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Monday, November 08, 2010

Big Match Review - Rochdale 2 FC United 3

Rochdale 2-3 FC United of Manchester
Friday November 5, Spotland, (Att: 7,048)

Michael Norton's controversial winner deep into injury time earned FC United of Manchester a shock FA Cup victory over League One Rochdale.

The match exploded into life in the second half, by which stage the Northern Premier League side were already 1-0 up.

Neat approach play ended with Jerome Wright slipping the ball through for Nicky Platt to clip the ball over the advancing Josh Lillis three minutes before the interval.

That lead was then doubled soon after the restart when good play down the left resulted in the ball being played back for Jake Cotterill to thunder a drive into the top corner from 25 yards.

It seemed to sting Keith Hill's men into life and they hit back within five minutes as Anthony Elding glanced a header in from Brian Barry-Murphy's free kick.

That vulnerability from dead balls cost FC United again with 12 minutes left as Craig Dawson rose highest from a corner to power a header in for Dale's leveller.

Just as things were heading for a replay at Gigg Lane though, the Non League outfit snatched a winner.

After a through-ball had been collected by Lillis, he seemed to temporarily lose control of the ball and Norton pounced to take the ball away from the keeper and roll it in.

The Spotland faithful were outraged as the 3,000 visiting supporters were sent into ecstasy.

It saw FC United of Manchester through to the second round for the first time in their history. Rochdale must now focus on survival in League One.

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