An emphatic FC United won 3-1 at promotion chasing AFC Telford United on Saturday afternoon to leapfrog Ashton United and move to third from bottom - just three points behind Guiseley.
Neil Reynolds again had to shuffle his pack with Bob Harris and Dale Whitham injured and Billy Sass-Davies leaving the club.
Zehn Mohammed stepped in back into the side with Jack Banister and Mike Donohue starting the game, Tom Peers and Chris Sharpe dropping to the bench and new signing Dominic McHale making his debut at a ground where FC had never even taken the lead before today, never mind actually won a game.
It was Telford who started the game on the front foot and good work by Ryan Barnett saw his cross glanced just wide by Darryl Knights.
That isn’t to say they were having it their own way, FC did look dangerous on the break, a good move saw Banister played on the left, he had to take a touch and cut in and his cross was cleared from the six year box. Bucks skipper Shane Sutton had a good chance but his header was saved by Andy Fisher.
As the half wore on, FC came into their own and started to create chances, McHale seeing his great cross punched away by on loan Stoke keeper Josef Bursik and McHale again involved, somehow pulling a deep cross back over his head to Kurt Willoughby who saw shot squeeze just wide. A few minutes later, Willoughby had another good chance but his low shot shaved the post.
Just after the half hour, Telford forced a good save from Fisher, Knights seeing is follow up shot blocked.
On 35 minutes, a full length of the pitch move, started with Mohammed who swept a ball out to Banister. He crossed low to McHale who finished superbly to cap his debut with a goal and making up for scoring the winner for Ashton at Broadhurst Park in August.
This wasn’t the end of the glorious chances for FC as Banister somehow headed a Willoughby cross against the bar from point blank range and in first half injury time, a loose Telford pass played in Donohue who took his time to try and place the ball and saw his shot saved for a corner.
It is a fact that FC hadn’t scored a goal all season between the 46th and 60th minute, but thankfully this hoodoo was finally put to bed on 53 minutes when Mohammed headed the ball clear and found Banister who broke at pace, he found Willoughby who cut inside and finished with aplomb.
Four minutes later, the lead could easily have been stretched with another FC break with Banister agains, he took a poor touch but the ball found Josh Wallen who saw his shot blocked.
From the corner, Chris Lynch headed goalwards where a defender was stood on the line to head away. Lynch had another chance a minute later when Harry Winter played a ball into the box, but somehow he managed to head wide.
On 61 minutes, the lead was increased when another good move down the left saw Banister pull the ball back to sub Peers who sidefooted home. Telford were being reduced to long range shots from Theo Streete but did come close on 81 minutes when Marcus Dinanga headed onto the bar and saw the ball go over.
In injury time FC hit the woodwork again when Louis Myers ran from his own half and rattled a shot off the post. The Bucks did pull a goal back when Lynch fouled Daniel Udoh in the box. Ellis Deeney, brother of Watford’s Troy, stepped up and slotted the penalty home well but it was in vain as FC saw time out to collect three vital points in a game that without exaggeration they could have won by 6 or 7 goals.
Report by Steven Wood
Man of the Match: would be easy to cop out and say all the players but Zehn Mohammed stood out as the star performer not missing a header all afternoon, defending strongly when needed and setting up moves for two of the three goals.