3.00pm Sunday 2nd September 2012
EvoStik League Premier Division
Bower Fold, Mottram Road, Stalybridge, SK15 2RT
|FC United of Manchester ||1 - 1||Hednesford Town|
|Roca 32 || ||Lennon 81|
|FC United of Manchester|
1 James Spencer
2 Kyle Jacobs (capt)
3 Lee Neville
4 Dave Birch
5 Adam Jones
6 Dean Stott
7 Carlos Roca
8 Nick Platt
9 Mike Norton
10 Jerome Wright
11 Matthew Wolfenden
12 Stephen Johnson (for 7, 66 mins)
15 Daniel Grimshaw (for 8, 81 mins)
16 Chris Amadi (for 11, 66 mins)
1 Dan Crane
2 Alex Melbourne
3 Darren Campion
4 Ben Bailey
5 Francino Francis
6 Dave McPherson (capt)
7 Jamey Osbourne
8 Elliott Durrell
9 Neil Harvey
10 Aaron Rey
11 Nathan Woolfe
12 Sean O'Connor (for 10, 70 mins)
15 Michael Lennon (for 7, 79 mins)
16 Philip Clarke (for 9, 85 mins)
FC United kept their unbeaten record intact as they drew 1-1 at home to Hednesford Town on Sunday afternoon, with Carlos Roca’s first half strike cancelled out late on to see both team move to five games without defeat in the league.
Both teams had chances to steal the points but at full time neither would argue with taking a point away from what is expected to be a promotion rival when the points get tallied up at the end of the season.
United began the game strongly and could have took the lead early on as Adam Jones rose well at the far post only to see his effort pushed away by Hednesford ‘keeper Dan Crane.
From early on it became clear that United would have a tough tie on their hands as the visitors looked to assert themselves in the middle of the park whilst looking to play in the dangerous front pair of Neil Harvey and Aaron Rey who looked dangerous throughout.
Having said this it was United who went close next as Matthew Wolfenden went on a may run right through the middle of the visiting defence and as he tried to take the ball round Crane, the United forward saw his hard work come to nothing.
Minutes later United had the lead in the most fortunate of circumstances as Carlos Roca curled a left footed ball in from the right which seemingly past every forward and defender as it somehow found its way into the Hednesford goal to give United the lead.
Straight away the visitors looked to get back into the game, and it looked like they had when Rey rounded James Spencer and slotted home but saw his effort ruled out for offside.
Straight from the restart the ball came back towards the United goal and when Adam Jones lost his footing Harvey found himself closing down on the United goal, Jones did well to get back but Harvey still managed to get a shot on goal which called Spencer into action, and the United stopper made the first of several significant saves of the afternoon.
Towards the end of the first half the visitors had United on the back foot and had it not been for some good reaction saves from Spencer to deny the away team, United would have not gone into the break a goal to the good.
United began the second half quickly and had a few half chances to double their lead, but the problem remained getting the ball and keeping the ball as all too often the men in red looked for the long ball or were closed down quickly by a Hednesford man; something the visitors did well from start to finish.
Jerome Wright had the best opportunity to add to United’s goals, when a sublime cross field ball from Carlos Roca released him, as Wright cut into the box and beat his man you felt like he would fire home but instead he opted to put the ball across the box, which was easily cleared by a Hednesford defender.
Hednesford had their own chances to get back into the game and again Spencer pulled out a couple of great saves, firstly from a free kick which look destined for the United goal and then Spencer showed good reactions as he pawed away a hard fired effort from Harvey.
As the game drew on it was Hednesford who looked like they would be the next to score as they looked to pin United in their own half and get the equaliser. United reacted by bringing on Johnson and Amadi to give them more outlets to move the ball out from defence.
With ten minutes to go the visitors got the equaliser their play deserved when substitute Michael Lennon volleyed home a scream from a corner which Spencer had no chance of getting to, and the scores were levelled.
The last few minutes took on the feel of a cup tie as both teams went for the win, and the fans sensed the significance of getting one up on their rivals even in this early part of the season.
United’s best opportunity came when Johnson fired a ball into the box towards Amadi’s head, as the ball was coming in Norton peeled off his defender and found himself in acres of space in the box, but Amadi’s header didn’t have the control to find Norton only yards away.
Even into stoppage time the chances kept coming as United got a free kick on the edge of the Hednesford box, up stepped Jerome Wright whose left footed strike looked destined for the goal but was acrobatically tipped over by Crane to ensure the points were split between the two sides.
Neither side could have argued with the point although both would have had good cases to justify taking all three home, but United continued their god start to the campaign which sees them unbeaten after five games with 11 points already on the board at this early stage.
Website man of the match: James Spencer – The United stopper made several good saves when called upon this afternoon, and had he not done United would have been lucky to take anything away from the game
Report by Craig Phillips.