Monday, September 15, 2008

Nantwich 0 FC United 0

Stuart Brennan

15/ 9/2008

KARL Marginson hailed goalkeeping hero Sam Ashton - and his new-look defence - as the Rebels earned an FA Cup replay at the Weaver Stadium.

Ashton saved a 71st minute Danny Griggs penalty to cap a brilliant display in the first round qualifying tie and ensure the UniBond League premier division sides do battle again at Gigg Lane on Wednesday (7.45pm).

And with new full-backs Danny Warrender and Simon Garner shoring up a defence that has been creaking of late, Marginson was satisfied with the clean sheet.

"Sam was excellent," said Marginson. "People have said he was at fault for some goals we have conceded lately, me included, but his save in the first-half was world-class and the penalty save earned us a replay.

"For me he's one of the best, if not the best, keeper in this league and his attitude is first-class.

"And for the new full- backs to come in and play as well as they did in their first game tells you a lot about them.

"Danny was top-class dealing with a winger like Griggs, who is one of the best in this league, and you could tell Simon has been playing with clubs like Stalybridge and Fleetwood."

Ashton pulled off three saves of high quality, the last one from Griggs' spot kick, while at the other end defender Adam Turner headed a glorious chance over the bar and Jerome Wright's teasing cross was turned onto his own crossbar by Dave Tickle.

The Dabbers ended up holding out for the last 15 minutes with ten men after Peter Heler was red-carded for two bookable offences against Garner.

FC are still awaiting international clearance for 19-year-old Gambia Under-20 international Kebba Bah, set to sign for the club after moving to Manchester with his German wife.

Jamie Baguley left the ground on crutches after suffering a knee cartilage tear, but brother Chris a is a ready-made replacement for Wednesday's replay.

Marginson wants his team to be bolder when they get a sight of goal on Wednesday against a big, experienced defence which has former Macclesfield centre-half Darren Tinson as its kingpin.

"One disappointment was that we didn't work the keeper enough," said Marginson.

"Adam Turner is a young lad and you don't expect him to come up with the winning goal, but he was in a great position to win it with the header he put over.

"The replay will be tight again. If anyone had scored on Saturday I think that would have been enough to win the game and it will be no different in the replay."