Goals from Phil Marsh, Danny Williams and an own goal saw FC United beat local rivals Hyde United, of the Blue Square North, 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The game could have been described as fairly even in the opening minutes with both teams battling through the rain, but the Reds quickly began to build momentum, passing the ball well and with precision, finding themselves a goal ahead after just ten minutes, courtesy of an impressive Phil Marsh free kick from around 20 yards out.
In the play that led to United’s opener, a lucky ball fell to Adam Carden on the right who played it through to Abdi Ibrahim. The striker then did well to work the ball forward, ultimately winning the free kick. Marsh stepped in to drive a stunning, perfectly placed ball into the back of the net for his second goal of the pre-season campaign.
Following an excellent midweek performance at full-back, Adam Carden resumed his more customary position on the right wing and made use of space, offering a decent ball in to Marsh who narrowly failed to latch onto the cross.
Despite play being largely in United’s favour, Hyde were able to offer a reply on 19 minutes, setting the scores level with a goal from Robbie Smith. Smith benefited from defensive hesitation in which the Reds failed to clear, and was able to pick up the ball on the edge of the area. The number 7 took his chance well and slotted his shot into Sam Ashton’s bottom right-hand corner.
However, FC didn’t take long to regain the upper hand, obtaining the lead once more just three minutes later. Full-back Ben Morris sent a free-kick from the left of the area into Rob Nugent who produced a fine low header on target. Jones was able to get down to initially parry the effort, however the ball only went as far as Danny Williams who made no mistake in putting the ball over the line.
The Reds continued to offer the vast majority of the attack throughout the remainder of the half, leaving little opportunity for Hyde to react. Simon Carden and Ibrahim both had chances on goal with Carden’s effort sailing just over the cross bar.
Manager Karl Marginson once again made use of the opportunity that pre-season provides, making a number of changes early into the second half. Following another impressive performance, Ben Morris made way for Simon Garner at left-back, Simon Carden, Williams, Ibrahim and Marsh were also replaced by Tunji Moses, Jerome Wright, Ben Deegan and Carl Lomax respectively.
Minutes later, new signing Jake Cotterill was replaced in the centre of midfield by Danny Stott, Cotterill having pulled off a strong and promising debut performance for the Reds.
Hyde were once again left almost powerless to reply to FC, as in spite of the numerous changes, United continued to pass the ball well and press forward, now in the shape of Lomax and Deegan heading up the attack. A good ball from Lomax played in from the left met the waiting Deegan who sent a good header just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.
Seconds before the whistle blew, United summed up a thoroughly satisfying performance with a third goal to secure a third pre-season victory. Adam Carden carried the ball down the right and into the Hyde penalty before firing low across the six yard box. Hyde’s Nathan D’Laryea slid in to defend the cross-cum-shot and inadvertently directed the ball into his own net.
Following such a comprehensive display in all areas of the field, much optimism can surely be taken into the start of the new season.
Report by Victoria Fullen.
1. S Ashton
2. D Warrender
3. (17) B Morris
4. J Cotterill
5. A Tong
6. R Nugent (capt)
7. A Carden
8. S Carden
9. P Marsh
10. A Ibrihim
11. D Williams
12. C Lomax (for 9, 61)
13. (3) S Garner (for 17, 61)
14. J Wright (for 11, 61)
15. D Stott (for 4, 71)
18. B Deegan (for 10, 61)
19. T Moses (for 8, 61)
20. D Chadwick