Tony Glennon 6/ 2/2008
FC UNITED will join England in marking the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster at tonight's Gigg Lane clash with Woodley Sports (7.45pm kick-off).
Woodley's players will wear black armbands, while there will also be a minute's silence before the match.
The Rebels will be seeking to step up their UniBond first division north title challenge at the expense of their struggling Stockport neighbours - but general manager Andy Walsh says the victims of Munich won't be far from the players' minds.
"This is our chance to pay our respects to all those who perished in 1958," he said.
While the mood before kick-off will inevitably be sombre, boss Karl Marginson will demand his players remain focused on the job of adding to their four straight wins in January - a record which has earned FC their first UniBond club-of-the-month award.
They'll be presented with their prize of six bottles of champagne and a certificate during the interval, by which time Marginson hopes FC will be well on the way to making it 16 points from the last 18 on offer.
FC's unbeaten run in the league, which stretches back to November 27, has kept them firmly in the promotion picture.
They currently lie just outside the play-off places in sixth, but would move to within a point of current top two Skelmersdale and Curzon Ashton were they to win their three games in hand.Woodley are determined to halt FC's charge and are boosted by the knowledge that they held Marginson's men to a 1-1 draw in September, since when their scorer that day, Nick Robinson, has joined the Rebels.
Marginson said: "We've done well to keep winning considering the number of postponements we've suffered of late, but we'd be wrong to expect an easy ride against Woodley.
"This game marks the start of a hectic period for us and it's important we pick up where we left off in our last game against Rossendale 11 days ago."
Fit-again striker Stuart Rudd, who has scored in each of FC's last two games after being introduced as a substitute, is pushing for a place in Marginson's starting line-up as the United chief chooses from a full-strength squad.