both sides were reduced to ten men early in the second half.

The Reds dominated the first half but found themselves going into the interval at one apiece as they failed to take full advantage and not long after the restart Rory Patterson was sent off for a late challenge on the Squirrels ‘keeper. The home side’s fullback Lee Muller also saw red after trying to punch Patterson in the melee that followed.

United had been in full flow as soon as the game started on the slick playing surface with Josh Howard and Wright looking particularly dangerous. Wright hit the post on 12 minutes after combining well with Patterson and minutes later the former Maine Road winger forced a fine save when he got on the end of a Howard cross from the right flank.

With a number of chances going begging, the deadlock was finally broken in the 26 minute by top scorer Stuart Rudd, who was back on his old stomping ground for the first time since signing for United in the summer.

Wright found Patterson who weaved in between two defenders before miss-cueing a shot which should have been easily cleared. It wasn’t and Rudd pounced, albeit with an equally scuffed shot, to send the ball trickling across the goal line.

Simon Carden had a good effort cleared off the line and United were enjoying plenty of possession but they were failing to covert it in to the crucial second goal. Then, seven minutes before the break, Formby hit a long ball over the top which found the visiting back four napping and striker Paul Wordley raced clear to fire it neatly past Sam Ashton.

The Merseysiders grew in confidence in the second half and began to press but still the Reds seemed to have the better chances. Wright and Howard again combined well on 55 minutes to thread the ball through to Carden but he could only shoot wide.

Just after the hour though, Wright decided to go it alone. He jinked around one defender and then two before expertly drilling the ball low and hard into the bottom corner to the delight of the travelling red army.

Formby pushed on in search of an equaliser and in fairness, although they lacked some cutting edge, they looked like a team that should be much higher up the table.

But just as United looked like they might have to hold on for a narrow victory, Rudd rose above all the defence to flick on a header to Giggs who raced clear and slotted home the third two minutes in to injury time.

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First Posted ~ 21:43 Wed 21 Mar 2007
News ID ~ 899
Last Updated ~ 17:51 Fri 11 Oct 2013