A two goal salvo in the first fifteen minutes set the scene for United to score a fifth consecutive victory, it did however take a stunning late strike from Will Hendry to settle the nerves after the visitors scrambled one home with 20 to play.
United made a quick start against the visitors who with two defenders suspended saw another in the shape of Tom Kemp cautioned in the second minute for a foul on Josh Scott before he was replaced due to the injury he caused himself just minutes later. Scott and Mulley then combined with the latter's cross being just out of the reach of Will Hendry in the six yard box.
The lead was only minutes away though, Hendry fired a free-kick to the far post, Steve Perkins rose highest to head the ball back into the six yard box where Scott's volley was clawed away for a corner by City keeper Danny McDonnell. The resultant Dale Binns corner was met by Scott, his first effort was blocked by McDonnell but the United striker was quick enough to force the loose ball home.
It only took three minutes for one to become two, Hendry chested down a long MacDonald pass neatly to Binns who advanced to the area before firing past McDonnell.
With City stung and United in cruise control it was almost 20 minutes before another good chance was created, and again it fell to the home side. Binns, not for the first time, raced past Graham Ward, his centre was only cleared as far as Hendry who was foiled by a fine diving stop from McDonnell.
City finally caused some concern for Delroy Preddie in the last minute of the half when Marco Adaggio found space on the corner of the United box, his drive thankfully dipping just over the crossbar as the half drew to a close.
At the start of the second half it was United's turn to lose a key defender to injury in the first few minutes as Matt Ruby went down after a clash of heads, to be replaced by Toby Little. The next few minutes were tense at the back for the home side as some reshuffling took place, a corner from the left found its way to Gary Walker 20 yards out and his shot was only just too high. Preddie was called into action shortly afterwards when a Ward throw-in was volleyed goalwards on the turn by City skipper Craig Wilding but the United keepers fingertips took the ball wide of the post.
Just before the hour mark it was McDonnell who needed to be alert, James Mulley fed the ball to Hendry who took a touch before shooting on the turn only for the City stopper to push his effort around the post. With 20 minutes remaining City gave themselves a deserved way back into the game when Preddie allowed a Davies shot to squirm from his grasp, Adaggio slid in and despite two defenders trying to clear their lines the referee's assistant flagged that the ball had crossed the goalline.
This seemed to re-awaken Garry Haylock's side as twice within a minute Scott found himself put through, but on both occasions McDonnell stood firmly in his way, even denying Mulley to the loose ball when it did break free. Seven minutes remained when United finally restored their two goal advantage, Staforde Palmer won the ball on the left side before playing it to Binns, he in turn found Hendry who looked up and curled an inch perfect shot over McDonnell's desperate stretch, into the City net.
Stoppage time arrived, as did a chance apiece. For United Hendry played a crossfield pass perfectly to Mulley who chested it down before laying the ball to Palmer but his shot was wide of the far post. Two timely defensive blocks kept the two goal cushion, Dodd cut into the area from the left but his shot was blocked by Perkins. the resultant corner found its way to Walker outside the area and his shot into the ground was headed out from the six yard box by Binns.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
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Website United Man of the Match: Will Hendry.