DURHAM City will have to make another attempt to see off FC United of Manchester on Wednesday night after a thrilling FA Trophy tie, writes Malcolm Pratt.
A pulsating, end-to-end contest at New Ferens Park finished 1-1.
City’s biggest crowd of the season was still a disappointing 533, considering the visitors expected at least 1,000 to make the journey to the North East. However, those who did turn up were not let down, with thrills and spills at both ends.
City’s Stephen Thompson was dispossessed and Michael Norton tried to lob into an empty net after goalkeeper James Winter had raced to the edge of the box to try and intercept the ball.
Gary Brown then headed over from a Thompson cross and United’s Kyle Jacobs forced a double save from Winter.
A superb challenge by Ross Wilkinson prevented Norton from getting in a shot and visiting goalkeeper James Spencer was forced to concede a corner, with David Dowson through on goal.
A ding-dong first half ended with United taking the lead on 45 minutes.
A free kick by Carlos Roca found Norton, who drove into an empty net.
City’s disappointment lasted only a couple of minutes, however, when Dowson deservedly equalised with a spectacular effort in off the far post.
The pattern of the first half continued into the second. Amar Purewal went close for Durham, but only a brilliant block by Jonathan Davis prevented United’s Astley Mulholland from capitalising in front of an open goal.
City, however, went even closer 20 minutes from time as Thompson rattled the woodwork, with United goalkeeper Spencer nowhere in sight.
Two minutes later Mulholland missed an open goal, so the sides must try again on Wednesday.
Durham City: J Winter, Stephenson, Madden, Davis, Wilkinson, Arjun Purewal, Cutts (Greulich-Smith), Brown, Dowson, Thompson (Home Jackson), Amar Purewal.
Ref: Mr Tony Peart. Att: 533.