FC United v Matlock. 3pm Saturday, 7th December

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Nick Duckett

Re: FC United v Matlock. 3pm Saturday, 7th December

Post by Nick Duckett »

Our report
Stunning Owolabi hat-trick sees FC United beat Matlock Town 5-2
Stunning Owolabi hat-trick sees FC United beat Matlock Town 5-2

Tunde Owolabi scored a brilliant hat-trick as FC United came from behind twice to beat Matlock Town 5-2 on Saturday afternoon at Broadhurst Park.

Chris Doyle and Regan Linney got the other goals as the Reds overpowered their opponents to storm to a comprehensive victory, which puts Neil Reynolds’ side up to seventh in the BetVictor Northern Premier Division.

An action packed game saw five goals inside the first 30 minutes but it will be remembered most for a stunning hat-trick from the league’s top goal scorer, Owolabi.

The Belgian’s third goal - his 19th of the season in 23 appearances - crashed in off the underside of the bar at the Saint Mary’s Road End in the 84th minute, much to the delight of the 1,574 supporters in attendance. It was a fantastic ending to an emphatic victory.

FC United did not have it all their own way though, especially early on. The visitors broke the deadlock after seven minutes when Tomas Poole took full advantage of defensive mix-up. Left-back Adam Dodd collided with Doyle as the centre-back was trying to make a routine headed clearance and the loose ball fell to Poole who finished with aplomb.

The Reds levelled just three minutes later when Doyle volleyed home the equaliser. He latched onto a mishit shot from Luke Griffiths following a cleared corner. 1-1.

Matlock struck back instantly. Marcus Marshall scored a goal that wouldn’t look out of place at any level of football when he tricked his way past centre-back Curtis Jones with a smart backheel before curling the ball into the far corner for 2-1. In many matches, it would have been the goal of the game. But not today.

The Derbyshire side held onto the lead for 16 minutes before Owolabi announced his arrival into the afternoon’s proceedings by steamrolling the Reds back onto level terms. The big striker stole the ball out on the right wing by barging defender Bailey Gooda to the ground, arguably unfairly, before storming into the box, rounding goalkeeper Dan Wallis and firing home. 2-2.

Three minutes later and FC United were into the lead. Reegan Linney jinked his way past three defenders to get into the box before slamming the ball off Wallis’ leg and into the net.

Both goalkeepers then came into their own to prevent anymore first half goals. Cameron Belford made a fantastic save to stop Benjamin Gordon from smashing home an equaliser from the edge of the box before Marshall crashed the rebound against the post. Down at the other end, Wallis kept Matlock in the match as he made great saves from Alex Curran and then Paul Ennis.

In comparison, the second half only produced two goals but it had just as much action. Just under 20 minutes into the second half, Owolabi skipped around Gooda on the left flank before hurdling a robust challenge from Dwayne Wiley on the edge of the box. Having left both defenders for dust, he then calmly slotted the ball into the far corner to give Wallis no chance. 4-2.

Owolabi then had two brilliant opportunities to seal his second hat-trick for the club before he eventually did. With 18 minutes to go, the former Radcliffe striker went through one-on-one with Wallis but a heavy touch took him closer to the keeper than he would have liked and Wallis made a brilliant diving interception.

Moments later, Owolabi went through again and slotted the ball home but he had already been flagged off-side. However, he was not to be denied the match ball and he eventually put the icing on the cake with the best goal of the game in the 84 minute when he rampaged through the weary Matlock defence before finishing in style off the crossbar for 5-2.

Moments later, substitute Michael Donohue nearly added a sixth but Wallis was equal to his goalbound effort. It mattered not, the FC United faithful had been treated to a seven goal thriller and a hat-trick from their new hero, Tunde Owolabi.

Website man of the match: Tunde Owolabi, of course. The perfect blend of power and precision makes him a joy to watch. Let’s enjoy it whilst we can because he’s surely destined for football higher up the pyramid.

Report by Matthew Haley
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