FC UNITED are reeling from a double-whammy of defeats in the UniBond First Division North.
They endured hillside hell on Tuesday night, being reduced to 10 men in a 2-0 reverse at eighth-placed Mossley.
And they conceded four goals to second-placed Bradford Park Avenue for the second time this season three days earlier.
United lost the home game with Bradford 4-3 and they are now 10 points off the championship pace in fourth spot.
The reds never got into their stride on Tuesday night. And after stand-in centre half Adam Turner was dismissed for an alleged elbow before half-time it didn’t take the forecasting skills of Mossley substitute Michael Fish to predict an FC defeat.
Playing against the backdrop of the beautiful peak district hills, the game did not live up to its setting. It was an ugly affair on a dodgy pitch peppered with unreadable undulations.
Rory Patterson and Aaron Burns both fluffed good early chances for FC.
But, spurred on by their vocal supporters with an average age of 12, Mossley looked the better side right from the off and they secured victory with two second half goals – a side footed finish following an almighty goalmouth scramble and a cooly taken penalty.
The result would have been even worse for FC had it not been for the inspired form of goalkeeper Phil Priestly, who was again deputising for the injured Sam Ashton.
And FC fans endured further disappointment during the half-time break when it was revealed that no one had won the raffle. Mossley’s supporters had proudly sold tickets allowing someone the chance to win a ‘colour telly’.
Injury-riddled FC were forced to field a makeshift defence at Mossley and the same was true for Saturday’s home game with Bradford.
The back four included debutant Danny Jarrett and 21-year-old Adam Turner, who was making his first start for the club.
And big spending Bradford had few problems in creating goal scoring opportunities.
They took the lead in the first minute before FC hit back with a Turner header and Chris Baguley’s close range finish.
A dubious penalty decision against Turner then helped Bradford to open up a 4-2 advantage.
Patterson scored a late penalty after Simon Carden had been brought down but the goal proved to be a mere consolation.
The reds can’t be questioned in terms of effort and endeavour but they need some key personnel back, and soon, if they are going to get their promotion challenge back on track.
They play fifth from bottom Rossendale in the league on Saturday, December 1, kick-off 3pm. The fixture list shows it to be a home game but it will be played at Radcliffe Borough’s ground due to Bury being in FA Cup action at Gigg Lane.
Normal admission prices apply and season tickets will be valid.