By Liam Chronnell
FC United v Chorley
UniBond League Division One North
KARL Marginson has been hit with more selection problems ahead of FC United's home clash with struggling Chorley.
Already without long-term absentees Stuart Rudd, Josh Howard and captain Dave Chadwick through injury, the Rebels boss must now cope with the loss of top-scorer Rory Patterson to suspension.
The Reds' 18-goal hitman has picked up a two match ban after collecting his 10th yellow card of the season.
And Marginson admits it could not have come at a worse time as the title-chasing Gigg Lane outfit prepare for a busy festive period.
"It's a big blow," said the United boss. "Any team would miss a player of Rory's ability but with the injuries we have at the moment - it's a nightmare."
Striker Peter Thomson is set to be handed his first league start since joining from Barrow - and Marginson has backed him to fill Patterson's prolific boots.
He added: "Thomo's a big lad and more of a target man in the Stuart Rudd mould. He's now got a chance to impress and give me a selection headache when Rory is available again."
The FC manager was also delighted to see his team end the worst run in the breakaway club's history.
Jerome Wright grabbed an 87th-minute winner to secure the Reds' first victory in four games after they defeated Rossendale 2-1 at Stainton Park.
In a game switched to Radcliffe Borough's ground due to Bury's FA Cup tie at Gigg Lane, the winger pounced on a goalkeeping error to seal the points.
Patterson's opened the scoring on 11 minutes, before the fiery Irishman was involved in the match's main talking point seven minutes after the break when, following his substitution, he became involved in a touchline altercation with Rossendale manager Derek Egan, who was subsequently sent off. The pair clashed again on the way to the dressing room.
Rossendale hit back through Tom Williams on 76 minutes but, with just three minutes remaining, Wright punished some woeful defending to grab a vital win, despite eight minutes of injury time.
l All under-18s will be able to attend Saturday's home clash with Chorley for free.
Thursday 6th December 2007