Evo-Stick League side knock out Rochdale in dramatic Cup game
Last updated: 5th November 2010
Dale stunned by FC United
FC United produce some Cup magic
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FC United of Manchester made FA Cup history by shocking League One side Rochdale 3-2 at Spotland and securing a spot in the second round of the competition.
Non-league journeyman Mike Norton was the hero for the side 95 places below their opponents in the Football League ladder as he took advantage of Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis' attempts to hold onto a loose ball to slot home in the final minute of stoppage time and secure a famous victory.
Nicky Platt's goal three minutes before the break had FC United ahead in their first ever FA Cup tie proper, finishing off Jerome Wright's defence splitting pass.
Former Rochdale trainee Jake Cottrell doubled the visitors' lead at the start of the second half when he lashed home from 25 yards.
However, the hosts hit back through Anthony Elding's close-range header then levelled things up with another header, this time from defender Craig Dawson, before the visitors' dramatic late winner.
The club run by fans are now remarkably just one win away from a meeting against Manchester United.
Rochdale boss Keith Hill had no new injury concerns for the side sitting in the 13th spot in League One.
Dale, who had made it past the first round only once in the last five seasons, had Craig Dawson, Jason Kennedy and Brian Barry-Murphy back after picking up knocks at Leyton Orient last weekend.
FC United manager Karl Marginson was charged with the task of steering the progressive Evo-Stick League outfit past the side four levels above them in football's pyramid.
Karl Munroe and Ben Deegan recovered from knocks to make the starting line-up. United looked towards top scorer Norton to deliver the goods.
FC United were backed by well over 3,500 supporters on a murky night with both teams set for fireworks at Spotland on Bonfire night.
Rochdale began the game the more composed side and within the opening minute Kennedy broke through a couple of tackles before his shot was blocked.
The hosts then had an appeal for a penalty turned down by referee Geoff Eltringham as Munroe appeared to handle inside the box.
Adams was next to go close when his attempted cross almost found the netting at the back post, with Ashton flapping at mid-air.
After 18 minutes the side from Manchester created their first real opportunity as Norton's cheeky back heel trickled wide of Lillis' far post.
The visiting fans were creating a tremendous atmosphere as FC United looked to the lively Carlos Roca to create and the confident winger unleashed a long-range strike which was well held by Lillis minutes later.
Dale then had further opportunities through Adams's left-foot drive and Elding's flicked header, which went just wide.
FC United started to show much more defensive fragility and attacking threat as they delivered a sucker punch three minutes before half-time.
Liverpool fan Platt broke the deadlock when he latched onto Wright's beautiful through-ball to flick the ball over advancing Lillis.
The exuberance of the away supporters was evident as they invaded the pitch in sheer delight.
The visitors went 2-0 up four minutes into the second half as goalscorer Platt laid the ball off to his midfield partner Cotterill to lash the it into the back of the net with a blistering strike from 25-yards.
Just two and a half minutes later Rochdale were back in the game as Elding skipped ahead of his marker to nod Barry-Murphy's free-kick past the helpless Ashton.
Dale started to dominate possession against the tiring non-league outfit and the goalscorer Elding thought he had levelled when his right-footed strike looked to be heading to the far corner, but Richard Battersby cleared off the line.
The hosts deservedly restored parity with 12 minutes remaining thanks to goalscoring defender Dawson.
The West Brom loanee bagged his third goal of the season heading in Murphy's delightful corner kick from the right.
However, FC United shocked their opponents in the fourth minute of stoppage time as goalkeeper Lillis allowed the ball to squirm through his grasp and Norton took full advantage.
Lillis and his team-mates claimed Norton had kicked the ball out of his hands, but referee Geoff Eltringham waved away their protests and the visiting fans flooded on to the field when he blew the final whistle seconds later to signal a famous win and a spot in the next round for FC United.