Monday, September 03, 2007

The other United’s Cup dream begins

Source: The Times

Mark Venables

FC United of Manchester made their debut in the oldest cup competition in the world yesterday when they defeated local rivals Trafford FC 5-2 at Moss Lane, the home of Altrincham, in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.

After the Malcolm Glazer takeover at Old Trafford, a group of Manchester United supporters undertook to reject the corporate megalith that their club had become and thus FC United were born. Now in their third season, that workers’ revolution mentality remains, with directors preferring the local hostelry to the board room at their Gigg Lane base for entertaining visiting teams’ directors. The tone of the club is perfectly summed up by a banner hung behind the goal proclaiming “FCUM, making friends not millionaires”.

FC United rose from the North West Counties league to a berth in the UniBond League northern division, four promotions away from Football League status. After two seasons during which they barely suffered defeat, they opened this campaign with two losses, but normal service was resumed with two victories, including a six-goal mauling of Bridlington Town.

Roared on by the bulk of the 2,238 crowd, FC United raced in to a two-goal lead courtesy of a powerful header from Rob Nugent and a close-range shot on the turn from Josh Howard.

United relaxed and allowed Trafford to restore parity through Chris Mackay and Andy Lundy, but, just before the interval, they were in front again with a penalty from Nicky Platt. Simon Carden added a fourth midway through the second half before Anthony Hargreaves concluded the scoring.

Next stop is a trip to Fleetwood, the venue for the first FA Cup tie played by Newton Heath, Manchester United’s predecessors, in two weeks.