Saturday, March 10, 2007

Squires Gate 0 FC United 1

Source: M.E.N.

Paul Gallagher
10/ 3/2007

FC UNITED extended their lead at the top of the league with a scrappy win over Squires Gate.

Taking on a team they'd beaten 8-0 in October, the Rebels could only manage a single goal - a second half Nicky Platt penalty.

It was announced this week that the Rebels' TV show attracts a weekly audience of 48,000, but this match will make uncomfortable viewing for Karl Marginson and his team.

While the breakaway Reds were always in control of the match, they rarely threatened the Squires Gate goal during a disjointed first half.

Manager Marginson appeared visibly riled as he went to the dressing room at half-time and sent out his players five minutes early for the second half.

His team stepped up their play with striker Rory Patterson and winger Rhodri Giggs both going close.

But the Rebels attacking moves were all too often breaking down without creating clear cut chances.


It was Patterson who was fouled in the box for the penalty on 55 minutes and Platt calmly stepped up to send the opposing goalkeeper the wrong way.

Although Squires Gate - 17 in the NWCFL Division One – were the 'home' side, FC United were denied a trip to Blackpool.

Gate, who have an average crowd of 50 and had played in front of 22 spectators on Tuesday night, were told by the police that a match in Blackpool would have to be moved forward to midday and include a police presence costing up to £10,000.

So the match was played instead at the Tameside Stadium in front of 1,650 fans - home to FC United's only genuine rival to the Division One title, Curzon Ashton.

Ironically, the Reds had managed a memorable 3-1 victory when they played Curzon last September, but their second league match at the stadium this season is one they'll want to forget.

Attendance: 1,650.