Dec 22 2008 By Phil Kirkbride
FC United of Manchester 3-2 Marine
PETER Cumiskey was denied a dream return to first team action as a late FC United goal subjected Marine to their first defeat in six matches.
The experienced Marine striker started for the first time in six games and looked set to be the hero, delivering two equalising goals.
However with two minutes remaining and the game heading for a draw, FC United substitute Nick Robinson popped up to hit the winner to devastate the Crosby outfit.
Having seen Cumiskey sweep Marine level for the second time after 52 minutes, Alvin McDonald’s men took control of a match that at times threatened to boil over.
Yet a defensive lapse, not fitting of recent performances, allowed FC United to snatch an unlikely victory.
That Robinson’s goal came as such a blow tells a lot about the transformation that Marine undertook in the second half having clung on in the opening 45.
Marine had started brightly with John Lawless, a figure of hate for home supporters throughout the match, forcing Sam Ashton into an early save.
However FC United were quickly up to speed and buoyed on by a vocal backing, attacked Marine with menace.
The opening goal arrived after 19 minutes when Tommy Turner fed on the spoils in the Mariners’ area after Sean Lake had parried Phil Brazier’s miscued clearance.
Despite the intimidating atmosphere, Marine rallied and on 34 minutes Cumiskey spun his defender in the area before being felled.
The No 10 got up to send Ashton the wrong way from the penalty spot to make it 1-1 but his efforts were undone a minute later when Chris Baguley latched onto a cross from the right to slot in FC’s second.
But the second half was only seven minutes old when Tim Bigland crossed for Cumiskey’s eighth goal of the season and from then on, it was Marine who dictated play.
Spurred on by Joe Fowler and substitute Darren Brookfield in the middle, the Mariners almost grabbed the lead as Bigland swung in another teasing cross which deflected off an FC defender forcing Ashton into a fine save.
However United summoned one last surge and a deep cross from the left was missed by everyone in the Marine defence and fell kindly for Robinson to inflict the damage.
Marine’s misery was compounded after full-back Freddie Potter was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured ankle.
Mariner-of-the-Match: Darren Brookfield