FC United are through to the first round proper of FA Trophy after a convincing 3-0 win at Runcorn Linnets with a Tunde Owalabi double and a late strike from Adam Dodd.
As well as a place in Monday’s draw, the win takes the Reds’ unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions.
In what was a scrappy encounter, United never really needed to move out of second gear, but took their time to add to an opening minute goal from Tunde Owalabi.
FC came straight out of the blocks, attacking from the off and when Tunde got free in the area in the first minute there’s usually only one outcome, and he duly obliged tucking the ball into the bottom corner.
It was almost a case of scoring too early though, as the game became a bit scrappy, with a few heavy challenges from both sides breaking up the flow of the game. Chances were at a premium, but as the half wore on the men in red looked to have a physical edge and looked to be getting on top.
The second half started as quickly as the first had and within a penalty after a late challenge. Up stepped Adam Dodd, looking for his fifth goal in four games, but despite his effort from the spot being low, hard and accurate, it wasn’t good enough to get past the Linnets goalkeeper Richie Mottram.
As the half wore on, FC again got on top and turned up the pressure with constant possession and methodically looking to create gaps in the home defence.
The breakthrough came with just over 20 minutes left, as Dodd drove forward from deep on the left hand side, eventually passing to Tunde who turned and saw a scuffed shot find its way into the bottom right hand corner, his 16th goal of the season.
After going 2-0 down, the fight seemed to leave the Linnets players and a late third goal came for FC as Tunde drove forward from the left, this time turning provider as he found Dodd, who kept his goal scoring run going and put FC into the first round proper for the first time since the 2014/15 season.
All eyes will be on Monday’s draw, but the Reds are straight back into league action ?next Saturday? as they welcome third placed Lancaster to Broadhurst Park.
Website man of the match: Adam Dodd. Having an incredible season so far, bagged his fifth goal in four games and dusted himself off from the disappointment of seeing his spot-kick saved to turn provide for the second and score the third on the day.
Report by Craig Phillips