This weekend saw FC United face their local rivals, Stockport County, which resulted in the reds 16th loss of the season against a strong County side battling for promotion who got their 9th consecutive win.
Stockport looked to be the team on top in the opening minutes, however, it was the reds who broke the deadlock in the 10th minute with a goal from FC’s number 9 Kurt Willoughby, scoring his 11th league goal of the season. The goal seemed to set County back as the game levelled out and even saw United’s recent signing Mike Donohue miss a one on one chance against The Hatter’s keeper Ben Hinchcliffe. County levelled the score on the 45th minute after a fine reaction save from Lloyd Allinson saw the ball rebound to striker Frank Mulhern, whose cross into the box looped into the reds goal via a deflection off FC’s right back Joel Senior.
The teams who are at opposite ends of the table went into the break all square. It was County who looked to be in control for the majority of the second half without really threatening FC’s goal, however, FC still had the chances and Stockport still had to rely on their number one as Hinchcliffe made a superb reaction save to stop Chris Sharpe getting on the score sheet with a flicked header at the near post. Regardless, the Reds pushed for a winner which would’ve seen them get even closer to safety and spending another season playing in the National League North. Stockport guaranteed their ninth consecutive win and their three points on the 88th minute after Oldham loanee Jamie Stott scored the winner in what was his last game for the men in blue.
The game seemed to tell a familiar story for the Reds as they were never out of control of the game, however the lack of clinical finishing once again cost the Reds points and leaving them now with fourteen cup finals to save themselves a place in the league for next season. Their lack of finishing is going to be something that manager Neil Reynolds is going to have to look to improve on, if United are going to play their football at this level.
Breaking news on Monday has meant The Red Rebels may have an insurmountable mountain to climb, with news coming out they are under investigation from the National League for fielding an ineligible player – which has already seen them kicked out of the Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup.