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FC United of Manchester
A late Mike Norton goal was enough to ensure FC United finished their pre-season programme with a 2-1 victory over Radcliffe Borough on Tuesday evening and made it five successive pre-season games without defeat ahead of the much anticipated Vanarama National League North debut away to Gloucester City on Saturday.
United took control of the game early as Tom Greaves struck within two minutes to give the men in red a very early lead, but any hopes of a one-sided victory were soon dispelled. The home team had the better of the first half and should have been even on at least three occasions with some resolute defending from Lewis Lacy and Luke Ashworth proving enough to force opportunities off target.
With Ashworth being the only player to stay in the starting line up from Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Wrexham at Broadhurst Park, the much changed line up struggled to really get a foothold in the game and never really had a spell of dominance in what proved to be another testing fixture.
The home team had a headed goal from a free-kick ruled out early in the second half, but did get their equaliser after Tom Hulme scored a real poacher’s goal from inside the six yard box with about 10 minutes left on the clock.
The late goal for the home team had seemingly shared the spoils in what was a fairly even game over the 90 minutes, but an even later goal from Norton; who rounded the goalie and slotted home, gave FC United a 2-1 victory and a real momentum push going into Saturday’s curtain raiser.
For United it’s now off to Cheltenham for the first hurdle in what promises to be another exciting season and as we venture into the National League North with Gloucester City being the first to welcome us. With a pre-season that has seen the last five games without defeat it’s clear that United are ready for the challenge.
Website Man of the Match: Luke Ashworth – The young centre-back was key in forcing a couple of first half opportunities off target with some last ditch defending.
Report by Craig Phillips