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Five star FC United beat Bradford in Bank Holiday bonanza

Goals by Lee Neville, Adam Jones, Steve Torpey, Michael Carr and Matthew Wolfenden saw FC United make it two wins out of two for the Bank Holiday weekend as they beat Bradford Park Avenue 5-2 at the Tameside Stadium on Monday afternoon.

After suffering defeats to Chasetown and Chester last week, it was vital the Reds got back on track over the three day weekend. And despite facing tough games against promotion rivals Buxton and Bradford, United rose to the challenge with style, netting nine goals to gain six points.

After taking ten attempts to record their first victory over Avenue, FC United have now beaten their bogey side in their last three encounters, this time in a seven goal thriller.

The visitors started the game the brighter of the two sides, missing two early opportunities on the FC united goal. The Yorkshire team were forced to make the first of their early substitutions after 10 minutes when forward Aiden Savory was replaced by Michael Duckworth. The forward didn’t look too happy coming off after such a short appearance, but injuries are not something that puts a smile on your face.

Soon after, Bradford’s Richard Marshall was through on goal and confidence at that point would have put Avenue in the lead, but for some unknown reason he decided to square the ball to a team-mate who didn’t exist and the chance went begging.

After the first quarter of an hour, FC United were getting into the game and some nifty footwork by Carlos Roca saw his cross fall into the path of the sprightly full back, Neville. Unfortunately, his shot was not one for the copy books.

Matthew Wolfenden was proving a handful for the Bradford right back, Matthew Plummer. A foul by the defender resulted in a yellow card and himself being injured. The Bradford player was soon substituted.

By now FC united had found their rythmn and following good pressure from the Reds saw Michael Norton’s header parried away by Bradford goalkeeper, James Coates. The resulting corner was met by Neville’s superbly timed header to give FC United the lead. 1-0.

A period of good passing from both sides prevailed. FC United seem happy to soak up the pressure from Bradford for a while and then a defensive error allowed substitute Michael Duckworth in between defence and keeper and he slotted into the unguarded FC goal for the equaliser.

The FC United fans were now in full voice singing in the sunshine and the drizzle to get behind the players. Bradford were starting to find the ball and the two teams were a match for each other at this point. Injury time in the first half and FC forced another corner. A short corner from Nicky Platt was forced out by Bradford for his second corner. This time Platt floated a beautiful ball into the six yard box for Adam Jones to meet with a perfectly executed header into the net for his second goal for the club. 2-1. Just on half time.

FC United start the second half as brightly as ending the first. Norton having two chances in the first five minutes but to no avail. The United defence were keeping Bradford at bay and after 64 minutes Steve Torpey replaced Danny Grimshaw and FC United seemed to be stronger moving forward.

However, Bradford were passing the ball and finding their men. Richard Marshall received the ball in the penalty area and turned to strike a fierce shot into the net leaving James Spencer no chance. 2-2. Game on.

Both teams were now feel that the match was theirs for the taking. With 20 minutes to play Bradford’s forward pressure results in a top drawer save from the increasingly confident Spencer, tipping the Bradford shot over the bar.

Michael Carr replaced Nicky Platt for FC United and soon the midfielder is in the thick of the action, having played a through ball in forNorton. Norton was brought down by the Bradford right back substitute, Noteman, leaving the referee little option but to award the penalty. Torpey sent the keeper the wrong way putting FC into the lead again. 3-2.

Within minutes of the restart, the two Michaels were displaying a great partnership. This time Norton tees up a ball for Carr and his thunderous right footed strike hit the underside of the bar and into the net. 4-2.

The Reds were now rampant. Great football linking Roca Wolfenden and Norton saw FC United going close to extending their lead. Roca was replaced on the right by the debutant Adam Edwards with five minutes remaining.

Soon after, Edwards was roaring off down the wing to play a lovely ball in to be drilled into the Bradford net by Wolfenden to finish the afternoon in FC United’s third "home" game of the season.

A victory which puts FC United within one point of the leaders and 9 goals over the Bank Holiday must be very satisfying for all concerned.

Website Man of the Match: Lee Neville.

Report by Paul McAteer

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First Posted ~ 15:28 Tue 30 Aug 2011
News ID ~ 3730
Last Updated ~ 15:28 Tue 30 Aug 2011