Bacup Borough 1
FC United 2
IT IS a long time since West View was bulging at the seams.
And the new phenomenon that is FC United ensured 1,504 spectators crammed into the ground to watch their side enhance their championship push with a narrow victory.But the home side just didnot have the cutting edge to turn possession into a real threat in front of goal.
United, on the other hand, had several players who proved a menace all afternoon and gave the Bacup rearguard a testing time.
Reds trio Jerome Wright, Rory Patterson and Stuart Rudd carried most of their attacking threat and in the end were the difference between the teams.
There were plenty of sparks from the man-marking of Rudd by Bacup’s Lee Anderson.
Both battled gamely for supremacy but took their knocks and bruises and got on with the game.
Neither sought the other out for a handshake at the end but they will have earned their counterpart’s respect.
Rudd had a golden opportunity to open the scoring for the visitors in the 24th minute.
Rory Patterson was played into the area and knocked the ball past keeper Carrington before being upended on the right hand side of the area.
But Carrington redeemed himself by saving Rudd’s poor spot kick
Bacup made a tactical switch by removing Shaun Cryer and putting on Carl Rezia.
And promptly went straight up to the other end and earned a penalty for a push on Lee Oldham.
Stuart Shepherd made no mistake from the spot and placed the ball low to the keeper’s right to put Bacup in front.
‘We’re gonna kill your cows,’ was the aggrieved chant from one section of United supporters.
However the travelling supporters were soon back in celebratory mood when Patterson produced a piece of magic on the edge of the area by flicking the ball up and spinning to volley into the top corner.
‘Premiership-standard goals at non-league prices,’ laughed one United supporter.
And FC United then got their noses in front just before the interval when Jerome Wright engineered some space and delivered for Rudd to turn the ball past Carrington from close range.
Chances were few and far between in the second half as United seemed content to settle for what they had.
Bacup created little in attack and their skipper Matt Cross consistently mopped up anything threatening at the other end.
But Anderson and Borg picked up needless late bookings as Wright’s trickery and their frustration got the better of them in the latter stages as the points slipped away.
Borough boss Brent Peters was disappointed his side did not take anything from the match.
He said: ‘It took a top quality goal to beat us and we were well worthy of a point. I was disappointed to concede the goals so late in the first half and if we had gone in at 1-1, I would have been delighted.
‘I told the players at full time that the difference was that FC United were alive all over the pitch and if there was a mistake then they were on it. Our players were not alive. We took breathers and rests in vital areas when we should have been getting into attacking positions.’
He added: ‘But overall I am pleased the way that we played. It was a great day and a brilliant atmosphere. But regardless of how big the day was it is my job to get points on the board and I am disappointed we did not do that. We deserved a point.’
The victory leaves FC United a point behind Salford City with six games in hand and the next stage of the football pyramid is beckoning.
Clearly the exploits of this large group of disenfranchised Manchester United fans has a long way to go yet.
One United fan had ‘Ruddaldinho’ on the back of his shirt. It summed up a somewhat surreal afternoon at West View.