Brackley Town 4-0 FC United of Manchester
Saturday 16 January 2016
National League North
by Matthew Haley
FC United slumped to a 4-0 defeat away to fellow strugglers Brackley Town on Saturday afternoon as the Reds put in an abject performance.
Sloppy defending saw two goals in each half whilst Karl Marginson’s side failed to ever really threaten getting on the scoresheet. The result leaves the Reds in 17th place and just one point above the relegation zone.
Going into the game, FC United were unbeaten in three and hopeful of building on recent draws with Tamworth and Hednesford and victory over Bradford Park Avenue. However, it never looked likely on the day.
In between the four promotions and numerous trophies, FC United have put in some poor performances over the last 10 years. Unfortunately, this was up there with the worst. United were poor at the back and going forward they were dealt with easily.
Brackley’s defence has been strengthened in recent weeks by two loan-signing s centre-back Matt Lowe from League Two Cambridge United and fullback Liam Slade from League One leaders, Burton Albion. The pair helped the Saints ease to a cleansheet.
That said, the Reds had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock inside the first five minutes but Dean Stott’s cross was over hit and too high when captain Tom Greaves was hoping for a simple tap-in inside the six yard box.
Six minutes later, Glenn Walker gave Saints the lead. FC United failed to clear a free-kick by Tom Winters, the ball was headed down and Walker volleyed the ball home from the edge of the area. It was a soft goal.
FC United had lots of possession for the next 25 minutes or so but they struggled to create any clear cut chances and were given offside several times, killing the momentum and pressure each time.
The hosts doubled their lead six minutes before halftime. And it was far too similar to the first goal from FC United’s point of view. Another free-kick from the right by Winters was knocked back across goal and David Moyo acrobatically hooked the ball home for 2-0.
Liam Brownhill forced goalkeeper Sam Hornby into a good save two minutes before the break but the Reds couldn’t get the goal they desperately needed.
Brackley put the game to bed just five minutes into the second half. The FC United defence was nowhere to be seen as Moyo played in Steve Diggin who had all the time in the world to bring the ball down and smash it past goalkeeper Dave Carnell for 3-0.
The visitors from Manchester, playing in an unflattering combination of white shirt, blue shorts, and blue socks, could only really muster a couple of chances worthy of note in the entire half. The normally potent George Thomson worked an opening but he lofted his effort over the bar from 12 yards out. Moments later, he was booked for diving. It encapsulated FC United’s overall performance – desperate and disappointing.
Substitute Sam Madeley created some hope by looking lively and had half a chance – forcing Hornby into a smothering save. The Reds were going for broke and trying to force an unlikely way back into the match. But it was no surprise when Winters completed the rout in the 77th minute, meeting Walker’s cross first time to give Carnell no chance.
The only pleasing aspect of the day was the FC United faithful applauding the players and management off the pitch at the end and enjoying a drink with them in the clubhouse after the final whistle. Brackley manager Kevin Wilkin also showed a touch of class by going over to applaud the travelling supporters too.
Everyone at the club will be disappointed with the performance and the result. However, the team must pick themselves up and concentrate on getting three points at home to Lowestoft next Saturday at Broadhurst Park. Get yourself to our football ground.
National League North table
Photo courtesy of Mark Lee (full match photos here)
Read more: http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/m_report.php?match_id=1305