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FC United are through to FA Cup first round proper with win at Sporting Khalsa

FC United are through to FA Cup first round proper with win at Sporting Khalsa

FC United are through to the first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup after beating Sporting Khalsa 3-1 on Saturday afternoon with goals from Luke Ashworth, Greg Daniels and Craig Lindfield.

The Reds were 2-0 up and coasting in front of 2,252 supporters, an attendance record at Noose Lane, but the hosts set up a tense 20 minutes by pulling a goal back in the 66th minute before substitute Lindfield sealed the victory four minutes from the end.

After a comfortable first half for FC United, the West Midlands hosts made a good fist of their big day, giving the huge home support something to cheer. After pulling a goal back, Khalsa threw everything they could muster at United to get a priceless equaliser. The Reds had to survive a couple of brief scares before breaking away to score the all important third goal.

Centre-back Ashworth broke the deadlock in the 27th minute by heading home a corner at the near post to settle any nerves FC United may have had playing against a team from three divisions below, who were hungry for a FA Cup upset.

The Reds continued to attack and Daniels could have been on the scoresheet sooner than he was after seeing a close range shot smothered by goalkeeper James Pemberton. Down at the other end, Marvin Nisbett had the hosts’ best chance. The centre-forward took advantage of a defensive mix up and tried to chip the onrushing Dave Carnell but the ’keeper saved unconventionally with a header just outside his 18-yard box.

Nisbett knew he’d had the chance to change the course of the match and was left to rue the missed opportunity, especially because three minutes later, United were 2-0 up. Daniels held off Tes Robinson, who was seemingly trying to shepherd the ball back to his goalkeeper, to loft the ball into the right corner of the goal.

United looked reasonably comfortable throughout the opening 45 minutes and Khalsa hadn’t really got to grips with the big occasion. However, the Midlands club came out for the second half determined to get back into the match.

Some lax defending by FC United allowed Craig Bannister to cross low from the right and Robinson slid the ball in from close range to make it 2-1, giving the hosts hope of staying in the competition.

Ten minute later and Robinson was again the danger man. A free-kick from 40 yards was lofted into the box where the big centre-back volleyed the ball across goal. Unfortunately for Khalsa, no-one could make themselves a hero by connecting with the ball and it sailed harmlessly out for a deadball.

With Khalsa committing men forward in search of an equaliser, FC United finished off the hosts by hitting them on the break. Sam Sheridan excelled throughout the match and some good footwork saw him release Lindfield unmarked on the left. The skillful winger broke into the box and slotted the ball home with ease to seal the tie.

FC United are through to the first round proper of the FA Cup for the second time in our history. Everyone at the club wishes Sporting Khalsa well for the rest of the season, great hosts who were intent on playing good football. We now await Monday night’s first round draw where 48 clubs from the Football League enter the competition.

Website man of the match: Sam Sheridan. Sheridan and Callum Byrne both brought a touch of class to the FC United midfield with great footwork and vision. Sheridan shades this week’s award ahead of his central-midfield partner.

Report by Matthew Haley

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First Posted ~ 20:32 Sat 24 Oct 2015
News ID ~ 6465
Last Updated ~ 00:24 Mon 26 Oct 2015