Thursday, April 13, 2006

MEN: UniBond next for Rebels

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By Stuart Brennan (Manchester Evening News)

Picture blurb: JOY BOYS. FC United’s Steve Torpey celebrates Rob Nuggent’s goal with Rory Patterson, right.

FC United last night clinched promotion in empathic style - and manager Karl Marginson has already set his sights on winning a place in the UniBond League next season.

A crowd of 2,788 was at Gigg Lane to see the Rebels sweep past Chadderton 4-0 with goals from Steve Torpey, Rob Nugent, Will Ahern and a Rory Patterson penalty, and make sure they end the season in the top two of the Moore and Co Construction Solicitors League's second division.

And Marginson feels that the nucleus of this team, with a few additions in the summer, is good enough to to challenge strongly for the first division title.

"I started planning for next season about four months ago!" said the ecstatic Marginson. "There are things I want to improve upon, but the lads who have played this season have been a credit and are in pole polition. It is up to anyone else who comes in to take their shirt off them."

The team formed just 10 months ago in the wake of the Glazers' takeover of Manchester United has rapidly become a non-league phenomenon, but will have to wait to secure the second division title.

FC Still need two points to be sure, although there is a strong possibility that they could win the title over the Easter weekend, even though they have no game other than a friendly fixture at Clitheroe on Saturday. If rivals Nelson and Flixton fail to win either of their two games over the holiday weekend, the title will be in the bag and the club is already planning a big celebration for the last home game of the season against Great Harwood Town on April 22 – with kids being admitted free.

Torpey got the party under way after 21 minutes in typical fashion, crashing in a left-footed free kick from 20 yards to beat Chadderton keeper Lee Swanson.

And on 40 minutes right back Rob Nugent gave the Rebels a cushion to sit on at half time when he steamed into the area and glanced home a header from Dave Swarbrick’s cross.

Will Ahern slammed in a picture-book third goal nine minutes from time to make the scoreline a more accurate reflection.

Just to round things off, young Irish striker Rory Patterson scored from the penalty spot with three minutes remaining.