Report: FC United of Manchester 1-1 Warrington Town

Bohan Dixon’s second half penalty helped preserve Warrington Town’s unbeaten run as they drew 1-1 at FC United of Manchester.

Dixon stepped up after Jordan Buckley was fouled in the box by former Yellows midfielder Luke Griffiths 16 minutes from time to cancel out Dontai Gabidon’s first half opener.

The result lifts Mark Beesley’s side up to fourth in the table, ahead of back-to-back home games against Stafford Rangers and Lancaster City.

After 11 days since their last game, a 1-1 draw at Atherton Collieries, centre back Tom Hannigan was fit to start having been forced off early in that one.

The Yellows started brightly, dictating the pace of the game, only to be halted by a long stoppage caused by an injury to FC United’s Callum Gribbin, felled in a strong but fair tackle by Evan Gumbs close to the touchline.

That delay and the injury created a bit of niggle in the game, and Gumbs would later be booked for reacting to Regan Linney’s attempt at some sort of retribution which also saw the FC United striker yellow carded.

Despite the Yellows’ positive start, it was the hosts who created the first chance of the game. Linney broke on the counter attack and his cross for Gabidon in the middle deserved better.

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Gumbs blocked well to deny Paul Ennis, though he would be one of three Yellows defenders to be booked before half time. Dec Walker was the first in the book, for a block on Linney, and Andy White was yellow carded for pulling back Gabidon.

Amidst the pantomime of fouls and cards, FC United took the lead. Linney rolled away from Walker, reluctant to commit due to his earlier booking, along the byline and after a good block by Gumbs, the ball bounced up and Gabidon hooked it home.

The Yellows did well to see out until half time as FC United surged forward, though it would be the visitors who had the last chance, Dixon firing over with a left foot shot.

Photo credit: Callum Scott

Mitch Duggan was brought on at half time to stabilise the Yellows back four and lessen the risk of a sending off, though they will have been frustrated at the lack of cards dished out to the hosts for an array of fouls at the start of the second half.

Clear cut chances were few and far between in the early parts of the half, Jordan Buckley coming closest when his shot was blocked on the line by Curtis Jones after ‘keeper Dan Lavercombe had spilled Jay Harris’ cross.

Duggan was nearly an unlikely scorer, cutting in on to his left foot and forcing a fine save from Lavercombe for a goal that would have rivalled his similarly spectacular one in the FA Cup at the same ground a few years ago.

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At the other end, Tony Thompson made himself big to deny Linney one-on-one, saved a piledriver from Ennis and later tipped over Jack Degruchy’s well-hit left-foot volley.

As the game entered the final 20 minutes, Gumbs headed just over from a Williams corner before the Yellows were gifted their way back in to the game.

Griffiths’ header back to his goalkeeper was too short and enabled Buckley to hare down on goal, and in his desperation to atone for the mistake, Griffiths pulled down Buckley in the box.

Dixon stepped up and hit his penalty well, past Lavercombe in the right corner despite the ‘keeper going the right way.

Both sides could have won it, with Isaac Buckley-Ricketts perhaps coughing up the best opening of the lot – misjudging Williams’ improvised cross, and the two sides had to settle for a point.

FC United of Manchester: Lavercombe, Wollerton, Dodd (Hall), Griffiths, Halls, Jones, Gribbin (Degruchy), Potts, Linney, Ennis, Gabidon (Vincent). Unused subs: Palinkas, Dyer.

Warrington Town: Thompson, Walker (Duggan), White, Hannigan, Gumbs, Harris, Buckley-Ricketts, Williams, Buckley (Clarke), Dixon, Duffy (Amis). Unused subs: Mols, McDonald.

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Featured photo credit: Callum Scott

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