Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The future is bright for the rebel reds


By Liam Chronnell

FC UNITED were poised to seal a second successive title last night as they continue their double assault on League and Cup honours.

The Rebels took on Atherton LR at Gigg Lane last night knowing a win would see them crowned NW Counties Division One champions.

Before kick-off, Karl Marginson's side were unbeaten in 21 games and 11 points clear at the top of the table and, provided they overcame Rovers, will now set their sights on completing the double.

Closest rivals Curzon Ashton stand between United and more success, with the pair due to met in League Challenge Cup final on May, 3.

"Now we need to finish the job, and then keep going strongly until the end of the season," said Marginson, who side entertain Salford City on Saturday.

"The good thing is that the cup final is the last game, so it is a perfect way of ensuring everyone stays on their toes.

"I am delighted with what we have achieved so far, even though we had a bit of a sickener in going out of the FA Vase early.

"It would be brilliant if we can do a double - actually you could say it's a quadruple, because our reserves have already just won their league and are in their own cup final."

Indeed, FC's reserves have enjoyed an equally impressive season as the senior side.

In defeating title rivals Padiham 1-0 courtesy of Martin Cosgrave's matchwinner last weekend, Tony Cullen's young side were crowned North West Counties League Reserve Division champions in their inaugural campaign.

And, with the Reds second string, who top the table by 16 points, through to the semi-finals of the cup where they meet New Mills - with Padiham waiting in the final - the future looks bright for FC.

Marginson's men proved far too strong for Colne in an emphatic 5-1 triumph last Saturday.

A double from defender Rob Nugent and one from Jerome Wright saw the breakaway club cruise into a 3-0 half-time lead. Assistant manager Phil Power, who had only been on the pitch three minutes, grabbed a fourth and the prolific Stuart Rudd's 43rd goal of the season wrapped up a ninth straight win for FC, though the Lancashire hosts struck a late consolation.