Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Radcliffe 0 FC United 2

Paul Handler

16/ 4/2008

RESURGENT FC United broke their Radcliffe Borough hoodoo thanks to strikes from Nick Robinson and Chris Baguley and an heroic performance from goalkeeper Sam Ashton.

It was the first time the Rebels have beaten Radcliffe in four attempts this season and keeps Karl Marginson's men firmly in the UniBond First Division North promotion picture.

The fact they did it with an inexperienced side made the result all the more impressive. FC will hope to repeat the victory when the sides meet again in tomorrow's President's Cup final.

Radcliffe started the game strongly but were rocked by two FC goals in quick succession.

First the lively Baguley sent Robinson clear and the striker finished smartly into the bottom corner after 14 minutes.

With Radcliffe reeling, Baguley lashed home a shot high into the net three minutes later to double the advantage.

Radcliffe had chances to haul themselves back into the game, with Steve Howson blazing over when it seemed easier to score. Griff Jones then saw his header rebound off the angle of post and bar before Ashton denied the same player with a superb reaction save from point blank range.

FC brought on Stuart Rudd at half time and the striker was quickly into the action, his low shot stopped by goalkeeper Phil Priestley. The game continued to swing from end to end, with the impressive Ashton getting down quickly to deny Neil Chappell moments later.

Rudd was through again as the game approached the hour mark, but seemed to lose his bearings and prodded the ball wide.

To their credit, Radcliffe continued to drive forward but they could not find a way past Ashton. FC now have three league games remaining and Marginson is confident his side can win them all.
Next, though, FC will turn their attention to the cup final and the chance of silverware.