Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lasinski equalizer forces draw between Detroit City FC and FC United of Manchester

"Wankers...come out and play..."

That was the friendly message that was broadcasted from the Northern Guard Supporters to not only the players FC United of Manchester, but also its nearly 100 faithful supporters that made the 3600 mile trek to watch their Red Rebels draw with Le Rouge on Saturday afternoon. 

FCUM nearly walked out of Keyworth Stadium with a victory, but Alec Lasinski had other plans for welcoming the Brits to the United States by finding the back of the net in the 93rd minute.
The draw could not be more fitting between the two clubs that both compete in the lower levels of their countries football association. Of course, DCFC plays out of the NPSL which is highly regarded as the fourth division of soccer in the States; while FCUM plays out of the National League North, otherwise known as the sixth division of English football.

The result isn't the only aspect of the game that the two clubs share, with core values of creating a positive community, supporter dedication and growing the beloved sport in its respected region. 

FCUM is literally supporter owned and DCFC is known to be 'supporter built', in reference to the boundless backing and groundwork that fans of Detroit City FC have produced in four years. 

"That's what this game was about, our supporters are tremendous, we have the best supporters in the nation," DCFC coach Ben Pirmann said. "But these supporters for Manchester were amazing. You could hear them. They're chanting, they're singing, they're mocking; It's a blast.

"Those people just spent a lot of money to come over here and I think that speaks volumes. Our supporters do the same thing with their time, their energy, their money and their passion. 

"It's great, it's an amazing event and both teams really get a lot out of this."

And the sentiment rang true on the Red Rebels side of the pitch, as well. 

"You can see the enthusiasm and the passion of the people running the club who had the idea to form it," FCUM manager Karl Marginson said. "When you can combine community and sport, it's a luxury and Detroit shows what can really be achieved.

"I can't put into words, the level of welcome that we've had and the hospitality with the people. You hear stories back home and Detroit and the troubles its had. 

"But traveling around town and seeing the area, they may have a couple of problems but they're working through it. You can tell its a town that's on the up."

As far as football goes, City forward Javi Bautista had a dominate first half as he continues to work his way back from injury. Not only did Bautista open the scoring in the 11th minute but also adding an assist to his tally and controlling play on the right side of the field. 

It didn't take long for FCUM to even the score, though. The Manchester support were treated with a Sam Madeley strike that beat Joe Smith on the near post. 

Le Rouge took its second lead of the afternoon courtesy of Jeff Adkins,  capitalizing on a slick Bautista pass in the run of play in the 26th minute. 

FC United then scored twice in the span of two minutes off the feet of George Thomson and Dale Johnson. 

After the half, it looked as if Johnson's tally would hand City its first ever loss at Keyworth Stadium, but fate, and man-in-form Lasinski had other thoughts. 

Moments before the equalizer, Tyler Moorman had his chance to tie the game by successfully chipping the FC United goalkeeper, but the ball rolled wide of goal, in the Detroit control of the last ten minutes. 

Lasinski's 93rd minute strike knotted the match at three-a-piece, directly before the referee blew for full time. 

"The style of play isn't that different and at the end of the day this is football," said Marginson after the match. "I wasn't surprised and I thought it was a good game. I would want a result for these people that turned out in the thousands, but for me I think it couldn't have ended better in a draw for the supporters."

Even the famous Detroit City FC home support atmosphere didn't take Marginson by surprise, and it shows that City's reach goes beyond the United States. 

Click for full match gallery
"We've seen photos and videos, but we can now see passion that we all hear about," he said. "We're doing it back in Manchester but its incredible to see being done here."

On the pitch, Detroit City FC had the home field advantage, as well as being able to get 21 players on the field in comparison to the Manchester use of 15 players. 

"We played 21 players, and that's awesome because all of those guys get to play in front of our fans that they really deserved it," Pirmann said. "We played hard, and I think we controlled the game pretty much throughout. It was a justified goal at the end to make it more of a fun result."

And with the new working relationship between DCFC and FCUM, Marginson said that he would have no opposition to a reverse fixture being played in England in the future. 

"We would absolutely be open to the idea," he said. "There's a link between the two clubs and that's what we want to do with other like-minded people who want supporters at the heart of their football clubs."

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