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FC United face replay as Woodley grab injury time equaliser

FC United will have to replay their FA Cup with Budweiser first qualifying round match on Tuesday at Glossop North End after Woodley Sports hit an injury time equaliser to draw 1-1 at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon.

Nick Platt had put the Reds ahead on 39 minutes and it seemed as though United had managed to edge past their Evo-Stik Division One North opponents, only for the Stockport outfit to equalise with virtually the final kick of the game.

Although the higher-placed team, FC United’s current form going into the game was far inferior with Woodley coming off the back of three consecutive victories, the latest of which being against league-leaders Curzon Ashton.

After failing to pull off a win so far during September, the Reds must have been hoping to get off to a good start in the competition to restore some confidence in the side. United’s first real attempt on goal came through Carlos Roca who made a welcome return to the side after a recent injury. The winger received the ball from Mike Norton and cut inside to unleash a shot on target which was well claimed by Liam Higginbottom.

There were glimmers of good movement from the Reds as Norton connected with Daniel Grimshaw’s cross from the left for a glancing header just wide. Adam Jones then forced a double save from Higginbottom as the keeper produced two instinctive parries from the centre half’s headed efforts on goal.

Roca should have opened the deadlock 35 minutes in as Norton fed the ball through to the winger who’d strayed into a central position inside the 18 yard box. Roca didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity, firing straight at the keeper.

The United no.7 did however assist in the opening goal as a cross from the right into Platt saw the midfielder come between two defenders for a diving header past Higginbottom to break the deadlock and give the Reds the lead just before the break.

Woodley’s half-time substitution provided a nostalgic look back to FC United’s earlier days as Stuart Rudd made a return to Gigg Lane to line up against his former side. Rudd was almost instantly influential as the striker played in Bradley Maylett to force an excellent one-footed save from James Spencer.

With United looking to extend their lead, the Reds were linking up well. A good spot from Platt to switch the ball to Roca in space on the right saw the keeper chipped from close range and United come agonisingly close to doubling their advantage as the ball clipped the cross bar.

Strong claims for an FC United penalty were made just past the hour mark as Norton laid the ball off to Roca whose shot appeared to have been blocked by a handball in the area.

United were keeping possession in and around the area and had strong penalty claims turned down before having the ball in the net only to have a free-kick given the opposite way.

With United looking seemingly capable of holding on in the final minutes, Karl Marginson opted to introduce Theo Kidd and Samuel Howell from the youth team.

Deep into added time, Spencer parried a Woodley free-kick back out to the edge of the area, and just seconds from going out of the competition, Gary Gee fired a low drive through a crowded penalty area and beyond Spencer, sending the visiting support, officials and players alike into elation.

The final whistle immediately followed, undoubtedly leaving United extremely frustrated at switching off in the dying moments and allowing the visitors to earn themselves a replay. The Reds must now once again aim to pick themselves up in order to see off Woodley at the second attempt and avoid an FA Cup upset.

Website Man of the Match: Adam Jones

Report by Victoria Fullen

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First Posted ~ 09:04 Mon 19 Sep 2011
News ID ~ 3772
Last Updated ~ 09:04 Mon 19 Sep 2011