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FC United seal play-off place with win over Ashton United

FC United booked our place in the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-offs for the third consecutive season with a 3-0 victory over Ashton United at Gigg Lane on Tuesday with three first half goals.

Greg Daniels was on the scoresheet for the fifth time in five games, breaking the deadlock after 13 minutes, Dean Stott marked his 100th appearance for the club by doubling the lead on 34 minutes and Matthew Wolfenden wrapped things up a minute before the break by scoring his 50th goal in an FC United shirt.

The Reds will now contest a one match semi-final on either Monday 6th or Tuesday 7th May with the venue to be confirmed, depending on where we finish in the table. The final is scheduled for Friday 10th May.

Karl Marginson’s side started the match like an express train and could have taken the lead on six minutes when a ball over the Ashton defence bounced over the head of Astley Mulholland.

It was not a surprise when FC took the lead when a superb ball from Dave Birch played in Daniels who finished superbly. The United forward could easily have doubled the lead and his tally a couple of minutes later but poked his chance just wide.

The recalled Mulholland was looking lively on the left wing and his good work set up a chance for Oliver Banks who saw his shot from the edge of the box crash against the post.

There was a moment of controversy when the referee cautioned Mulholland for diving in the box, a baffling decision as it seemed clear to the vast majority inside the ground that he had been tripped.

Just after the half hour the lead was doubled when a corner was emphatically headed home by Stott and the lead was extended when Kyle Jacobs and Daniels combined to pull the ball back to Wolfenden who finished well.

The first half performance was as good as any over the season as a whole. The ball was played on the deck and there wasn’t a poor performance all over the pitch. It wasn’t any surprise that the second half didn’t live up to the opening 45 minutes.

The performance was more laboured but there was still many chances created. Carlos Roca, a half time substitute, set up a header for Daniels that was put over the bar. Fellow substitute, Tom Greaves had another chance within a minute of entering the fray but he missed his kick in front of goal.

Lee Neville came close to a goal with a shot that was fumbled onto the post by Paul Phillips, he made up well when saving the follow up from Greaves.

It was a great night for FC. A good win against local opposition, a superb football performance, especially in the first half, and more importantly qualification for the end of season play-offs.

Report by Steven Wood

Man of the Match - Greg Daniels. A non-stop performance. Was instrumental in the outstanding first half performance where he got things started with a superbly taken goal.

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First Posted ~ 01:47 Wed 24 Apr 2013
News ID ~ 4866
Last Updated ~ 04:08 Thu 25 Apr 2013