FC United stopped the rot of fourth consecutive defeats with a priceless 3-2 victory at second place Bradford Park Avenue with goals from Chris Sharp, Kurt Willoughby and Jack Banister.
Neil Reynolds entered the game with a depleted squad with Tom Peers and Mike Donohue both suspended, Chris Lynch injured and Mike Potts also only named on the bench due to injury.
He was forced to name two 18 year old loanees at centre-back in Zehn Mohammed from Accrington Stanley and William Sass- Davies from Crewe in his starting line up.
It was BPA who saw most of the ball early on, but it was FC who had the better early chances. On five minutes Steve O’Halloran capitalised on some ponderous Bradford defending to fire a shot into the side netting and on 11 minutes a flowing FC move saw a cross found Elliot SImoes who side footed wide when he probably should have done better.
Two minutes later, the FC woodwork was rattled when Lewis Knight smashed a volley against the bar, the referee giving a corner suggesting that Lloyd Allinson had got a touch. On 39 minutes, the home side took the lead when the ball found its way to Oli Johnson who turned and fired a shot into the bottom corner of Allinson’s goal.
Just as the PA was announcing two minutes of stoppage time, the ball found its way to Sharp who rifled a great low shot past Steven Drench and into the net to level up the scores and possibly give FC the advantage given the strong wind that would be at their backs in the second half.
Willoughby was looking dangerous and he gave notice of his intent to the BPA defence early in the second half with a turn and shot that was easily saved by Drench.
FC haven’t scored a goal all season between the minutes of 46 and 60 and this wasn’t to change at Bradford but they did take the lead on 64 when Banister blasted home from 25 yards into the top corner of the net.
The lead was doubled just over a minute later when Willoughby was released down the left and he finished superbly into the far corner.
BPA did come into the game and pulled a goal back on 78 minutes with a well taken free-kick from Knight that found the top corner.
The goal then saw some pressure on the FC defence, Jake Beesley slicing wide when he should have hit the target and in 90 minutes sub Adam Nowakowski fired a shot that was well saved by Allinson.
In fact Allinson, who has had some well documented sticky moments in the last few weeks ensured that FC took the three points home with a wonderful reflex stop deep into injury time, tipping a powerful drive onto the crossbar.
This is a well won and deserved three point for Reynold’s men and sets the side up nicely for the crunch clash at Ashton United next Saturday.
Report by Steven Wood
Website man of the match - William Sass-Davies. A very tough game to be thrown into but Davies coped superbly in the first half in the face of a strong wind and looked assured when both defending and with the ball at his feet starting attacks.