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FC United defeated by Scarborough in penultimate friendly

FC United’s early lead courtesy of Greg Daniels was cancelled out by a Scarborough equaliser on the stroke of half-time, before the Seadogs scored once more in the latter stages of the game to take the victory in the Reds’ penultimate friendly before embarking upon the real business of the 2013-14 season.

The newly promoted opponents currently play along the coast from Scarborough, so it was to sunny Bridlington that the travelling United support made their way, contributing to a healthy portion of the 422 strong crowd.

Arguably the first chance of the game fell to the home side as James Bennett was alleged to have been tripped on the edge of the area. The resulting free kick from the right hand side was played across the area to the rising Paul Cook at the far post. The centre-half’s downward header sailed inches past James Spencer’s right post.

With four minutes played, Daniels secured the opener, latching onto a through-ball and lobbing the keeper from the left-hand side and the backtracking defender could only follow the ball into the net.

Matthew Wolfenden and Oliver Banks had half-chances to threaten, the latter almost profiting from a low cross along the ground from Daniels, however Jason White did well to claim.

Five minutes of the half remained when ex-top flight referee Uriah Rennie took to his book to show Gary Bradshaw a yellow card for a foul on Tom Davies which left the centre-half struggling through to the break.

The flow of the game became stunted by several stoppages towards the end of the half and on one such occasion a free kick resulted in Scarborough setting the score level. Chris Bolder broke down the left and Spencer came to the edge of the area to attempt to snatch the ball. Unfortunately, the United keeper handled outside the area and Matty Plumber was on hand to head the resultant free kick into the net at the far post seconds before half-time. Regrettably, conceding at this stage has become an unwelcome recurrence this pre-season.

As the squad becomes more settled, the management are no longer making wholesale changes at half-time, however, there was a double substitution for the second half as Jon Worsnop donned the No. 1 shirt to replace Spencer and Cavell Coo came on in place of Davies, the centre-half nursing a knock from earlier in the game. The back four now comprised of Coo at right back, Charlie Raglan and Lee Neville in the centre and Liam Brownhill shifting sides to play at left-back.

In a promising move, Banks played the ball through to Wolfenden who had made a good run to beat the offside trap. Wolfenden pulled the ball back, aiming for Wright in the centre, but the winger narrowly missed the connection.

A trio of United substitutes ensued around the hour mark as Brownhill, Daniels and Wolfenden were replaced by Astley Mulholland, Mike Norton, and Rhodri Giggs, the two latter almost combining straightaway.

Mulholland certainly had a positive impact on proceedings following his introduction and on one occasion picked up a through-ball from Jerome Wright and skipped past two defenders before hitting a shot on target which White claimed.

Scarborough were also making the United defence work and midway into the half won a corner from which goal scorer Plummer headed just over the bar.

Minutes later the Reds did concede, this time Bolder being the benefactor for the Seadogs. Scarborough managed to beat the offside trap, and as the United back line stood rooted appealing for the flag, Bolder slotted the ball into an open net with Worsnop stranded.

In the final stages, FC had a penalty claim and a free kick in a good position, following hard work from Mulholland, however United couldn’t find a way to take anything from the game, meaning that the full time whistle signalled a further pre-season defeat.

The Reds now only have one more opportunity for preparation next Saturday when they take on Stalybridge Celtic on rather familiar turf.

Report by Victoria Fullen

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First Posted ~ 20:41 Sun 4 Aug 2013
News ID ~ 5004
Last Updated ~ 12:54 Tue 6 Aug 2013