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FC United kick-start season with six goal thriller against Morpeth

FC United kick-start season with six goal thriller against MorpethFC United picked up their first win of the season, and their first home league win since December, thanks to a 4-2 win over Morpeth Town at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

Tunde Owolabi made an instant impact, putting in a man of the match performance and grabbing two goals in his debut match. Owolabi was Radcliffe’s top scorer last season with 26 goals and got his FC account up and running with two first half goals as the reds produced an amazing 45 minutes of action.

Owolabi opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock, thundering home with only his second touch of the game and ensured the United faithful warmed to him straight away.

Indeed, he could have doubled the lead moments later as he showed a selfish streak that all good number 9’s have, working hard to get his effort on goal, when a square ball to an unmarked Paul Ennis would have given United a two goal lead.

Despite the fast start the visitors levelled against the run of play. As Ben Harmison, brother of 2005 Ashes hero Steve, took advantage of a mix up between the FC defence and goal keeper Paddy Wharton to bundle the ball over the line to level things up.

With the current run the players may have felt a sense of deja vu, and could have easily folded. But the game went back to the way it had started with FC pressing all over the park and looking dangerous with every attack.

Just four minutes after the visitors had equalised the Reds regained their lead. Again a dangerous attack with forwards overloading in the box, saw the ball come to an unmarked Ennis, who kept his cool and slotted into the bottom corner.

Owolabi grabbed his second of the game just five minutes later, with another powerful effort finding the back of the net, after coming off the post in front of an adoring Saint Mary’s Road End.

As the teams left the pitch at the break, with a two goal cushion for FC, you’d be hard pushed to remember as positive a half of football at Broadhurst Park for a long time.

The intensity of the first half couldn’t be continued in the second half, as FC came out a bit flat and struggled to get any early grip of the play, allowing the visitors to slowly ebb their way back into proceedings.

The lead was halved just before the hour mark, as FC ‘keeper Paddy Wharton gave away a penalty for a late challenge on Harmison, who had looked to take the ball around the FC shot stopper in the box. Up stepped Joe Walton with a coolly taken spot kick to set up a nervy final thirty minutes.

That being said the visitors didn’t really push on for an equaliser and the majority of the best attacking football came from the men in red. None more so than when Aaron Morris went on a lazy run on the right flank, before being bundled over in the box to win FC a penalty.

Up stepped Ennis, who shows great confidence at most dead ball situations, with a beautiful spot kick in the top right corner, restoring the two goal cushion and making the three points look ever more likely.

Owolabi has the opportunity to cap an amazing debut with a hat trick but saw his effort from outside the box pawed away by Morpeth ‘keeper Dan Lowson with just minutes remaining. The attempt was Owolabi’s last contribution to the game as he was brought off to a standing ovation from fans and team mates alike.

The win ends a terrible run for the Reds, who had been waiting since December 8 to pick up three points at home and had been desperately unlucky in not coming away with any points from the first two games.

FC now make the trip to the Giant Axe stadium on Tuesday night to face Lancaster, who themselves grabbed a 4-2 victory over Gainsborough this afternoon.

Website man of the match: Tunde Owolabi- what a way to introduce yourself to the United faithful. Two goals, could have had more, looked dangerous on every attack and gave the forward line a much needed focal point.

First Posted ~ 14:20 Sun 1 Sep 2019
News ID ~ 8475
Last Updated ~ 17:00 Fri 19 Feb 2021