By Jamie Murphy
FC United's fringe players got the chance to show mananger Karl Marginson their firepower by knocking down bottom of the table Stone Dominoes, including a debut hat-trick from 18-year-old Danny Allen.
North West Counties Football League - Division 1 (2006/07)
FC United 7 Stone Dominoes 0
pen: Patterson 81
Eight of FC United's first team players were rested for the game against Stone Dominoes with goalkeeper Sam Ashton, midfielder Nicky Platt and front man Stuart Rudd the only players from last week’s team that beat Salford City 3-2 in the FA Vase.
While FCUM went into the game with a tally of 71 goals, Stone Dominoes had shipped 75 and notched up just two points so far this season. After a succession of tough ties, Marginson granted an opportunity for his fringe players to stake a claim and 18-year-old Danny Allen grasped the chance with both hands, scoring a hat-trick on his full debut.
25.11.06 - FCUM v Stone Dominoes
FCUM with four up front
With Rory Patterson returning from suspension and wearing the captain’s armband playing in midfield, Allen linked up with Stuart Rudd up front and the three produced some scintillating moves. On the 14th minute a slick through ball from Patterson put Allen through on goal and the striker slotted past the keeper for his and FCUM’s first goal of the day.
Just four minutes later Allen grabbed a second with a neat shot on the turn. United began to dominate possession and Stone Dominoes were virtually stifled out of the game, finding themselves short changed down the flanks, while centre backs, Brown and Coyne mopped up their attacks with ease.
Four up front
Urged on by the 3,020 fans at Gigg Lane, the Rebel Reds kept the Stone keeper busy, with chances falling to Platt, Brown, Patterson and Allen who clipped the right angle, before the half-time whistle. At times in the first half the home side were so comfortable in midfield that they were seemingly playing four up front, but for all their dominance they lacked width, something that Marginson rectified for the second half by bringing on the pacey winger Swarbrick for Nicky Platt.
Fourteen minutes into the second half Allen completed his hat-trick latching onto a loose ball with a low volley from the edge of the area. The Dominoes began to tumble as tiredness set in among the visitors unable to maintain the tempo set by United. After three consecutive corners resulted in a headed goal from Rudd on the 64th minute, the rout was on.
Chances fell to Swarbrick and Ahern before the referee blew for a penalty after he judged Patterson to have been pulled down in the box. It was a harsh decision and Patterson coolly converted the spot kick low to the keepers left. Minutes later the visitors nearly grabbed a consolation with their only real chance of the game – a long range curling drive that beat Sam Ashton but not the bar.
It was a bad day at the office for poor Dominoes and their humiliation was further confirmed with a scrambled goal for FC’s 6th, claimed by Patterson. But it was to be Rudd who finally sealed the game after Swarbrick burst down the right flank and found the hit-man in space. It was bread and butter stuff for Rudd lashing home his 27th goal of the season.
The seven goal sizzler (a goal for every pound entrance fee) puts FCUM seven points clear at the top of the North West Counties League Division One. But they can expect a tougher test in their next game at home to Atherton Collieries on Wednesday.