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FC United slump to third straight defeat - full report

Manager Karl Marginson says that he will be looking to make a number of further changes before FC United’s next game after the Reds slumped to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Buxton on Tuesday night at Bower Fold, Stalybridge.

Marginson was particularly disappointed with the second half performance which saw FC extend their winless run in March to five games. “We didn’t play in the second half,” admitted Margy.

Following Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Worksop Town, Margy made four changes to FC’s starting line-up against Buxton, with Jerome Wright, Tom Greaves and Matthew Tierney all recalled, and 18-year-old centre-back Lewis Lacy making his home league debut, allowing Dean Stott to move into central midfield.

But Marginson wouldn’t have been happy with FC going a goal down as early as the second minute, this after Stott had conceded a clumsy foul midway inside his own half. Grant Black’s lofted free-kick took a glancing deflection off a home defender, allowing Buxton centre-back David Haggerty to ghost in behind the FC back four and guide the ball into the corner of the net for the opener.

Although shaken by this early setback, FC United soon fought back, and Jerome Wright was unlucky to see a sweetly struck shot deflected onto the crossbar and out for a corner in the ninth minute.

The home side then looked to have scored an equaliser on 24 minutes when a low cross was deflected goalwards by a Bucks defender. Visiting ‘keeper Tom Turner got his hand to the ball, only for FC’s Tom Greaves to blast the ball out of his grasp and in to the net. Referee Richard Bartlett wasn’t having any of it, however, and the goal was quite rightly chalked off.

FC will, nevertheless, consider themselves to have been a little unlucky to have had a couple of decent penalty appeals for handball turned down in quick succession on 27 minutes.

But the Reds weren’t to be denied, and on 39 minutes, they grabbed a deserved equaliser. A Wright corner was driven low into the Buxton penalty area, Lewis Lacy flicked the ball goalwards, and Matthew Wolfenden was in exactly the right place to deftly back-heel the ball into the back of the net.

The FC faithful must have been hoping for their favourites to take control of the game as the teams came back out for the second half. But it somehow didn’t prove to be, and after a quiet opening period, Buxton shocked most of the 1,501 Bower Fold crowd by regaining the lead on 58 minutes.

A hopeful clearance by the visitors’ captain Black looked like it would comfortably be collected by FC United’s James Spencer. However, Buxton’s Neil Stevens thought otherwise as he nipped in past covering defender Adam Jones to toe-poke the loose ball past the advancing ‘keeper and the No. 7 could scarcely contain his delight as his effort then slowly rolled into the unguarded net to make it 2-1 to the visitors.

FC then did their best to get back into the game again, but with little impact in front of goal. On 74 minutes, the FC United management team made a triple substitution in order to try to freshen things up, with Lee Neville, Astley Mulholland and Rhodri Giggs replacing Kyle Jacobs, Jerome Wright and Mike Norton, respectively.

And on 81 minutes, it was the FC United No. 16 who looked to have made it 2-2. A Jake Cottrell corner was met firmly by Neville whose header seemed to be heading for the back of the net before being hooked clear by a Buxton defender.

Had it crossed the line? The far side assistant referee, who was well positioned, didn’t think so and despite some further half chances for FC late on, that effectively was that.

With just two points from a possible 15 in March so far, FC need a quick return to winning ways if they are to get their promotion prospects back on track, starting with their next scheduled league game, at home against Blyth Spartans, at Gigg Lane, Bury this Saturday.

Website man of the match: Lewis Lacy - Calm and composed, and not at fault for either of the goals.

Report by Peter Moulds

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First Posted ~ 22:47 Tue 19 Mar 2013
News ID ~ 4798
Last Updated ~ 01:37 Fri 22 Mar 2013