FC United 3
Maine Road 0
DESPITE showing indifferent form over the last few weeks, Maine Road went into Bank Holiday Monday’s derby with high hopes of inflicting the rebels’ first league defeat since the end of November.
They started brightly, winning an early corner and seeing Colin Marshall’s cross-cum-shot drop just over Sam Ashton’s bar.
As the half progressed, FC began to apply attacking pressure of their own and Road were unlucky to fall behind on 17 minutes when Rory Patterson’s strike was deflected past a flailing Greg Hall.
Road had a good chance to draw level on 21 minutes when Jack Halsall fed a neat ball through to Gareth Richards, whose left-footed shot hit Ashton’s right-hand post.
Both teams continued to treat the crowd of 3,605 to a fine display of attacking football with Steven Mason and Anthony Roberts looking particularly strong in defence.
FC began to turn the screw and applied increased pressure on the Road back four, Rhodri Giggs having particular success down the right, but Road’s defence held solid
On the stroke of half-time though, Roberts was harshly adjudged to have fouled and FC were awarded a free kick on the right edge of Road’s penalty area.
Road old-boy Jerome Wright’s left-footed cross was met by the head of Dave Brown and FC’s lead was duly doubled.
The second half saw FC introduce pacy winger Josh Howard who proved to be a thorn in Road’s side for the rest of the game.
Halsall forced a good save from Ashton who also tipped over Marshall’s cross, while Hall provided a masterclass in shot-stopping at the other end to keep Road in the game.
He made a double save to deny Stuart Rudd but could not do anything about the resultant corner which ended with the unmarked Rob Nugent scoring at the far post.