A BATTLING performance brought no reward for Rossie in this President’s Cup match at Gigg Lane.
For much of the encounter, Rossie were a match for the hosts but they were ultimately undone by two moments of skill by home skipper Rory Patterson.
The talented winger struck to open the scoring in the 55th minute when Andy Watson misjudged a ball over the top of Rossie’s defence and Patterson raced through to lob Lee Bracey as he came out.
The goal was a rare black mark against Watson, who has been a tower of strength since he joined the club.
However, Rossie tried hard to get back in the contest with Watson moving forward to provide a threat in the air.
But nine minutes from time FC United doubled their lead when Patterson broke free on the left and set up their second goal with Rossie’s defenders appealing for offside.
Patterson raced away after Rossie lost possession when Danny Finch attempted to head the ball but was beaten to it by a dangerously high boot.
Patterson then raced clear on the right and delivered an inviting cross to the far post where sub Stuart Rudd was attacking the space and converted with the minimum of fuss.
It should have been a dagger to the visitors’ heart but, as they have shown on numerous occasions in recent weeks, they can never be written off.
And they bounced back with the goal of the game four minutes later when substitute David Eatock broke down the left wing and pulled the ball back for Matt Edgington to fire an unstoppable shot into the top left-hand corner of the net from 18 yards.
But Rossie were not finished and went within a whisker of snatching a draw in injury time when Watson headed down for Eatock, who fired agonisingly past the post.
In the first half, Rossie created a lot of problems for themselves by conceding possession too easily.
Perhaps it was partly down to the occasion with a boisterous 1,554 crowd providing a noisy backdrop to the cup tie.
FC United had the better of the early exchanges but then Rossie had a golden chance to open the scoring when Baguley tried to pass back to his keeper but presented the ball to Edgington on the edge of the box.
But the winger’s first touch took him away from goal and the chance was gone as he was smothered by defenders.
It was to be as good as it got for Rossie in the first half with neither side able to break the deadlock before the interval.
Rossie boss Derek Egan said: ‘We restricted each other in the first half and there was not many chances at either end and it was a scrappy game. In the second half we made a couple of defensive errors and that allowed them to take advantage.
‘To be fair, I thought they were better than us on the day and we did not deserve anything out of the game.’
Rossendale United: Bracey, Ross, Ingham, Finch, Whital-Williams, Watson, Edgington, Booth (Fairhurst), Turner (Henson), Eastwood (Eatock), Lloyd.