Late Point for Development Squad against Ashton Athletic
A first half free kick from Nat Kerr and a free kick bundled in by Toby Wright in stoppage time were the answer to two late Ashton strikes that threatened to see all three points taken from the reds in a 2-2 draw at Nichols.
As has often been the case FC United start the game on the front foot, a strong run by Rhys Coogan in the first minute earned the first of two consecutive corners. Unfortunately there was no end product and that set the tone for the first quarter of the game. Ashton Athletic came to compete and that meant there were no real chances for either side in that period.
The game was creeping to the half hour mark when Tunde Owolabi had two half chances that he should have done better with but the reds took the lead on 28 minutes. A free kick, about twenty yards out close to the right corner of the box saw John Pritchard and Nat Kerr discussing tactics. Everyone was expecting a Pritchard effort curled over the wall to the near post, so the Nat Kerr low drive past the wall to the centre of the goal took everyone by surprise, including Ashton Keeper Patrick Loughlin who could only slice it in to the far corner.
From then until half time FC United dominated the game and should have scored more, two good chances went begging in as many minutes after the goal. That said, Ashton Athletic could easily have equalised on 32 minutes; breaking clear down the right wing a shot was adjudged to have been turned wide by Ben Jupp.
In the second half the home pace dropped and allowed Ashton Athletic the time and space to be more creative. A move featuring Coogan and Dean Hope gave early promise and a John Pritchard goal was ruled out for offside in the 77th minute, but in truth it was a combination of saves from Jupp and wasteful Ashton finishing that kept the home lead in tact.
That was until the last five minutes when first, a cross from the left found Lee Fernaus with time to give Jupp no chance and then Riven Fisher took advantage of some slack defending to counter punch the visitors into what was then a deserved lead as the game entered stoppage time.
Fortunately for the reds there was a good four minutes of that and just as time was running out, Toby Wright found a decisive touch to a Dean Hope free kick floated into the penalty area to rescue a point. This ensured the Development Squad, like the first team remain unbeaten and now move to cup action. A league cup tie against Hyde at Abbey Hey takes place on Thursday 11th September with a 7:45pm kickoff for any one not distracted by a minor club landmark game in Macclesfield.
FC United of Manchester: 1. Ben Jupp 2. Ryan Saxon 3. Charlie Doyle 4. Toby Wright 5. Nick Truelove 6. Nat Kerr 7. Frank van Gils 8. Dean Hope 9. Tunde Owolabi 10. John Pritchard 11. Rhys Coogan Substitutes: 12. Medi Bakinama 14.Gideonn Dosunmu (for 16, 85 mins) 15. Chris Hill 16. Justin Johnson (for 9, 65 mins) 17. Matthew Toseland.
Ashton Athletic: 1. Patrick Loughlin 2. Reece Broadhurst 3. Mark Kelly 4. Kyle Ross 5. Louis McGrath 6. Phil Curran 7. Paul Watson 8. Dave Norbury 9. Adam Gilchrist 10. Alex Twist 11. Michael Rowlinson Substitutes: 12. Ben Rodgers 14. Riven Fisher 15. Billy Halsall 16. Jack Smith 17. Lee Fernaus