By Liam Chronnell
FC United 3 Curzon Ashton 2
RORY Patterson once again proved FC United's matchwinner as they cut the gap on leaders Skelmersdale to nine points with a crucial victory against title rivals Curzon Ashton.
The prolific striker struck twice to hand the Rebels, who have four games in hand on the leaders, the points in an entertaining UniBond Division One North clash at Gigg Lane.
Curzon hit the woodwork three times before Patterson handed United the lead in first-half injury time when he finished off a flowing FC move.
The visitors were level just 27 seconds after the restart when the division's top scorer, Michael Norton, headed home his 35th goal of the season.
But United captain Dave Chadwick restored the breakaway club's advantage on 55 minutes.
FC old boy Rhodri Giggs, brother of Manchester United star Ryan, came back to haunt his former club when he levelled on 69 minutes.
But Patterson's 31st goal of the season four minutes later secured the points for the Rebels, who could have points docked when they go before league officials tonight after being charged with failing to fulfil a fixture last month.
As it stands, FC are fourth, two points behind Bamber Bridge with a game in hand and eight behind Curzon with three games in hand.
11:15pm Wednesday 5th March 2008