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Reds draw eight goal thriller

Former FC United captain Billy McCartney scored a penalty five minutes from time to snatch a point for Trafford in a pulsating contest at Gigg Lane after a Rory Patterson hat-trick appeared to have won it for the champions.

United had looked comfortable and were leading for nearly 80 minutes of the match until McCartney sealed an unlikely come back from the spot.

The Reds broke the deadlock after just six minutes when Stuart Rudd slotted home a penalty after a handball by Lee Southwood in the box. An onslaught didn’t materialise though as the visitors defended well despite the early setback and it stayed 1-0 until the interval.

If Trafford thought the Reds were quick out of the blocks in the first half, they were even faster beginning the second. Less than two minutes after the restart, Jerome Wright found himself in the box and produced a fine point blank save from the ’keeper Damien Rooney, but Rory Patterson was on hand to collect the rebound and fire home the second of the night.

Just over ten minutes later though and Trafford got themselves on the scoresheet and in to the tie with a well taken goal from Liam Ralph.

Not to be perturbed, United pressed forward and Patterson restored the two goal cushion less than five minutes later by charging down a clearance from Rooney in front of the Manchester Road End.

Just after the hour, with one eye surely on next week’s D-Zine League Challenge Cup Final, manager Karl Marginson made three changes bringing on Dave Swarbrick, Nicky Platt and veteran player coach Darren Lyons for Rhodri Giggs, Gary Sampson and Matty Taylor.

Swarbrick soon made an impacted when he played a lovely defence-splitting diagonal through ball to Patterson who raced clear down the right and made no mistake to seal his hat-trick. There was a suspicion of off-side and the Trafford defenders exchanged words with the referee’s assistant but the goal stood.

At 4-1 the game should really have been won, but all credit to Trafford they dug deep and became the first team to ever score four against United in a competitive match.

Substitutes Mark Fitton and John Bluck started the fight back with 15 minutes to go and within a 10 minutes spell Trafford had pulled themselves level much to the astonishment of the 1,717 fans inside Gig Lane.

Fitton collected a throw from the left and drove the ball into the opposite corner from 15 yards and seven minutes later Bluck struck a great free kick just inside the upright to make it 4-3.

Five minutes later, the referee adjudged that John Ogden had fouled Glyn Barker in a crowded goal mouth melee. McCartney stepped up to put the penalty to left and just out of the reach of the young ’keeper.

Captain David Chadwick could have snatched it at the end when his injury time header hit the bar, but the 4-4 scoreline was probably a fair reflection of another thoroughly entertaining match.

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First Posted ~ 00:18 Fri 27 Apr 2007
News ID ~ 950
Last Updated ~ 00:18 Fri 27 Apr 2007