Source: Retford Times
Retford United 0 FC United of Manchester 4
FC UNITED of Manchester rolled into town to face Retford United at Cannon Park on an afternoon when the blustery conditions would make their mark.
The Badgers gave a home debut to Luke Herriott in goal, and striker Michael Blythen took his place up front after signing from Dinnington Town. Retford had an attacking bench with Steve Owens, Jake Vernon and Matt Booth all hoping to see some action.
Luke Herriott received an early warning of the conditions when his goal kick swirled in the oncoming wind and barely left his own half.
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And he was left red faced on three minutes, when a Retford attack fizzled out, the ball being played back to Sam Ashton, the FC United keeper. Ashton sent the ball upfield and with the wind assisting the long kick, Herriott failed to judge an awkward bounce and the ball looped over him into back of the net.
It has since been worked out that the goal would have been scored from approximately 107 yards.
There was little in the way of chances for either side until the 21st minute when FC United extended their lead. A surging run by Jerome Wright saw the striker run into the box and slide the ball low past the diving Herriott.
A free-kick whipped in from the touchline by James Holden was a fraction wide of the upright, then after more pressure, Blake was forced to concede another corner as he got the final touch from Norton's shot on target to deflect away.
The onslaught continued as the half-time break approached. Herriott got a hand to a cross with Matt Wolfenden unmarked in the box. The all was eventually cleared by Matt Caudwell.
As the first half came to a conclusion, Retford made a rare foray into the FC United half, winning a free-kick after Boggild had been felled.
The free-kick was taken by Ryan Hindley, but the FC United defence were in place to clear the ball and keep the scoreline in their favour at the break.
The second half saw Retford secure more possession. A cross from Blythen to Boggild was headed into the feet of Sam Foulds.
The ball was played out for Lee Whittington who then found the run of Austin on the right, who won a corner.
The ball floated in by Hindley lacked the distance required and FC United cleared the danger.
FC United attacked once again, as Wright's run found Cottrell and Herriott did well to save his shot.
It was frustrating for the home supporters as Retford once again lacked the firepower to haul themselves back into the match.
Blythen almost found himself in a goalscoring position, challenging Ashton but the FC United stopper kept control to clear.
FC United should have been three up on the hour mark, a cross by Norton was hit over at the far post by Wolfenden.
Steve Owens entered the game in place of Joe Boggild, his early contribution saw a cross from the right for Whittington who was inside the six yard box but could only put his effort over the bar from close range.
Ryan Hindley burst through making a run forward; he was caught with two men tracking him and despite going down in the box, a corner ball was the expected outcome.
However, the referee decided on a goal-kick.
Ashton then found himself on the receiving end of the windy conditions; his clearance was blown back, being picked up by Ian Robinson who played in Blythen, only for Ashton to collect the ball from the debutantes feet.
There was another half-hearted shout for a Retford penalty when Whittington and McManus tangled in the box.
Whittington seemed to be pulled over, but the game was allowed to flow as FC United hooked the ball clear.
The third goal for the visitors fell for Wolfenden on 71 minutes, his first shot was blocked well by Herriott, but the rebound fell back to his feet and he cooly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.
Retford had another chance soon afterwards. A long goal-kick from Herriott found Blythen who took the ball to the edge of the box, but then snatched at his shot to fire his effort over the bar.
The game was over on 77 minutes, a lay off by Wolfenden for Cottrell was hit home for FC United's fourth sending their supporters home happy, after being in fine voice all afternoon.
In the dying minutes, Herriott pulled off a great save from Carden's shot and Blythen's shot was saved by Ashton, with Owens hitting the follow up straight at the FC United keeper.
Another disappointing afternoon for Retford as they continue to be cut adrift at the foot of the Evo-stik Premier League table.
Retford now face another home game on Saturday, this time Ashton United are the visitors. (KO 3pm).