FC United of Manchester 1-3 Alfreton Town
Saturday 13 February 2016
National League North
by Victoria Fullen
FC United threw away a 1-0 halftime lead to lose 3-1 at home to Alfreton Town
A positive first half performance capped off by Sam Madeley’s opener on the stroke of half time showed signs of a reversion to form following a forgettable midweek defeat away at Telford.
However, Alfreton’s team talk at the break proved to do the trick as the visitors put three past United in the second half to extend their unbeaten run to 10 games and leave Marginson’s side languishing in 15th in the table.
FC United began well and Tom Brown had the ball in the net early on, only to be flagged offside. The Reds were then dealt a further injury blow as Lewis Lacy limped off just shy of 20 minutes in and was replaced by Tom Eckersley, the centre-half making his Broadhurst Park debut.
Alfreton’s best chance of the half came through Joe Leesley on the half hour mark as he rattled the crossbar from the edge of the area, however it was United who broke the deadlock, waiting until two minutes into added time to do so. Scott Kay played the ball in from the left and Madeley took his time in the box before slotting beyond Matt Duke from eight yards.
The visitors launched their second half campaign with intent, forcing United’s young debutant keeper Dylan Forth into a great one-handed save to deny Sam Jones’ header from a corner. Alfreton had only to wait until the hour mark to equalise as the ball pin-balled around the area and Lindon Meikle was on hand to stab it home at the back post.
United made their second substitute minutes later with Adam Thurston replacing Brown and from then on the visitors were firmly in the driving seat with Jamie Jackson in particular causing problems down the left. Alfreton won a free-kick and Jones stepped up to swing the ball in past Forth who had no chance in the United goal.
Marginson’s reply was in the form of the returning captain Jerome Wright, coming back from a lengthy spell of injury and replacing Liam Brownhill. All FC’s efforts however were proving to be in vain as the visitors sealed their victory on 83 minutes through Dan Bradley. Forth did brilliantly to palm away Jamie Jackson’s initial effort but only into the path of Bradley who made sure that his side took all three points away from Moston.
The final minutes saw several stoppages and bookings and even a sending off as Luke Ashworth saw red following an altercation with Todd Jordan whilst the visitors lined up to take a free-kick.
Although the Reds started well, they didn’t move up the gears during the second half and really left the game open for Alfreton’s taking. They must now – weather permitting – face old rivals Bradford Park Avenue on Wednesday evening where they look to add points to the board.
Photo courtesy of Mark Lee (full match photos here)
Read more here: http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/m_report.php?match_id=1282