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Five star Reds on cloud nine - full report

FC United raced to the top of the table with a 5-1 mauling of Retford at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,785 supporters to maintain their perfect start to the season.

Goals from Martin Parker, Carlos Roca and Jake Cottrell put the result beyond doubt before half-time then substitute Colin Little scored two on his debut to give the Reds nine points from three games. A feat matched only by Northwich Victoria.

Retford proved tricky opponents last season with United taking just one point from the two matches against them but the Nottinghamshire side were put well and truly to the sword on Saturday.

Parker broke the dealock within two minutes, Roca doubled the lead within half an hour and Cottrell sealed the match with an audacious chip over the keeper five minutes before the break.

With 67 minutes gone, Little opened his account for the Reds within minutes of coming off the bench. Jerome Wright and Lee Neville combined for the former Altrincham striker to slot home.

Retford did manage to pull one back - the only goal United have conceded so far this season but the Reds were saving the best until last. With five minutes to go, Little flicked the ball over his own head, turned and volleyed in to make it 5-1.

The Reds started the match like a train. Roca, who was playing as a forward behind Mike Norton, saw a shot tipped round the post. The resultant corner was cleared but only to a red shirt, the ball was returned into the box and headed into the net by centre-back Parker for his first competitive goal since joining FC United.

The lead was almost doubled on 16 minutes when Wright, enjoying the freedom of Bury on the left-wing shot only to see Jefferies tip the ball over the bar. It was only a matter of time before the second goal did arrive though and it came courtesy of Roca who fired home after some fantastic work from Battersby and Norton.

The chances just kept on coming for the home team, Wright was again unlucky to see a shot tipped over after a great turn. Wright was causing all sorts of problems for Retford and he saw yet another shop saved by the keeper who pushed the ball onto the bar and over.

Jefferies in the Retford goal was having a great game but he blotted his copybook on 38 minutes when his poor clearance found Cottrell 40 yards out. With the cries of ’shoot’ from the crowd in his ears, Cottrell looked up and lofted the ball over the keeper and into the net.

The lead was almost extended shortly after the break, when Scott McManus crossed the ball for the lively Norton to volley but Jefferies pushing the ball wide.

On 67 minutes, it was 4-0. Wright surged into the box and pulled the ball back for sub Little to roll the ball into the net via the far post. Retford did manage a good chance on goal with a header that hit the bar before pulling one back on 71 minutes when a long ball forward was misread by United ’keeper Sam Ashton who headed the ball up and back into his own box, which allowed sub Owens to latch onto the ball and roll it into the empty net.

With five minutes to go, Little produced a piece of sublime skill to knock a long ball over his own head and in the same movement turn and volley the ball over the keeper and into the net from 25 yards.

The performance was undoubtedly one of the best seen by the FC United faithful for many a season. All fingers are now crossed for the tough trip to Ashton United on Bank Holiday Monday.

Report by Steve Wood

Teams:
FC United
1 S Ashton (capt)
2 K Jacobs
3 L Neville
4 R Battersby
5 M Parker
6 S McManus
7 C Ovington
8 J Cottrell
9 M Norton
10 J Wright
11 C Roca
Subs 12 N Platt (for 4 49)
14 J Holden
15 S Carden
16 M Ayres (for 2 73)
17 C Little (for 7 54)

Scorers: Parker 2, Roca 29, Cottrell 39, Little 67 85

Retford United
R Jeffries
M Blake (cautioned 86)
C Lill
D White
N Ellis
J Mayman (capt)
R Hindley
N O’Brien (cautioned 90+1)
M Booth
S McDonnell
M Caudwell
Subs
S Owens (for 10 54)
J Stephenson (for 11 76)
J Vernon (for 9 73)

Scorer: Owens 71

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First Posted ~ 10:59 Sun 29 Aug 2010
News ID ~ 3060
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013