Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rebels close in on title


By Liam Chronnell

FC UNITED need just one more victory to be crowned champions after they stretched their unbeaten run to 21 games with an emphatic 5-1 triumph at Colne.

The runaway leaders are 14 points clear at the top of the Division One table and one win from their remaining four games would see Karl Marginson's side secure a second successive title.

That could come at Gigg Lane on Wednesday night when the Rebels entertain Atherton LR, without a game at the weekend, knowing three points would set up the first half of their dream double'.

United proved far too strong for mid-table Colne on Saturday and a double from defender Rob Nugent and one from Jerome Wright saw them cruise into a 3-0 half-time lead.

Assistant manager Phil Power had only been on the pitch three minutes when he grabbed a fourth and the prolific Stuart Rudd's 43rd goal of the season wrapped up a ninth straight win, though the Lancashire hosts struck a late consolation.

Atherton Collieries' superb run continued as they secured a fifth straight victory when they beat sixth-placed Maine Road 1-0 at fortress Alder House.

David Rhodes 22nd-minute header from Stuart Cliffe's cross proved decisive as Phil Brown's much-improved side, who are enjoying their best ever season, close in on a top-six finish.

Daisy Hill looked like they were going to finish a troubled season on a high note after a run of good results earlier this month, but they suffered another set ack when they went down 2-0 at Eccleshall.