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Resolute Rushall Olympic hold FC United to stalemate

FC United were held to a frustrating goalless draw against newly promoted Rushall Olympic at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,445 supporters.

The Reds completely controlled the game from start to finish on Non-League Day 2011, having 14 shots on target compared to Rushall’s solitary first half effort.

But despite the dominance, United couldn’t find the all important goal and, just like Mickleover Sports last season, Olympic came with a game plan to defend deep, keep the Reds out at all costs and steal a point. It worked. Just.

United were quick out of the starting blocks and for sustained periods of the first half enjoyed lengthy spells of possession; at times playing easy-on-the-eye one touch football which left Rushall mere bystanders.

The Reds’ desire to add to their already impressive goal tally this season was evident and Carlos Roca seized upon an excellent opportunity to alter the course of the game early on, slaloming through a stream of Olympic defenders to hit a superb strike from distance, which left Chris Gemmell rooted to his goal-line and, unfortunately, the upright rattling.

Some of the build-up play must have left the FC United faithful in attendance with the impression that it would only be a matter of time before the Reds broke the deadlock, however, the visiting defence appeared to have an answer for every form of attack cast in their direction.

Rushall began to see slightly more in the way of possession as the half hour mark approached but it was always the home side who offered the chances, with both Jake Cottrell and Mike Norton coming close near to the break.

With clear-cut chances for a Rushall being extremely rare, the majority of the second half action took place close to the visitors’ goalmouth as United explored every avenue in battling to breakdown the resolute visiting back four.

An opportunity on the hour mark for Nick Platt inside the six yard box looked almost certain to be the all important opening goal but Olympic made sure United fell at the final hurdle once again with some last ditch defending.

Heading into the final strait, and urged on by the roaring Red support, it looked as though FC United’s chance had come as Norton’s shot from the edge of the area was on target, however Mitchell Tolley’s timely interception epitomised the story of the afternoon as the Pics lived up to their strong defensive reputation.

Whilst the clean sheet highlighted a goal medal worthy Olympic defensive display, United would surely have been frustrated by the lack of goals after scoring nine over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The Reds now lie in seventh and must turn all attentions towards Tuesday’s clash with Kendal Town who are currently on the same points as United with a game in hand.

Website Man of the Match: Kyle Jacobs.

Report by Victoria Fullen

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First Posted ~ 14:17 Sun 4 Sep 2011
News ID ~ 3744
Last Updated ~ 14:17 Sun 4 Sep 2011