In FC United’s short history of almost fourteen years, they have had four promotions bringing them up to the National League North. However, after a long season struggling at this level, the reds may be seeing relegation for the first time ever. Although, they may be able to avoid the drop if they sort out this one problem…their discipline.
United’s discipline record is one of the worst within the National League North seeing them pick up a shocking 50 yellow cards and 7 reds. Having played 32 games so far throughout the 2018/19 season, the card to game ratio for the reds is 1.78 cards per game which has cost them points and their place in the FA Cup as well.
October 6th saw The Red Rebel’s play Witton Albion, from the Evo-Stik, in the FA Cup. On paper, this was a game that should’ve seen the United qualify into the Fourth Qualifying Round. However, like many times this season, their disciplinary record let them down after having 3 red cards. Kurt Willoughby, Harry Winter and Elliot Simoes were all sent off in the match that saw the underdogs Witton beat United 2-1. A week later Darlington were visitors to Broadhurst Park which once again saw further two red cards for the men in red, which cost them 3 points in the league with another 2-1 defeat.
The Christmas period saw FC continue their poor disciplinary record which cost them more points, that could potentially see them avoid their first ever relegation. Michael Pott’s put the reds ahead of a Spennymoor Town side, currently in the playoff places, however, a two-footed challenge saw a straight red for striker Tom Peers after 25 minutes which put FC out of control of the match. This was a similar story on New Years Day away at top of the table Chorley. The first half looked to set up for an exciting match as the reds were equal to their opposition. Five minutes after the second half kicked off saw Michael Donohue given his marching orders after picking up a red for his second bookable offence.
FC United’s disciplinary record is evidently a recurring problem throughout their fourth season playing in the National League North, and Neil Reynolds will be hoping that they are able to improve this over the next few crucial months – which will decide which league the reds will be playing their football in next season.