By Liam Chronnell
AARON Burns struck a 12-minute hat-trick as FC United blew Rossendale United away after the break to move up to second in the Unibond League Division One North table.
The former Manchester United reserve striker hit a stunning treble as FC scored five times in 23 second-half minutes to cut the gap behind leaders Curzon Ashton to three points at Gigg Lane.
Karl Marginson's team suffered a disastrous start when defender Rob Nugent was caught in possession and Ben Lloyd squared for Phil Eastwood to tap home in the second minute.
After squandering several chances, the Rebels equalised six minutes after the restart when the division's top scorer, Rory Patterson, hit his 17th goal of the season. Then Burns took over with two goals inside a minute.
His first, on the hour, put FC in front and he effectively wrapped up the points with a magnificent solo effort less than 60 seconds later.
The United hit man completed his hat-trick with a fine header on 72 minutes - his eighth goal in seven games - and Chris Baguley added a fifth two minutes later to seal the breakaway club's seventh win in eight games.