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members. Its corporate structure is a Community Benefit Society and membership is open to all, with everyone an equal co-owner, holding one voting share in the club.
FC United leaked two late goals to go down 3-0 to Bucheon FC 1995 in South Korea on Saturday – a score line which didn’t reflect a decent performance against an experienced side in front of around 23,000 supporters..
The Koreans broke the deadlock just before the half hour mark in what had been billed as World Football Dream Match 2009. Captain Park Mun-Ki was able to score a free header due to some lax marking at a corner.
United pressed for an equaliser for the rest of the game but they failed to test out goalkeeper Park Jung-Tae, mainly due to coming up against a hard working and well organised Bucheon rearguard.
Manager Karl Marginson made five changes in the second half to give every member of the squad the experience of playing in Korea and although his team toiled they couldn’t find a way through.
The hosts doubled their lead two minutes from time through a Kim Min-Woo tap-in after an unfortunate fumble by substitute ‘keeper Grant Shenton from Jang Jae-Wan’s free-kick.
And Bucheon scored a somewhat flattering third two minutes into stoppage time with the goal of the game through Jae-Wan. The left winger capped a great performance with a fantastic solo run and finish.
The three goal margin will have been hard to stomach for the men from Manchester as they certainly hadn’t played badly. United’s best football came in the first half and the first real chance of the match came their way through Carlos Roca in the 21st minute.
Jerome Wright won a corner on the left wing after being harried by two Bucheon defenders. Wright whipped the ball in and it evaded the heads of several players before falling for Roca on the far side of the box. Roca faked to shoot with his right foot and instead cut inside before unleashing a curling shot with his left. Jung-Tae looked beaten but the ball flashed agonisingly wide of the left hand post.
Less than five minutes later, Carl Lomax threaded a ball through to Ben Deegan down the right. FC United’s new striker had escaped the attentions of the defence so Jung-Tae had to rush out of his goal to close him down. Deegan tried a chip but it sailed over the bar.
Bucheon then took the lead on 29 minutes. United will be disappointed with the manner in which it was conceded and also that it was the Korean’s first real threat on goal other than a couple of soft free-kicks from the edge of the box.
Darren Lyons was introduced for right back Danny Stott at the break and the veteran player-coach nearly had an immediate impact on the game. The former Bury winger lofted a perfectly weighted corner in for Deegan but somehow the striker glanced his unchallenged header wide.
United were restricted to half-chances throughout the second half and it was the hosts who started to look more threatening with Jeong Hyun-Min and Jae-Wan using their electric pace to forage down the flanks. In fairness, although Adam Tong and Nick Swirad were being stretched, the centre-backs were dealing with the attacks reasonably well.
With eight minutes to go Min-Woo clearly dived to win a free-kick on the edge of the box, an incident which Swirad took issue with. Lee Bum-Joon hit a dangerous free-kick goalwards but Ashton saved well.
It was to be the keeper and matchday captain’s last action of the game as Sheldon was introduced. The former youth team keeper started off well as he plucked a dangerous cross by Kaka out of the air at the back-post but two minutes later he had a moment to forget.
Min-Woo went down easily again on the edge of the box after a challenge by Adam Tong and Jae-Wan curled in a low free-kick round the wall to the left post. Sheldon was there to gather the ball but it escaped his grasp and Min-Woo managed to stay on his feet on this occasion to slot the rebound into a gaping net.
And unfortunately it got worse for United. With two minutes of the allocated four gone in stoppage time, Jae-Wan ran at the United defence beating Shaun Williams and although substitute Ryan Lyons managed to force him out wide, the winger had too much pace for the youngster to slotted the ball through Sheldon’s legs on the edge of the box.
It was a disappointing result but surely not something that will overshadow a great experience for all the players, staff and supporters that were lucky enough to be in Korea.