By Liam Chronnell
A DAVE Swarbrick double helped FC United prevent Atherton Colls becoming the first team ever to complete a league double over the breakaway club.
The midfielder struck twice in the first half, and Stuart Rudd added a late third as the Rebel Reds ran out 3-0 winners - the same scoreline by which Colls defeated United in November.
Nicky Platt had already headed against the cross bar when Swarbrick skidded a 20-yard drive past Gavin Bates on 35 minutes at Leigh RMI's Hilton Park ground.
If the goalkeeper was disappointed with the manner of the first goal, there was little he could do about the second goal three minutes before the break when Swarbrick added a spectacular second.
Andy Harvey should have pulled a goal back immediately after the re-start but the Colls winger saw his shot smothered by keeper Sam Ashton.
And, the prolific Rudd wrapped up the contest when he headed home Rory Patterson's mis-directed shot to complete a crucial victory for the Gigg Lane outfit.
The victory took United back to the top of the league - on goal difference.
Atherton LR's clash with Nelson was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch, as was Daisy Hill's clash at Leek CSOB.