Reds edged out in seven goal thriller
FC United were edged out by promotion rivals Bradford Park Avenue in a controversial seven goal thriller in front of 2,238 supporters at a wet and windy Gigg Lane.
All the pre-match talk was how important the game was in regards of league standings and both teams provided an entertaining game. United couldn’t have wished for a worse start though as they found themselves a goal down after just one minute.
A through ball from the Avenue midfield saw the defence step up but debutant Adam Turner was caught sleeping, winger Liam Flynn crossed the ball and big striker Mike Moseley headed home a simple goal to put the visitors one up.
Centre-back Turner has been impressive for the reserves all season and made up for his mistake minutes later by capping his first team bow with a goal. United had come out attacking from the early set back and Turner rose well in the box to head home from a corner.
Things got better for the Reds as they found themselves 2-1 up after 15 minutes when the Avenue defence failed to deal with a Jerome Wright shot, Chris Baguely calmly slotted home to give United the advantage.
The Reds had a guilt edged chance to go 3-1 up when Rory Patterson got past Avenue ‘keeper Joe Worsnop but failed to slot the ball home from what was a tight angle.
The visitors enjoyed good possession throughout the game, but it must be said United never looked overawed by one of the best teams in the league, although stand-in goalkeeper Phil Priestley had to make a few saves during the first half.
Avenue scored a controversial equaliser minutes before half time after right winger Chris Gaghan made a late tackle on Wright. The referee allowed play to continue despite United’s pacey winger laying prostrate on the ground.
The ball came back into the visitors possession and Gaghan curled in a shot-cum-cross with his left which sneaked past Priestley to level things up.
At half time the heavens opened above Gigg Lane and it seemed to be an omen for a second half which started slowly. Both teams struggles to get a hold of the ball in the wet conditions and the first 15 minutes of the second half were a bit timid.
The visitors were gifted a penalty when striker Mike Moseley went down after a slight push from Adam Turner in another controversial twist to the afternoon and Avenue fullback Darren Hockenhull calmly slotted the spot kick home to make it 3-2.
Things went from bad to worse to United as Ben Jones broke on the left and squared the ball across the United box. The ball was poked in at the near post by the ever-lively Moseley to give the visitors a two goal cushion.
United fought back well but too many moves broke down in the final third. However, the Reds did show a fighting spirit that should serve them well over the coming weeks.
Substitute Simon Carden was chopped down in the Avenue box in stoppage time, to which United were awarded a penalty. Patterson coolly stepped up and put the spot kick away, but it proved to be no more than a consolation goal.
United have now lost three of the last four in the league and find themselves six points behind today’s visitors, but for the 2,238 leaving a cold, dark, wet Gigg Lane the spirit shown today has fanned the flames for a turnaround in fortunes over the coming weeks in what could prove to be a vital point of the season.
1. Phil Priestley
2. Matty Taylor
3. Shaun Roscoe
4. Nicky Platt (off for 14, 63)
5. Adam Turner (Goal, 5)
6. Danny Jarrett
7. Jamie Baguely (off for 12, 70)
8. Chris Baguely (Goal, 15)
9. Aaron Burns
10. Jerome Wright
11. Rory Patterson (captain) (Goal, Pen 90+2)
12. Peter Thomson (on for 7, 70)
14. Simon Carden (on for 4, 63)
15. Liam Foster
Bradford Park Avenue
1. J Worsnop (cautioned 90(+3))
2. D Hockenhull
3. P Collins
4. T Baker
5. L Adams
6. M Daly
7. C Gahgan
8. S Connors (capt)
9. M Moseley
10. B Jones
11. L Flynn
12. S Howson
14. R Clegg (for 8 89)
15. A Lee (for 10 86)
25-11-2007 at 18:07