2 - 1
FC United of Manchester
FC United let a half-time lead slip to lose 2-1 and hand Chester the 2011 Supporters Direct Cup.
Lee Neville put the Reds ahead late in the first half but a superb effort from outside the box from substitute Joe Ormerod levelled, before a quick counter attack was knocked in by Alex Brown to give Chester the spoils and score an early blow to United ahead of the coming season.
The game itself started quite slowly, with Chester looking the more imposing in the early stages and United looking comfortable enough sitting back inviting on the pressure from the home team without ever really being troubled.
United came into the game after about 20 minutes using good possession play to get a foothold in the game and take the attack to the hosts more, and on the half hour mark United’s pressure resulted in the opener as Neville flicked on a Nicky Platt corner at the near post to put United a goal up.
Platt himself could have put United two goals up before the break as he moved the ball out of his feet well outside the box before seeing his driven effort straight into the goalkeepers arms.
In the second half United brought Carlos Roca on to add more panache to the wings and he looked to use his lightning like feet to fire the game up. The winger twisted and turned the Chester fullback inside out in front of the travelling Reds fans to fire up the United faithful.
But seemingly from nowhere Chester got their equaliser as substitute Ormerod got the ball about 25 yards out and placed a beautiful shot into the back of the net to level the scores and set up an exciting finish.
United could have regained their lead almost instantly as Daniel Grimshaw played a defence splitting ball through to Matthew Wolfenden on the left but although Wolfenden managed to knock the ball over the Chester ‘keeper his effort was cleared for a corner.
United didn’t manage to use the corner to full effect and instead Chester broke up the pitch and when they played the ball from left to right Ormerod opted to knock the ball across the box for the on rushing Brown to put the hosts 2-1 up with only minutes left on the clock.
The Reds were down but not beaten and Carlos Roca must still be scratching his head as to how he didn’t get a goal after beating the offside trap and the Chester ‘keeper. All Roca had to do was knock the ball into the empty net but he managed to only find the side netting much to the amusement of the Chester fans behind the goal.
So Chester strike the early blow between what we anticipate to be two of the front runners in the Evo-Stik Premier Division this year, a fact the Reds will almost certainly be looking to rectify when the two meet again at the Deva Stadium on 24th August with three priceless points the prize for the victor on that occasion.
Report by Craig Phillips