7.45pm Wednesday 3rd December 2014
Bower Fold, Mottram Road, Stalybridge, SK15 2RT
|FC United of Manchester ||3 - 2||Barwell FC|
Own Goal 90 (+3)
Walwyn 90 (+5)
| ||Castle 43 (pen)|
|FC United of Manchester|
1 David Carnell
2 Liam Brownhill
3 Chris Lynch
4 Joe Fox
5 James Knowles
6 Luke Ashworth
7 Matthew Wolfenden
8 Callum Byrne
9 Tom Greaves
10 Jerome Wright
11 Greg Daniels
14 Thomas Brown (for 4, 53 mins)
16 Matthew Walwyn (for 6, 86 mins)
1 Liam Castle
2 Scott Lower
3 Eddie Nisevic
4 Danny Jenno
5 Declan Towers
6 Richard Lavery (capt)
7 Connor Gudger
8 Callum Woodward
9 Jamie Towers
10 Malcolm Melvin
11 Anthony Carney
12 Nigel Julien (for 11, 64 mins)
15 Alex Tomkinson (for 8, 73 mins)
FC United are through to face Harrogate Town in the first round proper of the FA Trophy after scoring twice in stoppage time to snatch a five goal thriller 3-2 against Barwell at Bower Fold on Wednesday night.
Substitute Matthew Walwyn scored the 95th minute winner as the Reds fought back from 2-0 down to clinch victory, also courtesy of a sweet strike from Callum Byrne and a comical own goal by Connor Gudger.
Both sides played the entire second half with 10 men as Jamie Towers was sent off for the visitors for a late lunge on James Knowles and Chris Lynch was dismissed for conceding a penalty, which Barwell broke the deadlock from.
We were almost robbed of the need for any late comeback drama though as Jerome Wright lobbed the ball over Barwell ’keeper Liam Castle’s head in the opening minute. However, his effort agonisingly bounced clear off the post before Wolfenden’s follow up was deflected wide.
With no disrespect to the visitors, United looked the better team, passing the ball around well and controlling the game and when Barwell’s Towers saw red it seemed to be a matter of if, not when, United would break the deadlock.
After gaining the man advantage, the Reds seemed to ease off a little and never really created a clear cut chance. As has so often been the case this season, it came back to hit United where it hurts.
In what was one of the visitors only attacks of the first half, Lynch clipped the heels of a Barwell forward giving away a penalty and seeing a red card levelling the teams to ten players each.
Barwell’s ’keeper Castle stepped up and thundered the ball down the middle to give the visitors what was an unexpected lead at the break.
Perhaps the United players were still scratching their heads with how they went in a goal down at the start of the second half because the visitors came forward and went close within seconds of the restart. Two efforts in a matter of seconds should have been a wake up call but United found themselves 2-0 down when Anthony Carney sneaked the ball past Carnell.
The Reds seemed a bit deflated and for the next 10 to 15 minutes there was little productivity in the final third as balls were just going too short or long. If United were to get back into things it would take something special.
That something special came with 13 minutes left as Byrne produced a terrific strike from the edge of the box to fire up both the team and the fans on what was a ice cold evening in Stalybridge.
United pushed on but in fairness the visitors should have had things wrapped up as they put the ball inches wide of Carnell’s goal from a corner.
Just as hopes started to fade, United were thrown a lifeline in the shape of six minutes of added time. The Reds needed three to get back on level terms and two more to win the contest.
The equaliser came in comical circumstances. Walwyn was pumped up and driving United forward but he over-hit a cross to the back post, which Tom Greaves had no chance of getting anywhere near.
The Reds striker was trying to scramble around the back of Gudger to keep the ball in play, which seemingly caused the defender to panic and he headed hopefully back towards Castle. However, the goalkeeper was out of position and ended up falling over the line with the ball. They all count.
The goal seemed to take the wind out of the visitors’ sails and pushed United on to seal an extraordinary victory. There was sheer pandemonium on the terraces as those who braved the weather were rewarded with a second stoppage time goal.
Fellow substitute Thomas Brown unleashed a dipping shot from distance, which Castle could only parry. Walwyn was first to the loose ball and rifled it into the roof of the net - sealing victory and our place in the first round proper next weekend in dramatic fashion.
Man of the match: Callum Byrne - when United needed somebody to step up and make the difference, Byrne did exactly that with a terrific strike which proved a catalyst for the Reds to get back into the game.
Report by Craig Phillips