Friday, December 08, 2006

A Tasty Cup Tie

FC United face Quorn FC this weekend, and their opponents are only one of a series oddly-named teams the Reds have faced this season

Tony Howard
Friday December 8, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

Source: The Guardian

FC United embark on their latest FA Vase adventure this weekend against the wonderfully named Quorn FC.

The Leicestershire side have certainly caused a stir ahead of the crunch third-round encounter and every self-proclaimed comedian worth his salt has come up with a food related gag.

One of the joys of dropping down the divisions from the Premiership to the non-league scene has been the the clubs United fans have discovered. Already this season the mini-Reds have played Stone Dominoes, a name which conjures up images of a Stonehenge-inspired Guinness Book of Records attempt, although their name is simply a shortening of Stone St Dominics' Scout group in Stoke-on-Trent. FC have also faced many teams with obvious links to mines, including Brodsworth Miners Welfare and Atherton Collieries.

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Last season the Reds faced Blackpool Mechanics, who obviously make no secret of their occupation, and if you're looking for a festive theme there was Castleton Gabriels - named after a local church in the Rochdale area.

Teams taking their town's name have caused confusion. Many supporters found last season's opponents Ashton Town to be a particular problem as some assumed they were from nearby Ashton-under-Lyne.

There are reports of at least one fan ending up at Ashton United's ground in the Tameside town, rather than Northwich where FC actually ended up playing Ashton Town, who in fact hail from Ashton-in-Makerfield near Wigan.

Confused? So were the majority of Reds when they saw FC were set to face Newcastle Town earlier this season. Surely they play in the north-east? Not so. Newcastle in Stoke-on-Trent were the actual opponents.

And this weekend's opponents Quorn can certainly compete with the best-named clubs around, even if they simply take the title of a small town near Loughborough, not Paul McCartney's second-favourite brand of veggie burgers. FC winger Rhodri Giggs will be all too familiar with the named food product after his brother Ryan had a spell heading their advertising campaign in the early 1990s.

United go into the fixture on the back a 'poor' run of form - a draw and a defeat in the last two games.

Such has been the prolific start to the season the dropping of four points with a home defeat against Atherton Collieries and an away draw at Congleton could herald some to call it a crisis.Before the Atherton game, United had lost only once - against Salford, a loss for which FC atoned in the previous round of the Vase with a 3-2 win.

But after two lacklustre performances in the league, the Reds are now 'only' seven points clear of Salford in the league and will be looking forward to the distraction the FA Vase brings.

Manager Karl Marginson has read his team the riot act after the recent slump and he will be hoping the Reds show more bite at Gigg Lane on Saturday.

And if they win they could face the likes of Slimbridge AFC, Chessington and Hook United or even Moneyfields FC in the next round - a tasty incentive if ever there was one.

· The match against Quorn FC is at Gigg Lane on Saturday, December 9, kick off 3pm. Admission on the gate is £7 adults, £5 over-60s and £2 under-18s.