Middx County Division One:
FC Team 2 London United 1
FC Team kept alive their hopes of avoiding relegation with a gutsy win over high-flying London United.
After back-to-back defeats, which saw a great run come to an end and Team drop back into the relegation zone, Mitch Young’s troops faced a London United team who were high in confidence and lying fifth in the league.
Team knew they had to stop leaking goals to maintain their push to survive in Division One and Young changed the formation allowing Dan Silverman to play in a sweeper role to protect the defence.
The first half started well with Team adjusting to their knew formation and it wasn’t long before they were causing problems for the London defence. Kieran Allen Curry and Richard Salmon linked up well, although for the first 25 minutes it was all about frustrating the opposition.
Team allowed London to have possession of the ball but with the defence and midfield playing a very tight system, London were just left to play missed place passes and long range shots.
The first real chance came on the 30 minute mark. Young took a free kick from the right hand side and floated it over. The ball fell to Andy Croll who with only the keeper to beat pulled his shot wide.
This didn’t dampen Team’s hopes as five minutes before half time, Allen Curry played in Salmon who cut in from the left and released a shot but the keeper saved comfortably.
The first half ended with Team on top and the defence with Gideon Moss and Silverman performing superbly could not be broken.
The second half started as the first half ended with London trying to press but could not come up with any new ideas team began to take the initiative.
Ten minutes into the second half the opening goal came. Young, again with a free kick from the right, floated the ball in Allen-Curry won the knock down and there was Rich Sternberg who blasted the ball home to make it 1-0 to Team and to score his second goal of the season.
London again continued to press but the Team defence stood firm. However, Team were dealt a blow with 10 minutes to go a speculative long range shot from the London midfielder somehow managed to elude keeper Whitehead to level the scores. It was quite unfortunate as Whithead’s view was blocked by a defender.
Team knew they deserved more than a point so pushed on and straight away a brilliant run by Salmon that saw him run through three players into the box. He laid the ball square to his strike partner Allen Curry who from five yards smashed the ball over.
Now Team was beginning to feel it wasn’t going to be there day. Then, in the last minute, Team won a corner. Young stood over the ball and curled it right to the unmarked Allen-Curry who powered his header into the top corner to win the game in dramatic fashion. 2-1 to Team and the final whistle blew.
A delighted manager Mitch Young said: “We thoroughly deserved the three points today our tactics were spot on and everyone in the team put in a truly great performance. Our defence in particular was outstanding, they have come under some pressure this season but they are now showing collectively they are a great unit in County level football.
“We showed great team spirit, unity and focus for 90 minutes and that truly is the FC Team way so I am delighted. What’s more is that it was a massive three points as it moved us out of the bottom two positions and with four games to go we now have the confidence to pick up our points tally we set ourselves a few weeks ago that would see us stay in Division One.
"As Chairman of FC Team, I just would like to say a big well done to everyone involved at the club on a weekend that saw the County team pick up a massive win and both Sunday Teams secure our sixth promotions in three seasons and our second title. I am very proud and long may this success continue."