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Reds get 2018 underway with a draw at league leaders Salford City

FC United started 2018 with a 2-2 draw away to Salford City, meaning the Reds have taken four points from their two meetings against the league leaders over the festive period.

The draw caps off a great month on the pitch which saw FC United take nine points and go unbeaten in five games against teams from the top five in the league table.

Most importantly was the never say die attitude of the players who came from behind twice during a difficult game in difficult conditions and they could have every right to feel they should have come away with another three points against The Ammies.

Obviously fired up by their Boxing Day defeat at Broadhurst Park, the home team began the game strongly, looking to get back to winning ways they looked strong, organised and dangerous whenever on the ball.

Fifteen minutes into the game and the strong start was rewarded with a well taken goal as a ball from the right was controlled beautifully by Anthony Dudley, who put it past Lloyd Allinson to give Salford a 1-0 lead.

With the wind in their sails the home side came forward looking for a second and they were unlucky not to get their second moments later a s a low shot beat Allinson but hit the post and safely went back into the arms of the FC United ‘keeper.

The first half hour was a difficult one to say the least, but with the difference just being the single goal you felt that FC would get their opportunities to get back into things and just ten minutes before the break the scores were levelled as Craig Lindfield fired home.

The momentum was now with FC and before the break there was two great chances to take the lead. Firstly, when Connor McCarthy shot just wide from outside the box, before Kieran Glynn’s shot was spilled by Salford ‘keeper Max Crocombe who just managed to gather the ball up before Tom Greaves could pounce.

Coming out of the break you felt that FC were in the game and with the wind blowing hard behind them they could possibly use the conditions to their advantage in the second half, but four minutes after the restart it was Salford who had taken the lead once more after some poor defending from a free kick from the left allowed Jack Redshaw to put the home team ahead once more.

Much like when they scored in the first half Salford came forward with the momentum in the game, looking for a third goal, going close twice but being denied by Allinson and then Senior who made a great clearance off the line.

With it still being the one goal separating the two teams FC grew into the second half and began to threaten the Salford goal regularly throughout the half. Craig Lindifeld saw a great free kick denied by an equally great save by Crocombe.

Connor McCarthy had two great efforts to level things up. Firstly, a header in the box was comfortably saved by Crocombe, but when the Salford ‘keeper was out of position minutes later McCarthy’s effort towards goal went just over the bar.

Despite looking dangerous with attack after attack there still wasn’t any way through for the Reds and even a couple of decent penalty shouts were turned down, making you think it might just be one of those days that no matter what we try we just weren’t going to get the breakthrough.

Then five minutes from time another good pressured attack resulted in the equaliser, as the home defence couldn’t get the ball clear a couple of shots from outside the box were blocked by the defence before Steve Irwin’s effort took a wicked deflection (Zac Corbett seemed to be the man who got the last touch) and the ball ended up in the goal, a goal which was fully deserved following a strong second half performance.

Even in stoppage time FC kept looking for a winner and Senior’s effort from the right-hand side was pushed away with another good save from Crocombe as both teams took a point from the game.

The point sees FC United in 13th place in the league after 24 games, six points above the drop zone and dare we say nine points off the last play-off position. Next up for the Reds is the visit of Southport this Sunday, a team who are three points and four places below us following their impressive 3-0 victory over Chorley today.

Man of the Match: Steve Irwin – gave everything in the middle of the park today, showing the skill we all know he has going forward but also the fight and desire that such a result needs from the key players like Irwin.

Report by Craig Phillips

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First Posted ~ 10:46 Tue 2 Jan 2018
News ID ~ 7736
Last Updated ~ 15:36 Fri 5 Jan 2018