7.45pm Tuesday 10th March 2015
EvoStik League Premier Division
Tameside Stadium, Richmond Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne, OL7 9HG
|FC United of Manchester ||2 - 2||Ilkeston FC|
|Wright 6 (pen)|
| ||Williams 40|
|FC United of Manchester|
1 David Carnell
2 Liam Brownhill
3 Shelton Payne
4 Dave Birch (capt)
5 Lewis Lacy
6 Luke Ashworth
7 Matthew Wolfenden
8 Rory Fallon
9 Greg Daniels
10 Jerome Wright
11 Craig Lindfield
12 Tom Greaves (for 3, 64 mins)
15 Chris Lynch (for 6, 70 mins)
17 Thomas Brown (for 7, 58 mins)
1 Jordan Smith
2 Danny Gordon
3 James Reid
4 Lawrence Gorman
5 Joe Burgess
6 Jack Lane
7 David Morgan (capt)
8 Callum Chettle
9 Jake Wright
10 Michael Williams
11 Rai Simons
14 Eddy Samba (for 9, 73 mins)
15 Curtis Burrows (for 2, 90 mins)
17 Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson (for11, 62)
FC United remain four points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division after drawing 2-2 with fourth placed Ilkeston at the Tameside Stadium on Tuesday night in front of 2,443 supporters.
Substitute Tom Greaves rescued a precious point with an equaliser six minutes from the death after the Robins had fought back from going 1-0 down inside the first 10 minutes to a Jerome Wright penalty.
Within seconds of Greaves equalising, another goal went FC United’s way as Frickley Athletic equalised up the road at Hurst Cross against second place Ashton United, meaning the league table looks virtually the same as it did before Tuesday’s matches.
FC United started brightly and could have been two or three up inside the first 25 minutes but the visitors played their way back into the game. Michael Williams equalised two minutes before the break with a sweet strike and a James Reid free-kick put Ilkeston ahead eight minutes into the second half. However, Greaves once again came to the rescue for Karl Marginson’s side, this time with his 23rd goal of the season.
United had raced out of the blocks and should have been one up early on when Shelton Payne saw his effort tipped wide of the far post by Ilkeston ’keeper Jordan Smith before they were awarded a penalty with just 10 minutes on the clock. None of the players appealed or seemed to know why the referee awarded the spot-kick but it was for dangerous play when an Ilkeston player led with his elbow whilst challenging Greg Daniels in the air. Regardless of the reason, Wright stepped up and fired the penalty low and hard down the middle, almost seeing his effort stopped by Smith’s legs before it found its way over the line to give United an early lead.
With the momentum very much behind them, it appeared FC United would go on to stretch their lead. Craig Lindfield and Payne both came close not long after the goal. But the second goal couldn’t be found and this allowed the visitors, who were one of the best sides to visit us this season, a way back into the game.
A goal either side of the break gave Ilkeston the lead. Firstly, Williams finished a great passing move by firing past Carnell just moments before half time and then six minutes Reid saw his free-kick find the bottom right hand corner. A 2-1 scoreline would see Ilkeston move just two points behind FC United in the league standings.
From this point the game had a real cup tie feel about it with United taking to the front foot to find a way back into the match, roared on by the crowd with every attack. The combination of Liam Brownhill and Rory Fallon on the right and the quality of balls they were playing into the box was always going to be a big factor in the game.
In need for a goal, the Reds looked once more to Greaves who came off the bench to replace Payne. It was a roll of the dice which paid off as Greaves managed to get to a Fallon ball from the right and fire home with just six minutes remaining.
Despite the fact that FC United trailed for much of the second half, there was a sense of disappointment from the players as it was them who had pushed for the majority of the second period. Whilst the chasing pack gained no ground this evening, the feeling was that if the equaliser had come earlier, the game was there for the taking.
However, it was a good solid point against a team who will still be right in the mix come the end of April, and with nobody getting any closer to FC United despite us dropping points it has to be said it wasn’t too bad a night’s work on top of it being a really good football match.
FC United’s march towards promotion travels to Halesowen Town at weekend, before we welcome another one of the chasing pack in Workington next Tuesday.
Website man of the match: Rory Fallon - linked up well with Brownhill on the right and his final ball into the box was always a danger to the visiting defence.
Report by Craig Phillips