A goal from Dele Adebola and a penalty from Ahmed Obeng gave Rushall Olympic all 3 points in a 2-0 victory over FC United of Manchester, that now brings them level on points with the Manchester side, writes Josh McLoughlin at Gigg Lane.
However it was Rushall Olympic’s Kyle Haines who had the first real opportunity. Coming forward from his right wing back position, he tested James Spencer with a low shot fizzing across the ground.
FC United then wasted a great opportunity when a corner from Liam Brownhill found Mulholland at the back post. He had plenty of time but ended up scuffing his shot wide.
In the 12th minute Rushall’s Luke Bottomer found himself space on the left wing and put in a beauty of a cross which was met with a thumping header from Josh Craddock, but it didn’t trouble the home keeper.
A slip from FC United defender Andy Pearson allowed Ahmed Obeng in behind the defence and from a tight angle his shot was pushed behind the goal by Spencer for a corner. Pearson’s blushes were spared.
38 year-old Dele Adebola was providing an obvious target for Rushall Olympic up front, and his hold up play and lay-offs were causing the home side’s defence some problems.
After a period of dominance and two successive corners for FC United, the ball fell to Lee Neville 30 yards out whose ambitious shot flew wide of the goal.
The Manchester outfit’s main attacking threat was coming from the right hand side with Brownhill and Mulholland linking up excellently. However a cross field pass to the left hand side gave Neville a rare opportunity to whip the ball in. His cross flew across the goal line and only needed a touch to be diverted into the net. But it instead went out for a Rushall Olympic goal kick.
Mulholland received the first yellow card of the match after a challenge on Matty Wood which was met with an angry reaction from the home supporters who believed the referee had made the wrong decision. Mulholland was then himself fouled shortly after, for which Carl Palmer also received a yellow card for. Wood was to get his revenge bringing down Mulholland on the edge of the area, from which Jerome Wright’s free kick was cleared for a corner.
Six minutes into the second half Rushall Olympic took the lead. Haines’ corner found an unmarked Adebola who powered his header beyond Spencer and into the back of the net. Adebola’s first real chance of the game and the experienced striker took it well.
In the 60th minute Neville found Mulholland on the edge of the Rushall area, he turned his man and looked to line up a shot but instead tried to find Neville again but his wayward pass went out of play. That was to be Mulholland’s last bit of action as he was replaced by Rhodri Giggs.
Another substitution for the Red Rebels was Mike Norton who immediately had a chance thanks to some good work from Matthew Wolfenden. His low drive was saved by visiting keeper Chris Gemmell.
Norton was again in the action, releasing Neville down the left, and his ball into the area clipped the crossbar before going out for a goal-kick.
A long ball up field gave Ahmed Obeng a chance, he was quickly closed down however and his shot ricocheted behind for a corner. Dele Adebola then found himself in space shortly after and his volley was also blocked and out for a corner.
In the 80th minute Obeng was played through with a perfectly weighted ball and FC United defender Andy Pearson ended up bringing the pacey striker down in the area. A yellow card followed and Obeng himself stepped up and sent Spencer the wrong way giving Rushall Olympic a 2-0 lead.
Neville pumped a ball into the area as United searched for a goal and Norton found himself with a chance in a crowded area, but he was brilliantly tackled by the visitors Captain Gavin Caines. Norton did find the net five minutes later but the linesman deemed him to be offside.
Rushall striker David Walker found himself lucky to only receive as yellow card after kicking out at the home side’s Captain Dean Stott.
The last chance of the game came as FC United’s Chris Worsley found Jerome Wright at the back post, but his header failed to trouble Gemmell.
That result leaves Rushall Olympic in 8th place in the league table. FC United of Manchester are two places above in 6th place by virtue of goal difference. Rushall have a home game on Tuesday against 3rd placed Ilkeston while FC United travel to lowly Frickley Athletic the same night.
FC United of Manchester: Spencer, Brownhill (Davies, 78), Neville, Stott (C), Pearson, Raglan, Wolfenden, Mulholland (Giggs, 61), Greaves (Norton, 61), Wright, Worsley
Subs not used: Coo, Birch
Rushall Olympic: Gemmell, Haines, Wood, Eckersley, Tolley, Caines (C), Palmer, Craddock, Adebola (Walker, 82), Obeng (Downes, 90), Bottomer (Turner, 65)
Subs not used: Martin, Mugisha
Goals: Adebola, 51, Obeng, 81 (p).