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FC United up to third after putting four past Stocksbridge

FC United moved back up to third place in the Evo-Stik Premier Division and completed a happy Easter weekend by scoring four goals with no reply against Stocksbridge Park Steels on Monday afternoon at Gigg Lane with goals from David Birch, Michael Norton, Oliver Banks and Greg Daniels.

It was the second comfortable victory in three days for the Reds, who have kept our promotion dream alive and kicking with nine points from the last three games following a worrying three game wobble in mid-March.

For goal highlights, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbdjUexXdxE&feature=youtu.be or on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/63141749

Full highlights to follow later this week.

FC United dominated the match throughout and midfielder Birch broke the deadlock on 17 minutes with a superb long range volley, which he lofted over the visiting keeper and into the top corner of the net. The visiting defence had failed to completely clear a United attack and Birch audaciously tried his luck by volleying home a rebound from 30-yards out for 1-0.

Despite the Reds looking comfortable, it wasn’t until four minutes into the second half that they doubled their advantage. Stocksbridge, who are struggling at the wrong end of the table, were content to play the longball game all afternoon with little success and the tactic was to be their undoing for United’s second goal.

Adam Jones headed away a punted free-kick by the visitors’ left-back and the ball hurtled towards Norton on the edge of the Steels’ box. The striker held off his man whilst chesting the ball down and turned goalwards before expertly stroking a shot into the far, bottom corner. A very well taken goal.

United put the result beyond any doubt just after the hour mark. Substitute Carlos Roca latched onto a ball from Lee Neville on the left wing and took on a stretched Stocksbridge defence. The Reds’ winger found space and played a good cut back towards the penalty spot.

Banks, a recent signing from league leaders North Ferriby, was arriving into the box, controlled the ball on his thigh before scuffing a shot down the middle of the goal that trickled under the keeper, who should have done better. United cared not. 3-0.

The Reds were rampant and with 17 minutes to go, it was 4-0. With his back to goal, Rhodri Giggs flicked a lovely ball over the top for fellow substitute Daniels. The United forward chipped a shot over the Steels keeper with his first touch and the ball bounced into the far corner to complete the rout.

Karl Marginson’s side were in fine fettle against an opposition side that couldn’t cope with the pace that they moved the ball around and it could easily have been more than four. Both Banks and Tom Greaves had further chances to add to the scoreline but the FC United faithful went home very happy with two high scoring victories over the Easter weekend.

The only Red who left Gigg Lane unhappy will have been former FC United youth team graduate Nick Swirad, who made a welcome return as Stocksbridge’s right-back.

Website man of the match: Oliver Banks - calm and composed on the ball with a fantastic first touch. Rewarded for his hard work by scoring his first goal on his first start for the club in front of the Manchester Road End.

Report by Matthew Haley

See Karl’s post match interview at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFpqyuUtb00

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First Posted ~ 17:26 Mon 1 Apr 2013
News ID ~ 4824
Last Updated ~ 09:31 Wed 3 Apr 2013