Friday, April 18, 2008

Rebel Reds clinch final triumph

By Marc Higginson

STUART Rudd inspired FC United to victory in the President's Cup Final.

The striker made one and scored one in the final 10 minutes of the game to earn the Rebel Reds their first silverware of the season.

Karl Marginson's side had been reinstated to the competition after Nantwich were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player at the quarter final stage.

And they took full advantage with a powerful finish to what had been an even final, played at the Tameside Stadium, home of Curzon Ashton Football Club.

Rob Nugent had a first-minute header cleared off the line by Tony Whealing, but Boro gradually felt their way back into the game and could have taken the lead when Neil Chapple broke through, only to hit his shot straight at keeper Sam Ashton.

FC United made a strong start to the second half and top scorer Rory Patterson should have broken the deadlock when he fought off Craig Dawson only to skew his shot wide.

They got closer when Rudd sent a free header straight into the hands of Phil Priestley.

The breakthrough finally arrived with extra time looming large. Rudd produced a great cross from the right to allow substitute Chris Baguley to head home from close range.

Gary Sampson had a golden chance to equalise when his header from Lee Connell's cross was cleared off the line.

Rudd completed the job in the final minute when, with Boro caught up field chasing an equaliser, he produced a neat finish to seal the victory.

FC United return to UniBond League Division One North action tomorrow as they look to keep alive their slim title hopes.

The Gigg Lane tenants travel to Newcastle Blue Star trailing leaders Bradford Park Avenue by four points, having played a game more.

Relegation-threatened Boro, who are hovering two points above the drop zone, entertain Chorley.

10:54pm Thursday 17th April 2008