Paul McKay strike seals vital win for Gainsborough Trinity at FC United of Manchester

Football Rumours
Football Rumours

New signing Paul McKay struck a second half winner to earn Gainsborough Trinity a vital 2-1 at FC United of Manchester.

McKay leapt to head home from a corner via the underside of the crossbar 15 minutes from time to end a run of three straight defeats for Trinity.

Simon Russell had previously opened the scoring early on for the Blues before Sam Madeley equalised after the sodden conditions got the better of two Gainsborough defenders.

The win moved the Blues up to 13th in the table and four points clear of the drop zone with games in hand.

Coming into the game, Trinity were on a high despite only claiming eight points from 24. Having run Shrewsbury very close in the FA Cup first round, they then defeated Scunthorpe to clinch the Lincolnshire cup in midweek.

But in the league they had lost their last three, bettered by FC’s six straight league defeats, meaning it was a must win for both sides.

Gainsborough boss Steve Housham was enforced into one change to his starting lineup with new loan signing McKay from Doncaster Rovers coming in for the suspended Jake Picton for his debut.

There was also a first league start for Adam Drury and a 100th appearance for the Blues for midfielder Russell.

It did not take Russell long to begin his celebrations as the game was only six minutes old when he put the Blues ahead.

He had Stephen Brogan to thank for it as his marauding run from left back got him to the edge of the United penalty area and he slotted a pass between both centre halves to leave Russell on his own in the area.

The former Kidderminster midfielder gave Dave Carnell, in goal for FC, the eyes and calmly gave Trinity the lead.

It lifted some pressure off the shoulders of the squad but unfortunately did not dampen the crowd at Broadhurst Park who sang the entire game.

Rory Fallon boosted the levels in the 15th minute with a low drive that Jan Budtz was equal to, minutes before striker Tom Greaves thought he had equalised with a downward header that went inches wide of the post.

It was a warning sign for what was to come for the Blues, with Greaves being the focal point of the majority of dangerous attacks.

Nathan Jarman almost added to the lead from a free kick on the edge of the box and Stephen Brogan cleared the bar with a second on the stroke of half time.

In first half injury time, Trinity had Budtz to thank for not going in level at the break.

Sam Madeley won a corner with a curling shot that was tipped wide by the former Doncaster stopper and from the set piece, Madeley was matched by Budtz again before the rebound flew across the goalmouth and out of danger.

Conditions worsened during the interval as there seemed no end in sight for the constant rain in Greater Manchester.

United should have been level a few minutes after the restart. Budtz saved well to deny FC right back Adam Thurston and Greaves had the goal at his mercy to slot home the equaliser but instead hit it at the sprawled Budtz.

Drury came a matter of millimetres away from punishing the hosts, when he smartly brought down a Jarman cross and hit a shot on the turn.

The pressure was intensifying from United and after Greaves hit the side netting with a header, they levelled in what were unfortunate circumstances for the Blues.

Josh Lacey slipped while trying to clear a high ball, as did Dominic Roma immediately after, with the ball spinning into the path of Madeley, yet to retreat from an offside position, and he clipped the ball over Budtz to send the FC fans wild.

There seemed to be only one outcome for the game after the goal, with the Reds pressing for the winner.

Greg Daniels came closest with a left foot drive from outside the box.

Trinity managed to win themselves a corner and some relief in the 75th minute. Jamie Yates took it, going long to the far post where Liam Davis rose to head back across goal and debutant McKay headed the winner in off the crossbar with the linesman having the final say.

Manchester threw caution to the wind in pursuit of a second equaliser, leaving two men back at all times.

It gave Trinity plenty of chances to counter, yet there were always someone to get in the way at the vital moment to prevent Yates, Newsham et al.

The Blues defended solidly for the remaining minutes and at times thanked the surface, in particular when it caused a Red attacker to air kick wildly when only two yards out.