3.00pm Saturday 15th September 2012
EvoStik League Premier Division
Gigg Lane, Gigg Lane, Bury, BL9 9HR
|FC United of Manchester ||1 - 2||Nantwich Town|
|Wolfenden 53 || ||Maguire 79|
|FC United of Manchester|
1 James Spencer
2 Kyle Jacobs (capt)
3 Lee Neville
4 Scott Cheetham
5 Adam Jones
6 Dean Stott
7 Carlos Roca
8 Jake Cottrell
9 Mike Norton
10 Jerome Wright
11 Matthew Wolfenden
14 Nick Platt (for 4, 72 mins)
15 Charlie Anderson (for 5, 60 mins)
17 Chris Amadi (for 11, 84 mins)
1 Jon Brain
2 Chris Flynn (capt)
3 Zack Foster
4 Christian Smith
5 Darren Moss
6 Rod MacDonald
7 Sean Cooke
8 Niall Maguire
9 Mark Beesley
10 Will Jones
11 Lewis Short
14 Josh Lane (for 11, 77 mins)
15 Fraser McLachlan (for 4, 57 mins)
16 Matt Bailey (for 10, 71 mins)
FC United slipped to their first defeat of the season at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon when two late goals gifted Nantwich a 2-1 victory after Matthew Wolfenden had put the Reds ahead.
Despite taking the lead just inside the second half, the visitors were to gain the upper hand, becoming the better side once FC had scored.
Dave Birch was unable to take part in the fixture through injury, and instead Scott Cheetham lined up for his first start of the season.
There was action inside the first minute as Nantwich won an early free kick and the wall United formed proved an effective barrier to prevent the Dabbers getting through and Jerome Wright and Carlos Roca were able to break clear.
Early possession alternated between the two sides; however, it was Nantwich who had the first real attempt as Niall McGuire found a way through after robbing Cheetham of the ball 25 yards out before unleashing a shot from a tight angle.
Kyle Jacobs then provided a flashback to early last season with a storming shot from 30 yards. Lee Neville rescued the ball from going out of play and it was worked across the park from left to right before landing with Jacobs who hit it from range. The cross bar unfortunately denied a replica of his screamer against Whitby in September of last year.
Dean Stott was vital in keeping Nantwich at bay, putting in a couple of important interceptions inside his own area, before play switched to the opposite end of the park with Wright forcing a punch from keeper Jon Brain.
Norton had the chance to go for goal from close range, running the offside trap, and there was a quick Brain reaction as the keeper came off his line. The striker slid the ball through him, only to see it roll just wide of the upright.
United’s front man was then back in his own area to defend a cross swung in and the ball skimmed off his head to land at the feet of centre half Darren Moss who turned on the half volley and poked a shot agonisingly wide of Spencer’s right post just as the clock had ticked through the half hour mark.
A few minutes later and United were getting forward, with Jacobs again venturing into the opposition’s half and playing a good ball across to the far post which Wright narrowly missed latching onto.
Cheetham and Jake Cottrell both had efforts on goal as the second half began, but it was Wolfenden who found the back of the net. Roca sprayed the ball out wide to Norton who cut past the defender before finding Wolfenden who slotted beyond Brain on 53 minutes.
As the game hit the hour mark, Adam Jones looked to be struggling and had to be replaced for the second time in as many games. Charlie Anderson came on in his place to slot into the back four.
Jacobs was penalised and the Dabbers were able to threaten, as Moss latched onto Sean Cooke’s free kick and aimed a downward header just wide.
Cooke looked for the equaliser once more, picking the ball up inside his own half before looking up to see Spencer off his line and going for goal from inside United’s half. The FC number one back-peddled and managed to get back just in time for what looked like a tip over the bar although the referee denied the visitors a corner.
Nantwich were hemming the Reds back and a series of defensive errors in the FC area gave Maguire a perfect opportunity to level. Neville was able to get something on the initial cross and Cottrell miscued an attempted clearance as the ball skewed across the six yard box for Maguire curl a shot past Spencer.
It seemed the absence of Jones was a major factor as the defence seemed all but lost without the solid centre half. More last-ditch defending ensued and the Dabbers’ second goal came very much with the run of play as substitutes Josh Lane and Matt Bailey combined, easily getting through the United backline and Bailey beat Spencer with four minutes of normal time remaining.
The Reds could do nothing in the final minutes, and seemed to lack the desire for a fight back. United’s performance was under-par to say the least, and the result was fair as Nantwich were all-in-all the better side, coming from behind to gain a deserved victory.
With their unbeaten start to the season coming to a shuddering halt, United must now pick themselves up for a midweek trip to Stafford Rangers, and hope for an improved performance to get back on track in time for the next round of the FA Cup away at Salford next Saturday.
Report by Victoria Fullen.