FC United’s play-off hopes are hanging in the balance after losing 2-1 at Matlock Town on Saturday afternoon, the Reds’ third consecutive defeat.
With just two games to go, FC United’s play-off ambition is now out of their own hands. To finish in the all-important fifth spot, the Reds need rivals Hednesford Town to slip up.
However, if second placed Northwich Victoria fail to overturn the League’s disciplinary decision to demote them at the end of the season, then it appears a sixth place finish will be good enough to sneak into the play-offs. United need just one more point to achieve that.
The Reds started brightly at Matlock with Carlos Roca seeming to be a thorn in the host’s side. His cross on four minutes found Matthew Wolfenden who glanced his header wide. Two minutes later, Roca crossed again this time for Adam Jones, who headed over.
The Gladiators soon gained a hold in the game, Paul Riley stinging the fingertips of James Spencer with a drive. From the resultant corner, the ball was headed at the back post into the six yard box where a shot was blocked. The ball dropped to Ian Holmes who fired unmarked into the net.
FC United did react to this setback in a positive way, another dangerous Roca cross was headed past his own net by Matlock stalwart James Lukic and Astley Mulholland having a great chance, when he worked his way free on the left hand side and fired the ball, which was tipped wide by Jon Kennedy in the home goal.
Six minutes later, the scores were level, when good work from Wolfenden on the right saw his cross turned into his own goal by Adam Yates.
Just after the break, FC missed a golden chance to take the lead when a corner wasn’t cleared by the home side and Wolfenden saw his shot well saved by Kennedy with the rebound falling to Nicky Platt, who fired over.
A minute later, Spencer was called into action, comfortablly saving a shot from Matlock. The home side continued to come forward, Lee Featherstone seeing his dangerous cross deflected wide and Lewis McMahon turning and shooting over.
On 68 minutes, Kennedy was called into action again when he tipped over a shot after good work from Roca and Daniel Grimshaw.
With less than 20 minutes to play, the home side took the lead again following a period of pin ball in the FC United box. The defence didn’t manage to get the ball clear and it fell to Liam King at the edge of the box who fired the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
That was pretty much the end of the action, the home side happy to let the Reds have the ball and try and break on the counter but United didn’t look like getting back into the game.
Website man of the match - Carlos Roca. A constant menace to the home defence when he had the ball and it was noticeable that the FC attack was blunted when he was substituted.
Report by Steve Wood
|News ID ~ 4175 || First Posted ~ 10:26 Mon 16 Apr 2012 || Last Updated ~ 10:26 Mon 16 Apr 2012|
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