0 - 2
FC United of Manchester
Goals from Ben Deegan and Kyle Wilson saw FC United win 2-0 at Frickley Athletic on Saturday afternoon - the Reds’ fourth consecutive win which extends their unbeaten run in 2010 to six matches.
Deegan struck in the first minute with a tap-in whilst Wilson put the victory beyond doubt midway through the second half after good work by Jerome Wright.
On a difficult, bobbly surface that made playing football difficult, the Reds did enough to see off a spirited Frickley side in West Yorkshire.
The game couldn’t have got off to a better start, with United taking the lead after just 40 seconds. Some good work from Carlos Roca worked the ball to the left hand side where Wright beat his man and put in a great cross for Roca. His header was saved by the home keeper but sadly for him, the ball dropped to the feet of Deegan who tapped the ball into the net.
The fast start to the game continued with Frickley almost pulling level on two minutes when striker Lee blasted over. Soon afterwards United had a couple of half-chances with David Chadwick shooting into the side netting and Wright scuffing a shot which rolled through to the keeper.
The Reds should have extended their lead on 26 minutes, when clever play from Deegan resulted in him dispossessing a defender and putting a cross in from tight on the by-line, sadly there were no United players in the box to apply the finishing touch.
Frickley ended the half on a high, with Craig Palmer putting a free header over when he should have done much better and a good penalty claim turned down when they thought Chadwick was climbing all over one of their players.
In truth, FC United can probably count themselves lucky that a penalty wasn’t given, as those types of foul always seem to be given when outside the box.
The home continued brightly into the second half with Lee firing a free-kick straight at Sam Ashton and Normington shooting wide. United withstood the pressure and soon eased themselves back into the game, with Wright prominent on the left hand side and Deegan always a threat down the middle. It was Deegan who could easily have extended the lead but the forward headed wide.
Wilson could have made the game safe just after the hour when he was played clean through and shot wide when everyone was expected a shot on target. However, the on-loan striker made up for his miss four minutes later when he side-footed home a Wright cross from the left to give the Reds some breathing space. His fourth goal since returning to the club.
Centre-back Adam Tong, on his last performance before starting a new life in Australia, could have made it three on 70 minutes but his powerful free-kick was beaten away by Nicklin in the home goal.
There was time in the game for substitutes Joe Yoffe and Phil Marsh to come close with shots and an injury-time save for Ashton from Frickley striker Lee.
All-in-all it was a decent performance from FC United on a difficult pitch, another three valuable points on the road and it was good to see the players give Tong a guard of honour at the end of the game - even if it was only to try to remove his shorts!
So the great run continues, with FC United up to ninth in the league and those play-offs clearly in sight.
Report by Steven Wood.
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