FC United of Manchester
FC United of Manchester
FC United of Manchester
FC United knocked out of FA Trophy by Marske United
FC United were knocked out of the Buildbase FA Trophy by Marske United with a stoppage time winner in a five goal thriller at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.
Midfielder Lewis Maloney scored a stunning 91st minute winner to send the North Yorkshire visitors through to the first round proper.
The Reds thought that they had done enough to send the tie to penalties when striker Michael Fowler levelled the scoreline in the 88th minute only for the visitors to win the match just three minutes later, during a hotly contested end to the game.
With a number of key-first team players missing, FC United struggled to hit their stride during a frustrating performance in front of 600 socially-distanced supporters at Broadhurst Park.
Despite having arguably the poorer of the two starts, it was FC United who opened the scoring after just twelve minutes. Recent signing Tre Pemberton had been fouled deep in the opponent’s half, with Luke Griffiths making good use of the resultant free kick to send a long precision cross to the back post, picking out Curtis Jones, who coolly despatched a header for the opening goal.
Marske were well up for the occasion and immediately went on the hunt for an equaliser. A spate of decent chances for the visitors eventually led to strikers Matthew Tymon & Adam Boyes teaming up and unpicking the FC United defence in the 18th minute, with Tymon latching on to a long ball and heading Boyes in for a simple finish past United keeper Dan Lavercombe.
It was an indication to FC United that Marske, although playing a division lower in the football pyramid than their opponents, weren’t just there to make up the numbers. For the duration of the first half the visitors played a well organised game, breaking with the ball consistently and seeking to pile pressure on the Reds’ defence.
FC United, for their part, stood firm, and went onto craft a number of good chances. The best of these fell onto Charlie Ennis at the 35 minute mark. Following a creative run from Finlay Smith, Ennis found himself played into the penalty area with only Marske keeper Ryan Catterick to beat. A goal seemed a certain thing, only for him to send the opportunity agonisingly wide of the left hand post.
After an evenly matched first half, it was Marske who again started the brighter of the two sides. Despite this, United went close to taking the lead through a trio of fine chances.
Firstly Luke Griffiths seemed certain to score FC United’s second goal on 66 minutes, as he tore through the Seasider’s defence, and was unlucky to send a lobbed shot bouncing off the crossbar. In quick succession Michael Fowler and Cockerline then found themselves with good goalscoring opportunities only to both send their shots wide of Catterick’s post.
Things really heated up in the last ten minutes of the game as both sides went in pursuit of a winner. Marske opted for a direct approach, releasing their pacey forwards at United’s defence with a series of probing long balls.
Their pressure finally showed on FC United’s defence in the 83rd minute, when Boyes scored his team’s second of the game. The Marske forward used his dominant presence to force Curtis Jones into committing an uncharacteristic error, with the Reds’ defender heading the ball directly into the attacking Boyes’ path. The striker made the most of finding the ball at his feet and calmly slot it past a helpless Lavercombe to make it 1-2 to the Seasiders.
FC United soon benefited from Marske’s own defensive error to square things up, with Finlay Smith picking up on a scuffed clearance to quickly turn and shoot at the Marske goal. His effort ricocheted off Connor Smith and into the path of FC’s Fowler, who stroked the ball into an open net to bring the two teams level in the 88th minute.
With the game seemingly heading for penalties, Marske stole the match with a superb 91st minute winner. Midfielder Lewis Maloney had found himself unmarked on the right wing and let loose with a sumptuous strike which Lavercombe was utterly helpless to stop.
Following the defeat FC United manager Neil Reynolds refused to blame his side’s defeat on missing key personnel, with Michael Potts, Regan Linney and Chris Doyle all having been absent from the match day squad. Instead he credited Marske’s organisation and overall performance during their win, and cited issues with his team’s focus and possession as factors for the loss.
A big week now beckons for FC United, as they first face up against league leaders Warrington Town at home on Tuesday night, swiftly followed by a glamour tie in the Emirates FA Cup, as high flying league one outfit Doncaster Rovers pay a visit to North Manchester on Saturday evening.
Website man of the match: Finlay Smith. Aplayer benefiting from an extended run in the starting eleven, and whose quick thinking was directly responsible for our second goal. A frenetic presence all afternoon.