FC United of Manchester’s poor league form continued as they lost 2-1 to Gainsborough Trinity at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

Teenage centre-back Paul McKay headed home the winner – a day after signing on loan from Doncaster – to condemn United to a seventh straight National League North defeat.

Sam Madeley equalised for the hosts after Simon Russell gave Trinity an early lead on his 100th appearance for the club.

United’s Tom Greaves squandered a golden chance when the scores were level – symbolic of the club’s fortunes at the moment as the search for an illustrious league win goes on.

In difficult conditions, the visitors coped the better; running with the ball to compensate for a slow moving pitch, and it was in such a manner the opening goal came.

With seven minutes gone, Stephen Brogan –Trinity’s brightest player throughout – burst with the ball from midfield, before sliding the ball to Russell who finished past Dave Carnell coolly.

United’s approach differed – sending long balls down the channel for Rory Fallon and Greaves to chase, but the visiting back four were rarely troubled.

In the only first-half occasion in which they were breached, an aerial assault was needed, and stranded Gainsborough goalkeeper Jan Budtz would’ve been relieved to see Fallon’s header sail wide of his post.

It was no less than the Danish stopper deserved, however, for he was much responsible for the visitor’s half-time lead – saving through a crowd of bodies to deny Brownhill, before a superb stop at the end of the half to stop Drury.

His form continued after the restart, stopping Adam Thurston’s low drive before somehow getting in the way of Greaves’ rebound whilst floored.

The 37-year-old’s luck ran out eventually, however, albeit at no fault of his own as Madeley capitalized on mistakes in the Trinity defence just after the hour mark.

Both Dom Roma and Josh Lacey slipped over when attempting to clear the ball, affording the United attacker all the time in the world to pick his spot past Budtz.

It was from that point on when Karl Marginson’s men started to look the better team; Stott first trying his luck from range before Greaves missed the ball when he seemed destined to score.

Trinity were not done, however, and it was the unlikely face of 18-year-old McKay that rose highest at a corner 13 minutes from time, to thump a head onto the bar and over the line to the judgement of the linesman.

To concede in such a manner is indicative of United’s fortunes at the moment, but it was no less than the visitors deserved as they move up to 13th in the league, after facing the possibility of ending the day bottom had results gone against them.

United remain out of the drop zone on goal difference, but it remains to be seen how long it will be before what was superb support from a 3000-plus crowd turns to increased concern for a club that is so used to life at the other end of the table.


FC United of Manchester:  Carnell, Thurston, Brownhill (c), Stott, Lynch, Ashworth, Fallon, Sheridan, Greaves, Brown, Madeley.
Substitutes bench:  Daniels, Patterson, Wolfenden, Winter, Lindfield.
Booked:  None
Goals:  Madeley 61

Gainsborough Trinity:  Budtz, Roma (c), Lacey, Binns, McKay, Brogan, Russell, D’Laryea, Newsham, Jarman, Drury.
Substitutes bench:  Yates, Davis, Bemrose, Bignall, Quinn.
Booked:  None
Goals:  Russell 6, McKay 77

Referee:  Peter Wright (Merseyside)
Attendance:  3301

By Ashley Thornton-Jones at Broadhurst Park

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