A battling home performance in front of a four-figure crowd ensured Witton Albion climbed out of the bottom four and claim their first league win at Wincham Park since early September.
Witton maintained their unbeaten start to 2009 thanks to goals at the end of both halves in an entertaining and open UniBond Premier encounter against FC United of Manchester.
Despite visiting FC United, backed by the majority of a 1030-strong crowd, having most of the play during the first half, it was Gary Finley’s men that took the lead moments before the half-time whistle.
Witton had been on the back foot for most of the half but during a number of salvos into FC’s penalty area, a cross from the right was met by striker Lee Thompson who rose highest to head the ball past energetic keeper Sam Ashton.
It was a goal that came against the run of play but was exactly the break Witton needed to instil belief that victory, and indeed revenge for the 5-3 embarrassment at FC United’s Gigg Lane last year, was possible.
After the break the visitors, attacking the Lostock end, looked threatening and hit Greg Smith’s crossbar on no more than four occasions.
But it was Witton that came closest to adding to the scoresheet when a cross from the right was met again by Thompson but his goal-bound header was miraculously tipped onto the bar by Ashton.
The visitors immediately responded though and levelled when a ball through the heart of Witton’s defence was latched onto first by Tristam Whitman who squeezed his shot under Smith.
United almost went ahead shortly after when they hit Smith’s left-hand post and at times, Witton were riding their luck, but a mixture of fortune, grit and determination made sure the Albion stayed on level terms.
Witton had chances to go ahead through Neil Black, who impressed with his workrate all afternoon, but FC keeper Ashton was up to the task to block his shot on two occasions.
But Black was not to be denied as, in the final minute of the game, he managed to get the final touch to deflected shot which saw the ball trickle over the line and sent the home fans into raptures.
Witton host Marine tomorrow (Tuesday) night at Wincham Park in the fourth round of the UniBond Challenge Cup.