Danny Devine, Bailey Conway and Lewis Butroid made up the trio in midfield, while Kyle Simpson was drafted back into the sixteen, with Bobby Johnson serving the first of his two match ban. George Hornshaw got forward to good effect, getting a looping header on target when he got on the end of an Ash Jackson centre. Truth be told he was moving away from goal, eighteen yards out, he wasn't really going to trouble FC's debutant goalkeeper, on loan from Manchester City, George Murrary-Jones.
Chances were at something of a premium in the first half, with perhaps the Holy Blues shading the half, but not troubling the scoreline. Trevon Bryan dragged a shot well wide of the target for United, before Hamish Douglas set off on a run from the halfway line out on the right. Driving in field, he looked for the one two, but the return ball was behind the Rotherham youngster as he looked to burst into the box. Despite some promising flashes in terms of approach play, the final ball let Trinity down. Over hit, or under hit passes seeing possession change hands and opportunities lost.
Dylan Cogill found the feet of Preston dropping deep and he cleverly found Southwell with a neat reverse pass. Southwell though, didn't get the best contact on his strike, the ball blocked before being cleared from danger. Danny Devine centred from the left, the ball falling at Southwell's feet in the box. On the half turn, the Trinity marksman didn't make the contact he would have wanted. The attempt squirming harmlessly through to Murrary-Jones.
A smart one-two sliced open the hosts, as Southwell and Preston exchanged passes on the edge of the box. Preston’s return ball to the feet of the experienced number nine, but as bodies converged, Southwell wasn’t able to find the finish that would have seen the Blues in front at the break. The first goal was to be crucial, and you had to think, if Trinity had got it, the home crowd would have turned. As it was, it was level at the break.
Half Time: FC United of Manchester 0 Gainsborough Trinity 0
Early in the second half, Dylan Wharton was called into action, a burst from the hosts down the Gainsborough right, saw the ball played into the danger area, but Wharton made a miraculous stop from close range, thwarting Jordan Buckley from inside the six yard box. Gratefully grasping the ball as it kindly looped up into his arms.
Next it was the turn of Murray-Jones to produce the heroics. Ash Jackson was denied a certain goal, when the debutant ‘keeper got down low to his right hand side, to divert the ball behind for a corner. Following good play in the box by Douglas to make Conway's free-kick stick inside the area. As Trinity looked to ramp up the pressure, the ball fell to Preston on the edge of the area. Looking to steer his effort through a crowded box, the ball was blocked enroute to goal.
Buckley and FC United, didn’t have long to wait for their goal though. And Buckley took it calmly, with a clever finish past Wharton. Dan Laffertys raking ball from right to left found the former Warrington Town striker and he ghosted inside his man - and rolled a tidy finish back past Wharton. The goal boosted the hosts, as the home crowd raised the noise. Aaron Bennett missed his kick when well placed, before Buckley fizzed over from the left hand side of the box.
Conway, imperious in the middle of the park, was the pick of the outfield players for Trinity. He tracked the run of Trevon Bryan, making a superb last ditch, sliding tackle after his direct running looked to have created him some room. A goal down, Wilcox turned to Tavonga Kulyea, switching him with Hornshaw as the boss looked to keep as many attacking threats on the pitch as possible. But one soon became two as Trinity soon switched off from a contested free-kick.
Trinity felt aggrieved, when Danny Devine was adjudged to have fouled his man. The midfielder appearing to have won the ball. The Blues (in grey) had time to set up, but that they didn’t. Dan Lafferty winning the first contact. And Palinkas getting the second to sweep the ball beyond Wharton, giving the hosts an unassailable lead. Wharton was again called into action as the ninety minutes ticked down, denying Buckley a second. Springing full length to his left to keep out the striker's attempt.
An afternoon of frustration for Trinity. A failure to take the chances when they presented themselves, and avoidable goals conceded. It came to fruition, that the side who got the first goal, ultimately ended up leaving with all three points. That wasn’t Russ Wilcox’s men on this occasion. But the opportunity to bounce back comes around quickly. Gainsborough are next in action on Tuesday night, in the rearranged game against Matlock Town at the Proctor Cars Stadium. 7.45pm kick off. The Gladiators coming into this one also on the back of a defeat. A late loss at the Giant Axe continuing their topsy-turvy form.
FC United of Manchester: George Murrary-Jones, Declan McLoughlin, Guy Hall, Daniel Lafferty, Charlie Oliver, Jan Palinkas, Bob Jammeh (Aaron Bennet 49), Luke Griffiths, Jordan Buckley, Charlie Ennis (Charlie Munroe 65), Trevon Bryan (Lewis Golboy 74). Subs not used: Pat Boyes and Max Woodcock.
Gainsborough Trinity: Dylan Wharton, George Hornshaw (Tavonga Kuylea), Ashley Jackson, Bailey Conway, Hamish Douglas, Dylan Cogill, Lewis Butroid, Danny Devine, Dayle Southwell (Kyle Simpson), Declan Howe, Fraser Preston (Joel Holvey). Subs not used: Nathaniel Wallace and Jack Moore-Billam.
FCUM Booking: Luke Griffiths
FCUM Goals: Jordan Buckley (55)
Referee: Mr Cavannah
Images courtesy of Lewis McKenna (Official Photographer of FC United of Manchester)