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FC United up to fourth as Wolfenden brace beats Fylde

FC United’s hunt for promotion kicked up a notch with a fifth straight league victory on Saturday afternoon as two second half Matthew Wolfenden goals saw the Reds come from behind to beat AFC Fylde 2-1 at Gigg Lane.

Karl Marginson’s side recovered from a spectacularly own goal by Dean Stott after four minutes to take all three points – a result which moves United up to fourth place as Witton Albion lost at home to league leaders North Ferriby and Worksop were held by Marine.

With the Reds trailing at the interval, Wolfenden got them back on track two minutes after the restart. Centre-back Adam Jones headed a corner against the bar and the former Oldham Athletic forward was on hand to put the ball over the line.

United were in the ascendency throughout the second half and it was no surprise when the winner came on 69 minutes. Wolfenden and striker Tom Greaves combined to carve open the Coaster’s defence with a lovely passing move which saw Greaves go clear in the box. He could very easily have shot but elected to unselfishly pull the ball back to Wolfenden who side footed the winner home.

The win was far from plain-sailing for United though and it required them to be at their best in the second half to overturn the early deficit against a confident Fylde team.

The Coasters started the game brightly and it was the visitors who had the first chance of the game inside 20 seconds. A ball was played in to James Dean who saw his shot well saved by James Spencer. Fylde took the lead on four minutes when a cross from the right by Michael Barnes was spectacularly headed into his own goal by Stott.

FC soon found themselves in the game and a good move on the right involving Greaves saw Wolfenden played in but as he prepared to shoot, the ball took a slight bobble and he lifted it over the bar. Just a few minutes later, Mike Norton saw a shot well saved by Ben Hinchcliffe in the Fylde goal.

The chances were still coming at both ends, Spencer did well to tip a Jack Dorney shot wide and there was a big shout for handball when a Norton shot struck a defender but the referee waved away the appeals.

As the half wore on, FC United were looking more confident and nearly got the equaliser before the break with Jerome Wright crossed for Greaves to head narrowly wide and Norton hitting the bar with an overhead kick.

At the other end, Spencer was being kept busy as Adam Sumner forced him to tip a chip away from goal. In injury time, Norton did have the ball in the net but it was overruled with the offside flag raised.

FC United started the second half like a team possessed and they drew level within two minutes of the restart. A corner from the right was headed against the bar by Jones, the rebound falling to Wolfenden who fired the ball into the net.

Five minutes later Norton saw a shot deflected wide, from the corner Jones saw his goalbound header cleared. Fylde were finding it difficult to get into the FC half as the chances rained down on their goal. Norton was next to go close when he was sent clear but he saw his shot blocked.

The seemingly inevitable second goal came when Matthew Tierney played in a superb ball to Greaves. The former Bradford Park Avenue striker could have been forgiven for trying to get his second goal in his third appearance for the club but he unselfishly allowed Wolfenden take his impressive tally to six goals in his last five games.

FC then saw the game out and collected the three points thanks to a superb second half performance ahead of a difficult looking game away to Frickley.

Report by Steven Wood

Man of the match: Michael Norton - never stopped working the Fylde defence, was unlucky to hit the bar and was a nuisance throughout.

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First Posted ~ 17:14 Sat 9 Feb 2013
News ID ~ 4722
Last Updated ~ 12:20 Sun 10 Feb 2013