Monday, April 30, 2007

Rebels hit right note

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
30/ 4/2007

FC UNITED pogo'd out of the North West Counties League to the strains of punk music and amid wild celebrations at Gigg Lane.

But manager Karl Marginson will tonight gather his players and warn them that there is still one more big game to play this season, the League Challenge Cup final against Curzon Ashton - who have also been promoted along with Nantwich Town - on Thursday night.

The Rebels beat Formby 5-0 to round off their league season, and with George Best's sister Barbara McNarry watching from the stands, it was appropriate that Ulsterman Rory Patterson should be the star, crashing in a hat-trick to take his tally for the season to 39.

Rhodri Giggs kicked the party off by opening the scoring and in the midst of Patterson's treble, Formby defender Chris Pauls also put through his own net.

The beer and champagne flowed after that as North West Counties League chairman Dave Tomlinson handed over the trophy, and the first team was joined on the pitch by the Reserves who have won their league in their first season and on Wednesday play Padiham in the reserves' cup final.

Marginson, who brought himself on for a swansong appearance with 20 minutes to go, was the party-pooper, reminding his players that they are back in training tonight for the all-ticket final at Tameside Stadium.

"It's been an incredible league season, and we have broken a couple of records along the way by amassing 112 points and scoring 157 goals, and that's all down to the players," said Marginson.

"I told the players in the dressing room before the game how proud I was to be associated with them, and that they have all earned the right to be here when we move up to the UniBond first division next season.


"What a day it has been - United go five points clear, we pick up the trophy and Leeds have gone down! Now we want to make it a great week with a result at AC Milan on Wednesday and us lifting the cup the following night."

As punk band Sick Nurse set the tone for the celebrations from the back of an Army truck, Tomlinson said they would be sad to see FC go.

He said "They have brought a lot of finance to the majority of our clubs."

"They have brought a high profile to the league, for which we are always grateful, and they have also shown a lot of clubs what you can do in terms of organisation - they are one of the best-organised clubs around. Because they have such a large following, they have an awful lot of people with different skills which shows in their use of information technology, their programme and their matchday organisation.

"When they first appeared, a lot of clubs had misgivings. I think a lot of them thought `Hang on, we are getting somebody here with a lot of money and there are only two promoted from the second division'.

"But we didn't get a lot of critics. Generally clubs accepted the fact that they would benefit. I wasn't sure that they would find it as easy as they have, but Karl Marginson has done a remarkable job in finding the players and getting them together as a good squad.

"They will be missed. Whether their crowds stay as high as they are, I don't know, but our clubs are grateful for what they have had, wish them all the best and hope they go from strength to strength.

"If ever they come back to us, they will be welcome."