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Reds slip to shock defeat

Two goals in the last five minutes saw FC United slip to a shock 4-2 defeat to bottom of the table Leigh Genesis on Saturday as former Manchester United youngster Phil Marsh bagged a hat-trick.

The Reds came back from a goal behind twice and when debutant striker Carl Lomax scored the second equaliser in the 85th minute, the home crowd hoped they could push on for victory.

However, it was the relegation threatened visitors who pulled off a last gasp win. Chris Thompson fired in the third just a minute after Lomax’s equaliser and Marsh made it four in injury time after a defensive howler.

Following a defeat away to Nantwich last Saturday, FC United were hoping to return to winning ways and on paper this arguably should have been the case with Leigh fighting for survival at the bottom of the table.

However, it was Genesis who took the lead in the first minute of play courtesy of a penalty. Marsh rounded Sam Ashton after a mix up between the keeper and David Chadwick and was brought down by Adam Tong who was desperately trying to cover. Marsh picked himself up and coolly slotted the ball past the right of Ashton who was sent the wrong way.

Spurred on by their early advantage, Leigh continued to play with confidence and it was a while before Margy’s men could begin to settle into the game. It was just prior to the 20 minute mark before United’s first real chance of the game - Lomax hit the left post from inside the area.

As the half progressed, the Reds had further chances to equalise including a Jerome Wright shot on goal that was denied by a great one-handed save from Danny Morton in the Genesis goal. Tong also had an opportunity to level the scores just before half time, heading a good ball inches past Morton’s left post.

Ten minutes into the second half, Danny Williams was replaced by Tommy Turner for a straight swap upfront. Leigh’s Kyle Lambert then threatened to add to the visitors’ lead; striking an effort on goal just past Ashton’s left post.

Lomax then added to a positive debut performance with a storming shot on goal from 25 yards out. Unfortunately for the Reds, the dipping drive rebounded off the cross bar.

Just past the hour mark, FC United finally managed to equalise with a Neil Chappell goal stemming from a free kick outside of the area. Garner sent the ball goalwards and despite the initial shot being denied, Morton’s save was not strong enough and the ball was deflected into the path of Chappell who did well to bury it from a tight angle.

Only minutes later, FC conceded a second penalty when Marsh’s legs were taken by Tong following a run into the area. The spot kick was again taken by the number 10 to regain Leigh’s lead on 70 minutes.

With not long left to go and trailing 2-1, Marginson made the decision to play three at the back for the remainder of the game, bringing Jamie Baguley on in place of Simon Garner. Tunji Moses was also replaced by Adam Carden.

Chappell had a chance to add to his goal tally and equalise again for United when Turner played the ball across to the former Maine Road midfielder for a free header on goal. Unfortunately his header sailed over the bar.

Despite the miss, it wasn’t long before Lomax deservedly scored on his debut to bring the game back to level pegging. A good shot from Tong on the edge of the area was again spilled by Morton, this time into the path of Lomax who blasted the ball into the roof of the net on 85 minutes.

United’s thoughts then turned to another late victory. However, just a minute later the Reds were once again undone. Kyle Lambert was allowed to run free by Wright, break into the box and cross for Thompson who slid the ball into Ashton’s right corner, marring any FC celebrations.

The game was then put beyond doubt in injury time as a poor throw in from Tong put Ashton under unnecessary pressure. Marsh got to the ball first, nipped round the keeper and slotted it over the line into the empty net for his hat-trick.

As full time neared, there was no way back for the Reds in a disappointing second defeat in the row and possibly one of the most lacklustre displays in the club’s short history. FC United will be looking to put this result behind them as they visit Kendal Town next weekend.

FC United:
1. S Ashton
2. D Warrender
3. S Garner
4. T Moses
5. D Chadwick ©
6. A Tong
7. C Roca
8. N Chappell
9. K Lomax
10. J Wright
11. D Whitman
12. R Nugent
14. T Whitman
15. J Baguley
16. T Turner
17. A Carden

Leigh Genesis
1. D Morton
2. C Page ©
3. R Botchley
4. A Heald
5. B McHugh
6. A Cunliffe
7. K Lambert
8. K Brown
9. C Thompson
10. P Marsh
11. S Settle
12. S Edwards
14. D Hill
15. S Sephton
16. D Whitman
17. D Porter

15-02-2009 at 23:33

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