Source: This is Lancashire
By Liam Chronnell
FC UNITED warmed up for their title run in with some shooting practice of a different kind.
The prolific Reds, who now trail NWCL Division One leaders Salford City by just one point with six games in hand after Saturday's 2-1 win at Bacup Borough, enjoyed a day paintballing.
Karl Marginson's boys have had no trouble hitting the target this season after blasting 108 goals in all competitions.
But the breakaway club still headed off to the Cheshire countryside for a teaml bonding session ahead of this weekend's home clash with struggling Atherton LR.
"It was a bit of fun and the lads loved it." said Marginson. "We just went to a large forest in Holmes Chapel. It was a nice change to what we normally do."
Saturday's game will be FC's first at Gigg Lane in 2007 - and Marginson believes home form will be crucial to Rebels claiming back-to-back promotions.
"It is very important," said the Reds boss, whose side returned to league action after a four-week break.
"We've slipped up in a couple of games at home this season and we can't afford to do that in the run in.
"We were excellent on Saturday after a long lay-off. It can be frustrating for the players but they've been superb in training and they proved that with the result."
Marginson would love a repeat of FC's 7-0 demolition of Rovers, who possess the second worst defence in the division, at Chorley's Victory Park back in August, though the United manager feels that was an unfair reflection of the game.
He added: "It's important we go into the match with the right approach because the last time we played them it was a strange game.
"We were 3-0 up after five minutes and the game was over. But if it doesn't go our way we have the players who can handle it. We're all just looking forward to the run in."
United had to come from behind to take the points at Bacup last weekend after Stuart Shepherd had given the home side the lead from the penalty spot on the half hour.
Rory Patterson levelled matters three minutes later and Stuart Rudd's 33rd goal of the season two minutes before the interval proved decisive.
And the victory was all the more satisfying after title rivals Salford were held to a 2-2 draw at Maine Road.
Marginson will have his full-strength squad to pick from on Saturday, with defender Rob Nugent available despite suffering a broken nose.