Thursday, January 31, 2008

FC United 2 Rossendale 1

Tony Howard
31/ 1/2008

COMEBACK king Stuart Rudd came off the bench to see FC United into the quarter-finals of the UniBond President’s Cup.

Rudd’s second goal in as many games since his return from a long-term knee injury put paid to Rossendale as the reds set up a quarter-final tie away at Nantwich Town.

Rory Patterson again excelled, scoring the opener and providing the cross for his strike partner to tap in at the far post with 10 minutes to go.

The scoreline suggests a tight game but, despite hitting the goal of the game through a roundly applauded Matt Edgington strike, the Stags were never really in the match.

The crowd, all housed in the Main Stand due to the closure of the Manchester Road End (MRE), took to mocking each other in a search for competition.

The addition of those used to standing behind the goal added to the atmosphere in the more laid back Main Stand, even if the tone was lowered by the invasion of the scruffs. And the match was not bad either as FC played some great stuff through Nicky Platt and Chris Baguley.

Despite some pretty interchanges in midfield early on, Patterson’s opener came via route one. A ball over the top found the Irishman with time and space to lob the on-rushing Stags goalkeeper.

Patterson celebrated raucously in front of the empty MRE and those who would usually have been there to share his embrace laughed wildly.

Rudd was introduced with 20 minutes to go and soon after he made the most of a fantastic cross from Patterson to seal the victory.

The relief at his return was evident as Rudd took the plaudits, even if all eyes were on how his heavily bandaged knee would stand up to giving half of his United teammates piggy-backs.

The reds travel to Harrogate on Saturday, February 2, kick-off 3pm. Admission is £6 for adults and £3 for concessions.

Rudd back to help fire Reds

By Liam Chronnell

KARL Marginson has backed comeback kid Stuart Rudd to fire FC United to glory.

Last season's top-scorer returned to action after nearly four months out with a knee injury. Rudd, who struck 46 times last term, needed surgery after tearing his cruciate ligament in October.

But the prolific striker showed he has not lost his goalscoring touch by netting twice in two games after coming on in both games as substitute.

And Marginson believes Rudd, and 25-goal strike partner Rory Patterson, will be vital in the Rebels' pursuit of three trophies.

"The key to success is having goalscorers in the team and in Rory and Ruddy we have two of the best around," said the United boss. "Stuart has scored two in just 40 minutes of football since coming back after coming on as a substitute in both games - that just shows what type of player he is.

"It can be tough coming back from a long-term injury like he has but, hopefully, he can continue in this vain as he gets back to full fitness."

FC, nine points behind leaders Curzon Ashton with two games in hand, will look to extend their five-game winning run at Harrogate Railway Athletic on Saturday.

And the Gigg Lane tenants go into the league clash after maintaining their progress in the cup competitions.

United cruised into to the semi-final of the Manchester FA Premier Cup on Wednesday night following a convincing 4-1 victory at Flixton.

Goals from Patterson, Bradley Howard, Chris Baguley and Rudd helped set up an away tie with Radcliffe Borough or Abbey Hey on Monday, February 11 or Saturday, February 16.

Three days later they booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Presidents Cup after beating Rossendale United for the fourth time this season.

Marginson's men won 2-1 with goals from Patterson and Rudd, again coming off the bench, to set up a trip to Nantwich Town, a game which has been brought forward 24 hours to Friday, February 8 to avoid a clash with Crewe Alexandra's home match with Swansea, on the advice of Cheshire police.

Captain Dave Chadwick made his comeback in last night's friendly with Flixton after suffering the same injury as Rudd, who, along with fellow long-term absentee Josh Howard, also played, in October.

5:03 pm Wednesday 30th January 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Rebels march on in Presidents Cup

By Liam Chronnell

FC United booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Presidents Cup after beating Rossendale United for the fourth time this season.

The Rebels won 2-1 with goals from Rory Patterson and substitute Stuart Rudd to set up a trip an away tie Nantwich Town in 12 days' time.

Patterson opened the scoring for the home side on 54 minutes with his 25th goal of the season.

The Reds' top scorer then turned provided as he squared for Rudd, making his first start in nearly four months after recovering from a knee injury, to make it two on 81 minutes.

Rossendale pulled one back through Matt Edrington with six minutes remaining, but United held on to seal a fifth successive victory.

Radcliffe Borough's home game against Wakefield in UniBond League Division One North was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Daisy Hill's NWCL Division Two match with Padiham was also a victim of the weather while neither Atherton sides, Collieries and LR, were in action due to their opponents' FA Vase commitments.

10:51 pm
Sunday 27th January 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rebel Reds are through to final

By Staff Sports Reporter

FC United 4 Flixton 1: FC United cruised into to the final of the Manchester FA Premier Cup after surrendering home advantage to Flixton.

The Rebel Reds were unfazed by the switch to Flixton's Valley Road ground, in a move driven by the costs of staging the game on home soil. They took the lead on 44 minutes through Rory Patterson.

Bradley Howard got his first goal for FC to double their advantage 10 minutes after the restart and Chris Baguley added the third on the hour.

Flixton notched a consolation goal 10 minutes before the end and Stuart Rudd celebrated his return from injury with FC's fourth - the final kick of the game.

Wednesday 23rd January 2008

Treble boost for rebel Reds

By Liam Chronnell

FC United v Rossendale Utd

Presidents Cup Third Round

FC United's trophy hopes have received a major boost with the return of long-term injured trio of Josh Howard, Stuart Rudd and David Chadwick.

Midfielder Howard was set to make his first start in five months in last night's Manchester Premier Cup quarter-final at Flixton, while captain Chadwick and Rudd, last season's 45-goal top scorer, could be ready for Saturday's Presidents Cup clash at Rossendale after nearly four months out.

"It's a great boost, especially at this time of the season," said manager Karl Marginson of the returning players, who were all sidelined with knee injuries.

"If these three get back to form there's no reason why we can't kick on and win the league. Who knows we might have a couple of cups to go with it too."

The Reds' UniBond League North game at Radcliffe Borough was postponed at the weekend due to a waterlogged pitch.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weather foils FC

20/ 1/2008

FC United's bid to step up their UniBond First Division North promotion charge at Radcliffe Borough was foiled by the weather.

The match was called off on Saturday morning due to a waterlogged pitch.

FC's next match is against Flixton in the quarter-final of the Manchester Premier Cup at Valley Road on Wednesday (kick off 7.45pm).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Howard back for Rebels

18/ 1/2008

WINGER Josh Howard is ready to pep FC United's promotion drive in the Unibond Division One North game at bottom club Radcliffe.

The former Manchester United youth skipper has been sidelined with a knee injury which has needed attention for floating bone and cartilage trouble.

But he is ready to start at Stainton Park tomorrow after coming off the bench for 20 minutes last Saturday when United beat Chorley 2-1, and he reported no reaction afterwards.

That win took FC to fourth and the chase after leaders Curzon Ashton is set for a further double tonic as Stuart Rudd (cruciate) and Dave Chadwick (cartilage) are back in training ahead of schedule.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Saviour Carden

17/ 1/2008

FC UNITED remained in the UniBond First Division North football league play-off places with a tight 2-1 home win over Chorley on Saturday, writes Tony Howard.

The reds had a late Simon Carden strike to thank for the victory after the Magpies were reduced to 10 men in the first half following a daft push from Gavin-Lee Ellison.

He has a double-barrelled name but he did not quite give them both to Jerome Wright. It was more a case of handbags at 3.15pm than anything else but the referee was left with no option but to reach for a red.

Chorley adapted well and FC struggled until Rory Patterson shook off his early disinterest to smash in a free kick.

The visitors battled back with a cracking equaliser from Steve Burke and the signs looked ominous as United new boy Micha ‘Sacre’ Bleau flapped in central defence.

United huffed and puffed until saviour Carden came off the bench and finally broke the deadlock with 15 minutes to go.

It was a scrappy affair, which summed up the game perfectly. Carden bundled in at the back post to the obvious relief of the 2,011 crowd.

Carden was again involved late on when he won a penalty but Patterson’s spot kick rebounded off the post. Thankfully, it did not matter as the indifferent reds held on to move up to fourth place in the table.

United visit basement club Radcliffe Borough on Saturday, January 19, kick-off 3pm. On the gate admission costs £7 for adults, £4 for concessions and £2 for under-16s.

Monday, January 14, 2008

FC United 2 Chorley 1

13/ 1/2008

FC UNITED boss Karl Marginson conceded his off-key Rebels had been fortunate to beat 10-man Chorley to stay in the slipstream of UniBond First Division North leaders Curzon Ashton.

The lowly Magpies stunned Marginson's men when Stephen Burke gave them an eighth-minute lead, but the visitors then had Gavin Lee-Ellison sent off after he appeared to push Jerome Wright in the face.

Rory Patterson's 41st minute free-kick put FC back on terms, but they then had a series of lucky escapes and were relieved when substitute Simon Carden finally killed off Chorley with a 76th minute headed strike securing a win which takes them up to fourth.

"We were certainly not at our best," admitted Marginson, whose FC side have now taken 13 points from the last 15 to restore hopes of a third successive promotion.

Victory keeps the Rebels six points behind leaders Curzon, who ended their mini-slump in style by thrashing Bridlington 6-0, with Mike Norton helping himself to a hat-trick.

Carden keeps Reds on target

By Staff Sports Reporter

SUPER sub Simon Carden's 76th-minute winner helped FC United squeeze past 10-man Chorley 2-1 at Gigg Lane and keep the pressure on the Division One North leaders.

The struggling visitors took a shock eighth-minute lead when Steve Burke punished defender Micah Bleau's mistake to grab the opener.

Despite Chorley having Gavin-Lee Ellison sent off on 21 minutes, the Rebels made hard work of getting back on level terms until Rory Patterson fired home his 23rd goal of the season with a low free kick on 40 minutes.

Fourth-placed United could easily have gone in at half-time in front as Rob Nugent and Chris Baguley both struck the crossbar in the space of 10 seconds before the break. But the home side had to wait until 14 minutes from the end before Carden converted Liam Foster's cross to seal the points.

Top-scorer Patterson had a chance to make the winning margin more when Carden was impeded in the penalty area, but the Reds top-scorer saw his spot-kick bounce back off the upright.


FC United 2 Chorley 1

By Mike Dawber

Chorley were desperately unlucky not to take anything from this match after a brave enterprising performance against the high-flying 'rebel' team, despite playing most of the match with ten men.

A quality Football League standard surface invites good passing football and both sides responded in a highly entertaining match which saw both teams create plenty scoring chances.

The Magpies stunned the home side in the eighth minute when Stephen Burke latched on to a magnificent pass from Mike Eckersley and outpaced the defence before hitting a rocket of a shot to beat the keeper from a tight angle.

Just as Chorley were looking to consolidate their lead, however, midfielder Gavin-Lee Ellison was sent off in 20th minute, when he uncharacteristically retaliated to a strong challenge by grabbing an opponent's shirt just yards from the referee.

Magpies manager Gerry Luczka soon shuffled his formation as a result with striker Chris McDonagh being replaced with midflelder Greg Traynor.

Burke, now the lone striker, again used his pace to create a chance but this time shot wide.

FC United were playing some neat football but the Chorley defence, well marshalled by captain Martin Clark, was proving hard to break down although Magpies keeper Peter Collinge was forced to make a brilliant reaction save as United pressed forward.

The equaliser came five minutes before half time from a free kick on the edge of the box which Rory Patterson appeared to strike the kick around what looked a badly positioned wall.

United now took the initiative and a shot first hit the woodwork, while another cannoned off the bar, while Collinge made a good save with his legs from close range, as the scores remained level at the break.

Any thoughts that the Magpies may try to settle for a point were soon dispelled as they poured forward at the start of the second half with Mark Drew, Chris Brookes and Steve Burke all had shots blocked.

Maybe Chorley fans realised it wasn't going to be their day when Traynor found himself in the box with just the keeper to beat and Burke unmarked to his right but he elected to shot and his tame effort was easily saved.

FC United now began to make their numerical advantage count as they create their own chances and Collinge was relieved to see a header go just over, while Patterson shot over the bar from close range.

Chorley were still finding it easy to open up the hoem defence though, and only a combination of the post and a scrambled save kept out a free kick from Mark Drew.

United took the lead in the 76th minute, with a Simon Carden header.

A double substitution for Chorley then saw Chris Brookes and Mark Drew replaced with Danny Nolan and Kenny Mayers.

United could have sealed the win when they were awarded a penalty but the spot kick hit the post.

Chorley came close to claiming a share of the spoils when Danny Nolan was fouled just outside the box but Traynor's free kick was hit just over the bar.

The Magpies players left the field to rapturous applause from the sizeable travelling contingent at full time and, if Chorley can continue to produce performances as spirited as this, they will surely have an excellent chance of pulling clear of the relegation zone.


Chorley lose game but win plaudits

Magpies hit by red card

Chorley may have lost 2-1 to high-flying FC Utd on Saturday but they won the plaudits among the 2,011 crowd.

Gerry Luczka's team was disappointing in their recent defeats to Radcliffe Borough (2-1) and Lancaster City (1-0) but their effort against FC United could not be faulted.

The two teams played earlier this season at Victory Park - when FC ran out 3-0 winners - and the Magpies didn't help themselves when Gavin-Lee Ellison got himself sent off after 20 minutes.

Only the midfielder knows what possessed him to push his opponent right in front of the ref and get a straight red.

It was a devastating blow as the visitors had taken an early lead.

Mike Eckersley - who was once on the books at Man Utd - played the ball over the full back to Steve Burke, who rounded the central defender and hammered the ball past the home keeper Sam Ashton.

It was his 10th goal of the season and the thunderbolt was surely one of his best.

Following the sending off Luczka replaced Chris McDonagh with Greg Traynor to beef up midfield and leave Burke up front on his own.

After 40 minutes an innocuous challenge on the edge of the Chorley box ended up with a free kick to FC United, which top scorer Rory Patterson hammered home for the equaliser.

Patterson clearly likes the Magpies as he scored two goals earlier in the season against Chorley.

In the final minutes of the half FC United hit the bar twice in one attack and goalkeeper Peter Collinge made a smart save in injury time to keep the scores level.

The second Chorley got off to a flyer and Mark Drew, Chris Brookes and Burke and Traynor all having efforts blocked.

With quarter of an hour to go the winner arrived when Simon Carden tucked the ball home beyond Collinge.

With 78 minutes on the clock substitutes Danny Nolan and Kenny Mayers, were thrown on but it was to no avail.

In fact FC United could have extended their lead with a harshly-awarded spot-kick but the penalty hit the post.

Chorley XI: Peter Collinge, Mike Eckersley, Jordan Goodeve, James Mullineux, Martin Clark, Dave German, Chris Brookes, Gavin-Lee Ellison, Chris McDonagh, Steve Burke & Mark Drew

Substitutes: Kenny Mayers (for Drew,78), Danny Nolan (for Brookes, 78) & Greg Traynor (for McDonagh, 32)

Scorers: S.Burke (8)

Last Updated: 13 January 2008 9:55 AM

Thursday, January 10, 2008

30 ways to survive skint weekend

Edited from: Daily Mirror

14 INSTEAD of spending a fortune watching Premiership football, go and see a non-league game for a fraction of the price. If you're a Manchester United fan, give the game against Newcastle a miss this Saturday. Instead of forking out £30 for a ticket, you could watch FC United v Chorley for £7.50.

If Chelsea fans can bear to miss the home game against Tottenham, they could see FA cup heroes Havant & Waterlooville play St Albans City for just £15. And instead of travelling all the way to London to watch the game against Arsenal, for just £8 each Birmingham fans could support non-leaguers Halesowen Town as they play Hitchin Town.

Margy: Reds can win title

Tony Howard

10/ 1/2008

FC UNITED manager Karl Marginson has backed his team to win the UniBond first division north title.

The reds currently lie fifth in the table in one of the five promotion spots but are only six points adrift of current leaders Curzon Ashton, who FC beat convincingly over Christmas.

And their title chances have been boosted by club captain Dave Chadwick, winger Josh Howard and striker Stuart Rudd all recovering from their long spells of injury.

Howard could even start in United’s home game against Chorley on Saturday, January 12.

Margy said: “After the last two results I think it goes to show how open this league is and with just six points separating the top five we have a very good chance of winning the title. I honestly think we can win the league.

“Two fantastic wins over Curzon Ashton and Mossley have put us well and truly back in the hunt. The players were excellent against Curzon in a tough game without our fans there. But I drilled into the lads why they weren’t there and they responded excellently by winning it for our supporters.

“Now we need to carry that run on and notch a few straight victories to stay nicely in those play-off places.

“We’ve got crucial players, who’ve been big misses, returning to the squad and I think they could provide that extra push for us.

“Teams are tiring all around us and each of the five sides in the important positions are more than capable of beating each other.

“We will have another tough game against Chorley as they have signed players since our last game.

“These are the types of games you need to win.

“As I boringly say every week, if we play to our potential we’ll beat anyone – just ask Curzon.”

The Chorley game kicks off at 3pm. On the gate admission costs £7.50 for adults, £5 for over-60s and £2 for under-18s.

FC played in the high-profile Riesa Tournament in Germany at the weekend but they were knocked out in the first round.

FC United are back on the glory trail

By Liam Chronnell

FC United v Chorley FC United return from their European exploits to take on Chorley as they chase a third successive title.

The Rebels took advantage of a free weekend in their UniBond League calendar to take part in an indoor five-a-side tournament in Riesa in east Germany, which also included the likes of Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus.

But Karl Marginson's side are back on these shores now - and fully focused on mounting a serious challenge for Division One North glory.

After four defeats in five games, the Gigg Lane tenants looked to have blown their chances of more silverware this season.

But back-to-back victories, including a 2-0 win at leaders Curzon Ashton, has seen FC cut the lead on the Tameside club to just six points.

"It's all about getting on a bit of a roll now," said Marginson, ahead of Saturday's home clash with the second-bottom side.

But United, whose Manchester FA Premier Cup quarter-final clash against Flixton at Radcliffe Borough's Stainton Park was a victim of the weather last night, will have to do it without Aaron Burns.

The Reds pulled off the major coup when they landed the former Manchester United reserves' top scorer in October after he was released by Cardiff City.

The striker, who scored eight goals in 14 appearances, was unable to play for a club at a higher level than the UniBond League until the transfer window opened in January.

That time has now come and Burns has departed, along with Reds' team-mate Cayne Hanley, for Blue Square Premier's Northwich Victoria.

But Marginson has boosted his squad with the signing of the versatile forward Nick Robinson from Woodley Sports.

Wednesday 9th January 2008

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rebels eye cup glory

By Liam Chronnell

FC United tonight return from their European exploits to take on old rivals Flixton in the quarter-finals of the Manchester FA Premier Cup.

The Rebels took advantage of a free weekend in their UniBond League calendar to take part in an indoor five-a-side tournament in Germany, which also included Bundesliga side, Energie Cotbuss.

After shocking Blue Square Premier outfit Droylsden in the previous round, Karl Marginson's side will fancy their chances against Flixton, from one division below, as they look to book their place in the last four at Radcliffe Borough's Stainton Park.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Silent majority claim Old Trafford has been ‘turned into police state’

Source: Edited from main article:

The “police state” quote is evidently an exaggeration – only three fans have been ejected for standing at United’s past three home matches, with the club left to decide whether their season tickets are to be confiscated – but United fans frequently express dismay at the match-day atmosphere, citing various factors.

These include poor acoustics in the Stretford End since it was rebuilt, the number of corporate seats and day-trippers, the pricing-out of many hard-core supporters, particularly since the Glazer family’s takeover in 2005, and, uniquely to United, the formation of a breakaway club, FC United of Manchester, whose regular 2,000-plus attendances consist mostly of fans disenfranchised from Old Trafford.

Some of those fans – raucous individuals who continue to follow United away from home – boycott matches at Old Trafford because they do not want to line the Glazers’ pockets.

Ferguson has never hidden his contempt for those who jumped ship to set up a new club and he went farther in an interview on Tuesday when he criticised the “unfair” protests against the Glazers. Some of the fears expressed at the time of the takeover have not come to pass, but supporters are entitled to be upset by an aggressive ticketing policy that has priced many of them out of the ground.

Rebels jet off in high spirits

By NickJackson

FC United leave for a mini-tournament in Germany on Friday buoyed by successive victories in the festive campaign which have put them within six points of league leaders Curzon Ashton.

They overcame hosts Curzon 2-0 on Saturday before romping to a typically buccaneering 5-2 win over Mossley at Gigg Lane on New Year's Day in which Rory Patterson came off the bench to score a hat-trick.

Jerome Wright gave the rebels a 13th minute lead, but that was cancelled out just before half-time by Gareth Hamlett's header.

Nicky Platt then missed a penalty before Patterson's introduction at the break sparked new life into the game.

His treble was added to by Platt, who atoned for his earlier error with a neat finish. Lee Connor grabbed a fine consolation for the visitors.

The form of FC has pleased manager Karl Marginson after a phase of erratic results which caused their credentials as table-topping candidates to be questioned.

He said: "We got back to doing the right things against Curzon, which was a particularly pleasing result. We just have to keep that level of performance and consistency going."

With most of their rivals in cup action at the weekend, Marginson is taking his side to Germany for a seven-a-side tournament at the weekend.

They will next kick a ball in anger here when they host Flixton in the Manchester Cup on Wednesday.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

FC United 5 Mossley 2

Source: Manchester Evening News

1/ 1/2008

RORY Patterson struck a hat-trick as back-to-form FC United stepped up their promotion assault in the UniBond League First Division North.

Patterson, fresh back from suspension, sensationally struck twice within four minutes of being introduced early in the second half.

Earlier, Jerome Wright's 14th-minute opener had been cancelled out by a Gareth Hamlett equaliser for the Lilywhites.

Patterson then struck his quick-fire double to make it 3-1, but skipper Lee Connor then pulled a goal back for Mossley.

Nicky Platt added FC's fourth before Patterson completed his treble with a last-minute penalty, ensuring FC United took full advantage of the fact that league leaders Curzon Ashton's game at Garforth was called off.

Rory's brilliant from the bench

Source: The Bolton News

By Liam Chronnell

RORY Patterson came off the bench to score a hat-trick and put FC United within six points of leaguer leaders Curzon Ashton.

The striker took his goal tally to 22 for the season after Karl Marginson's men seemed for a long time to be suffering from a New Year hangover.

Jerome Wright gave the Rebels a 13th minute lead, cancelled out just before the break by Gareth Hamlett's header.

Nicky Platt then missed a penalty before Patterson's appearance at the break sparked new life into the game.

His treble was added to by Platt, who atoned for his earlier error with a neat finish. Lee Connor grabbed a consolation for the visitors.

Rebels out to maintain run

By NickJackson

PREVIEW: FC United v Mossley: FC United will be aiming to continue their winning habit when they take on the Unibond Division One's ninth placed Mossley at Gigg Lane today.

The Rebel Reds have a full squad to pick from after Saturday's 2-0 victory at Curzon Ashton in which Simon Carden and Rob Nugent were on target.

After some erratic results lately, boss Karl Marginson was pleased with how his men went about their business at the Tameside Stadium And he is looking forward to his side once again playing in front of the break-away club's large following, who stayed away from the Curzon game in a protest over internet TV coverage.

Marginson said: "It was a strange feeling watching the match with so few supporters there. It is not something we have been used to and we will be glad to get back to normal.

"The lads did very well against Curzon, doing everything that was asked of them and we want to keep that level of performance going into the New Year."



No show FC fans cost club £10,000

(No on-line content)

· Rebel’s protest cuts attendance by 1,000
· Boycott sparked by kick-off time switch


Tony Glennon

FC United fans voted with their feet to boycott their team's key promotion battle at Curzon Ashton - and left their top-of-the-table hosts counting the cost.

Just 297 paying spectators, at least 1,000 fewer than might otherwise have been expected, turned up at the Tameside Stadium to witness FC reignite their UniBond Division One North title challenge with this victory over the leaders.

That followed a request by FC chiefs for the supporters to stay away in protest at the League's decision to switch the kick-off to 12.45 p.m. so that it could be shown live on the Internet on NPLTV.

Curzon officials estimate the fans' no-show cost them £10,000 in gate money, a vast sum for a club of their size.

And, while accepting FC's reasons for the boycott. Curzon chairman Ham Galloway. whose club also opposed the kick-off time being brought for­ward from 3 p.m.. said he was "disappointed" it had taken place and blamed the League for having failed to stop it.

Galloway said: "It's written into FC United's constitution that they are not going to be pushed around by TV companies over kick-offs, but I would never support a boycott from our supporters on this issue. I think it could have been prevented by the League. There was no need for it to come to this.

"Of course, we are disappointed by the gate because we were expecting at least another 1,000 on top."

FC United's general manager Andy Walsh defended the boycott, saying: "We are aware of how important television is to football, but our objection is that assurances we believe we were given by the UniBond League that games would not be moved for TV without the agreement of the clubs have been reneged upon.

"As a result, and also because the League ignored the express wishes of both clubs, we reluctantly asked our support­ers not to attend the game but instead watch our reserves play Club AZ at Abbey Hey.

"As a members'-owned club, it's not surprising that our fans heeded the call, with 467 at­tending the reserve team fix­ture and just a handful travelling to Curzon.

"We have been accused of being narrow minded, but we are not burying our heads in the sand and recognise that some disruption to kick-off times is the inevitable price paidfor the money given to football by the TV companies.

"But the wishes of the match-going fans must be paramount, otherwise what are we here for?"

John Warrington, spokes­man for the UniBond League's TV partners Invision, insists his company made no pledges to FC United- He said. "We are disappointed about this boycott because at no point were any promises made in respect of changing kick-offs on a Saturday.

"Had such assurances been requested by FC United, they would not have been given. We feel the reasons for the boycott are groundless.'

Goals by Simon Carden and Rob Nugent secured FC a victory which takes them back up to fifth place.

They trail Curzon by nine points and also have a game in hand on them.