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Nine man United move into play-off positions

Both Mike Norton and Matthew Wolfenden were sent off as United moved into the play-off positions with a 3-1 win over Worksop Town in front of a bumper crowd of 2,873 on Youth United Day.

The pre-match parade led by bagpipers seemed to lift the crowd for the match as united came onto the field looking to get the upper hand from the very beginning.

Again they started brightly, attacking from the off and the wing play of Johnson and Roca seemed to be the main areas where United would be able to trouble the Worksop defence.

Mike Norton came closest to opening the scoring when Johnson crossed from the left to find Norton at the far post; his looping header was just headed off the line by the Worksop ‘keeper.

The opening goal did come after some beautiful one touch football saw United move from defence to goal in just four touches. Lee Neville played the ball into Wolfenden’s feet just inside the Worksop half, who then played the ball out to Johnson on the left who put a first time cross onto Norton’s head to put United a goal up with just sixteen minutes on the clock.

United then moved to control the game without being overly dominant but Matthew Wolfenden did double United’s lead just after the half hour mark, heading home a Carlos Roca cross from the right at the far post.

Wolfenden found himself in the box minutes later and should he have got his shot away you would of fancied the scoreboard to be troubled once more, but a last ditch tackle denied him the opportunity.

The next ten minutes looked to be where United did their best to make the job as difficult as they could. Firstly Owain Warlow headed past James Spencer with five minutes left of the opening half to put Worksop back into contention after never really being in the first half.

Then a challenge in front of the dugouts saw Mike Norton come together with a member of the Worksop coaching staff after the challenge and after much deliberation with his assistant, referee Chris Akers decided Norton had done enough to be dismissed so United went into the break a man down and only one goal up after they had controlled the lions share of the first period.

Sensing a way back into the game Worksop took off their right back and introduce forward Jamie Jackson in a move which signalled their intent to get something from the game.

But United looked the better team again, despite the man disadvantage and moved 3-1 up after a corner into the box found Lee Neville who kind of fluffed his volley but saw it go in the net off the post.

The game continued in the same vein with Worksop sensing their opportunity had gone, but the drama was not over as Akers was again summoned by his assistant who had seen something off the ball and Matthew Wolfenden was given his marching orders.

Worksop pushed for a way back into the game but became frustrated as clear opportunities were few and far between and when the did get a shot off it hit the United bar and flew into the Manchester Road End.

United pick up another three points and thanks to Hednesford going down 5-1 at Chorley the Reds moved into a play-off place on goal difference. But United now face the possibility of being without Norton and Wolfenden for three games at the business end of the season.

Next stop Whitby as United look to cement their position in the play-off places.

Website man of the match: Stephen Johnson - again proving a threat from both flanks and providing the opening goal for Norton.

Report by Craig Phillips

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First Posted ~ 12:44 Sun 25 Mar 2012
News ID ~ 4130
Last Updated ~ 12:44 Sun 25 Mar 2012