UniBond Northern Premier League

FC United of Manchester

Wilson (13), (70), Wright (85)

Hednesford Town

(1) 3

(0) 0



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Decio Gomes


Guiseley (H) 6.12.08

The Pitmen slumped to their heaviest defeat of the UniBond Premier League season this afternoon, as mid-table FC United produced an excellent performance to upset the form book


There was one change forced upon Hednesford manager Dean Edwards as Tom Marshall's suspension for picking up five yellow cards kicked in. Veteran Scott Stamps came in to deputise for the youth team graduate in defence. He also gave a debut to new signing Anthony Robinson, leaving Elliott Durrell on the bench after the youngster had been recovering from a poor challenge in the win over Hyde United on Tuesday night

FC United - promoted to step three in the summer after three previous seasons of success - had found the going a lot harder than in previous seasons and sat down in eleventh place at the start of the day after a four-game winless run. Manager Karl Marginson made one change to the side that had lost to Boston United on the same ground in midweek as Chris Baguley came in for Papis Dieyte

Thick low lying fog had hampered the journey up to Greater Manchester, with the game kicking off under a thick blanket of mist. From the main stand at Gigg Lane, it was difficult to see the far touchline for much of the game

The Pitmen started well, looking to settle into a rhythm amidst all of the noise created by the sizeable FC United support behind the goal. However, it was FC United who were first to register a real shot of intent in the third minute as Simon Carden picking the ball up before firing in a shot from long-range, but the ball was easily seen wide by Stuart Brock

FCUM's debutant Tommy Turner was next to test Brock with a run and a cheeky lob over the keeper, but he failed to get the ball anywhere near the net and Decio Gomes was on hand to clear the ball for the Pitmen

If these had acted as warning shots for the away side, they had not been paying attention, as United took a thirteenth-minute lead; nice link-up play between Carden and Wright saw them play in the league's top scorer Kyle Wilson, who neatly diverted the ball past Brock and into the far corner of the net

Back came the Pitmen, who almost grabbed an instant equaliser through Dyer, but a despairing lunge by Danny Warrender kept the Pitmen at bay as he cleared off the line to deny the youngster

There was plenty of huff and puff from the away side, but very little in the way of application. Their normal, fluent passing game was deserting them, with balls being misplaced and passes not finding the blue shirts. Captain Ross Draper was trying desperately to change things, but his all-action game was not paying off

Stamps was forced to come off midway through the half having picked up an early injury and was replaced by Mark Briggs. This forced the Pitmen into a reshuffle with no recognised defender on the bench as Edwards reverting to a more orthodox 4-4-2 formation to compensate for Stamps coming off and Briggs coming on

The home side continued to press, as the fog got a little worse just before half-time. Wilson wasted a great opportunity for the home side, firing well over after a mistake by Draper had allowed the ball to be worked to the striker. Turner had another shot saved by Brock as the 'home' side  turned up the heat

With harsh words ringing in their ears no doubt, the Pitmen started brightly at the start of the second half, as they looked to get back into the game. There was a loud shout for a penalty just moments into the second half after Barnett went down in the area, but the referee was unimpressed and waved play on

Brock was called into action again on fifty-five minutes, getting something behind an effort from Turner. Gomes was once again on hand to mop up at the back as Wilson was closing in on the rebound

The Pitmen came agonisingly close to grabbing an equaliser on the hour mark; Briggs crossed for fellow substitute Durrell, on for the disappointing Robinson, to head towards goal, but Sam Ashton in the FC United goal made a great save low down to deny him  and concede the corner

This was to cost the Pitmen dearly, as the hosts doubled their advantage with twenty minutes remaining. Turner's incisive through ball played the dangerous Wilson in, who took the ball around the despairing dive of Brock before tapping into the empty net

That goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Pitmen, as they struggled to get a stranglehold back on the game. Gomes was having a fine game at the back for Hednesford, with the Portuguese defender and Brock the pick from a poor team performance

FC United continued to press, sensing the Pitmen's problems. With five minutes remaining, United scored the pick of their goals; Carlos Roca - a late substitute for the hosts - played the ball to Wilson, whose cross deceived the incoming Baguley. The ball fell to Jerome Wright, who hammered a first time shot past Brock at his near post

It had most certainly not been Hednesford's day, as they had been outplayed and out-thought by a useful looking FC United side, who may well be in the shake-up at the end of the season. For Edwards' players, they must forget this result quickly and concentrate on the big one next week when second-placed Guiseley ride into Keys Park for what should be an exciting encounter

FC United of Manchester: Ashton, Warrender, Garner, C. Baguley, Chadwick ©, Nugent, A. Carden (Roca 84), S. Carden (Deiyte 86), Wilson, Wright, Turner (Robinson 76)       Subs Unused: Edwards, Foster

Hednesford Town: Brock, Hall, Burley, Gomes, Harvey, Stamps (Briggs 22), Sheppard (Platt 57), Robinson (Durrell 57 ), Barnett, Dyer, Draper ©       Sub Unused: Maguire