|Andy Preece, 43, believed his team did |
enough to beat FC United of Manchester
Photograph: Andrew Simpson
By Andrew Simpson
ANDY Preece did not hide his frustration after Northwich Victoria failed to beat ten-man FC United of Manchester on Saturday.
He told the Guardian that he expected the visitors to pick up three points following the dismissal of goalkeeper Sam Ashton after an hour.
However his players failed to take the chances they created.
“We won’t have a better chance to beat them than that,” he said.
“A penalty against ten men with an outfield player between the posts; it’s a position from which you should go on to win the game, no question.”
Wayne Riley missed from the spot for the third time this term as stand-in custodian Ben Deegan, usually a forward, guessed right to save his weakly-struck shot.
Vics later hit the woodwork three times in an incredible passage of play.
“Wayne himself admitted it was a poor penalty,” said Preece.
“There were other chances too though, and the game should have been over before they scored.
““Wayne then had an easier opportunity in open play than from the penalty spot only somehow not to put it away. The ball came out to Mike Clarke who had an equally good chance but put it over.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
Mike Norton’s shooting was sharper, steering in the game’s only goal with an expert finish after ghosting on to a lofted through ball with 11 minutes left.
It was enough for the Rebels to extend their unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division to 15 matches.
“We weren’t at our best in the first half, perhaps because there were some nervous players in our team,” added Preece.
“They seemed overawed by the occasion.
“It was our fourth match in seven days too and it’s true that we looked leggy but I don’t want to offer that as an excuse.
“I still felt we’d done enough.
“Of course you can’t expect to go to FC United and dominate the game, that’s not going to happen. But we held our own.”
On Ashton’s red card – shown by referee Phil Dermott after he judged the net-minder to have led with an elbow in a challenge with David Fitzpatrick – the Northwich manager was unequivocal.
He said: “The referee spotted it so it’s hard to argue.
“There had been a couple of instances before that where our players had been hit after the ball had gone and it was the same sort of thing.
“So I’ve got no sympathy for their player, he shouldn’t have done it.”