FC United turned in one of their most impressive performances of the season so far as they ran out 3-1 winners over Warrington Town on a cold Tuesday evening at Broadhurst Park.
A brace from Finlay Sinclair-Smith and yet another goal for centre back Curtis ‘back post’ Jones gave the Reds all three points. Despite having to play almost half an hour with ten-men after Luke Grifftihs was shown is second red of the season, the home team thoroughly deserved the victory.
The game had threatened to start differently though, as former FC forward Jordan Buckley was brought down early on gifting the visitors an early penalty. Luckily for FC the strike from Bohan Dixon had more chance of taking the light fittings out in the St Mary’s Road End than it did of breaking the net.
An eventful start carried on as after nine minutes the Reds had the lead. Some nice work down the right hand side and a cross-field run onto the through ball saw Sinclair-Smith grab his first goal with a low powerful effort. Visiting ‘keeper Charlie Albinson got a hand to the shot but it wasn’t enough. 1-0.
Defensive errors have been to blame for a few goals recently, but the equaliser in the 14th minute had a touch of bad fortune from the home perspective. A misplaced pass saw Warrington with a great opportunity and Luke Duffy coolly fired home much to his delight as he celebrated in front of a not so admiring audience behind the goal.
But FC United were on a different level tonight and despite surrendering a lead after only having it for five minutes they showed their ability and confidence taking over the game and linking up well. This caused quite a bit of frustration in the Warrington ranks which came to a head in the form of three yellow cards for niggling tackles as the Reds pressed forward.
That continual pressure saw Neil Reynolds’ side regain their lead after a deep corner from the left was met by Jones at the back post to put the Reds back in front after only 25 minutes.
Just seven minutes before the break, Sinclair-Smith scored a sublime goal that was worthy of winning any match. A beautiful curling effort from just outside the Warrington box which left the Warrington ‘ keeper with no chance of stopping it. 3-1 at the break and the Reds were simply worth the lead.
The second half didn’t quite have the intensity or drama as the first and it would have been difficult to keep that going for another 45 minutes. However, FC United didn’t have too much trouble, defended well and restricted Warrington to half chances throughout the second half.
The Griffiths red card was the big talking point of the second half as he contested what looked like a 50/50 challenge, but the reaction of the visiting players may suggest that it wasn’t as fair a tackle as it may have first appeared to be.
Despite being reduced to 10 men, the Reds were rarely threatened in the last half an hour and Warrington won’t have left Moston wondering how they’ve not got anything from the game.
The match is obviously the last for at least the next four weeks in the league, given our “non-elite” status. However, there’s a little game coming up on Saturday evening against League One side Doncaster Rovers.
After the final whistle, manager Neil Reynolds spoke to the crowd about the important role that everybody plays at the club and despite the co-owners/fans not being allowed to attend on Saturday evening, he talked about how we all needed to come together and show that support wherever we will be watching Saturday’s game.
It’s not certain when we will next get to stand on the terraces and watch a game again at Broadhurst Park, but what we’ve been given so far this season has been a welcome relief to what’s been an unprecedented year. Hopefully we’ll get ourselves to that football ground again soon.
Website man of the match: Finlay Sinclair-Smith – another impressive performance for Sinclair-Smith. A great second goal, that showed sublime skill. The only problem is that his name’s too long to fit into a song.
Report by Craig Phillips