03 September 2015   |  Last Updated 08-10-2012 10:00

      Monday 08, October 2012

      FC United into the next round of FA Cup qualifying

      FC UNITED edged their way into the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 home victory against Kendal Town.

      The tie featured two sides from the EvoStik Northern Premier Division, United sitting comfortably in sixth whilst town occupy 17th, with just five points separating them from the bottom. FC players celebrate - © Russell Hart  All rights reserved

      FC named an unchanged starting 11 from the side that claimed a 3-1 victory away at Mossley on Tuesday. Manager Karl Marginson saw the game as a perfect opportunity to add some fresh, youthful faces to his squad despite expecting a difficult encounter.

      United weren’t at the races in the first half and it was made clear in the opening few exchanges, Town dominated possession and had a couple of opportunities to take the lead. Kevin Leadbitter came closest for Kendal, his eighth minute free-kick cannoning off the frame of the FC goal.

      Referee Steven Meredith waved away a clear penalty when United’s Phil McGrath was brought down in the area. Kendal saw the opportunity to break away and soon enough the ball was in the back of the United goal.

      Kevin Leadbitter’s deflected effort on the quarter hour mark beat a fully stretched Jon Worsnop to give Kendal the lead.  A first half the travelling supporters were happy with, Danny Wisdom being stretchered off in the 23rd minute the only major worry.

      FC had few opportunities to draw level, striker Mike Norton battled to try and get on the end of below-par deliveries but to his frustration no-one could pick him out from the sea of black and white shirts.

      The anger was shared amongst the fans and players, United having already had four penalty shouts denied, the referee then booked FC United’s Jake Cottrell for a high challenge on Town’s number seven Alex Randell.

       Referee Meredith was met by a chorus of boos from the United faithful as he brought the first half to a close, a half that saw a disappointing FC United fail to capitalise on the space and possession gifted to them.

      United began the second half the way they should’ve started the first, firing the ball around with a lot more intent to find an opening. Chances for Kendal were limited, Scott Harries proving to be a handful for the FC defence, his skilful run set up Captain Marc Joseph whose shot travelled high and over the bar.

      An inspired substitution from United manager Marginson saw the game turn on its head eight minutes into the second half. Jake Cottrell made way for striker Chris Amadi whose fantastic performance against Mossley in the FA Trophy saw him met by rapturous applause.

      It wasn’t long before Amadi made an impact, beating his man with power and pace to cross the ball for Mike Norton who was inches away from connecting with the ball and surely levelling the tie.

      Two minutes later however, the tie was level, Kendal starlet Scott Harries handled in his own area, this time the penalty was given, Dean Stott coolly converted the penalty to the keepers right to ease the pressure.  Dean Stott converts a penalty - © Russell Hart  All rights reserved

      Chances were in abundance for United, mostly from the work of substitute Amadi. Another unstoppable run saw him beat the Kendal defence but his shot was easily saved by keeper Craig Dootson.

      The game’s second goal came from another denied penalty shout; a goalmouth scramble saw the Kendal defender on the line adjudged not to have handled the ball which was turned behind for a corner.

      United weren’t displeased for long, as centre-back Adam Jones rose above the Kendal defence to head home an exquisite cross from the resulting corner. United taking the lead for the first time in the game and they were on the hunt for more.

      Jerome Wright’s delicious free-kick in the 80th minute was waiting to be converted by anyone who could connect, but no-one obliged and after a messy goalmouth scramble, the ball was cleared.

      Six minutes later and they had more. Jerome Wright weaved in and out of the Kendal defence; his shot was blocked on the line by the hands of Town’s Paul Alexander, who was given his marching orders by referee Steven Meredith to the delight of the United support. Dean Stott converted the penalty to end any hopes of a Kendal revival.

      A less than convincing performance from United, but in the end a reasonably comfortable game which saw the arrival of Chris Amadi alter the tie in favour of the home side. His pace and power proving too much for the Kendal defence.

      United manager Marginson admitted that his side could play better but it was more important they got the result: “We could play better like we did in the second half, but it’s cup football it’s about the result and getting into the hat for the next round, so we’re happy.’”

      A day to forget though for referee Steven Meredith, the United coach however expressed sympathy and accepted his decisions, saying: “I don’t know what he has seen, but it’s down to his interpretation, we were given two penalties and we are happy for that.”

      By Matt Cunningham and Michael Dawson