FC UNITED v Kettering Town. 3pm Saturday, 14th December 2019 (FA TROPHY R1)

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Guy Mansfield

Re: FC UNITED v Kettering Town. 3pm Saturday, 14th December 2019 (FA TROPHY R1)

Post by Guy Mansfield »

Good VLOG here from a very sympathetic York fan (courtesy of Into Added Time):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrlFBXs ... blrWdohkdQ
Guy Mansfield

Re: FC UNITED v Kettering Town. 3pm Saturday, 14th December 2019 (FA TROPHY R1)

Post by Guy Mansfield »

Video interview of the Kettering Twn manager Paul Cox and some integrated goal highlights courtesy of Poppies TV:

https://thepoppies.online/paul-cox-inte ... 4-12-2019/
Ben Hughes

Re: FC UNITED v Kettering Town. 3pm Saturday, 14th December 2019 (FA TROPHY R1)

Post by Ben Hughes »


This week's This Club is My Club

With reactions to FC United's win in the FA Trophy, and Sunday's hard fought point for the Women's Team.

https://fcumradio.podbean.com/e/this-cl ... mber-2019/
Nick Duckett

Re: FC UNITED v Kettering Town. 3pm Saturday, 14th December 2019 (FA TROPHY R1)

Post by Nick Duckett »

FC United progressed to the last 32 of the Buildbase FA Trophy after a 2-1 victory over the Vanarama National League North outfit Kettering Town at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

Before the game manager, Neil Reynolds had spoken about the match up against a team from the league above being a real test for the current group of players and if this was the case then it was a test they passed with flying colours.

The game started with a real cup tie feel to it with a quick tempo and both teams looking to get the upper hand. But within the first 10 minutes it was FC who had the upper hand on the pitch and looked the better team, whilst keeping to their own playing style which has served them well so far this season.

That early momentum was quickly turned into a goal after 22 minutes, as Aaron Morris turned the opposition defence inside out before squaring the ball to Tunde, who slotted home the easiest goal of the season to give the Reds a deserved lead.

Even after the goal the Reds kept control of the game and the frustration was clear to see in the visiting side as a few underhand tactics and questionable challenges came into play, but the Reds showed they’re not scared to roll their sleeves up when necessary and stood firm.

Just before the break it could have, and should have, been 2-0. Charlie Ennis struck a beautiful free-kick, which was heading for the top corner before somehow being stopped in amazing fashion by the visiting ‘keeper.

The second half followed the routine of the first early on, with FC playing the ball around well, looking confident and in control of the game, but knowing they’d probably need a second to make sure of their place in the next round.

Despite the control of the early part the away team slowly crept into the game and going into the last twenty minutes it was clear the Reds needed a few fresh faces to keep the energy up in the middle of the park.

On came Young, Lenehan and Buckley, but it was two of the regular starters that combined to double the lead. Regan Linney produced an inch perfect defence splitting ball that put Tunde through, powering his way into the box, before driving home a low shot to double the lead and send the fans and players into hysteria.

The second should have put the game to bed, but in the FC tradition of making things difficult for themselves we conceded a soft headed goal in the 90th minute, meaning a rather tense five minutes of stoppage time was coming our way.

Despite the away team pushing forward and the wonderful sight of a goalie up for a corner, the FC defence stood tall and made sure of our place in the second round for only the second time in the club’s history.

The scenes at the final whistle and afterwards were a joy to be part of and the feeling around the club at the moment is definitely what makes this thing of ours so special.

With an unbeaten run stretching to eleven games and back to mid-October the Reds now eagerly await Monday’s draw for the next round.

Website man of the match – Tunde Owalabi. Lots of great performances again, but Tunde’s two goals were both clinical and made the difference. The brace takes him to an incredible 21 goals from 24 games in a red shirt this season.
Nick Duckett

Re: FC UNITED v Kettering Town. 3pm Saturday, 14th December 2019 (FA TROPHY R1)

Post by Nick Duckett »


Kettering Town bowed out of the Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Round, as Paul Cox suffered his first defeat under his managership. 1-0 down at half time through an early goal from leading scorer Tunde Owolabi, who doubled the hosts lead in the second half, before Luke Graham (out of picture) in a grandstand finish pulled a goal back on 90 minutes, but ultimately it was too little too late.

Kettering's small squad once again was limiting Paul Cox's selection and tactical plans. The return of Ben Milnes from injury was counteracted by Aaron O'Connor replacing him on the injury list. This coupled with the unavailability of Brett Solkhon only four substitutes were named with Jack O'Connor not being fully fit. Joel Carta was pressed into service as the lone striker, not his natural position.

Despite the need for an early pitch inspection the playing surface looked to be in perfect playing condition suitable for a passing game played on the pitch rather than in the air. The ground itself is a fine example of a modern stadium with a huge covered terrace behind one goal and a seated stand down one side with standing area to its front.

United in red shirts and white shorts kicked off defending the goal in front of their own vocal supporters and make a good start winning a corner in the first minute but it came to nothing. Kettering replied with an attack of their own with Meikle linking up well with Nti on his outside. Dan advanced well down the wing before crossing low into the goal-mouth where Jones cut the ball out with an outstretched leg.

After six minutes Kettering continued their habit of giving away free-kicks in dangerous areas, this time some 25 yards out in a central position with Richens the culprit. Ennis took the kick and sent it harmlessly into the wall. Two minutes later flowing move by United was stopped by a good covering tackle by McGrath at the expense of a corner which came to nothing. United were clearly on top at this stage but Kettering's defence were equal to the pressure looking to strike back on a fast break counter-attack.

United were looking most likely to score though and on twenty-two minutes their right-back Morris received the ball deep in Kettering's half . He advanced down the wing and cut into the penalty area. Taylor was covering him but the United youngster showed great skill turning Matt one way and another. One of Kettering's centre-backs moved across to help as Morris squared the ball into the middle where Owolabi from two yards out could not miss. 1-0 United 22 mins.

Owolabi had another chance two minutes later when Jones carried the ball forward from the half-way line slicing through the middle of Kettering's defence he slipped the ball to Owolabi but his shot was wide. On twenty-eight minutes Meikle made a good break down United's left and had time and space to try and pick out a striker in the middle but there was no-one there and Lindon with defenders closing him down had no choice but to try a shot from an improbable angle the ball was blocked but fell to Nti whose effort was turned behind for a corner. This was played out for a second corner to be followed by a third, the taking of which was delayed because of the need of the referee to sort out some argy bargy in the box involving Carta, the keeper and another defender. The third kick was swung in by Kelly but predictable the attack was halted by the awarding of a free-kick to the defence.

With ten minutes left of the half Michael Richens became the first player to be cautioned when again a free-kick in a dangerous position was conceded. This time some 10 yards from the goal-line to the right of the penalty box but United could not exploit the opportunity. Almost immediately a United player was cautioned with Potts committing a slight push in the back of a Kettering player just about on the touch-line/half-way line junction.

With five minutes left in the half Kettering were awarded a free-kick mid-way inside United's half. Kelly lifted the ball in towards the far post where, as in last week's game against York the chance fell not to a forward but Luke Graham with the same outcome the ball flying past the wrong side of the post. Two minutes later Luke was center of attention again this time the referee was asking for his name to go into his book for deliberate handball right on the edge of Kettering's penalty box just left of center. Charlie Ennis took a great kick lifting the ball over the wall and looking like capping a great first half for the host's when Paul White pulled an even better save out of the top drawer and turned the ball around the post for an unproductive corner. Two minutes of added time failed to produce anything of note and United finished a satisfying first half performance.

Half Time: FC United of Manchester 1 Kettering Town 0

Paul Cox made one change at half-time with Tre Mitford replacing Joel Carta who did not appear comfortable in the role that had been assigned to him. Within a minute made a lasting impression on the game by entering McNamara's notebook after making a lasting impression on Charlie Ennis catching the United player late. The free-kick was played into the box but Jones put his header wide. Two minutes later Nti was also in the book. This time after an accumulation of offences. Dan seemed out of sorts and was producing a niggly performance punctuated with fouls and petulance unlike his usual demeanor and behaviour. Kettering must have had a talking too at half time as they appeared to be a lot more positive in the second half.

On five minutes Stohrer made one of his surging runs forward from his own half before sending a rising shot over the bar from outside the penalty area. Immediately after his United counterpart Morris performed a similar drive relying on balance and fitness, jinking forward, rather than Gary's raw power, but he put his shot wide.

Four minutes later United win a corner and the ball was delivered deep towards the far post. White twists himself backwards and gets a good fist on the ball to punch it away the ball falls to a red shirt though and Paul White does well to keep up the follow up shot out with his foot for an unproductive corner.

Just before the hour mark McGrath played the ball forward for Mitford. Tre's first touch was good playing the ball over the defender for himself to run onto however his second touch did not match the quality of his first and he sent his shot wide. Three minutes later and Kettering won a corner through the efforts of Nti. The corner is swung in and the keeper comes for in but was beaten to it by Nti but his header only ends up in the side netting. United were now having to defend a bit more but were alert to counter-attacking to relieve the building pressure.

With twenty minutes to go a long ball out from United's half is chased by Owolabi. White races a long way out of his area and reaches the ball first and clears it but Owolabi's momentum was such that he could not stop himself from clattering into Paul. The referee stopped the game almost immediately as both players looked to be in some pain. After treatment both players could continue but the United forward was cautioned for his over exuberance. Six minutes later Donohue's name was also entered into Mr McNamara's book after he stopped another surging run by Stohrer by foul means. The free-kick into the box was headed clear by a defender and straight after United made their first change with Buckley replacing Ennis.

Four minutes later Kettering made their second change with the defensive skills of Richens being sacrificed for Milnes more creative talents. A minute later and it could have been level. A powerful long range shot from Kennedy straight at Belford was battered away by the keeper, a yard either side and such was its force he would have been struggling to keep it out. United's response was a double substitution with Lenehan and Young replacing Donohue and Curran. Manchester were getting nervy at the back and Jones let the ball go over his head instead of playing positively and Nti was quickly in to threaten but the defender managed to rectify his mistake at the expense of a corner.

With eight minutes to go Kettering were pressing all-out for an equaliser. They lost possession on the edge of United's penalty area through a good tackle and the ball was played forward on the ground to Linney who raced forward. He played a perfect through ball for Owolabi to run onto without breaking stride, he controlled the ball and clinically finished by passing it through White's legs to double United's lead. 2-0 United 82 mins.

Kettering finally started playing like they can and proceeded to lay siege on the United goal. Just as the fourth official was preparing to display the board showing that there would be an additional five minutes Buckley committed a foul out on United left for which he was booked. The ball was lifted into the penalty area and Belford came a long way off his line to punch the ball clear. It wasn't a great punch and the ball flew straight to Graham who looped a header back towards the goal passing over the goalie's and defenders’ heads to drop in just under the bar. 2-1 Kettering 89 mins

There followed a frantic five minutes of continuous Kettering pressure with the game played around the United penalty area and one wonders what the outcome would’ve been if Kettering had show the same application from the start. Kettering played plenty of balls into the box but it seemed that the ball fell every time to a red shirted head or foot. Kettering won one final corner and even White came up for a final desperate attempt to steal an equaliser. Paul just failed to make the crucial contact and with it went Kettering's final chance to get something from a game that quite honestly didn't deserve to get a result.

Full Time: FC United of Manchester 2 Kettering Town 1

United join the growing list of Trophy exits to lower league northern teams adding to defeats by Stamford, Leek, Witton Albion and Burscough. Paul Cox knew the undefeated run would come to an end but will be disappointed with the team's performance. The final10 minutes of dominance cannot detract from the previous 85 minutes where United more than matched and frequently surpassed the level of skill and application of the higher league team. With league survival being the team's main objective the lessons learnt in Manchester must be applied to the remaining league program. However the financial loss caused by exiting the Trophy will have a knock on effect on funds available to bolster the paper thin squad.

FC United of Manchester - yellow cards: Donohue, Potts, Buckley, Owolabi - fouls

Kettering Town - yellow cards: Nti, Kennedy, Richens - fouls, Graham - handball

Attendance: 1218

Kettering Town Man-of-the-Match – Paul White – Nobody else really excelled on the day. Michael McGrath was solid throughout but White's save just before half-time coupled with a good double save in the second gave the team a chance of coming back to Northamptonshire with a result.
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