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Match Details      

7.45pm Tuesday 17th February 2015

EvoStik League Premier Division

Tameside Stadium, Richmond Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne, OL7 9HG

FC United of Manchester 3 - 0Ashton United
Greaves 70, 79
Brownhill 90 (+1)

Attendance: 2,273

FC United of Manchester
1 David Carnell
2 Liam Brownhill
3 Thomas Brown
4 Dave Birch (capt)
5 Lewis Lacy
6 Luke Ashworth
7 Matthew Wolfenden
8 Tom Greaves
9 Shelton Payne
10 Jerome Wright
11 Craig Lindfield Yellow Card

12 Greg Daniels (for 7, 55 mins)
15 Callum Byrne (for 3, 63 mins)
17 Rory Fallon (for 11, 83 mins)
Ashton United
1 Paul Phillips
2 Sam Egerton
3 Greg Pearson
4 Jay Gorton (capt)
5 Jack Higgins
6 Ash Young
7 Lee Rick
8 Gary Gee
9 Dale Johnson
10 Martin Pilkington
11 Kayde Coppin

12 Kevin Leadbetter (for 7, 71 mins)
14 Michael Oates (for 3, 78 mins)
15 Martin Hill (for 10, 71 mins)

Match Report

FC United moved up to second place in the Evo-Stik Premier Division with a 3-0 win over Ashton United at the Tameside Stadium on Tuesday night in front of the highest home attendance of the season - 2,273.

A last minute Liam Brownhill curler put the icing on the cake after a second half brace from Tom Greaves had made sure of victory. Our eighth consecutive league win puts the Reds five points behind league leaders Skelmersdale with seven games in hand.

After a cagey and uneventful first half between two evenly matched promotion rivals, FC United sprung into life during the last half an hour of the contest shortly after substitutes Greg Daniels and Callum Byrne replaced Matthew Wolfenden and Tom Brown. A backwards header from Greaves broke the deadlock with 20 minutes remaining. Centre-back Luke Ashworth headed a Craig Lindfield corner back to the near post and Greaves was on hand to steer the ball in for 1-0.

Nine minutes later, the Reds doubled the lead. Lindfield was again involved. The winger rose above everyone else on the halfway line to flick-on a goal-kick by Dave Carnell for Greaves to beat the offside trap and latch onto the ball. The striker raced into the box, cut inside and used the outside of his right foot to place an unstoppable shot into the far corner for his 20th goal of the season. 2-0.

FC United piled on the pressure and the stunned Robins were on the ropes. If it had been a boxing match, the referee would probably have stopped the bout, such was the speed of the Reds attacks cutting through the weary defence.

Moments after the second goal, Lindfield thought he’d grabbed the all-important third to send Karl Marginson’s side second in the league when he tapped in a Daniels’ cross at the far post. However, the referee’s assistant deemed the former Liverpool man to be in an off-side position and FC United were back down to third.

It didn’t matter. With 90 minutes on the clock, the Reds bagged the third in style. After good build up play by Byrne and Daniels, Brownhill produced a sublime finish from just inside the penalty area. The FC United right-back evaded the attention of his rather talkative marker, Kayde Coppin to find enough time and space inside the box to curl the ball over goalkeeper Paul Phillips, into the roof of net.

It was a masterclass in being ruthless in front of goal. The only clear cut chance of the game that FC United didn’t put away was just after the half hour mark when Greaves shot at the legs of Phillips from 12 yards out. The Reds top-scorer was clearly still warming up at this point whilst giving Ashton a warning of what was to come.

The Robins will wonder what might have been after failing to convert two good chances early in the second half but, overall, they can have no complaints as they barely registered a shot on target. The Robins’ best efforts were when Dale Johnson fizzed an effort across goal after the restart and, moments later, Carnell had to be alert to smother a good move between Johnson and Martin Pilkington.

As such, the result was just reward for FC United for sticking to their task against a well organised visiting side that was often content to sit back and try to hit the Reds with long, high balls over the top. The tactic didn’t work for Ashton though as centre-backs Ashworth and Lewis Lacy put in another virtually flawless performance, aided by captain Dave Birch sitting in front of them, meaning Carnell barely had to make a save all night. The Reds then took their second half chances with aplomb.

Website man of the match: Luke Ashworth. The young centre-back has come of age and was composure personified throughout. He dealt with high balls, long balls and pacey runs forward all night long before calmly getting the ball on the deck, allowing his teammates to play passing football from the back.

Report by Matthew Haley

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