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FC United up to fifth after five goal thriller at Atherton Collieries

FC United bounced back from their midweek defeat against Basford United with a 3-2 victory in a competitive meeting at Atherton Colleries.

The game was the third time the two team had met this season, and it was another hard fought 90 minutes, with an outstanding second half strike from Regan Linney being the difference between the two teams.

Atherton took the lead early in the game as a good through ball left Tom Bentham one on one with Cameron Belford, and he slotted away to make it 1-0 Atherton with just six minutes on the clock.

The response was exactly what Neil Reynolds would be looking for from The Reds, as they got on top of the game and created large periods of pressure, but some resolute defending meant the breakthrough was hard to come by.

Tunde Owalabi did manage to get that equaliser after half an hour, as a corner wasn’t cleared from the box, a couple of half chances prodded towards goal and then Tunde got the last touch as the ball somehow found its way into the back of the net. Not the prettiest of goals, but they all count the same.

Five minutes before the break FC captain Mike Potts gave us the lead with an amazing strike from outside the box that left Atherton ‘keeper Oliver Byrne with no chance of stopping it.

Just when it looked as though FC would take the lead into the second half the home team levelled things up, once again a great through ball opened the FC defence up and this time it was Jordan Cover through one on one, but with the same outcome.

The second half carried on right where the first had left off, with both teams being competitive all over the field and a few questionable challenges; and decisions, adding an extra bit of spice to proceedings.

Just seven minutes into the second half Linney scored a goal worthy of winning any game, as he moved the ball onto his right foot outside the box and placed his shot right in the top corner leaving Byrne stranded without a chance for the second time that afternoon.

The competitive nature of the game saw an awful challenge by Bentham on FC keeper Belford, and the decision by the referee to only show a yellow for this seemed to be a strange decision but being consistent the offside call he made to rule out an Atherton equaliser moments later was just as puzzling.

Attacking up the hill in the second half and against a home team that came on strong in the second half it was a tough slog in the second half, but the spirit that Reno has built up in this team showed the resilience needed to see out the ninety minutes and put FC back in the win column and up to fifth place and a play off spot as the game finished.

FC United now travel to Radcliffe (again) next Saturday in an FA Trophy clash, before getting back to league action the following week as we welcome Gainsborough Trinity to Broadhurst Park.

Website man of the match: Mike Potts. Led by example and never stopped working for the whole 90 minutes. Great to see in a game where the whole team needs to dig in and show that fighting spirit, and his goal was pretty special as well.

Report by Craig Phillips

First Posted ~ 19:33 Sat 19 Oct 2019
News ID ~ 8528
Last Updated ~ 23:45 Thu 4 Feb 2021