Michael Fowler’s equaliser with 10 minutes remaining was enough to maintain FC United’s unbeaten start to the season as they took a point away from a competitive 2-2 draw against Hyde United at Ewen Fields on Tuesday evening.
Regan Linney got FC United off to the perfect start - putting the visitors a goal to the good inside 10 minutes. However, the hosts soon turned the game on its head and were 2-1 up by halftime before Fowler rescued a point for the Reds.
It had looked like three points might be a forgone conclusion for Neil Reynold’s side with how they started the game. Regan Linney hit the post minutes moments before he opened to the scoring with a well-placed effort into the bottom right hand corner after eight minutes.
But the home team showed great desire and fight to get back into the game and were the team on top for most of the match. Tigers winger Paddy Lane caused all sorts of problems for the FC defence from the left.
The home team looked to utilise his pace on that flank at every available opportunity and just 11 minutes after going behind Liam Tongue was played in to coolly put the ball past Dan Lavercombe in the FC goal to make it 1-1.
Just as it seemed the teams would go in level at the break, Lane got the goal that his first half performance merited. FC United were caught out and punished after sloppily playing the ball out from the back - Lane firing home to put the Tigers 2-1 up at the break.
In the second half it was again the home team who came out quickly, looking fired up to follow up an impressive 0-0 draw against title favourites South Shields at the weekend.
It looked like FC Unied didn’t have an answer to Hyde, who closed everything down straight away and forced the FC defence and midfield into several rushed passes and errors.
The problem FC had was that they weren’t creating any clear-cut chances. Even as the home team’s intensity dropped off a little throughout the second half, the Reds didn’t really look like creating much that was going to trouble the home goalkeeper.
As the game moved into the last 10 minutes, opportunity presented itself via a bit of old route one style football. A long ball found the head of Dan Cockerline who nodded it into Fowler’s path. The Fleetwood Town loanee unleashed a ferocious volley that looked even more impressive as it smashed into the net off the goal frame.
There was even opportunity for FC to grab all three points at the end of the game, as Cockerline put an effort into the side netting, but in all honesty it would have been very unfair on the home team if the Reds had stolen the three points at the death.
The draw makes it three draws from three games in the league so far this season, so put your own optimistic or pessimistic spin on that! We now look forward to a trip (well the players do, not the fans) to another near neighbour, Curzon Ashton, in the Emirates FA Cup second qualifying round this Saturday.
Website man of the match: Dan Cockerline – never stopped working, even when up front on his own for large parts of the game. Caused problems with his size throughout the game.
Report by Craig Phillips