Monday, March 12, 2007

Squires Gate 0 FC United 1


QUIDS-IN Squires Gate couldn't lose on Saturday, but money-spinning opponents FC United of Manchester didn't win a friend in Gate manager Jed Starkey.
While the School Road club is £7,000-£8,000 richer after being watched by 1,650 in their 'home' match at Curzon Ashton, Starkey reckons United rank poorly in the popularity stakes.
Proud of his players after they pushed the North-West Counties League leaders to relying on a penalty for their 25th win in 30 matches, Starkey claims the Unibond-bound club is only too ready to belittle the opposition.
"I would like them to show more respect to small teams like ourselves, whose budget for the whole squad is less than what one particular United player gets," said Starkey, who was also riled by reports of rough-house tactics by his men.
"We got more respect from their supporters than I did from their management team. I had to go to them at the end to shake hands."
Starkey also frowned on the fact that his star man Rob Lloyd, who gave away the 57th minute penalty, was whisked off on the final whistle to do a video interview for United's website.
"Not asking me, the manager, was a total lack of respect. If I had a suspicious mind, I might think they were tapping Rob up.
Lloyd, yellow-carded in the first half together with co-centre half Tom Benfield for fouling striker Rory Patterson, clumsily upended the Irishman to leave Nicky Platt sending keeper Ryan Yeomans the wrong way from the spot.
"The fact that United couldn't score in open play showed our commitment and effort," added Starkey.
"United gave as good as we gave them physically. The game was hard and challenging but not dirty. I don't play a kicking game but I wanted to be sure my lads didn't get steamrollered.
"We knew we would have limited chances and would be under pressure for long periods. However, we had an attacking formation and went at them in the second half."
Tom Phillips man-marked Ryan Giggs's brother Rhodri out of the game, but wasted the chance to be a hero when firing wide in the first half in a one-on-one with the keeper created by Dave Hankin's pass.