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Match Details       

3.00pm Saturday 9th March 2013

EvoStik League Premier Division

Gigg Lane, Gigg Lane, Bury, BL9 9HR

FC United of Manchester 1 - 3 Chorley
Wolfenden 37   Whitham 33
Russell 53
Roscoe 84

Attendance: 2031

FC United of Manchester
1 James Spencer
2 Kyle Jacobs (capt)
3 Lee Neville
4 Jake Cottrell
5 Adam Jones
6 Dean Stott
7 Astley Mulholland
8 Greg Daniels
9 Tom Greaves
10 Jerome Wright
11 Matthew Wolfenden

12 Mike Norton (for 8, 68 mins)
15 Rhodri Giggs (for 9, 73 mins)
16 Matthew Walwyn (for 2, 82 mins)

Match Report

FC United’s unbeaten run came to an end today with a disappointing 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Chorley. Defensive errors cost FC dear, with the only bright point being a smart finish by Matthew Wolfenden for FC’s only goal.

Coming into the game off the back of two successive draws, FC United would have been hoping to regain winning form at home to Chorley; however the Reds were unable to take anything from the game, meaning that they have now picked up just two points from a possible nine.

Amidst the drizzle, United got off to a fairly bright start, Astley Mulholland looking lively, and pushing forward, almost setting up Tom Greaves.

On ten minutes, Chorley had a good chance inside the box: Andy Russell crossed in from the left and Dale Whitham latched on unchallenged with a diving header from close range. Action then immediately switched to the opposite end of the pitch, as Jerome Wright broke and played in a good cross from the left which unfortunately no FC player was able to connect with.

United were playing well, but despite decent build-ups had nothing to really threaten Jack Cudworth and it was the visitors who took the lead on 33 minutes. The ball was headed across the box from the left-hand side to a waiting Whitham who had nothing to do but put the ball beyond James Spencer who, still on his line, was powerless to prevent the goal from such close range.

The Reds straightaway tried to level and almost did so through Greaves who hit the inside of the post before pouncing instinctively on the follow-up and again finding the woodwork.

It was only to be five minutes before United did restore the game to an even state. A Wright free kick from 25 yards was initially deflected out, however only as far as Wolfenden on the edge of the box, who seized on the opportunity to drive the ball home with a good finish.

On the stroke of half-time, a free kick from Wright was headed along the line but well smothered by a grateful keeper, leaving things all square as the teams headed in for the break.

Despite starting the second half on the front foot, United were to fall behind again on 53 minutes, all through their own making. After numerous opportunities for FC United’s defence and keeper to clear, and following a spell of pinball in and around the area, Russell eventually put the ball over the line beyond a flailing Jones who had got back to try and cover.

With just over 20 minutes left to play, Mike Norton came on in place of Greg Daniels, returning to his familiar place upfront alongside Greaves. The substitute striker found himself in a good position inside the area. Norton turned and in the action of unleashing a shot, was robbed in the nick of time as Russell toe poked the ball away from danger and out for a corner.

Wright had a chance for the Reds as he hit from 30 yards with a powerful shot which the keeper could only parry and United regained possession: unfortunately this only culminated in Jake Cottrell’s skewed effort which finished up nearer the corner flag than the back of the net.

United’s usual strike partnership of Greaves and Norton didn’t have chance to make an impact on the game as the former was replaced by Rhodri Giggs.

Minutes later, a struggling Kyle Jacobs passed his Captain’s armband to Jones and was brought off in place of Mathew Walwyn, leaving the Reds to go three at the back for the remainder of the game.

As the clock ticked down, many of the 2,001 inside Gigg Lane may have been struggling to see where a United goal would come from, and in fact the Magpies scoring again looked a much more likely prospect.

Chorley continued to work hard and wrapped up their victory on 84 minutes. The ball was played across goal from left to right and tapped in by Darren Stephenson at the far post, meaning that the Reds were in need of some serious intervention if they were to take anything from the game.

Deep into added time, Norton had the chance to get a goal back for his side; only to hit off target just before the final whistle blew, summing up United’s afternoon. The Reds now look to have fallen off the pace, dropping into fourth place, meaning that the race for the title is now out of their hands.

Marginson’s side now face a trip to Stocksbridge on Tuesday where they must surely hope to pick up a vital three points to keep in sight of the top positions.

Report by Victoria Fullen

Website Man of the Match: Astley Mulholland – combined well down the right with Kyle Jacobs and looked dangerous throughout a difficult afternoon.
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