Published: 18th October 2007
FC UNITED’S new signing Aaron Burns shone brightly in deepest darkest Lancashire with a debut brace to help sink lowly Clitheroe 3-0 on Tuesday night.
The former Manchester United reserve player took just six minutes to open his account and added another goal in the second half as the reds leapt up to fourth spot in the UniBond First Division North table.
A Rory Patterson penalty completed the rout to give United their second straight league win, banishing the disappointment of their FA Trophy exit the week before at the hands of Bradford Park Avenue.
The 834 brave FC fans bitten by the first blast of winter in the east Lancashire hills on Tuesday night were relieved to see the game completed after the original fixture last month had been postponed due to a floodlight failure.
Had a similar malfunction occurred to this rescheduled game the sparks exuding from Burns’ lightning fast feet would surely have compensated for the loss of one floodlight – or a few bulbs at least.
The 19-year-old was at Cardiff City until a certain Robbie Fowler and his considerable frame nudged him aside.
And due to FA rules he is unable to play for a club at a higher level than the UniBond League until January 2008.
FC fans must be praying for a miracle after this performance and will be hoping the ruling is extended until the end of the season.
Burns was immediately in the action and could have got off the mark within the first couple of minutes but for tidy goalkeeping.
He hit the net soon after following excellent work from Jerome Wright down the unfamiliar right hand side as he rounded the keeper and slid the ball across for Burns to tap in.
United controlled the game and could have scored more but resolute defending from second bottom Clitheroe kept the reds at bay.
Patterson was particularly wasteful as he tried to grab some of the limelight back from Burns with snapshots on the turn that did not trouble the keeper.
Despite the pressure, it was just 1-0 at the break and FC had to wait for Patterson to be hauled down in the area midway through the second half before they could add to their lead.
Patterson stepped up and took the penalty himself, sending the keeper the wrong way.
The scoring was completed with 10 minutes left thanks to the same combination which brought the opener. Wright, who would have been man of the match but for Burns’ impressive debut, got free down the left and sent over a wonderful cross for the new man to side-foot home.
With a bad injury to usual striker Stuart Rudd, who faces missing most if not all the season with knee damage, the United fans will be praying Burns stays fit for the remainder of his time at the club.
Captain Dave Chadwick is another probable long-term absentee with a similar injury but to compensate manager Karl Marginson has brought in defenders Colin Bell, who thankfully is no relation to the former Bury player of the same name, and Adam Turner.
FC have a weekend off due to their 4-1 humbling in the FA Trophy replay at home to Bradford last Wednesday night and their next game is away to Droylsden in the Manchester Premier Cup on Tuesday, October 23, kick-off 7.45pm.