First-half blitz beats inexperienced Badgers

FCUM 4 Eastwood Town 1

Four first-half goals proved the difference as FC United of Manchester comfortably took all three points at Bury’s Gigg Lane on Sunday.

The Badgers had an unfamiliar line-up including new goalkeeper Rhys Watkinson, signed from Eastwood & Kimberley FC and returning defender Gary Breach, and they struggled throughout to make a mark on the encounter.

On a bitterly cold afternoon the Reds began the game quickly and looked to take the game to the visitors who had shipped six at Ashton the previous week.

Just 15 minutes in United had the lead as a great cross from maruading left-back Lee Neville was met by the head of Mike Norton who placed his header past Watkinson to put United a goal up.

Just five minutes later stand-in skipper Adam Jones powerfully headed home from a corner to make the score 2-0 and leave many in attendance wondering just how big a deficit the Badgers may lost by on this occasion.

The visitors didn’t help themselves with the third goal as Watkinson’s poor clearance only found Matthew Wolfenden who saw his effort stopped by the Badgers’ debutant stopper outside the box, but Norton got on to the ball and rolled home to put United 3-0 up insidehalf an hour.

Just five minutes before half-time United were awarded a penalty after a clumsy challenge in the area and Dean Stott fired the ball powerfully into the top corner to give United an unassailable four-goal lead at the break.

With Eastwood having conceded more than five goals in three of their last five games United may have been forgiven for thinking the second-half may have been another flurry of goals but the Badgers got on the scoreboard themselves as Alex Troke fired past Jon Worsnop to get them a consolation goal.

But the rest of the second-half followed much the same routine as the first as United controlled the game and pushed forward looking to add to their goals with Neville on the left being the main threat as the visiting defence didn’t seem to know how to handle him.

Norton could have had his hat-trick on two separate occasions, firstly as a rebounded shot just went over his head as he came rushing in on goal and then later when a ball across the goal face was just inches away from his outstretched leg at the far post.

United had several half chances on the afternoon as the likes of Jake Cottrell and Dave Birch fired in efforts that were either to high or wide.

But the best opportunity United had to extend the lead was when Neville tried a flick to control the ball and then fired over from the penalty spot with what would have been a spectacular goal.

Eastwood had offered little throughout but the young squad showed patches of promise that will no doubt offer some hope for upcoming games.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

FCUM: 1 Jon Worsnop 2 Dean Stott 3 Jake Cottrell 4 Dave Birch 5 Adam Jones (c) (Kyle Jacobs 66) 6 Matthew Carr 7 Matthew Wolfenden 8 Nick Platt (Carlos Roca 80) 9 Mike Norton (Tom Fisher 82) 10 Greg Daniels 11 Lee Neville.

Scorers: Norton 16, 28, Jones 20, Stott 42pen 
Eastwood: 1 Rhys Watkinson 2 Jake Green 3 Chris Shaw (c) 4 Gary Breach (Travis Munn 58) 5 Romaine Graham 6 Alex Troke 7 Josh Raven (Petter Aaser 46) 8 Danny Elliott 9 Greg Simmons 10 Ewan Clarke 11 Paolo Piliero (Vijay Selvam 85)

Scorer: Troke 47

Att: 1,692