Lowestoft Town 1-4 FC United of Manchester
Saturday 5 September 2015
National League North
by Matthew Haley
FC United moved up to 10th place in the Vanarama National League North with a convincing 4-1 win at Lowestoft Town on Saturday afternoon with two goals apiece from Tom Greaves and Sam Madeley.
It was a day reminiscent of FC United’s early years in the North West Counties Football League – friendly hosts, the majority of the travelling Red army crammed into a ’bus stop’ style stand, beer being drunk responsibly on the terraces, and the Reds wrapping up the result inside the first 25 minutes.
Whisper it quietly but, after a struggling start to the season, FC United look like a force to be reckoned with. Greaves blew the Trawler Boys out of the water with two goals within 20 minutes and Madeley then added a brace of his own, the second a spectacular overhead kick 10 minutes into the second half.
Lowestoft did manage a consolation seven minutes before halftime when Reds’ centre-back, Nia Bayunu volleyed an attempted backpass past Dave Carnell and into his own net. It didn’t matter though, FC United had already sailed into an unassailable lead on the east coast.
Madeley ran the game from the off and there were just nine minutes on the clock when he pinged a ball in from the right for Greaves to glance a header into the bottom left corner, breaking the deadlock.
Ten minutes later and Greaves was at it again. The lively Sean Cooke worked a shooting opportunity on the edge of the box. His shot was deflected by a covering defender and the ball rebounded to Greaves, who drilled home a first time effort, low and hard into the bottom left corner.
Lowestoft, who finished 16th in their first season in the Conference North last year, looked shellshocked with the pace and precision of the relentless waves of FC United attacks. And it soon got worse for the Suffolk side.
With 25 minutes gone, Cooke floated in a free-kick to the back post. Centre-back Luke Ashworth headed across the six yard box and Madeley turned the ball home, putting the match out of reach.
FC United looked comfortable throughout but Lowestoft were thrown an unlikely lifeline when Bayunu had a moment to forget. A cross from the right was met at the back post by Chris Henderson who headed back across goal where Bayunu inexplicably hammered home a consolation goal by hooking the ball in off Carnell. It was a charitable offering that United could afford on this occasion.
Into the second half and the Reds immediately picked up where they left off. The Trawler Boys’ defence was all at sea again and a deflected shot from Cooke looped up in the air kindly to release Madeley, putting him one-on-one with goalkeeper Marcus Garnham.
With time on his hands, the former Salford City midfielder waited for the ball to fall from the sky before making it 4-1 with an audacious bicycle-kick. His second spectacular goal of the week after his screamer against Curzon Ashton on Monday. Don’t tell scouts from the Football League but this lad has got talent.
With the points comfortably in the bag, FC United cruised to victory on Love Road as the travelling Red Army enjoyed a drink and a singalong in the sun, much to the amusement of the Lowestoft supporters and local constabulary, who had probably never seen anything like it before.
Five minutes before the final whistle, Jack Ainsley was dismissed for two bookable offences to complete a miserable day for the hosts. Moments later, the Reds could have made it 5-1 when Greaves nearly netted his hat-trick.
Substitutes Craig Lindfield and Matthew Wolfenden combined when Lindfield chipped a cross into the box. Wolfenden headed on and Greaves had a close range effort deflected off the line for a corner. That was the last action of the match.
FC United had claimed another three points, taking the tally to 10 points out of the last 12, made more friends not millionaires off the pitch and once again showed that football supporters can act responsibly when treated like adults with beer flowing freely and no segregation in place between the two sets of fans.
Website man of the match: Sam Madeley. Scored two and set up the opener. Looked dangerous throughout and looks like a real asset to the club.
Read more here: http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/m_story.php?story_id=6358