Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Over 1500 expected at Queensgate

By Staff Copy

ATTENDANCE records for a league game should tumble at Queensgate on Saturday as the FC United of Manchester bandwagon rolls into town.

The Mancunians regularly attract home gates in excess of 2,000, and their fans are treating the game as a ‘weekend trip to the coast’ with several hotels and guest houses already fully booked, and a crowd well in excess of 1,500 is expected at the Lane Rental Queensgate Stadium.

The gates open at 1.30pm, with all three front turnstiles in operation to ease entry into the ground. The game is not all-ticket, but fans are asked to bear in mind the likely attendance figure and arrive in plenty of time at the stadium.

There will be 800 matchday programmes available and these are expected to sell out quickly.

Supporters of both sides should be in for a treat on the pitch as well, with Town eager to avenge the 6-0 drubbing handed out back in August, when Town seemed to freeze on the day in front of 2253 fans, and the division’s top scorer Rory Patterson notched four goals.

But much has changed since that game, although United are still very much in the promotion chasing pack, having beaten second-placed Ossett Albion on Saturday to leapfrog them in the table, Town’s recent record is also impressive, with only one defeat in seven games, and striker Neil Towler is hot on the heels of Patterson with nine goals, making him the third top scorer in the division.

Following the 6-0 defeat back in August, Town manager Ash Berry said: “I thought a number of our lads froze on the day, and their crowd did their job well.

We also had a couple of players out, and our defence then was simply not mobile enough.”

But the gaffer expects a different game this time around, “I believe FC will see a very different side this week, and after recent results, we know we can compete with the best teams in this league and come away with something.”

Town maintained their good run on Saturday with a hard-fought victory over basement side Radcliffe Borough, in a game where the exploits of the previous Wednesday, in which Berry’s young side held Ossett to a draw despite playing 85 minutes with ten men, looked to have caught up with them.

Berry agreed, “We looked a bit off the pace, which was understandable given the Wednesday game, but enough of our key players stepped up, and I thought in the end any one of four or five had a shout for man-of-the-match.

“They had a typical strong defence, were sharp in attack, and looked anything but a bottom of the table side.

“Their skipper had turned down a big-money move to Fleetwood in the UniBond Premier Division during the week, and they had just signed a central defender from Conference North side Vauxhall Motors, so it was important to get the three points as they could start to put a run together,” he said.

Last Updated: 30 October 2007 8:37 AM