FC United draw 1-1 against Altrincham

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By Jacque Talbot

Altrincham displayed the battling qualities against FC United that will be needed if they are to pull off a great escape and stave off relegation from Vanarama National League North.

The bottom-of-the-table Robins, beaten at home 3-0 by FC United five days earlier, must have feared the worst when they trailed after only 30 seconds in the return fixture at Broadhurst Park to a goal from Jason Gilchrist.

Lifted by new signings Elliot Newby and Andy Owens, Altrincham hit back with a goal from Andy Owens to claim a valuable point. Forward Owens not only scored but left the opposition defence rattled at times, and 19-year-old winger Newby turned in a dazzling display on the right flank.

Having beaten Altrincham 3-0 away just five days before, FC United could have been forgiven for expecting much the same result, especially when Jason Gilchrist thumped home a volley from close range inside just 30 seconds.

The lead was almost doubled minutes later when goalkeeper Tim Deasy was caught in possession outside the area. However, Jerome Wright’s hopeful lob was cleared by John Cyrus who saved his keeper further embarrassment.

Altrincham then displayed a resilience missing for most of this season, pressing the Manchester side’s back four into mistakes. After 12 minutes an Andy Owens shot was blocked but fell kindly for him and he made no mistake with his second effort to level the scores.

With pressure at both ends, a strong challenge came just before halftime from Altrincham player Jake Moult, as he sent Luke Ashworth flying. The resulting brawl earned Moult a yellow card and the FC United man a straight red. Moult also got his marching orders with a second yellow for dissent.

The second half saw a determined home side come out and take the game to Altrincham, piling on the pressure. Substitute Tom Greaves dragged wide after a slick one-two put him in a prime position to score and fellow sub Nathan Lowe was sent on with ten minutes to go to drive attacks through the middle of the park. His runs, however, amounted to nothing in the end.

Despite the away point against a tough FC United side Altrincham remain bottom, with just eight points from 22 games.

Afterwards midfielder Moult said, “There were some tired legs in the second half but we’ve got a point to take home, and that’s a good start.

“We came here today to get all three points, make no mistake. But on the balance of the game, a point is probably a fair result.”



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Jacque Talbot

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