Saturday, March 22, 2008

Radcliffe don't fear Rebel Reds

By Marc Higginson

RADCLIFFE Borough director of football Peter Coyne insists that his side have no fears about going to Gigg Lane and turning over title-chasing FC United.

And Coyne has good cause for optimism ahead of tomorrow's vital league clash for both teams for very different reasons.

Basement club Boro held the Rebels to a 1-1 draw in the league on Boxing Day, and beat a full-strength team 3-1 on Tuesday night in the semi-finals of the Manchester Cup.

"We can't wait for it," said former Manchester United winger Coyne. "They know they will be in for a tough game against us.

"We know how we play and they know how we play. They scored right near the end to deny us a win at our place, and then we beat them on Tuesday night.

"The lads are full of confidence after that victory and it is a result that should give everyone a lift.

"I cannot put my finger on why we win in the cup, but struggle in the league. Our performances in the league have been good, and the only thing missing is the results."

Boro will be boosted by the return of Griff Jones, Neil Chappell and Mark Jones, but are still without injured duo Andy Scott and Andy Dawson.

FC, meanwhile, have an immediate opportunity to avenge their cup exit at the hands of their neighbours.

The Reds, chasing a third successive championship, saw their treble hopes shattered by Boro in midweek.

Nine points behind leaders Skelmersdale with five games in hand, United will hope to return to winning ways against the division's bottom club. But they will have to do it without goalkeeper Aaron Grundy, who returned to Bury following his one-month loan spell - much to the dismay of manager Karl Marginson.

"His ability is there for all to see but he has a professionalism about him," said the Reds boss, who signed him when first-choice keeper Sam Ashton dislocated a finger. "We'd love to keep him."

Friday 21st March 2008