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Carden double cuts down Cables

FC United moved to within two points of the play-off zone as two second half goals from Simon Carden saw off Prescot Cables at Gigg Lane on Saturday afternoon.

Not only was the win United’s third in succession, but also marked three straight games without conceding a goal as the Reds moved up to ninth place in the UniBond Premier Division.

Carden broke the deadlock four minutes after the interval by stroking home the rebound from a Tommy Turner shot that the Prescot keeper could only parry.

The midfielder struck again with 15 minutes to go after being played through by a delightful ball from left-back Simon Garner, sealing victory in front of 2,045 ecstatic supporters.

United were fancied to get the three points after wins away at Worksop and Boston and given the fact Saturday’s opponents are fighting it out at the bottom end of the table, but the first half was very even in the middle third as both teams competed well to try and get possession and the breakthrough goal.

That said, the visitors rarely troubled Sam Ashton in the opening period, and it was Untied who always looked the better bet to take the lead. One of United’s best chances came from a Simon Carden cross from the right which was met by Tommy Turner but saved well by Prescott ‘keeper Zak Jones.

Some resolute defending from the visitors meant United were kept to half chances, but the best chance of a breakthrough looked like coming from some penetrative wing play by both Jerome Wright and Adam Carden.

But United were left frustrated at half-time as they couldn’t find that little something extra needed in order to take the lead.

The Reds came out for the second half looking to build on their good possession ply from the first half, but it was the visitors who first went close when Darren Byers suddenly found himself one on one with Sam Ashton but fired over the bar from just outside the box.

It wasn’t long until the breakthrough came when Zak Jones saved Tommy Turner’s close range effort he could only parry it into the path of Simon Carden who fired home to give the Reds a deserved lead.

United came forward looking to finish off their opponents but again found the defending of the visitors more than resolute and were kept to half chances from the edge of box and nothing more; with Wilson coming close on more than one occasion.

It felt like it could be one of those games where Untied could be punished for not killing their opponents off with a second goal, especially when Prescot came forward well and had a good period of possession at the turn of the hour.

But any thoughts of a comeback for the Merseysiders were dealt a cruel blow when United broke well and Simon Carden found himself put through one-on-one with Jones, all that was left was for Carden to slot home underneath the ‘keeper and give the Reds the two goal cushion they desperately craved.

The rest of the second half played much like a training session with most of the fight gone out the visiting team United passed the ball around to cheers of ‘ole’ from the faithful in the stands.

Tunji Moses made his long awaited debut as a late second half substitute and on loan forward Tristram Whitman showed some good pace and skill as he came on for Tommy Turner in the second period.

The win moves United up to ninth in the league just two points away from the play-off places but with just four points separating third from eleventh Margy will be keen for the Reds to keep up their good form and become front runners in the chase for promotion; starting with Witton Albion next Saturday.

Report by Craig Phillips.

17-01-2009 at 22:29

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