Thursday, April 05, 2007

Nelson 0 FC United 8

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
5/ 4/2007

FC UNITED can clinch a second successive promotion with a win at Ramsbottom on Saturday.

The Rebels moved effortlessly to within three points of the UniBond League, scoring four times in each half to rattle up a record away win and equal the club's biggest winning margin.

After months of uncertainty, the FA's leagues committee confirmed on Tuesday that the splitting of the UniBond first division into two regional divisions will take place, and that means at least three teams will be promoted from the North West Counties League.

This week's events have handed Ramsbottom a headache, as all of the 1,250 FC allocation for Saturday's game has already been snapped up.

FC general manager Andy Walsh has advised fans without a ticket not to travel on Saturday, and says that, if promotion is secured, the celebrations will be held at Easter Monday's "mini-derby" with Maine Road at Gigg Lane.


Any suggestion that FC boss Karl Marginson might ease up against struggling Nelson were dismissed as he fielded what was close to a full strength team, and they cruised into a two-goal lead within nine minutes.

Defender Rob Nugent, who headed the Rebels into their first cup final on Saturday, repeated the dose after six minutes last night, rising high to nod in Nicky Platt's free kick.

And three minutes later Rory Patterson's free kick bounced awkwardly into the goalkeeper's chest and dropped for Josh Howard to knock in his 11th goal of the season.

With shots peppering the Nelson goal, the third came on 30 minutes when Simon Carden released Rhodri Giggs and he slipped it home.

Nelson defender Chris Ridehalgh then turned Jerome Wright's cross into his own goal on 34 minutes, but Marginson made three changes at half time and for a while the deluge was stemmed.

But FC finished with a flourish, Giggs pouncing to grab a fifth on 74 minutes, Carden crashing in his second on 82 minutes, sub Stuart Rudd scored his 42nd of the season on 86 minutes and Patterson headed in the record-breaker in the last minute.