Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rory is fired up for the final

By Liam Chronnell

RORY Patterson hopes to fire FC United to Presidents Cup glory against his former club.

The Rebels face Radcliffe Borough for the second time in three days in the final at Tameside Stadium tonight.

And, with the breakaway club's hopes of a third successive title looking increasingly slim, the UniBond League Division One North's top-scorer is desperate to cap a fantastic season with silverware.

"We're looking forward to the final," said the 38-goal striker, who started Tuesday night's victory at Stainton Park on the bench as Karl Marginson made eight changes to his tired-looking squad.

"It's another chance to win a cup and that's what we want to do."

Despite Boro's lowly league position, the Irishman is taking nothing for granted against Peter Coyne's side, especially with in-form Steve Howson in the team.

The Radcliffe hitman has scored 35 goals this term - and Patterson knows the Reds must keep him under wraps if they are to lift the trophy.

"Boro are in a false position," said the former Rochdale trainee. "Their team is playing a lot better than they were at the start of the season and Kevin Glendon really knows his football, so it should be a good game.

"Howson has looked a good player and he's definitely a threat."

After eight games in 17 games, Patterson has been feeling the strain - but he is refusing to give up hopes of automatic promotion.

After five matches without a win United looked to have blown it, but three straight victories, allied to rivals Curzon Ashton and Skelmersdale United dropping points, have revived their title dreams.

FC moved to within four points of new leaders Bradford Park Avenue with three games left, though the Yorkshire club remain hot favourites having played a game less.

"We've just got to keep winning and see what happens," said Patterson. "It's been a tough run - we've been playing every other day and it's hard.

"Games are coming thick and fast in the run in but we've just got to get on with it. The other teams have some tough games coming up, so there are still plenty of points to play for."

And Patterson, who struck twice in Saturday's 5-2 win against Lancaster City in front of a bumper 2,704 crowd at Gigg Lane, needs just two more to beat his best-ever goals haul.

He said: "I got 39 last year, so I need just one more to beat that but I want to score as many as I can."

7:21am 17/04/2008