FC United are now seven points adrift from safety in the Vanarama National League North after a fourth consecutive defeat, this time losing 2-1 to local rivals Altrincham at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.
Two deflected goals in each half gave the visitors victory in front of 2,215 supporters in Moston. Dale Whitham looked to have rescued a priceless point for the Reds with 13 minutes to go but United suffered another cruel, late and narrow defeat.
The Reds started with more new players with Andy Fisher in goal, Bob Harris at left-back and Louis Myers in attack. FC United made the early running and could have taken the lead inside the first minute, a free-kick chipped into the box where the ball dropped to Billy Sass-Davies who found the side netting. Three minutes later Kurt Willoughby crossed but Myers could only put his shot wide.
On 25 minutes, The Robins took the lead when Max Harrop drove in on goal and fired a shot that was well saved by Fisher, the ball dropped to John Johnson who fired home via a touch from Zehn Mohammed.
Four minutes later, an almost identical chance occurred at the other end when Whitham found himself clear, his shot was blocked and the ball fell to Myers who stumbled at the vital moment and the chance evaporated.
Altrincham started the second half the brighter, Harrop and Johnson both making Fisher save. On 68 minutes, substitute Chris Sharp put a header straight at Steven Drench. There were little in the way of chances in this half but FC did draw level on 77 minutes when a superb cross from Mike Donohue found Whitham who planted a free header in off the post.
On 83 minutes, FC hearts were broken yet again when a speculative long shot from Andrew White that seemed to be going wide took a wild deflection off Mohammed with the ball spinning off and into the net with Fisher totally wrong footed.
The game ended in controversy with a very loud appeal for handball against an Altrincham defender in his own box but appeals were waved away by Mr Herczeg.
It was cruel for FC to lose to deflected goals, and the overall performance was decent but there was little in the way of many clear cut chances made by the home side.
Website man of the match - Billy Sass-Davies. Another assured performance from the young loanee defender.
Report by Steven Wood