FC United 8 Squires Gate 0
ANYTHING less than 100 per cent match fitness is a waste of time against the big-money men of boom club FC United.
That's the stark message from Squires Gate manager Stuart Parker after watching his side blitzed at Bury's Gigg Lane in the club's heaviest defeat since joining the North-West Counties League 15 years ago – coming a week after a 7-1 victory over Stone Dominoes.
Parker said: "Three things you need against a side like FC United are a little luck, ability and fitness. We didn't have much luck, had some ability and no fitness.
"After 30 minutes at 3-0 down – when the score could have been 3-3 – it became a turkey shoot. We had enjoyed more than an even share of the game, weren't overawed and then simply ran out of steam.
"I couldn't fault my players for effort. Everybody tried hard but with not being fully fit you can't do things which otherwise come naturally.
"Out of a squad of 20, I reckon I've got four fully-fit players. There's a hard core of ten who train – only the rest can answer why they're not there."
Poor Peter Summerfield must have wished he'd stayed in America after coming under the cosh in his first game back at Gate in goal.
Skipper Rory Patterson and former Skelmersdale marksman Stuart Rudd, who shared seven goals, had tucked away the first three (5, 15 and 29 mins) while at the other end Paul Ryan couldn't capitalise on two one-on-ones and Marc Beattie wasted another chance.
Irishman Patterson's personal tally rose to four by half-time with strikes in the 34th and 45th minutes. Every one of his goals was placed in the bottom left-hand corner.
Parker dubbed Rudd "very unsporting" for the manner in which he completed his hat-trick on 79 minutes. He tapped the ball in as Summerfield rolled it forward to restart play after Gate had kicked out for a throw-in when a United player was injured.
Debutant Danny Shannon headed the eighth with four minutes left in front of a below-average crowd of 1,851*.
16 October 2006
*Attendance was 2,378 - Ed