Sunday, August 31, 2008


Edited from The Bolton News
Meanwhile, Kyle Wilson inspired FC United to a convincing 3-1 victory against Whitby Town.

The striker smashed a brilliant hat-trick as the Rebels sealed three valuable points against the league’s bottom club at Gigg Lane.

Wilson fired the hosts in front on 13 minutes, only for Town to hit back before half-time.

But the former England Under-19s hitman struck again on 66 minutes to restore FC’s advantage, and his third – and sixth of the season – two minutes later wrapped up the points.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

FC take a United front

Stuart Brennan

30/ 8/2008

CHRISTMAS comes every Saturday afternoon for supporters of rebel club FC United.

Three years ago, the club was in its infancy, surrounded by enemies and cynics. One of the snipers, was former Manchester United player Alan Gowling who declared on Radio Manchester that the whole thing would be "over by Christmas".

Three promotions, two league titles and two cups later, the phrase has become a rallying point and a catchphrase among FC fans, many of whom wear T-shirts bearing those ill-informed words.

Over 1,000 supporters headed to Buxton at the weekend to bask in the sun and bathe in the achievement of reaching the UniBond League Premier Division - and the players responded by racking up the club's first win at the higher level.


The club was born out of many things - disillusionment with the whining and preening of superstar players who care little for the empty pockets of their fans; anger at the cynical exploitation of fan loyalty by the men in grey suits; and sorrow at the sterilisation of a rich Old Trafford culture, with old, established fans forced out to make way for those with more money to spend but less Red in their hearts.

The Glazer takeover was the last straw for many, but the inception of FC United has ensured that out of the heartache and turmoil of the battle against the takeover, something worthwhile and inspirational has emerged.

The fans at Buxton at the weekend were unrepentant at their decision, despite the fact that "big" United have won two league titles and the Champions League in the intervening period.

The spectre of debt, made more worrying by the global credit crunch, added to ticket price hikes, automatic cup schemes and other commercial decisions, has - FC fans believe - fully vindicated their decision to withdraw their financial support for the Glazers.

The message is often misunderstood. FC United supporters are, largely, still United fans, and cheer every win and every trophy that rolls into Old Trafford, but choose not to be a part of the financial game.

The shifting of kick-off times for the needs of TV means that they rarely miss watching a Manchester United game through going to FC, often in a Bury pub, before or after FC's 3pm kick off."

I was becoming disillusioned at Old Trafford before the takeover," says Andy Brennan of Stockport. "I was fed up with the attitude of fans around me, who felt United had a given right to be winning every game within 20 minutes of kick off.

"I moved my seat to the Stretford End, but I remember clapping the players off after a game against Middlesbrough and nearly ended up in a fight with a guy who took exception because he was frustrated at how we had played. He was a day tripper and had no idea.

"FC is much more on my level. I love the fact that all the money that comes into the club stays in the club. I began by going to both United and FC, but gradually drifted away from Old Trafford because I enjoyed FC so much.

"The Champions League final was a weird experience. I watched it with lads who love United, and still go. I celebrated, but still felt a bit removed from it all."

Frank Dormer from Harpurhey says FC "is the best thing since the days of Tommy Doc in the 70s".

"It has all the good things about those days - the support, the fun, the banter, but without the violence.


"In those days, all the kids I knew from Moston, Harpurhey, Collyhurst and Miles Platting used to go to Old Trafford, but you just don't see it any more.

"FC reminds me of those days when we had a community at United, people who got on together and knew what it was all about. Going to the match is about being part of that community, as much as it is about the football."

Ross McDougal is a Scot who used to follow United home and away from Edinburgh. Now he follows FC, and has moved to Victoria Park to be closer to the club and the friends he has made through it.

"I have no regrets at all," he says. "Sometimes I miss the standard of football, but I can always watch United in the pub anyway, and the atmosphere is usually better anyway. If people think we have turned our backs on United, that is their problem. We haven't walked away from United, but from the greed at Old Trafford and in top-flight football in general.

"Someone had to make that stand. But there are people who just can't see what is happening, and will just keep on paying whatever they are asked to pay.

"I was overjoyed when we won the Champions League. I watched it in the Palace Hotel, and we celebrated big time."

Chris Stamp from Heaton Moor, says his kids were a driving factor in his decision to follow FC: "I used to take them to open days at Old Trafford, but that was all I could afford.

"And when I went, I was being told to sit down and shut up - it was a waste of time.

"Now I pay £2 to take my ten-year-old lad to Gigg Lane and he loves it. It reminds me of being 12 and going to United for the first time."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Not good enough!

Blues' boss orders big improvement

Published Date: 29 August 2008

By Duncan Atkins

WHITBY Town joint boss Phil Brumwell is calling for a big improvement following a wretched start to the season which sees his team pointless and virtually propping up the league.

The Blues have lost to Buxton, Frickley, Matlock and Kendal in a nightmare start to their UniBond Premier campaign and took five hours until they found the net, against Kendal on Monday.

But the good news is the Blues have finally landed midfielder Jimmy Beadle on loan from York City for an initial period of one month.

Beadle (20) goes straight into tomorrow's squad to play FC United of Manchester.

"Hopefully he will add a bit of steel," said Brumwell.

"We've been chasing him for a while and Graeme Clark has done a lot of work getting him in."

Brumwell is now hoping the Blues will improve their results and performances as they bid to zoom up the table.

"It's not good enough in the club's and the supporters' eyes," he said. "We've played four average sides – not outstanding sides – but they've worked hard, been organised and we're not dealing with route one balls over the top.

"We're getting punished due to individual errors and not defending properly as a team.

"The club expects more, we expect more and the lads were devastated after losing to Kendal."

The 3-2 home defeat to the Cumbrians leaves the Blues bottom but one of the premier division, with only Prescot Cables below them on goal difference.

A hat-trick of defensive blunders contributed to Whitby's downfall as they found themselves two down inside five minutes.

"At 2-0 down it's an uphill challenge. It was the same sort of goals, with a long ball over the top, which we haven't dealt with for the first four games," said Brumwell.

"In the second half I couldn't fault the lads, they were energetic and looked like they could create something."

Tomorrow, the Blues visit newcomers FC United of Manchester in a game which is expected to attract a large turnout.

"You can go to some terrible places in this league but going to Gigg Lane in front of a big crowd, personally I would see it as a morale booster," said Brumwell.

"We did that last season at AFC Telford and we rose to it.

"We will be playing in front of a big crowd at a league standard stadium and I hope some of the younger lads don't freeze.

"We will be fighting to go there for a win and then we've got Ossett Town at home on Wednesday so we need to start picking up points."

A supporters' bus for tomorrow's game leaves the club house at 10am but supporters must book.

A 3,000 crowd to welcome Blues

Published Date: 29 August 2008

By Andrew Snaith

WHITBY Town face their first ever meeting with UniBond League Premier Division newcomers FC United of Manchester tomorrow, desperate to end an unprecedented start to the season of four defeats out of four.

FC United was formed by Manchester United supporters disappointed by the Glazer takeover in June 2005.

Since then, successive promotions have taken the club from the North West Counties League to the Unibond League Premier Division, after a comfortable 4-1 play-off final victory over Skelmersdale in front of 3,258 at Gigg Lane, Bury.

United have kept up the big crowds this season with 2,825 taking in Monday's 1-0 defeat to Boston. This exceeded the crowd at League Two landlords Bury's only home game so far by 146.

So far, FCUM have made an unremarkable start to their maiden top flight campaign, kicking off with a 3-3 draw with Matlock before a 2-0 defeat at fellow promoted side Cammell Laird, a sole win over Buxton on Saturday and Monday's defeat.

Kick-off at Gigg Lane is 3pm with admission set at £7.50 adults, concessions £5 and U18s £2.

Town fans are due to be segregated for the first time since the FA Cup defeat to Hartlepool in 2003, with away supporters confined to one quarter of the main stand.

Central defender Richard Forster and striker Danny Brunskill are likely to miss out with calf injuries.

Danny Farthing is still awaiting news of a knee scan so Mark Tinkler may fill the void at the centre of defence.

Midfielder Steve Huggins has a tight hamstring but should be okay while defender Kevin Burgess (ankle) and keeper Dave Campbell (hernia) are back in contention.

FC's defence must improve

28/ 8/2008

FC UNITED face UniBond Premier League rivals Whitby Town this Saturday, August 30, with manager Karl Marginson ordering his players to tighten up at the back.

The reds suffered a 1-0 Bank Holiday home defeat to Boston United on Monday with the goal coming from an innocuous long throw in, much to Margy’s dismay.

He said: "We’ve played some really nice football so far this season but it means nothing if you make basic errors defensively.

"A long throw in should be bread and butter for defenders but we allowed it to get through to their striker, who scored unchallenged.

"It’s not good enough. We need to improve in that aspect if we are to progress in this league.

"We also struggled with simple long balls over the top and that shouldn’t be happening. But we’ve worked on it this week and, hopefully, the fans will see an improvement this Saturday."

United chalked up their first win of the season at the weekend with a 1-0 victory at Buxton. They were indebted to a great strike from the impressive Jamie Baguley and FC showed real potential as they knocked the ball about with ease for long periods.

FC will now be hoping to earn their first home win of the season as Whitby visit Gigg Lane. The game kicks off at 3pm and admission costs £7.50 for adults, £5 for over-60s and £2 for under-18s.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mixed weekend for rebels

4:38pm Wednesday 27th August 2008

By Marc Higginson

FC United had a weekend of mixed fortunes in the UniBond Premier League.

The Rebel Reds claimed their first win of the season against Buxton on Saturday, with Jamie Baguley scoring the only goal of the game at Silverlands.

However, Karl Marginson’s men slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Boston United on Bank Holiday Monday. Carlos Roca impressed on the right-wing, and he fed Kyle Wilson for the best chance of the first-half but the Reds striker saw his shot tipped over.

United are back in action on Saturday when they host Whitby at Gigg Lane. They visit Bradford Park Avenue for a reunion with former hero Rory Patterson on Monday evening.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Big crowd, bitter defeat for Rebels

26/ 8/2008

FC UNITED'S stuttering start in UniBond premier continued as the day's fourth highest non-League crowd saw them crash 1-0 to visiting Boston.

The Rebels have every reason to be satisfied with the Gigg Lane attendance of 2,825, which was beaten only by those recorded at Oxford, Cambridge and AFC Wimbledon, but not by a defeat which leaves them with a disappointing tally of four points from their first four games.

Boston's Ollie Ryan grabbed what proved to be the only goal of an entertaining contest when he fired home from just outside the six-yard box.

Ollie's volley steals victory

07:00 - 26 August 2008

BOSTON UNITED boss Tommy Taylor is eager for his team to replicate the performance that saw them beat FC United of Manchester 1-0 yesterday.

The former Leyton Orient chief was delighted with the creativity that his team displayed in the UniBond League Premier Divison clash which his team won thanks to an Ollie Ryan goal in the first half at Gigg Lane.

“I sat the boys down after the final whistle and asked them if they could do that again for me,” said Taylor.

“I believe if we put in that performance every week then there will be nobody who can touch us.

“The display we put in saw us get back to all the good things we were doing in pre-season.

“We closed down the opposition when they had the ball and created plenty of chances ourselves.”

The Pilgrims took the lead in the 37th minute when Liam Parker’s long throw fell to Ryan’s feet and he smashed home a volley to claim his third goal in as many games.

Taylor’s charges went on to create more opportunities, but failed to put them away, something that frustrated goalscorer Ryan.

“It was as if I put the hardest one to score away,” said Ryan.

“I’m kicking myself a bit because I had several chances created for me."

For more reaction from Ryan see today's Lincolnshire Echo.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A club that is United by common values

Kaveh Solhekol

August 25, 2008

It probably does not bear thinking about, but in three years there could be two Uniteds from Manchester playing professional football in England.

FC United of Manchester were formed in 2005 by fans who refused to support Manchester United after the Glazer family took control at Old Trafford and their success on and off the pitch has been just as remarkable as the achievements of Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates during the past three years.

After three promotions in three seasons, FC United have worked their way up to the UniBond League premier division, the seventh level in the English game, and this afternoon will take on Boston United, who, before financial meltdown, were playing in Coca-Cola League Two as recently as May last year. Another three promotions and FC United will be rubbing shoulders with the big boys in the Football League.

“Football has been taken away from the working class,” Karl Marginson, the 37-year-old FC United manager, said. “Going to a football match has become like going to a business meeting. It’s too corporate. Having a season ticket has become a status symbol.”

Marginson was working as a fruit and veg man when he received a call from a friend asking him if he would be interested in managing the new club. At first, Marginson combined his coaching duties with his day job of delivering fruit and vegetables, which meant setting the alarm for 4am, but thanks to a new job as head of coaching at Manchester College, Marginson can concentrate on getting his coaching badges and leading FC United into the Football League.

“Our players know what playing for this club means,” Marginson, who used to play for Macclesfield Town, said. “I’ve got all sorts in my team — accountants, drivers, bricklayers, a couple of unemployed lads and a model. They get paid about £80 a week, so they can relate to our fans. The professional game has gone too far. How can you have players earning £150,000 a week? It is so far detached from reality it is ridiculous. We’re not in the entertainment business, we’re a football club.”

FC United are owned by their supporters and, unlike other clubs, have a manifesto of core principles including a commitment to keep down ticket prices, to nurture young, local talent and “to strive to avoid outright commercialism wherever possible”.

Home matches are played at Gigg Lane in Bury — tickets £7.50 and free for under-18s — in front of about 3,000 fans but ambitious plans are in the pipeline for the club’s own ground. Their home is a world away from Old Trafford but their kit is modelled on United’s classic strip of red shirts, white shorts and black socks — with no sponsor’s logo. “We don’t model our playing style on United, but we like to get the ball down and play,” Marginson said. “I don’t have anyone like Ronaldo in my side.”

Like most FC United supporters, Marginson used to be an Old Trafford regular but he has not been to the Theatre of Dreams for three years. When he gets the chance, he watches Sir Alex Ferguson’s team on TV and combines being a red rebel with being a red devil. “I haven’t been to Old Trafford for ages,” Marginson said. “Our supporters have given up watching some of the best in the world to drop down and watch us, so it would be hypocritical for me to go.”

So, as a manager who has won three promotions in a row, has he got any advice for Ferguson on how to retain the Barclays Premier League and the Champions League? Do they need to spend £30 million on Dimitar Berbatov? “I don’t know anything about the transfer market,” Marginson said. “I’ve never bought a player in my life.”

Friday, August 22, 2008


22/ 8/2008

FC UNITED are looking forward to the prospect of the biggest away following in their three-year history visiting Gigg Lane on Monday afternoon (3pm).

When the Rebels were beginning their inaugural season three years ago, Boston United were visitors to play Bury in League Two.

Since then FC have achieved three successive promotions and the Pilgrims have been relegated to the Conference and last season demoted two divisions for failing to hit a deadline for leaving administration.

Boston are expected to bring around 200 supporters, while FC have thrown the gates open for under-18s to watch the match for free as they seek to build on an encouraging gate of 2,343 for the first home game of the season last week.

“With our attendance, and Boston’s away support, we believe this will be the biggest bank holiday fixture outside the Football League,” said an FC spokesman.

FC hope to welcome back winger and fans' favourite Jerome Wright (pictured) who has missed the start of the season with a stomach muscle strain.


Stuart Brennan

22/ 8/2008

KARL Marginson has been boosted by the imminent return of wing aces Jerome Wright and Adam Carden.

Carden, out with a knee ligament tear, may be ready for FC United's trip to Buxton, while Wright could be over his stomach strain in time for Boston United on Monday.

United have just one point from two games this season, but Marginson is upbeat.

"We have been losing games due to individual errors, which is better than losing them to team errors," he said.


22 August 2008

By Louise Bellicoso

Buxton FC v FC United
Saturday August 23The Silverlands, BuxtonKick-off 3pm

THE APPROACHING Bank Holiday weekend sees the Bucks in action twice with the first match on the agenda the long awaited all ticket tie against FC United of Manchester.

Saturday's game will see segregation being introduced for the first time at the Silverlands with both sides being allocated around 1,500 tickets.

The Manchester United breakaway club attract a large following both at home and away so a bumper crowd is expected at the Silverlands for the game, which kicks-off at 3pm.

"It is a game I'm looking forward to because as a manager, obviously it's only my second season here, but I've not seen a Buxton game when the ground has been nearly full to the rafters," Buxton manager John Reed explained.

"I first came across FC United in their first ever season when I was at Stalybridge and we had a testimonial match.

"On that day they must have brought 700 fans. It was absolutely fantastic. The fans sang their hearts out all the game even though we won the cup. They never stopped chanting.

"It is a great advert for UniBond football.

"I think you've got to take your hat off to every one of their supporters, they are an absolute credit to the club.

"To think of over 2,000 people being at the Silverlands is great.

"They have great support and really get behind their lads and we will be hard pushed to make more noise than them.

"They get more than some second division clubs. It will be a great day for everybody."

Bank Holiday Monday will see Buxton facing another Greater Manchester side as they travel to Ashton United, kick-off 3pm.

"It will be a very tough game," said Reed.

"They have brought a lot of a new players in. I think they might be a surprise team this year. It wouldn't surprise me if they were in the top ten.

"You just can't look at the table and think that team should be okay or that team should be okay. They are all very, very tough games. It is a good league.

"It is the best UniBond Premier I have seen. I thought it was a tough year when I won at Harrogate but if you look at it this year, you've got teams like Boston, Bradford Park Avenue, FC United, Nantwich and Cammell Laird."

On the injury front, both James Turley and Dave Henry look to be out for the next two weeks after picking up knocks in pre-season, while Tommy Agus will be missing for three to four weeks after suffering a deep leg wound at Clitheroe.

But its better news for skipper Terry Bowker, who may be back for the game against FC United on Saturday, depending on how he gets on in training this week.

On the plus side, Pat McGuire, who featured against Clitheroe and Sheffield Wednesday in pre-season, has signed a contract with the Bucks.

McGuire started his career at Bradford City and had spent the last year at Farsley Celtic. He had spent pre-season with Stalybridge who then offered him to Buxton.

Reed said: "I was very impressed with him and have big hopes for him. I think he will start for us. Obviously we have got to keep the pressure on the players.

"Look at the young lads we've got now, there's Tom Griffiths, Mark Lees and Pat McGuire and all three are under 20.

"It is terrific to have young players coming through and I will be pleased to nurture them. I know we're a long way off but look at when Fergie (Alex Ferguson) had all his young boys and it all came together so why not for us?

"Wakka is only 22, Towey is 25, Gregg Anderson is 25. It's only Maxfield and Brodie that are over 30. If we keep this team together, who knows what could happen in a couple of years time."

Defender Scott Brough who spent pre-season training with Buxton, has joined Frickley Athletic and made his debut last Saturday when they drew 1-1 at Witton Albion.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kyle display is a bonus as FC lose

21/ 8/2008

FC UNITED may have lost their controversial talisman in the summer, but they may have found a gem in his place.

Former England under-19 Kyle Wilson made an impressive start to his United career with three goals in the opening two games to go someway to softening the blow of top scorer Rory Patterson’s pre-season exit.

The reds drew 3-3 in their first UniBond Premier match at home to Matlock on Saturday thanks to two goals from Wilson and a last minute equaliser from substitute Chris Baguley.

Unfortunately the young FC side couldn’t turn possession into chances at Cammell Laird the following Tuesday night as they gave up a lead, given them by Wilson, to go down 2-1 on the Wirral.

Wilson’s strike at Lairds was a cracker and the former Crewe striker is already loving his time at FC. He said: "It is a fresh start for me and I’m really relishing the opportunity that manager Karl Marginson has given me.

"Morale is really high at the moment and we’re playing some good football, we just need to convert that into points."

FC travel to Buxton on Saturday, August 23, kick off 3pm. They then host Boston at home on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25, again kick off is 3pm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cammell Laird 2 FC United 1

Source: Manchester Evening News

19/ 8/2008

FC UNITED were left with just a single point from their opening two UniBond premier division games after sinking 2-1 at Cammell Laird.

Kyle Wilson gave the newly-promoted Rebels a 20th minute lead when he turned sharply and fired home from the edge of the box.

But Neil Black quickly equalised and was again on target in the 37th minute to send Karl Marginson’s men crashing to defeat.

FC pressed hard for an equaliser after the break but were made to suffer when they had strong claims for a penalty waved aside after Dave Chadwick appeared to have been impeded inside the six-yard box.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Turner lined up for FC

18/ 8/2008

ADAM Turner will step into the FC United team as they take on fellow promoted side Cammell Laird tomorrow night … if he gets out of bed on the right side.

The towering 21-year-old central defender missed Saturday’s opening draw with Matlock with a neck problem after sleeping awkwardly, and the Rebels – already without stalwart Rob Nugent – leaked three goals.

Turner is set to replace Micah Bleau, who suffered from nerves in front of a big Gigg Lane crowd.
“I think Micah needs to come out of the firing line,” said manager Karl Marginson. “Adam has done really well in pre-season, and we can’t really afford many more of the basic errors we made on Saturday.

"He had the problem at training on Thursday, and hopefully it will have settled down by tonight."

Midfielders Chris Baguley and Dave Neville, who helped FC fight back from 3-2 down after arriving as substitutes on Saturday, may start on the bench again as they seek to improve fitness.

"They both need to get a bit fitter. The problem with the pair of them is that, for all their fantastic football, playing the pair of them gives you very little cover for the back four because they are both creative, forward-thinking midfielders.

"It's a problem I hope to solve at some point, but Dave certainly needs to get fitter. The big plus with him is that he is really enjoying his football, because he had fallen out of love with the game for a long time."

Carlos Roca, who also helped to transform the game after switching from a striking role to wide right, may start on the flank against the Camels, who came up automatically from the UniBond League's division one south despite finishing second - as champions Retford did not meet the stadium criteria.

Kyle Wilson will continue up front after marking his debut with two goals. Says Marginson: "As well as his goals, Kyle is a real, all-round team player, holding the ball up well, and the fact that he stepped up to take a penalty on his home debut when we were 1-0 down tells you a lot about his character.

"He also has good awareness and there is plenty more to come from him."

Marginson is urging his players to dig in for tomorrow night's game at the 1,500-capacity Kirklands Stadium in Birkenhead: "It's no Gigg Lane, and will be more of a battle than Saturday's game.

"They have an experienced manager in Ken McKenna, who has been in charge of TNS in European football. People might read something into the fact that they lost their first game at Guiseley on Saturday, but I think Guiseley will be one of the teams up there in contention at the end of the season.

"It will be a really tough game, and we will do well to get anything out of it."

Marginson is still looking for competition for full backs Liam Foster and Bradley Howard, and possibly a striker, but says a lack of cash is a problem: "We have young Rhys Hardy who has shown quite well in pre-season, and Nick Robinson did well when he came on against Matlock, and played a good part in the equaliser."

Baguley claims point in 3-3 thriller

10:14am Monday 18th August 2008

By Nick Jackson

Substitute Chris Baguley grabbed a last-minute equaliser as FC United claimed a point from a thrilling 3-3 home draw against Matlock Town.

Striker Kyle Wilson’s 10th-minute penalty cancelled out Ross Hannah’s early opener before the Rebels new boy grabbed his second minutes later.

Hannah levelled matters before half-time and, when Dene Chopper headed home on 70 minutes, Karl Marginson’s side looked to be heading for a opening-day defeat.

Gladiators scare big boys in six-goal thriller

A late equaliser denied the Gladiators all three points in an opening day thriller at Gigg Lane.
Ross Hannah's first two competitive Gladiators goals sandwiched two from United's Kyle Wilson.

Dene Cropper put Town back in front after the interval, but United substitute Chris Baguley ensured honours would be shared with an 89th minute leveller.

Matlock recalled Ryan Davis at right back with Liam King being included in midfield meaning that Simon Harrison was unlucky in having to settle for a place on the bench.

The Gladiators fielded an attacking looking starting line up which included four debutants plus Jamie Jackson who has made his move to Causeway Lane permanent, having been on loan from Chesterfield last season.

Matlock quickly settled in front of a 2,334 crowd with skipper Simon Barraclough having an effort blocked after good work by Jackson.

Then Cropper played in Hannah who was crowded out and when the ball was returned thanks to an excellent Lee featherstone cross, the offside flag brought respite for United.

After Hannah had fired another Featherstone cross at goalkeeper Sam Ashton, Matlock took a deserved eighth minute lead.

Jackson, a scourge to the United defence all afternoon, slipped a clever pass through to Hannah who lifted a sublime chip over Ashton for a quite outstanding goal.Matlock looked in control as Steve Warne fired goalwards and United scrambled the charged down ball away from Dene Cropper.

United found their feet as Featherstone conceded a corner after Carlos Roca crossed after he had combined well with Jamie Baguley on the right.

When Baguley then beat Warne on the right, King had to concede a second flag kick, but they cracked on 17 minutes when Simon Carden went down under King's challenge.

It looked dubious from the stand but King admitted he had caught the United player and Kyle Wilson easily beat Andy Richmond from the spot.

Three minutes later the tables had been turned completely as Carden played the ball through the heart of the Town back four who were caught badly napping.

Wilson looked offside but was allowed to run clear.

Richmond came out to meet him but his clearance cannoned off the striker who then had the simplest of finishes to put United 2-1 ahead.

Carden had a decent opportunity shortly afterwards but drove weakly at Richmond, but it was end to end excitement as Matlock roared back for Featherstone to volley wide and the irrepressible Jackson forced Ashton to save low and well at his near post.

Then Featherstone centred from the left with Barraclough keeping the move going with a clever header back which United hacked clear as Cropper looked to pounce.

United's reply was an intelligent curling effort from the dangerous Roca, United's new signing from Northwich Victoria, which dipped just a little too late, before Matlock were back on level terms with another belter of a goal from Hannah on 40 minutes.

Warne's simple but effective pass saw him streak into the box to fire a classy diagonal strike beyond Ashton to end the first half scoring.

Matlock began the new half well, going close through Barraclough's overhead effort after Jackson had played the ball in from the right from a quickly taken free kick.

Jackson was petrifying full back Bradley Howard with his pace and intricate footwork, and he won a 56th minute corner which he took for Featherstone to head narrowly over.

But United nearly took advantage when Davis could not get in an effective tackle and Wilson fired too high.

The hosts then won a corner which was partially cleared and Richmond saved superbly from Jamie Baguley.

The value of King's defensive midfield work was then highlighted with brilliant covering as he dealt with a dangerous situation to head comfortably back to Richmond.

But Matlock then reinstalled themselves as favourites for the points once again on 69 minutes as Jackson again teased Howard before his high cross was met by Cropper who beat Dave Chadwick in the air to score with a fine header beyond Ashton.

That lead could easily have been lost or extended within another four minutes.

First Carden chipped wide with only Richmond to beat following uncertain Town defending, only for the Gladiators to nearly stretch their lead as Cropper's low left footer from 20 yards was brilliantly clawed away by Ashton.

But with their crowd urging them on, United rallied and Chadwick headed a free kick too high before the equaliser came as the ball dropped to substitute Chris Baguley, eight yards out, to make no mistake.

Even then though, Matlock might have returned home with maximum points as Jackson again terrorised the United back line before feeding substitute Matty Caudwell who drove wildly and horribly wide.

It had been top class entertainment and Matlock look like a side with loads of goals in them, but the flip side is that they will probably concede a fair few along the way.

The three at Gigg Lane were cheap ones, but they would probably have gone there and settled for a draw before kick off.

FC United will do well at home as their crowd can give them a goal start and they will get the benefit of the doubt with decisions like their second goal.

Neutrals will have loved Saturday's extravaganza and the chances are that Matlock will most likely be involved in quite a few more thrillers in the months ahead.

MATLOCK TOWN: Richmond, Davis, Featherstone, King, Laight, Foyle, Jackson, Warne, Cropper, Barraclough (Harrison 84), Hannah (Caudwell 88). Other subs: Webster, Benger, Foster (g/k)

REFEREE: P Gooch (Wigan) ATTENDANCE: 2334 STAR MAN: Jamie Jackson.

Matlock Town host Bradford Park Avenue on Tuesday at 7.45pm.

Last Updated: 18 August 2008 9:10 AM

Sunday, August 17, 2008

FC start with thriller

17/ 8/2008

FC UNITED began life in the UniBond League premier division with a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Matlock Town.

A crowd of 2,343 – up on last season's average – watched as the Derbyshire club's centre forward Ross Hannah put the Gladiators one up after just eight minutes with a beautifully-judged chip over home keeper Sam Ashton.

But the Rebels, who were rocked in the summer by the departure of four key players, fought back well and one of their newcomers put them ahead with two goals in three minutes.

Striker Kyle Wilson confidently dispatched a 17th minute penalty after Jamie Baguley had been fouled in the box, and with the fans still celebrating he outpaced the defence to reach a loose ball and score the second.

Matlock, who finished 16th at this level last season, were level five minutes before half time as Hannah again found a way through a dozing defence which has been shorn of stalwart Rob Nugent for the opening weeks.

It looked like the visitors had nicked the points when Dene Cropper headed home their third after 69 minutes.

But boss Karl Marginson's substitutions did the trick, with tall, elegant midfielder Dave Neville central in a terrific passing move which finally released another of the replacements, Chris Baguley, for a neat near-post finish with a minute of normal time remaining.

Matlock Town share six goals in season's opener

UniBond League Premier Division


Matlock Town shared six goals and the points in a 3-3 draw against FC United of Manchester on Saturday.

And they were left feeling somewhat disappointed at not opening the campaign with a victory having led twice in front of 2,344 at Bury FC's Gigg Lane stadium.

Ross Hannah put the visitors in front with his debut league goal for the Gladiators on eight minutes but by the 20th minute Matlock were 2-1 down after Kyle Wilson netted twice on 17 and 20 minutes, the first from the penalty spot.

Hannah equalised on 40 minutes to send the teams in level at half time and when Dene Cropper put Matlock back ahead at 3-2 on 69 minutes things looked good for all three points but they were pegged back by an 89th minute leveller from United's Chris Bagguley.

Matlock Town's first home game is on Tuesday (Aug 19) when they host Bradford Park Avenue (7.45pm).

The full article contains 178 words and appears in n/a newspaper.

Last Updated: 16 August 2008 6:15 PM

Thursday, August 14, 2008

FC boss is positive

14/ 8/2008

FC UNITED manager Karl Marginson is hopeful of his side mounting a promotion challenge as they prepare for their season’s opener this Saturday, August 16, kick-off 3pm.

The reds start their UniBond Premier League campaign at Gigg Lane against Matlock Town and Margy is confident that his troops can reach similar heights to last season’s promotion success.

He said: "We’ve got a lot less money than a lot of the teams in this league but we’ve got the selling point of our fans.

"They turn up in big numbers and that has helped us amass a decent squad, which will cause a few surprises.

"I believe we’ll be up there with a good chance of winning the league as we have the players to compete at this level."

On the gate admission is £7.50 for adults, £5 for over-60s and £2 for under-18s.

Players get last-minute health boost

12:59pm Wednesday 13th August 2008

By Dale Haslam

PLAYERS from a successful football team have been making sure they’re in tip-top condition before the new season begins - and they want fans to follow in their footsteps.

The first team squad of FC United of Manchester, who play their home games at Gigg Lane, Bury, had a ‘health MOT’ test before Saturday’s opening game against Matlock Town in the Unibond League premier division opening game.

The reds have been promoted three times in three seasons since being created in 2005.

Supporters attending future home games are being invited to have a check up at the stadium before future games.

The Health Kick project is mainly aimed at men aged 16 to 24 or over 50 and is being lead by Bury Council and Bury Primary Care Trust.

As part of the test, players like goalkeeper Sam Ashton, captain Dave Chadwick and midfielder Chris Baguley had their Body Mass Index calculated and their blood pressure and carbon monoxide levels checked to see how healthy they actually are.

The project also runs fun yet informative workshops on all aspects of health and physical activity and participants will get the chance to gain recognised qualifications and given tickets for FC United matches.

Dates for when the tests are taking place are still to be confirmed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rebels hope to continue their rise

Wednesday 13th August 2008

By Liam Chronnell

FC UNITED kick off their UniBond Premier League season chasing a fourth successive promotion.

The Gigg Lane tenants entertain Matlock Town on Saturday as the new campaign gets under way, followed by a trip to Cammell Laird three days later.

And manager Karl Marginson believes the breakaway club can continue their meteoric rise up the non-league pyramid – but admits the new-look Rebels face their most difficult challenge so far.

“This league will be tougher as the teams will have that extra bit of quality to add to the strength and physical size of sides in the first division, but I’m sure we’ll cope with whatever is thrown at us,” he said. “I’m happy with what we’ve got after a couple of players from last season left, and I honestly believe we’ll be up there going for promotion by the end of the season. In fact, we’ll cause a few surprises to people who aren’t expecting much of us.”

He added: “There are teams with more money than us in this league and we’ve had to deal with that this summer, but we have a selling point with our fans.”

If Marginson’s troops are to achieve success this term then they must do it without two of their most loyal lieutenants. Strike duo Rory Patterson and Stuart Rudd, who were released by the club, have both joined big-spending rivals Bradford Park Avenue, while FC have also lost midfielders Josh Howard and Nicky Platt to New Mills and Stalybridge respectively.

The FC boss has received a further blow with news that influential defender Rob Nugent has been ruled out until September after undergoing a knee operation.

But it is Patterson’s departure which will hit Marginson, pictured, hardest after the prolific hitman struck 41 goals last season.

The Rebels chief is now hoping his new strike partnership of former England Under-19s striker Kyle Wilson and ex-Altrincham forward Carlos Roca can fill the void.

“They will definitely excite the fans,” added Marginson, who is confident his younger players will benefit from last year’s experience.

“The young players we’ve kept hold of adapted well to some difficult situations last year and they will need to do that again this time. They’ve showed they’re capable of learning and they can only improve with the more experience they get.”

The Reds, who completed their pre-season campaign with a 3-0 victory against Nantwich Town last Friday, have high hopes for new arrivals Dave Neville, a former Oldham Athletic youngster who was playing for top Sunday league outfit Langley Celtic after drifting out of football, and Daisy Hill’s Danny Williams, who was NWCL Division Two player of the year last season.

Tunji Moses, the son of former United star Remi, has also joined from Salford but will be unavailable until December due to injury and suspension.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

FC face old foes

6/ 8/2008

FC United continue their pre-season programme with a trip to old foes Curzon Ashton tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

It's the first of two friendly outings in 48 hours for the rebel Reds, whose clash with Nantwich has been brought forward to Friday (8pm) and will now be played at Witton Albion.

Tonight's tussle at the Tameside Stadium will give FC boss Karl Marginson another opportunity to address how best to replace star strike duo Rory Patterson and Stuart Rudd following their shock switch to big-spending UniBond premier rivals Bradford Park Avenue.

Marginson's forays into the summer transfer market have so far seen him snap up former Altrincham pair Kyle Wilson and Carlos Roca.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Manager returns

31/ 7/2008

FC UNITED manager Karl Marginson has returned from his holidays raring to go for the new season.

Margy missed United’s pre-season defeats to Conference sides Kettering and Altrincham plus Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Tamworth.

But he was back on the sidelines for the friendly against Salford City, which was being played as the Advertiser went to press last night, Wednesday, July 30.

Margy said: "Pre-season is about blowing off the cobwebs and giving trials to some prospective new players so we have arranged our pre-season campaign a bit differently this year. Playing sides that are higher up the pyramid means we can really test the players on trial at the club.

"Teams such as Altrincham and Kettering are bound to have better quality players than we will face in the UniBond Premier next season but, with players on holiday and injuries to Jerome Wright and Rob Nugent, we have also been a little disjointed.

"Although we have lost three games so far I remain confident about our prospects this season.

"We’ve been doing a lot of work on fitness in our pre-season training and the lack of ball work at this early stage can sometimes be evident. However, we feel that the hard work done so far this summer will prove worthwhile as the season progresses.

"I’m very pleased with the new signings. Tunji Moses will add some bite to our midfield and Dave Neville will prove to be a big asset to the club while Carlos Rocca and Kyle Wilson are both quality players.

"James Brackenridge has done well and will have a part to play once his fitness has returned. He has not played for a year so he will need some time to get back into the swing of things again."