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Record breaker Greaves give FC United victory over Harrogate

Player/manager Tom Greaves became FC United’s record goal scorer as his two goals helped the Reds to a 3-2 victory against second placed Harrogate Town at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

Greaves levelled the record late in the second half to give the Reds a 2-1 lead, but as the game went into stoppage time he fired home once more to make the record his own and become the first player to reach a century of goals for the club.

FC United came into the game on a run of six consecutive home victories in all competitions, but visitors represented a real test to the new-found confidence at Broadhurst Park.

The first half was an even contest with the Reds being part of the game and having their own opportunities, but the visitors from Yorkshire looked stronger in the final third and former FC favourite George Thomson forced a great stop from Lloyd Allinson with a well struck effort from outside the box.

On 26 minutes Harrogate took the lead after a free kick from the right was headed in at the far post by defender Jack Vann. There have been games this season where we’ve been in the game but saw ourselves go a goal down and lost a bit of momentum, but the players seemed to get fired up from going a goal down and finished the first half strongly.

Just minutes after going a goal down Scott Kay saw his effort bounce off the post and at the end of the half it was the home team who were pressing forward looking to find a way back into the game.

That same intensity was brought into the second half and attacking the SMRE you felt that we had every chance of getting something from the game.

Just minutes into the second half the game was level as Craig Lindfield’s corner went through everybody in the box and possibly off a Harrogate defender before ending up in the back of the net. A fortunate goal but no less than FC had deserved for their efforts since going behind.

The next thirty minutes were a mixture of good, solid defending from FC and attacks of their own causing problems, but the long-range efforts that we had weren’t getting past James Belshaw in the visiting goal.

With ten minutes left Craig Lindfield was put through by a beautifully weighted pass and as the defender closed him down his well struck effort from outside the box was pawed away for a corner by Belshaw.

From that corner FC took the lead as Tom Greaves flicked the ball on in a distinctly Tom Greaves fashion to not only make it 2-1 to the Reds but also reach 99 goals for the club and equal Rory Patterson’s record for the most goals scored for FC United.

Harrogate came forward looking for a way back into the game, but they found a red wall in the FC defence which they couldn’t get past, with last ditch challenges and blocks repelling anything they had to offer.

As the game went into stoppage time Connor McCarthy broke free on the right flank, taking his time to make the right choice he squared the ball to the on-rushing Greaves who fired his way into the record books as he fired past Belshaw and into the roof of the net to become the first man in the club’s history to reach a century of goals.

Harrogate grabbed a late consolation when substitute Simon Ainge scored a 96th minute penalty, but it was too late to mount a comeback as the referee blew for full time almost as soon as the game restarted.

It was a fully deserved victory for the Reds, who with seven straight home victories (five of them in the league) now move up to 15th in the league and the scenes at the final whistle as almost every one of the 2,394 in attendance sang the name of the player, manager and now record goal scorer.

Next up for the Reds is another tough test as the team that leapfrogged Harrogate into second place; Brackley Town, come to Broadhurst Park.

Man of the Match: Tom Greaves – Had to be Greaves after his brace not only sealed the three points but also the record as he overtook Patterson’s 99 goal haul which had stood since 2008.

First Posted ~ 22:02 Sat 2 Dec 2017
News ID ~ 7703
Last Updated ~ 01:47 Tue 16 Feb 2021