Source: The Non-League Paper
By Wayne Clark
A PULSATING encounter at the Velodrome in Newcastle-under-Lyme was finally won by FC United of Manchester as Simon Carden scored the winner deep in stoppage time.
The early exchanges were even, with Newcastle Town holding their own against the leaders. Nick Wellecombe and Richard Minor both saw good opportunities go begging as Sam Ashton bettered them both in one-on-one situations.
Home goalkeeper Richard Froggatt, was rescued by his captain after Rory Patterson's shot eluded the stopper, but not Dean Gillick who cleared at the goal-line.
Dave Berks tested Ashton with a powerful free-kick on 23 minutes, but the former Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper was equal to the challenge and punched clear.
United took the lead on 36 minutes as Steve Spencer turned in from close range after Froggatt failed to hold a low Patterson shot. The lead lasted only four minutes, though, as Spencer, in his own box this time, saw an attempted clearance cannon off two opponents before falling for Berks, who expertly lifted his shot into the top-left of goal from the edge of the area.
Newcastle took the lead just after the hour mark as Wellcombe beat Ashton to a super Berks through ball and finished calmly.
Ashton was unable to carry on after conceding with a serious-looking leg injury. Striker Patterson took on the goalkeeping duties for the final half-hour.
Nigel Gleghorn, Newcastle manager, will be disappointed that his side failed to test the stand-in goalie during the remainder of the match as United seemed to dominate the midfield areas for large periods after the influential Simon Robinson had to be substituted off for the home side.
The equaliser came when Alex Mortimer crossed beyond the far post, Rob Nugent headed back across goal for Carden to tap in from close range.
Carden then scored the winner more than four minutes into the stoppage time.
Diskin could only deflect a cross from the United left, and the ball fell to Carden who struck a precise side-footed volley into the top corner of the Newcastle net to secure the points.
STAR MAN: CARDEN (FC United)
MATCH RATING: 5/5