Friday, March 26, 2010

Five-star display puts Avenue in the clear

Source: Telegraph and Argus

10:53pm Wednesday 24th March 2010

By Ian Whiting »

FC United of Manchester 1, Bradford Park Avenue 5

Bradford Park Avenue pulled clear of second-placed Guiseley at the top of the UniBond League Premier Division with a comprehensive victory over FC United of Manchester at Bury FC’s Gigg Lane tonight.

The race for the title heated up significantly last night when Guiseley drew level on points with their neighbours and rivals thanks to a good win at Stocksbridge PS.

Avenue proved that whatever the Lions could do they could do better as they beat United with a five-star display.

It was far from straightforward for Avenue but they led 2-0 at the interval, somewhat against the run of play.

Skipper Simon Baldry headed them into the lead in the 33rd minute, converting a Martin Drury corner.

Drury was also credited with the assist for the second when his free-kick just over a minute before the break was met with an equally powerful header by Mark Hume.

FC United started the second half as well as they started the game, and this time they had more success as they reduced the arrears in the 48th minute.

A shot from striker Phil Marsh embarrassed Avenue keeper Steve Dickinson as it squirmed under him.

The contest was alive and, while Avenue hit a post through a Drury free-kick, the home side also struck the woodwork following a testing cross just before the hour.

Dickinson was also instrumental in keeping the visitors in front with some fine saves.

Avenue came back to hit a purple patch which saw them to a fine win.

Hume had a shot blocked following a Stephen Downes corner but headed in the rebound, and he completed his hat-trick when he tucked the ball home at the far post from an Aiden Savory cross.

Savory netted the fifth himself following a good move involving Jamie Price and Matty James.

United ended with ten men because Ben Deegan was sent off, for the first time this season, when he picked up a second yellow card.

It was not to be the home side’s evening because they also missed a last-minute penalty, Marsh firing wide after Downes had committed a foul in the area.