Ashton United v FC United. 3pm Saturday, 28th December 2019

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Nick Duckett
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed 21 Aug, 2019 8:31 pm

Re: Ashton United v FC United. 3pm Saturday, 28th December 2019

Post by Nick Duckett » Mon 30 Dec, 2019 6:30 pm

Robins just fail to deny Rebels

Ashton were cruelly denied a share of the points as a last minute goal by the League’s leading scorer Tunde Owolabi saw the high-flying visitors leave a vibrant Hurst Cross with all 3 points. Ashton were handing full debuts to goalkeeper Greg Hartley and left back Stephen Rigby with Craig Mahon also on loan on the left wing and the action started with Ben Hardcastle’s cross deflected for a corner from which Josh Wilson’s volley was held under the bar by Cameron Belford.

Hardcaste then had an even better chance as a rebound put him clean through on Belford who effected the block and a long ball then saw Sam Sheridan bring down Owolabi just outside the area with Paul Ennis’ free kick fisted away. Mahon took too many touches when collecting Hardcastle’s cross and a mix up in the home defence saw Curran shoot straight at Harltey. Lufudu then saved Ashton as he cleared Ennis’s cross from a corner from which Sikora sent a flashing header off target. Wilson and Owolabi both had goals ruled out for offside and handball respectively and just before the break a quick move saw Wilson’s cross shot just evade Michael Brewster at the far post.

3 minutes into the second period Owolabi should have headed the visitors in front but saw his header from 6 yards out from Regan Linney’s cross cannon back off the crossbar with Curran’s follow up blocked. Hardcastle then forced a save from a narrow angle and Lufudu squeezed his way along the by line and saw his cross cleared to Tames who placed his attempt over. With a quarter of an hour remaining the deadlock was broken as Linney was fouled by Brewster at the by line with the winger tucking the penalty away and Greg Hartley then had to be alert in the home goal as Potts’ lofted pass saw Owolabi clean through.

3 minutes from time and the Robins thought they had rescued a point as Lufudu’s overlapping cross was volleyed home from near the penalty spot by sub Aaron Smith but the action then switched to the other end as Stephen Rigby saw red for bringing down Finlay Sinclair-Smith and with the ball not properly cleared the return delivery was touched home close in by Owolabi.

Nick Duckett
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed 21 Aug, 2019 8:31 pm

Re: Ashton United v FC United. 3pm Saturday, 28th December 2019

Post by Nick Duckett » Mon 30 Dec, 2019 6:30 pm

FC United finished 2019 in third place in the Bet Victor Northern Premier Division after Tunde Owolabi claimed a last minute winner to beat Ashton United 2-1 in a closely fought encounter at Hurst Cross on Saturday afternoon.

Regan Linney won and scored a penalty with 13 minutes remaining to send the Reds on their way. Aaron Smith volleyed home an equaliser 10 minutes later before FC United snatched all three points at the death.

Michael Donohue could also lay claim to the winner as it was his cross-cum-shot that beat goalkeeper Greg Hartley but Owolabi may have got the faintest of touches on it.

Officially, the goal has been recorded as Owolabi’s 24th of the season and hopefully Donohue won’t mind too much. The substitute’s fantastic ball into the corridor of uncertainty was helped into the net by Owolabi, whether he touched it or not, as his presence and attempt to play the ball completely distracted Hartley.

Full report to follow.

Nick Duckett
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed 21 Aug, 2019 8:31 pm

Re: Ashton United v FC United. 3pm Saturday, 28th December 2019

Post by Nick Duckett » Fri 03 Jan, 2020 9:37 am

Regan Linney won and scored a penalty with 13 minutes remaining to send the Reds on their way. Aaron Smith volleyed home an equaliser 10 minutes later before FC United snatched all three points at the death.

Donohue came off the bench to produce the winner as his cross-cum-shot crept past goalkeeper Greg Hartley, who was distracted by striker Tunde Owolabi’s attempt to turn in the winger’s cross field ball.

It looked like Owolabi may have got the faintest of touches on it for his 24th of the season and he was originally credited with the goal. However, after the match, the league’s top scorer magnanimously admitted he didn’t connect with it and Donohue was awarded the goal retrospectively.

What we know for definite is that Donohue’s fantastic ball into the corridor of uncertainty may not have been helped physically into the net by Owolabi, but his presence and attempt to play the ball completely distracted Hartley - and that resulted in the goal. Teamwork in action.

In an end-to-end tussle, FC United goalkeeper Cameron Belford kept the scores level several times with numerous saves. It was arguably the former Bury shot-stopper’s best performance for FC United since signing on loan from Nuneaton.

He could do nothing about the Robins’ equaliser. The hosts’ man of the match, fullback John Lufudu exposed United down the right wing before cutting inside to cross for Smith to finish with aplomb.

At one point, it looked like the game might have finished goalless. Both sides had first half goals correctly disallowed; Ashton for offside and United for handball by Owolabi.

The next best chance of the match then came three minutes into the second half when Owolabi rattled the crossbar with a header from six yards out.

But in the end, it didn’t matter. Ashton leftback Stephen Rigby was sent off for tripping Finlay Sinclair-Smith on the edge of the box in the 90th minute and United took full advantage. The free-kick was initially blocked by the wall but the ball was worked out wide to Donohue, who whipped in the winner to the far corner. Scenes!

Website man of the match: Cameron Belford. Kept FC United in the match during some sustained Ashton pressure.

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