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FC United of Manchester
FC United made it three pre-season games without defeat as the Reds came away from Ewen Fields on Tuesday evening with a 1-1 draw against Hyde United after Dave Birch’s first half strike was cancelled out by a great free-kick from Ben Jago early in the second half.
With just over 10 days left until the first game of the season and just two more pre-season games after this, United’s starting XI is starting to take shape. Nine of the 11 that started Saturday’s 4-1 victory at Whitby started again against Hyde.
With this familiarity between the players starting to build, the first half display was of a high standard with FC United taking the game to their hosts.
The two teams swapped divisions at the end of last season, so the game - which marked the 130th anniversary of our hosts - was always going to be a testing fixture but it seemed to be one that the FC players were handling well in the first 45 minutes.
Tom Greaves had the best chance early on with a header which was just tipped over the bar by the home goalkeeper and the defensive duo of Luke Ashworth and Lewis Lacy both proved to be dangerous from set pieces both putting good headers close.
But it was Birch who opened the scoring after 24 minutes with a low, well placed strike from outside the box hitting the base of the post and going into the net to give FC United a well-deserved lead.
If the first half was a good display from the visitors then the second half definitely belonged to the home team. Hyde followed up a great goal directly from a free-kick by Ben Jago with a strong second half performance coming forward. The fightback caused FC United a number of problems and had it not been for the superb efforts of Dave Carnell; who made at least five good saves, it could have been a lot worse.
The second half seemed to be a struggle for FC United in the final third as well, with the home team pressing and rushing a much changed second half line up into quick decisions and mistakes. Most moves by the Reds broke down before they got to the Hyde penalty area and the home goalkeeper wasn’t really troubled in the second half.
FC United now move onto another big test at Broadhurst Park on Saturday as Karl Marginson’s side meet Wrexham AFC with the Supporters Direct Cup on the line. The Reds will undoubtedly be relishing the test against one of the favourites for the National League.
Website Man of the Match: Dave Carnell – Had almost nothing to do in the first half, but a string of important saves in the second half kept United in the game, ensuring it was a draw.
Report by Craig Phillips