Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FC United plan a winter warmer

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

December 30, 2009

FORGET New Year’s Day - January 1st is known as ‘Big Coat Day’ at FC United.

The Rebels are appealing to supporters to bring unwanted winter clothing along with them to Friday’s game against Ossett Town at Gigg Lane (3pm) for the benefit of Manchester’s homeless community.

All coats, hats, scarves and gloves will be collected outside the ground by the Salvation Army and the Boaz Trust before being redistributed to homeless people across the city.

FC ran a similar scheme in 2006 which resulted in fans donating 300 sacks of warm clothing, but the club are hopeful of beating that total this time around.

“Big Coat Day may have started as a bit of fun to show we had reached our first Christmas and it still is fun,” said FC general manager Andy Walsh.

“But now it has come to represent even more, with supporters doing something for those in Manchester who need our help.

“Please bring along whatever warm clothing you can spare - it will be put to good use.”

The campaign also has the backing of actors John Henshaw and Justin Moorhouse, who starred in the Ken Loach film ‘Looking for Eric’.

“I really appreciate having a big coat to hand when the weather gets cold - I hope everyone gets behind this and brings a donation,” said Moorhouse.

Meanwhile, on the pitch, 18th-placed FC will be hoping to gain a vital three points against fellow strugglers Ossett, who sit just one place below them in the table.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ashton v FC United clash postponed

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

December 26, 2009

FC United's Unibond Premier League fixture at Ashton has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.

The Rebels return to action when they host Ossett Town on New Years Day (3pm).

Meanwhile, new goalkeeping coach Joe Paladino has only been at FC United a matter of weeks - but already sees himself staying for years to come.

The former Everton and Wigan reserve keeper joined the Rebels’ coaching staff recently and is enjoying every minute of his time at the club.

“This is a fantastic club with unbelievable fans. It's like being at a professional club and I love it here," said Paladino.

"For the next three or four years I’ll be staying whatever happens - the only way I’ll leave is if the club don’t want me anymore.”

Italian-born Paladino, who is also an ex-professional heavyweight boxer, had been out of football since 2005 but has now set his sights on coaching in the football league in the future.

However, he insists he won’t necessarily have to leave FC to fulfil this ambition.

“I run an amateur boxing club but football is my first love, so when Karl (Marginson) got in touch I had no hesitation in coming here.

“I’ll be 50 in six years and my plan is to be coaching in the football league by then, but who says that can’t be here?”

“This club is geared up for the football league and I don’t see any reason why we can’t get there. I don’t think getting to League Two in the next five years is an impossibility.”

Paladino has been working closely with FC’s number one Sam Ashton and has been hugely impressed by the 23-year-old.

“I’ve got the easiest job in non-league football because Sam’s immense,” he said.

“I don’t want to build him up too much but he’s in the Shay Given mould. He’s not the biggest but he’s got everything, and he’s still young so he can get better.”

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coleraine star Rory back on top after teenage kicks

Source: Belfast Telegraph

By Stuart McKinley
Friday, 18 December 2009

Rory Patterson has revealed how he almost quit football in his teens.

Patterson was very much an unknown when David Platt plucked him from the Conference North — two divisions outside the Football League — last summer, but he certainly isn’t an unknown anymore.

The Strabane man is the leading goalscorer in Northern Ireland this season and Coleraine fans are delighted that their new hero decided against turning his back on the game.

Patterson has hit 19 goals since signing for the Bannsiders in the summer and with 20 always being the yardstick for any striker, he is already well on the way to having a successful season.

Portadown are in the firing line tomorrow at the Coleraine Showgrounds when David Platt would love to see his main marksman make it a score before Christmas.

It could have been all so different, however, when Patterson became disillusioned following his release from Rochdale in the summer of 2004.

He didn’t particularly enjoy a short spell with Radcliffe Borough and at that stage Patterson was considering other options and leaving football behind.

“I moved over to England when I was 16 and was at Rochdale for three years,” said Patterson.

“I made my debut for the first-team at 17 and played 15 games, but it didn’t work out in the end.

“I got an injury, the manager changed a few times and the one that came in didn’t take to me; but that’s football.

“I was thinking of giving football up, but the manager of FC United is a friend of mine and he asked me to come down, have a look and see what I thought.”

And that sparked a goalrush from the 25-year-old, who hit an amazing 107 goals in 126 appearances for the club that was founded by Manchester United fans in the wake of the Old Trafford outfit being taken over by Malcolm Glazer.

“I went down and the first game I went to there was a crowd of about 3,000 there. When I made my debut I scored and the fans took to me after that,” said Patterson, who saw a the club grow from small beginnings to a model for their rivals.

“The set up and the fans, they are just like a league club. The support is excellent and it’s a very well run club.

“There are a few other teams who are thinking about going about things the same way.

“It’s not about paying people big money, it’s family orientated and although everyone thinks they hate Manchester United it’s not like that, they really are like a mini-Manchester United.

“They are fans of the club who simply aren’t happy that the club they love has been put into debt.

“Everyone in Manchester loves their football and these people just love their club.”

Patterson didn’t play in the Co-operative Insurance Cup draw with Cliftonville on Tuesday night — which was enough to see the Bannsiders through — but he is hopeful of being fit to face the Ports.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thousands of fans to flock to Guiseley for FC United clash

Source: The Advertiser

12:10pm Thursday 17th December 2009

By Ian Whiting

Nethermoor will be a busy place on Sunday as Guiseley’s Premier Division fixture against FC United of Manchester had to be put back a day on police advice.

The Lions were due to host the breakaway club formed by disgruntled fans of Manchester United on Saturday but will now kick off at noon the following day.

With as many as 2,000 travelling supporters on top of Guiseley’s own loyal following, the authorities decided it had to be moved. The earlier kick-off is designed to limit any heavy drinking by huge crowds before the game.

That non-football decision has presented the club with football-based problems, as Guiseley spokesman and director Stuart Allen explained.

“The weather forecast is very poor and if the expected pitch inspection is necessary it will have to be very early,” said Allen.

“We would have to do that at 8.30am or 9am because if it was bad we would have to let FC United know before they travelled or we would be liable for the costs of their journey.

“The ideal scenario would be to make the decision tomorrow but the league frown on calling off a game 24 hours before and we also want to give it as long as possible because we want the game played. Both clubs will want it on if at all possible because we are so far behind with our league fixtures.

“Our pitch was fine for last Saturday’s FA Trophy tie but it was a bit soft when we played Hucknall Town on Tuesday. The groundstaff have been working on it since then but we don’t have a crystal ball.”

Guiseley have no new injury worries and will be buoyant after two wins in the week.

The Lions are tenth with 29 points while their visitors are third bottom with 21.

Both clubs have played just 17 league games so far, with FC United having four games in hand on four of the five clubs in the bottom six with them.

Table-topping Badgers maul the Mancs

Source: This is Retford

Thursday, December 17, 2009, 07:00

Unibond League Premier Division leaders Retford United continued their impressive away form with a 4-2 victory over FC United of Manchester at Bury's Gigg Lane ground on Saturday.

Buoyed on by their very vocal travelling support, it took only three minutes for the Badgers to make the break. Darryl Thomas shrugged off the attentions of the FC United defence before slotting his shot past the advancing Sam Ashton to silence the home crowd packed behind the goal.

FC United looked for an immediate response, and it was the tricky winger Carlos Roca who was first to test Ross Turner, however the Retford keeper was alert to keep hold of the shot.

Roca was proving to be a thorn in the side of the Badgers in the early exchanges and he played in Joseph Yoffe whose strike at close range was saved by the legs of the diving Turner.

Retford then started to take the game by the scruff of the neck, as Neil Harvey worked hard to get past Simon Garner before laying off the ball into the path of Thomas, but his shot was blazed over the bar.

Paul Ellender almost found the run of Harvey, but Ashton raced to the edge of his area to hoof clear, then Harvey again found himself in a great position, but his shot was parried away for another Retford corner.

The pressure paid off in the 18th minute, Harvey winning a corner that was floated in by Chris Bettney.

Both Ellender and Michael Simpkins challenged for the header which dropped to the feet of Colin Marrison who made no mistake as he cooly slotted the ball past Ashton with the inside of his foot to extend Retford's lead.

Bettney attempted a 25-yard shot that dipped, forcing Ashton to tip over his bar for a corner.

The Retford fans were in delirium on 24 minutes, when the lead was increased to three goals, thanks to more hard work from Thomas.

Thomas made a strong run from the halfway line, shrugging off the challenge of Nick Swirad before firing his shot past Ashton at his near post.

Thomas then sent the ball across the face of goal, with Harvey just missing out as he stretched to try and make contact.

Marrison burst into the box under the challenge of two FC United players, and despite falling to the ground, the referee waved the penalty shout away which allowed the home side to clear.

FC United then had a rare effort, Jake Cottrell's shot going into the hands of Turner.

Thomas then found the run of Bettney on the right wing, but his cross was collected in the air by Ashton.

FC United then pulled a goal back on 40 minutes from a superb shot into the top corner from the edge of the box by Roca.

A mistake by Garner almost led to a Retford fourth, Thomas latching onto the loose ball before running into the box from the right, only to put his shot over the bar.

And Retford had another good chance to increase the lead before the break.

Marquin Smith picked up the ball in his own penalty area, before running through the middle of the pitch evading the FC United challenges and into the box. He fired the ball at goal, but Ashton was in place to block.

The final action of the first half saw Ellender set Harvey on a run into the box. Harvey chose to shoot, with Thomas in a better position to score, the ball going over the bar.

The second half started with Retford having a chance as Harvey once again found Thomas who looked to be through on goal, but Ashton again had to clear from outside his box.

FC United looked for something to get back into the game.

Roca again made a run on the left with Simpkins clearing for a corner. The ball in fell to the feet of substitute Rob Nugent but his shot was well wide of the target.

Lee Holmes was introduced to the action to replace Thomas and within a minute of his introduction, Retford were four up.

Holmes made his way towards goal, his shot rebounding off the legs of Ashton, then Marrison picked up the pieces to score his second of the game as he fired low past the keeper and into the back of the net.

The game then looked all but over with still half an hour to play.

But the deficit was reduced once more when Simon Carden headed home across Turner to give FC United a glimmer of hope.

But Retford continued to stand firm at the back, despite Garner almost finding target only for his header to be denied by the crossbar.

The game went into the final stages, and the home side thought they had set up a grandstand finish in the 89th minute when they netted from a corner, only for the referee to disallow the goal for a foul on Turner.

A small scuffle broke out between both sets of players, with Nugent and Turner both receiving a caution for their part in the fracas.

The match ended with the Retford fans delighted at the result that keeps them on top of the league as the Christmas schedule kicks in.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rebels gunning for safety points

Source: Bury Times

11:10pm Wednesday 16th December 2009

By Liam Chronnell

FC United are aiming to pull clear of the relegation zone when they face a high noon shootout at Guiseley on Sunday.

The Rebels slipped to their third defeat in four games when they went down 4-2 against leaders Retford United in the UniBond Premier League on Saturday.

The loss leaves the Gigg Lane tenants third bottom — two points behind their closest rivals going into the weekend’s fixtures.

FC found themselves 3-0 down after just 24 minutes against Retford before Carlos Roca pulled one back four minutes before half time.

But they fell further behind before Simon Carden struck again on the hour mark to set up a tense, but ultimately fruitless, finale.

From Wharfedale and Airedale Observer

Edited from: Wharfedale and Airedale Observer


Guiseley’s league game against FC United of Manchester will, on police advice, be played on Sunday with a noon kick-off. There will be a big police presence in the area and fans will be segregated.

Home supporters will have use of the main stand and the Ings Crescent side of the ground and should enter via the turnstiles at that end of the ground. The clubhouse bar will be closed until after the game.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Danny Moran meets Manc footie laureate Mike Duff and talks FC United

Source: Manchester Confidential

The writer Mike Duff once received a phone call from Andrew Motion, the ex-Poet Laureate, to congratulate him on a poem he’d written. “He said, ‘How long did it take you to write the poem?’ I said about five minutes. He said, ‘Good heavens!’. So I asked him how long it took him to write his Prince William poem. He said four months. I could see that was my chance. I couldn’t resist. I said, “Good heavens!”

On Saturday Duff was at ‘Course You Can, Malcolm’, FC United’s self-styled ‘club-night-in-the-afternoon-at-the-potty-end-of-the-tram-tracks’ (i.e. Gigg Lane) to launch his latest novel, Yer Wot? There was real ale and mince pies and potato hash with pickled cabbage. A small choir in Santa hats sang Pride Of All Europe and Fairytale of New York and then Duff gave a reading. The event was a fundraiser for the club’s development fund. They desperately need their own stadium, due to the cost of hiring out Bury’s for each home game. Duff will be donating the profits from the sale of the book.

The novel offers a fresh dollop of Duff’s familiar scally prose, cut-throat gags and impeccably observed characters, spinning a roughhouse Romeo and Juliet tale around what Duff calls ‘the Heartlands’: Moston, Harpurhey, Monsall, Newton Heath, Collyhurst, Miles Platting, Clayton. The plot unfolds around the birth of the breakaway football team, whose games the characters attend, and is a worthy successor to Low Life, the novel which made his name, which Duff wrote ten years ago on the rebound from an acrimonious divorce.

“I had a drink problem,” he said. “Which I’ve basically had all me life. And ‘cos I went round to the house and caused trouble…well it didn’t look good for me in court, did it?” Instead, he did his therapy on the page. “They were talking about supervised access and I said ‘God will die before you make me see my kids like that. So I went home and wrote Low Life.” He cites Kurt Vonnegut, Anthony Burgess and Bob Dylan as inspirations, but also Keith Waterhouse’s first novel, There Is A Happy Land. “Of course, my book’s a lot more violent than that.”

Low Life won a competition run by the Manchester publisher Commonword, and has since gone on to acquire local classic status. Guardian reviews and Granada profiles followed. Then in 2004 he won the BBC Poem For Manchester competition, prompting Motion’s call. Duff’s winning poem, ‘In The Rain’ is inscribed into the Manchester Curve Bridge on London Road. He says it’s the poems which give him the greater pride. You can read them in the Manchester United fanzine, United We Stand, most issues.

Duff signed a stream of books for supporters and fans, many of whom offered memories of previous, inebriated readings or personal connections to poems or passages from the novels. Then he got up to read a selection of verse from his collection, Of A Mancunian. We got ‘Rent Boy Crisis’, ‘On The Road To Harpurhey’, and an account of his brother’s death, last year, called ‘And John Terry Cried’. When he finished, he went home to look after his mam, who is 91 and bed-ridden. At Gigg Lane, FC duly emerged and got spanked 4-2 by league leaders Retford United – and truth be told, it was a real pre-Christmas stuffing, as the North East side’s forwards, Neil Harvey and Darryl Thomas, chopped up FC’s back four like a line of whizz, all afternoon. Even a Carlos Roca pearler, just before half time, couldn’t lift the home side.

The next day I called at Duff’s Blackley home. Sky Sports highlights were flickering brightly on the television; daughter Kerry was happily ensconced on the sofa. There was a wintry flush of health about the writer’s chops. He said he’s off the booze for the time being. “Did you see the Wigan goal?” he asked.

We talked about Bolton Wanderers and Saturday’s 3-3 with Manchester City. Though he’s Cheetham Hill born he’s been a fan of the Trotters since he was seven, though he rarely goes any more. “When we were winning 3-2, there was some glorious opportunities, one where Muamba was clean through. Then again, is it wise to be throwing four men forward when you’re 3-2 up against City?.”

He’s no love for Sky Blues (though daughter Kerry is a fan) and he thinks Hughes is wrong for them. “He’s a relegation manager, isn’t he?” He finds the current Trotters outfit something of a mixed bag. “I’ve got worries about Zat Knight – I didn’t think Andy O’Brien was that bad a player before him. But they bought two full backs…last season they played Steinsson, who I rated, and Samuels, who I think is all right. Then they buy Robinson and Ricketts, and I can’t understand what his [manager Gary Megson’s] game is.”

He says he keeps changing his mind about Megson. “He’s done the ‘ginger marine’ bit, which probably helped, and he’s better than Sammy Lee. They play a bit more football than they’re often given credit for. But to stay up…you’ve got to look at the teams we’re losing to. We lost to Wolves, for fuck’s sake.”

The team currently lie next from bottom of the Premiership table.

“The way I see it the next four games are going to be crucial. West Ham [on Tuesday night]. Wigan [next Monday]. Burnley [Boxing Day]. Hull [Dec 29]. We’ve got to pick up some points. ‘Cos after Christmas it’s Arsenal, Liverpool, City again and Sunderland away…”

Monday, December 14, 2009

United beat United in Manchester

Source: Retford Guardian

Published Date: 14 December 2009
By Guardian Sport

RETFORD United are still four points clear at the top of the UniBond Premier table, after a 4-2 win in Manchester.

Peter Duffield's Badgers beat FC United of Manchester, in front of 1,920 spectators at Gigg Lane, Bury.

Darryl Thomas netted on three minutes, before Colin Marrison doubled the lead on 18.

Six minutes later Thomas got his second to put Retford firmly in control.

Carlos Rocca pulled one back for the hosts before half-time, but Marrison was on target on 58 minutes to make it 4-1.

Simon Carden made it 4-2 three minutes later but Retford held on to their lead to take three points.

From The Bolton News

Edited from: The Bolton News

FC United slipped to their third defeat in four games as they lost 4-2 against leaders Retford United in the Premier League at Gigg Lane.

The Rebels found themselves 3-0 down after just 24 minutes before Carlos Roca pulled one back four minutes before half time.

Simon Carden gave the hosts hope when he further reduced the deficit just after the hour mark, but Retford added a fourth before the end to leave FC stuck in the bottom three.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

FC United 2 Retford 4

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

December 12, 2009

LEAGUE leaders Retford produced a superb first half display to help them to victory over FC United at Gigg Lane on Saturday.

The Rebels got off to the worst possible start when the visitors opened the scoring with their first attack of the game after three minutes through striker Colin Marrison.

Marrison then capitalised on some hesitant FC United defending from a corner to double their lead from close-range in the 17th minute.

And Retford effectively ended the game as a contest shortly after when Darrell Thomas drilled past Sam Ashton to make it 3-0.

Carlos Roca gave FC a glimmer of hope in the 41st minute with a sensational 25-yard strike, but Retford restored their three goal cushion ten minutes into the second half as Marrison completed his hat-trick.

However, the Rebels refused to give up and Simon Carden headed home Ben Deegan’s cross in the 61st minute to set up a tense final half an hour.

But despite their best efforts, Karl Marginson’s men could not claw their way back as the visitors closed out the game to take a well-earned three points.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Marginson still eyeing title glory

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

December 11, 2009

KARL Marginson firmly believes that his FC United side will challenge for the Unibond Premier League title this season.

The Rebels are currently 19th in the table but have up to six games in hand on other teams due to their success in cup competitions and postponements.

And Marginson says that their league position means nothing at this stage of the campaign.

“We’re not looking at the table because we know we’re in a false position,” said the manager.

“League position might be relevant in the Premier League at this stage but not in our division. If anyone ends up finishing above us, they’ll be champions,” he added.

FC host league leaders Retford United at Gigg Lane on Saturday (3pm), and Marginson thinks the game represents an ideal opportunity for his players to show their title-winning credentials.

“All the pressure is on Retford because they come here top of the league and they know that we’ll be there or thereabouts come April,” he said.

“We had a similar situation when we went to Ashton in the FA Trophy. They were top of the league then and we put in a great performance to beat them, so hopefully we can do the same against Retford.”

Marginson also hailed his players’ efforts in bowing out of the Challenge Cup at Kendal on Tuesday, and reckons their exit may prove to be a blessing in disguise.

“It was a terrible pitch and credit has to got to both sides for trying to play football because it was an entertaining game that was typical of our season really - we had no luck in front of goal and made a few small, individual errors at the back which have cost us.

“Any trophy means something so we were disappointed to lose, but the Challenge Cup has no great attraction to anyone because of the finances involved - it’s an expensive afterthought really.

“But on the positive side, the game was a great workout for the lads and far better for them than a training session.”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Duffield warns Badgers not to be overwhelmed by FC United's fans

Source: This is Retford

Thursday, December 10, 2009, 12:40

Peter Duffield warned his Retford United side they will need to get off to a good start or they could be overwhelmed by the cheers of the large crowd at FC United of Manchester on Saturday.

FC United regularly get crowds of around 2,500 at their home games, which are played at Bury's Gigg Lane.

Retford boss Duffield said his players should enjoy the atmosphere at the ground, which he describes as like "football in the old days", but warned that they must not give the home supporters much to cheer about in the UniBond League Premier Division match.

"It's a big ground and they will have a big crowd," said Duffield

"Their home games remind me of football in the old days.

"They wear the old-style Manchester United kits, the crowds cheer and wave their scarves above their heads. It's a great atmosphere.

"For some of our players it will be a new experience, but a lot of them will have played in front of big crowds before.

"It is important that we get off to a good start. We must not let them get their tails up.

"They are in the relegation zone, but you've got to look at their games in hand. They've got six games in hand on us.

"I don't think they will be down there at the end of the season."

For the full interview with Peter Duffield, buy this week's Retford Times.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Chaddy on Manchester Radio

Source: BBC Manchester.

Link to mp3 file (ca 5mins), here.

Football player looks after his biggest fans

Source: Bolton News (no online content). Click here for PDF scan.

Reds dumped out by Kendal

Source: Bury Times

3:40pm Wednesday 9th December 2009

FC United crashed out of the UniBond League Challenge Cup on Tuesday night, when they lost 2-1 by Kendal Town.

Adam Tong had equalised Carl Osman’s early opener, but David Foster’s 64th minute goal secured the win for the home side.

In the UniBond Premier League, Karl Marginson’s men held Whitby Town to a 2-2 draw at the weekend.

Joseph Yoffe and an own goal were enough to earn a share of the spoils for the strugglers ahead of Saturday’s home clash with leaders Retford United at Gigg Lane.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Whitby 2 FC United 2

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

December 05, 2009

FC United twice came from behind to rescue a point in a hard-fought draw at Whitby.

The Rebels controlled the opening exchanges but fell behind against the run of play in the 36th minute, when ex-Middlesbrough striker Andrew Campbell sprang the offside trap and fired past Sam Ashton to give the home side the lead.

Whitby defender Andrew Leeson gifted FC an equaliser just minutes later as he put through his own goal after a trademark Adam Tong long-throw had caused havoc in the Seasiders’ penalty area.

However, Whitby restored their lead just before the interval as midfielder Tony Hackworth made it 2-1 to the home side at half time.

Joe Yoffe pulled the visitors level again shortly after the restart, and FC had to settle for a point after the striker spurned a glorious opportunity to grab a late winner after an evenly-matched second half.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Wright blow for FC United

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

December 04, 2009

FC United have been dealt a blow with the news that winger Jerome Wright is likely to be out of action until the new year.

The 24-year-old has been forced to have surgery to remove a hernia and now looks certain to miss the Rebels’ busy December schedule, meaning that manager Karl Marginson may be forced to change from his preferred 4-4-2 system.

“Jerome’s had an operation and will be out until somewhere around Christmas time,” said Marginson.

“We looked at a 4-3-3 formation at Hucknall a few weeks ago and that might be on the cards while he’s out,” he added.

FC have not played for a fortnight due to two postponements, and Marginson thinks that the break could have done his players good as he welcomes Danny Warrender and Rob Nugent back in to the first-team fray for Saturday's league fixture at Whitby.

“The break might have acted as a refreshment for the lads,” said Marginson.

“It’s allowed Danny to get fully fit which is a definite positive for us, and Rob is pretty much back to full fitness as well now,” he added.

However, captain David Chadwick is still struggling with injury and will not be available.

“Chaddy is a little bit off full fitness yet so we’ll continue to monitor him,” said Marginson.

The Rebels manager is expecting a tough game at the Turnbull Ground and says his side must adapt quickly to the tricky seaside conditions in North Yorkshire.

“Whitby are a decent team who got a point at our place earlier this season, and everyone knows it’s a really tough place to go because of the weather there,” he said.

“They know how to play with or against the wind, and we will need to learn and guard against that.”

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Blues bid to continue their November reign

Source: Whitby Gazette

Published Date: 03 December 2009
By Andrew Snaith

WHITBY Town hope to carry on their unbeaten form of November into Saturday's big home match against FC United, which could pull in a gate of 1,000.
Blues boss Harry Dunn is hoping to field an unchanged side, despite the weather putting a freeze on midweek training.

Rebel Reds in need of action

Source: Bury Times

6:40am Thursday 3rd December 2009
By Liam Chronnell »

FOOTBALL: FC United hope it will be third time lucky when they travel to Whitby Town on Saturday.

The fourth-bottom Rebels’ last two games have been victims of the weather but they will be keen for the rain to stay away as they look to climb the table.

Saturday’s home UniBond Premier League clash with Kendal Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch —as had their Challenge Cup encounter against the same side in midweek.

That first round tie will now take place at Kendal on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, FC coach Karl Lenaghan has left the club to become assistant manager at rivals Ossett Town.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Club kits out charity drive

Source: Bury Times

3:10pm Thursday 26th November 2009

A BURY football enthusiast has flown to India to donate soccer kits to children in Bhopal.

Mark O’Rourke is travelling for a series of events to mark 25 years since a pesticide manufacturing plant leaked 27 tons of the deadly gas, methyl isocyanate, into the air.

Thousands of people died and, ever since, children in the city have been born with serious deformities.

Mark, a supporter and founder member of FC United of Manchester, will be re-establishing links between the club and the Bhopal Medical Appeal (BMA), set up to raise funds to help the survivors.

The BMA was FC United’s main sponsor in its first season and even wrote a curry recipe — the Bhopali Chicken FC United Wallah — specially for the club, using the match day programmes to tell a whole new audience about the disaster.

Now fans of the club — based at Gigg Lane — raised money and sent two complete kits to Bhopal where a new children’s team, FC United of Bhopal, has been established.

Father-of-three Mark, aged 51, who volunteers help for FC United junior section and its development fund, has taken a set of club shirts to Bhopal. They will be given to children who have been treated in a recently-built clinic.

He said: “I went on holiday to India in 2000 and fell in love with the place. To me, Bhopal is linked with FC United.

“I’m taking the shirts for the children in Bhopal, who have very little. So, they know people on the other side of the world are looking out for them and thinking of them.”

Mark, who lives in Chesham, added: “We had a great response from fellow supporters who donated money to pay for the kit and I’d like to thank everyone who helped. I hope the children will be excited to receive the shirts.”

FC United is holding a fundraising curry night at Veena’s in Heywood on Wednesday, December 2, in aid of the BMA. Tickets cost £15 with £5 being donated to the charity. For information: e-mail or visit

Rebels look to bounce back

Source: Bury Times

8:10am Thursday 26th November 2009
By Staff Sports Reporter

FC United must turn their attentions to moving up the table after they crashed out of the FA Trophy.

The Rebels are just one place above the drop zone but eight points off the play-off places in the UniBond Premier League.

Karl Marginson’s side have a great opportunity to gain ground on their rivals if they can defeat seventh-placed Kendal Town at Gigg Lane on Saturday.

But they must overcome their weekend’s disappointment after being dumped out of the cup by Harrogate Town in their second qualifying round tie.

The Blue Square North side were 3-0 up after 52 minutes through Craig James, Rory Coleman and Adam Novakowski.

Simon Carden hit a quickfire brace in the last 10 minutes to set up a frenetic finale, but it proved in vain as Harrogate held on.

FC were due to face Kendal on Tuesday night but their Challenge Cup clash was a victim of the weather.

Midfielder Adam Carden, meanwhile, has left the club.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

FC United Cup game called off

Source: Manchester Evening News

Phil Howarth

November 24, 2009
FC UNITED'S UniBond League Challenge Cup match at Kendal Town has been postponed following a pitch inspection.

Standing water was found on various parts of the pitch at the Lakeland Radio Stadium, with further heavy rain forecast for Tuesday afternoon prior to the game.

The match has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 8, kick off 7.45pm.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Misery for Reds in FA Trophy

Source: The Bolton News

7:38pm Sunday 22nd November 2009

FOOTBALL: FC United crashed out of the FA Trophy, despite a late fightback by Harrogate Town.

Craig James, Rory Coleman and Adam Novakowski put the Yorkshire side into a three-goal lead after just 52 minutes in front of more than 1,100 fans at Gigg Lane.

Simon Carden hit a quickfire brace in the last 10 minutes to ensure a frenetic finale, but Karl Marginson’s men had left themselves too much to do.

Radcliffe Borough were beaten 2-1 by Prescot Cables in UniBond League Division One North.

Aaron Rey and Phil Cooney had given the visitors a first-half lead, and Jody Banim’s strike two minutes from time proved a mere consolation.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

FC United 2 Harrogate 3

Source: Manchester Evening News

November 21, 2009

A BRAVE second-half fight back was not enough to save FC United as they crashed out of the FA Trophy at home to Harrogate.

The visitors cruised in to a 2-0 lead before half time and then added a third shortly after the break, but a rousing final half-hour from the Rebels saw them pull two back courtesy of a Simon Carden double.

However, despite throwing everything at the Sulphurites in the closing minutes, FC were unable to force a replay.

A miserable first half for the Rebels was compounded when Phil Marsh missed a penalty with Harrogate 2-0 up.

FC also began the second period poorly, and slipped further behind before Carden turned home Rob Nugent’s header from a corner to make it 3-1 in the 63rd minute.

Midfielder Carden then capped a fine team move for his second of the afternoon with six minutes remaining, but Harrogate held on to advance to the first round.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Harrogate survive FC United scare

Source: BBC

Harrogate Town survived a nervous six minutes of stoppage time to beat FC United of Manchester 3-2 at Gigg Lane to reach the FA Trophy first round.

Craig James, Rory Coleman and Andy Nowakowski gave Town a 3-0 lead before Simon Carden scored two for the hosts.

Aaron Ratchford's penalty save for Town just before half-time proved crucial.

Town manager Simon Weaver told BBC Radio York: "We could have been four, five or six (up), but in the end we defended very, very well."

Weaver added: "It was very demanding on our defenders and goalkeeper (at the end), they threw everyone forward and had nothing to lose."

Carden's second goal came on 85 minutes, but Town then had to defend for another eleven minutes.

"I do believe in this back four and the goalkeeper," Weaver added, "but it's cup football and they ended up playing four up (front).

"I was saying "don't go gung-ho," because we were still throwing bodies forward in the last couple of minutes. It's outrageous sometimes."

Weaver felt the penalty was a dubious decision, but was delighted to see Ratchford make what turned out to be a critical save.

"I just had a funny feeling when (FC United's Phil Marsh) stepped up, Ratchford looked pretty big in those nets and he pulled off a fine save."

And now the Harrogate boss is looking forward to the next round.

"I just want a spirit to run though the club. We're really grafting to make something that was nothing at the beginning of the season.

"We've had a few hard knocks. The ones here now are the ones who were strong enough to have taken them and to get better in their own performances."

Hucknall boss Chambers admits tactical gaffe

Source: This is Nottingham
Friday, November 20, 2009, 07:00

HUCKNALL Town manager Bryan Chambers today took the blame for last week's home defeat to FC United of Manchester and insisted: "I won't make the same mistake again."

Chambers is one of the most experienced managers on the non-league scene and reckons he has clocked up close to 2,000 games in the dug-out.

But he says the 3-2 Watnall Road defeat shows he is still learning – even with his vast knowledge.

The boss has always prided himself on doing his homework on opposing teams.

But against United he chose instead to concentrate on his own team's strengths – and his lack of scouting quickly backfired.

Hucknall trailed 3-0 at the break but after a tactical change only lost 3-2 and missed a penalty.

Chambers is convinced the Yellows would have won if he'd prepared for the game in his normal manner.

"I have to hold my hands up and say to the fans it was a mistake on my part, just as I have told that to the players," he said.

"I usually know everything about the opposition, but on this occasion I decided not to worry about them and concentrated on us.

"As soon as I had seen how they played in the first half, I changed it around and put three in midfield.

"I told the players to get their heads up and said we would still get something out of the game with the new tactics – and we should have done.

"We won the second half 2-0 and missed a penalty and the majority of the fans praised the way we played and the entertainment we gave them.

"But I have learned a valuable lesson and I shall be making sure I do all the scouting I need to from now on."

Tomorrow, Hucknall visit an Ashton side who are third in the table, even though they have a goal difference of minus six.

Chambers is expecting a tough time of things at Hurst Cross. He said: "When we played them at our place we should have won comfortably but missed a lot of chances (losing 2-1).

"The fact they are so well placed shows they are not a bad side, even though they have lost a fair few games.

"There's not a lot of difference between the top and bottom – and that's reflected by the spread of points.

"I think the reason is that some of the sides, like us, have over-achieved for the money they are paying out and other big-spending sides have lost a few games unexpectedly.

"Put those two things together and that is why there is not much to choose between all the sides."

Adrian Hawes should be fit after being carried off against FC United with a leg injury but Gary Sucharewycz joined Grantham earlier this week.

From The Bolton News

Edited from: The Bolton News


FC United will look to put their FA Cup disappointment behind them when they hit the Wembley trail again.

The Rebels missed out on a glamour televised tie with Charlton after crashing out against Northwich in the previous round.

The UniBond Premier League side have another chance to progress in a cup competition — and a £4,000 pay day — when they take on Harrogate Town from the division above at Gigg Lane tomorrow in their third qualifying round clash.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chasetown Scholars 1 FC United of Manchester 2

Source: The Lichfield Blog

FC United of Manchester came from behind for a 2-1 victory over Chasetown’s young guns in the Conference Youth Alliance North at Great Wyrley.

The Scholars held sway for much of the first half, but their opponents were well up to the task and eventually proved the stronger in a close-run contest.

The first chance fell to the visitors as a move by Jay Walcott and Scott Cheetham saw the latter fire over the bar, before on 15 minutes Lee Wright’s shot went wide.

Much of the first half’s play was very evenly matched as Chasetown took the game to their rivals, Todd Evans and Jack Pearce blocking the attack of Ferre Edwards on 21 minutes, and three minutes later the Scholars were ahead. A ball in from the right was deflected away by keeper Mark Simms and Chad Degville was there to fire the loose ball high into the net.

The Reds’ response was immediate with Dale Faultless diving low to stop a shot from the speedy Stefanos Ioannou, and Chasetown continued to impress with Zach Cogger going close only to see his shot forced out for a corner by Edwards and Pearce blocking Gage Eme’s shot on 38 minutes.

The hosts held onto their lead until half time, with Cogger unfortunately suffering a neck injury following a challenge in the closing moments of the half.

The scores were levelled just four minutes after the break when Walcott fired a low shot past the diving Faultless into the far corner, and the Reds began to push ever harder to take the lead.

Troy Hemus tried a speculative shot for the Scholars and Degville looked for a second but fired over, while substitute Mark Potts was stopped by Edwards at the point of shooting as Chasetown tried hard to restore their lead.

It was the Reds who were next to find the target, however, as a well-placed header on 68 minutes cleared the Scholars defence allowing Walcott to fire his second goal past Faultless.

An appeal for a penalty was then turned down after some apparent pushing in the area following a Scholars corner, and a further corner from Theo Robinson was headed just wide by Jack Farmer. The visitors kept up the pressure, however, and managed to hang on for victory as Chasetown began to tire in the closing minutes.

Chasetown: Faultless, Farmer, Hemus, Lane, Evans, Pearce, Degville, Westwood, Cogger, Robinson, Wright. Subs: Potts (Cogger 45), Black (Lane 74), Becque, Scragg (Wright 60), Moorhouse, Gaur, Wiggins.
FC United of Manchester: Simms, Shambaer, Banda, Clarke, Buckley, Edwards, Ioannou, Booth, Eme, Walcott, Cheetham. Subs: Guthrie (Buckley 70), Williams, Francis, Bright (Clarke 41).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Supporters bus available for Kendal Town trip to FC United of Manchester

Source: Westmorland Gazette

5:29pm Wednesday 18th November 2009

By Patrick O'Kane

Kendal Town supporters wishing to travel to next Saturday's game against FC United of Manchester at Gigg Lane, Bury, should contact the club.

Fans can leave messages declaring their plan to travel on the bus on the club's fans' forum page.

Tickets for the bus cost £10 for adult non-members and £8 for supporters club members and children.

Any supporters travelling on the bus should be at Parkside Road for noon next Saturday, November 28.

At present only one bus is travelling to the match so tickets will go on a first come first serve basis.

It’s full time for football liasion police officer Tony

Source: Bury Times

10:59am Wednesday 18th November 2009

A police officer has blown the final whistle on his career after spending almost a decade keeping an eye on the terraces at Bury FC.

PC Tony Brown has retired from Greater Manchester Police after 20 years.

Much of his work involved keeping visitors to Gigg Lane safe in his role as Bury FC’s football liaison officer.

The officer joined GMP in 1990 after serving with the Military Police and all his career was spent working on Bury division which included an eight year stint as a neighbourhood officer in Ramsbottom.

He travelled the country with Bury FC and helped establish FC United at Gigg Lane in 2005.

He said: “I have enjoyed every minute of my career and have made many lifelong friends in the community, football and in the force.

“I am looking forward to spending more time with my family. However, I will miss the camaraderie between officers and staff at Bury. I will also miss the challenges the job brings and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from successfully tackling criminals and making the borough safer.”

Bury FC secretary, Jill Neville said: “We wish Tony the best for the future and I can speak for everyone at the club when I say we have always thought of him as more of a good friend rather than a work colleague.”

Bury divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Jon Rush commented: “Tony has been a great asset to this division and will be missed by his many friends and colleagues in Bury.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WONDER SAVE: Hucknall Town penalty heartbreak - VIDEO

Source: The Star

Published Date: 17 November 2009
By Bob Westerdale

WATCH this super save which stopped Hucknall Town from a chance to draw level after they had trailed 3-0 to FC United of Manchester.
The Notts side looked well and truly out of last Saturday's Unibond League, Premier Division game at half time.

A stirring rally brought them two goals - and the chance to level or even win as the tide turned their way.

But Laurie Wilson's hard-hit spot-kick was sensationally saved by FC keeper Sam Ashton, much to the delight of 400 travelling Mancunians.

Watch Sam Ashton's double-handed save - this video can also be viewed on the iPhone. CLICK HERE.

Retford United are currently top of the division with Stocksbridge Park Steels in fifth. Worksop Town are 15th.

Do you have any amazing video clips of sporting action during your local league matches? E-mail us video clips, up to 8mb, or above that send your links

Monday, November 16, 2009

Football round-up and FC United tickets to be won

Edited from: Manchester Confidential
In the Unibond Premier League there was happier news for FC United, who clung on to a half time 3-0 lead at Hucknall Town to run out eventual 3-2 winners – though only after goalkeeper Sam Ashton had saved a penalty.for the Rebels, and the team had endured a nail-biting final few minutes after Tyreisse Nightingale (Is this crazy name week? Ed) grabbed a second for the hosts. Former Old Trafford striker Phil Marsh had earlier bagged a first half brace for FC.

The win pulls the Rebels up to sixteenth place in the Unibond Premier with two or three games in hand over their rivals following the team’s unprecedented FA Cup run. A few wins under their belt might make a promotion challenge look feasible.

FC’s next Unibond Premier League home game is against Kendal Town on November 28, and we have two tickets to offer Confidential readers, plus the chance to meet manager Karl Marginson and his men - courtesy of those nice chaps who run the club.

For the chance to win them, all you have to do is fill in the form below. Closing date is noon next Monday, 23 November. (click the link to the original article (top of page) to access the form - ed).

Back to the drawing board for beaten Town

Source: Hucknall Today

Published Date: 16 November 2009

HUCKNALL Town can expect a couple of stringent training sessions this week after failing to build on their superb victory at high-flying Retford United.
Town thought they had put their dismal run of form behind them last midweek when winning 2-1 at Retford, who are now the Unibond League, Premier Division leaders.

But instead they took another step backwards when suffering a 3-2 defeat at home to lowly FC United Of Manchester at Watnall Road on Saturday (November 14) – and also missing a penalty.

The outcome was effectively sealed in the first half when United, who began the game in the relegation zone, surged into a 3-0 lead.

Phil Marsh picked up a loose ball to slot home from 12 yards in the eighth minute. Jake Cottrell doubled the lead on 27 when Town failed to clear a cross from the left. And man-of-the-match Marsh netted again, from close range, in first half injury-time.

The Yellows rallied after the break in front of their biggest crowd of the season of 573, which was swelled by more than 300 travelling fans supporting the visitors.

Recalled striker Antwon Bonnick cut the deficit on 67 when firing home from 15 yards. And they should have scored again eight minutes later when Laurie Wilson's spot-kick was brilliantly tipped round a post by United 'keeper Sam Ashton.

Town did finally pull another back three minutes from time, through top scorer Tyeisse 'TJ' Nightingale. But it came too late to salvage a point.

The Yellows now face a difficult trip to third-placed Ashton United in their next Unibond match this coming Saturday (November 21).

TOWN LINE-UP (4-4-2) – Haystead/ Walters C., Shiels, Hawes, Meikle/ Wiggins-Thomas, Ward, Wilson, Hawkridge/ Nightingale Bonnick. Subs: McCormick, Smedley, Kelly, Pembleton, Ibrahim.

Friday, November 13, 2009

YELLOWS PREVIEW: health scare ahead of FC United clash

Source: Hucknall Today

Published Date: 13 November 2009
PIG-sick Hucknall Town are hoping they don't get struck down by swine flu on the eve of their eagerly-awaited clash with rebel club FC United Of Manchester at Watnall Road on Saturday (November 14).
The match is sure to attract Watnall Road's biggest crowd of the season because FC United always take hundreds of fans with them for away games. And it will be a big boost for The Yellows to ease their cashflow problems.

But illness could yet affect the contest after Town manager Bryan Chambers revealed that winger Nathan Kelly has been struck down with the notorious swine flu bug.

Kelly was sick on the Watnall Road pitch after going on as a 79th-minute substitute during The Yellows' 1-1 draw with Nantwich Town on Saturday November 7. He was also sick after the game.

Chambers said: "His mum phoned me the day after and told me he has swine flu. Hopefully no-one else has picked it up off him, although Gary Sucharewycz has had a bit of flu recently.

"I hope we don't get an epidemic in the squad because then the kids from the academy will definitely have to come in!"

FC United and their travelling bandwagons will roll up hoping, like Town, for a good result to get their season going.

For they have flattered to deceive so far this term and sit in the relegation zone of the Unibond League, Premier Division. They have 17 points from 14 games, having won five, drawn two and lost seven.

Managed by Karl Marginson, FC United were formed in 2005 by disillusioned Manchester United supporters who were unhappy at Malcolm Glazer's USA takeover at Old Trafford.

Marginson, a former player with Blackpool and Rotherham United, has been manager since FC United were founded.

They play at Gigg Lane, the home of Coca-Cola League Two side Bury, where they have an average attendance of 1,969 in the league this season.

At three of their eight homes games, the crowd has swelled above 2,000.
In their six away games, the average crowd figure is 743, with two of the games seeing crowds above 1,000.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Rebels slump further

Source: Manchester Evening News

November 09, 2009

FC United have slipped to second-bottom of the Unibond Premier League after a 1-0 home defeat to Buxton, writes SAM WILLIAMS.

The Rebels dominated for long periods of the game, but were undone in the 52nd minute when a mix-up allowed Buxton ace Gavin Knight to chip Sam Ashton from 20 yards.

"We didn't deserve to lose the game," said boss Karl Marginson.

"On another day, we would have scored three or four and gone away with the three points."

Phil Marsh, Simon Carden, and Tong all had good opportunities to equalise but Buxton stood firm.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Some changes are just too hard to swallow

Source: Irish Times

The Irish Times - Saturday, November 7, 2009

SOCCER ANGLES: Some supporters have been so disillusioned with the direction their clubs have taken, they have walked away and formed their own, writes MICHAEL WALKER

THERE ARE weeks when you simply feel like walking away. This is one of them. This has been one of those weeks when you feel old, out of time and beyond comeback. You feel that the accumulation of dissatisfaction at the way the game has gone, and at who is leading it wherever, means that you will never be able to recover the enthusiasm that brought you grinning with anticipation to the grounds in the first place.

There are small landmarks along the way that you notice individually and collectively. You shake your head but you move on because that is what you do.

Sponsorship on shirts – that was a big moment (just how clean and attractive did Liverpool’s sponsor-less jerseys look in Lyon on Wednesday night?). And for all of us there comes a point where you start asking yourself about the whole thing, the game as a whole.

Does it matter to you in its morphed form the way it used to? Why is it frequently so irritating? Why do businessmen keep wanting to change it to cover up mistakes they have made? It shouldn’t be like this. We should be revelling in the intrigue of the most interesting Premier League season, arguably, since its inception 17 years ago. Manchester City and Liverpool are almost worthy of daily commentaries on their own – and often receive them.

There is a puzzling feel to Manchester United’s form, while Arsenal’s upsurge will be measured afresh when they host Chelsea at Ashburton Grove at the end of the month.

Ashburton Grove. This is one of the streets that circles Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. For a short time, prior to the selling of ‘naming rights’, that is how Arsenal’s new home was known – Ashburton Grove.

For those inclined not to refer to limited companies when they discuss goings on at grounds, Ashburton Grove fulfilled/fulfils a purpose. Keeps you connected.

But already you sense that year by year, as Emirates embeds itself in the collective consciousness, references to Ashburton Grove will dwindle.

Emirates, an airline, have signed a 15-year deal with Arsenal to sponsor the stadium. Fifteen years is a long time and in the continual loop of 24-hour football coverage it means that the word Emirates must be mentioned nationally dozens of times a day, maybe hundreds of times on matchdays.

Does this make you want to get to Heathrow pronto? I don’t know, but it does means that the term Emirates will be linked, in fact entwined, with Arsenal to all of those born this century.

It will then be up to others to explain Highbury, marble and Herbert Chapman.

When we were young we learned this by osmosis. Presumably this is the same process the branding people are relying upon when they persuade businesses to attach themselves to sport. To some of us Formula One is a cavalcade of advertising yet to many fans of that particular enterprise there seems to be no pause whatsoever sparked by the names of Red Bull, Renault and the like. Its part of their scene, part of their culture.

There has never been the same prominence in football, but that is changing and not only at St James’ Park stadium. (Wow).

Giovanni Trapattoni’s former club were Red Bull Salzburg and once we got over the initial chuckle about that, references to Red Bull Salzburg became commonplace.

What was mentioned less was the club called Austria Salzburg. It was founded in 1933 and formed the basis of what is now Red Bull Salzburg. Red Bull changed the club’s colours to match theirs and the new management reportedly decreed: “This is a new club with no history.” Alienated Austria Salzburg supporters said no thanks to this and, as with FC United of Manchester, waltzed off with determination and pride to form their own new club – called, once again, Austria Salzburg. Starting in the seventh tier of Austrian football, they are now in tier four.

Just as fans of AFC Wimbledon – and FC United – have proved, it can be done. These people had such a strong feeling that the game they loved was wrong, so they walked away. This is intense emotion and at its beginning must entail a thrilling release. It’s sustaining it that must be problematic.

Because the mainstream goes on and you have bought your ticket out of it. And then you look over your shoulder and find that not only is it still going on, it’s bloody interesting too.

But look closer and the problems surface. Bolton Wanderers left Burnden Park for the Reebok Stadium 12 years ago. Last season the average home gate was 22,500, Bolton finished 13th bringing this season a ninth consecutive year in the Premier League. But on Thursday they released their latest financial figures showing they are £60 million in debt.

Why? Essentially because Bolton pay their players too well. This means debt which in turn has led chairman Phil Gartside to seek extra revenue. He is proposing that Rangers and Celtic be allowed into a reconfigured Premier League 2 so that clubs fighting for survival in the existing Premier League have a bigger safety net.

But here’s a question: why not pay your players less? If they don’t accept that, get others. If they’re worse, then accept relegation. Be self-sufficient. Don’t change the league to suit you.

But no. Instead of self-sufficiency, it’s all about how matters as important as the name of Stamford Bridge can be altered as the economic scramble goes on. And who benefits, and for what?

Drogba a good reason to watch

DIDIER DROGBA is 6 to 1 to be first scorer in the Chelsea-Manchester United match tomorrow. That’s the same Drogba who has scored in eight of his last nine Chelsea appearances and who struck another two goals at Atletico Madrid this week.

If there were a vote now for Player of the Season, Drogba would be a contender along with Vermaelen at Arsenal and Bellamy at Manchester City. Drogba’s equaliser at Stoke was as beautiful as it was brutal.

We have known the man from the Ivory Coast for over five years since his £24 million transfer from Marseilles in those early Jose Mourinho days. On many occasions he has been correctly criticised for his willingness to go to ground and his emotional volatility – hence his Uefa ban this season.

But as was the case with Robert Pires when he was at Arsenal, the longer he stayed, the more we appreciated what he brought. It is the same with Drogba: he is some player, some leader and some scorer. A reason to watch.

Rebels focus on promotion

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

November 06, 2009
KARL Marginson says that FC United must now turn their attention fully to the main objective of their season - gaining promotion to the Blue Square North.

Despite their exploits in cup competitions, the Rebels have had an indifferent start to their Unibond Premier League campaign and sit in 17th place, albeit with games in hand on the sides around them.

However, Marginson believes that his side can kick-start their title challenge against Buxton at Gigg Lane tomorrow (3pm).

“The league is any team’s bread and butter and it’s paramount to us this season,” said Marginson.

“We have to focus on the league games coming up now, and the sooner we start climbing the table, the better,” he added.

Buxton are currently second-bottom of the league, but Marginson thinks that position doesn’t do John Reed’s side justice and is taking nothing for granted ahead of their clash.

“They’re in a similar situation to us, in that they’ve done well in the cup competition so they have games in hand in the league,” said the FC boss.

“Just as we believe that we’re in a false league position at the moment, Buxton probably think the same.

“They’re a good, experienced side who will put us under a lot of pressure,” he added.

Marginson does not feel that Wednesday’s hard-fought extra time victory over Lancaster will have any effect on his players’ fitness against Buxton, and he may also have Rob Nugent back as the defender recovers from a dead leg.

“The lads will have had the best part of three days off so they’ll be raring to go again,” said the manager.

“I think Rob might be available, but Dave Chadwick and Danny Warrender are both still struggling” he added.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Buckley gaffe forces Daisy AFC replay

Source: The Bolton News

10:30am Friday 6th November 2009
By Gordon Sharrock »

FOOTBALL: Daisy Hill have been ordered to replay their Division One game against AFC Liverpool, which they won 5-4 in September, because they fielded a player who should have been serving a suspension.

John Buckley, who is on loan at New Sirs from FC United and scored a hat-trick in Daisy’s win, was handed a seven-day suspension in the summer after accruing five cautions playing for FC’s Youth team and Mancat College last season.

None of the clubs were aware the suspension had been handed down, nor was the player, but it was later discovered that the he was ineligible for the game. Daisy Hill have been fined by the Lancashire FA while Buckley has been fined and handed an additional three-match suspension.

The NW Counties League have ordered that all record of the September 5 fixture be declared null and void and have ordered the game to be replayed.

Daisy Hill secretary Bob Naylor insisted neither the club nor the player were aware that he was ineligible for the game.

“We’ve fallen foul of circumstances beyond our control,” he said.

Meanwhile, Daisy Hill are on weather watch in the build-up to tomorrow’s Division One game at home to Chadderton.

Heavy rain forced the postponement of their Co-Operative Lancashire Trophy tie at Marine on Tuesday night and with more wet weather forecast, many of this weekend’s NW Counties fixtures are under threat.

Division One rivals Atherton Collieries are at home to mid-table Cheadle Town, kick off 3pm, and Premier Division Atherton LR whose midweek home fixture against Glossop North End was their third postponement of the autumn, travel to lowly Ashton Athletic.

Rovers League Cup replay against Daisy Hill has been arranged for Tuesday, November 17 at Crilly Park, which has forced the postponement of the league game against Winsford, which was scehduled for that date.

The home game against Bacup Borough, which was scheduled for November 24, has been brought forward to Tuesday, November 10, but LR still have four home and two away matches to be rearranged.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

FA Trophy: FC United trip for Town in next round

Source: Harrogate Today

Published Date: 05 November 2009
HARROGATE Town will travel to Manchester United rebel side FC United in the FA Trophy after FC's 1-0 victory over Lancaster City last night.

Simon Weaver's side will play the contest in front of a bumper crowd at Gigg Lane, home of Bury FC.

The game will be played on November 21.

United waste Trophy chance

Source: Bury Times

FC United threw away a two-goal lead as Lancaster City forced a replay in their FA Trophy clash.

The UniBond League Division One North outfit led 3-1 with seven minutes left at the Giant Axe in the second qualifying round tie.

But Lancaster, from the league below, struck twice late on to send the game to a replay.

The two sides were due to meet again last night with a home draw against Harrogate Town, bottom of the Blue Square North, awaiting the winner.

“We should have seen the game through, but we didn’t kill it off and that’s something the players have to learn to do very quickly,” said manager Karl Marginson.

Rob Nugent, David Chadwick and Danny Warrender were all doubts for the replay with Lancaster and could all miss Saturday’s home league game with Buxton.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

FC United 1 Lancaster City 0 (AET)

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

November 04, 2009

FC United are through to the FA Trophy third qualifying round after beating 10-man Lancaster 1-0 after extra time in last night’s second round replay at Gigg Lane.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 13th minute when midfielder Chris Ward recklessly challenged Jerome Wright from behind.

FC predictably dominated possession with the extra man. However they failed to seriously test Martin Fearon throughout the remainder of the first half.

The home side began the second half on the front foot and Adam Tong forced Fearon into a great save in the 49th minute.

The Rebels continued to press in search of the elusive opening goal and substitute Simon Carden went close 15 minutes from time, but the visitors stood firm to force extra time.

The breakthrough finally came in the 93rd minute as Ben Deegan headed home Jerome Wright’s cross to set up a home tie against Harrogate Town on Saturday, November 21.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Source: Daily Star

THERE has been the dive, the one-hand salute, the aeroplane and the cartwheel somersault, but a clip of a non-league football player doing something else has been found.

Matt Russell, playing for Castleton Gabriels in 2005, scored a goal against FC United midway through the first-half.

Despite trailing 3-0, he ran away from his team mates to celebrate on his own by jumping over advertising boards and sat down in an empty stand.

He then started clapping, as if he was a supporter applauding the goal he had just seen.

Unfortunately, his celebration failed to grab the headlines - FC United won 10-2.

Lancaster City 3-3 FC United

Source: Lancaster Guardian

Published Date: 02 November 2009

Sharrock 45, 86, Connerton 83
Yoffe 15, 21, Roca 75
AN 86TH MINUTE equaliser from Roger Sharrocks kept Lancaster City in the FA Trophy at Giant Axe on Saturday.

Sharrock's second goal of the game and a superb strike from Jordan Connerton silenced FC United's travelling masses and forced a replay at
Gigg lane, to be played this Wednesday.

The Dolly Blues got off to a nervy start, and were punished, they were two-nil down after 21 minutes.

First Joseph Yoffe caught City's back-line flat-footed, latching on to Jake Cottrell's pass he clipped a neat shot in off the right-hand post.

Six minutes later Yoffe struck again, the usually impeccable Martin Fearon fumbled a cross which fell at the striker's feet for an easy finish.

City did force a couple of good chances; first Paul Jarvis stung the 'keeper's gloves with a rasping effort, then Mike Rushton's shot was tipped onto the woodwork by Sam Ashton in the FC United net, he stood no chance of saving Connerton's header but again the bar denied City.

Fearon atoned for his earlier error with a stunning double save to deny Cotterell and then Phil Marsh as the game flew from end to end.

City finished the half on a high, nerves seemingly banished they started playing football and deservedly pulled a goal back through Roger Sharrock who poked home Connerton's fumbled strike.

The Dolly Blues showed excellent fighting spirit in a cracking second-half. They had the lion's share of the ball and territory and it looked like broken hearts all round when Carlos Roca hit a stunning third for the visitors.

However City do not give up this season, and they still pressed and pressed forward. Connerton, who else, hit back in style on 83 minutes.
Deftly taking Adam Farrell's pass with his heel he swivelled and half-volleyed an unstoppable effort into the net.

Sharrock secured the replay three minutes later after he found space and converted Max Rothwell's pass.

LANCASTER CITY: Fearon 6, Henry 7, Marshall 7, Teague 7, Stringfellow 7 (Rothwell 80), Ward D 8, Rushton 7 (Farrell 65), Ward C 7 (Wilson 80), Connerton 8, Jarvis 7, Sharrock 7
Subs not used: Beesley, Heffernan

FC UNITED: Ashton, Warrender, Qusitin, Moses, Tong, Nugent, Roca (Mack 84), Cottrell, Yoffe, Wright, Marsh (Deegan 69)
Subs not used: Carden, Garner, Neville

Referee Chris Backhouse

Attendance 743

STARMAN Dominic Ward Never stops running, some key interceptions

Monday, November 02, 2009

Injury worries for FC United

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

November 02, 2009
FC UNITED may be without the injured Rob Nugent, Dave Chadwick and Danny Warrender for their FA Trophy replay with Lancaster on Wednesday.

The defensive trio all picked up knocks in Saturday's thrilling second qualifying round tie which finished 3-3.

The Rebels led 3-1 with just seven minutes remaining, but a late fight-back from the home side saw them draw level to set up the replay at Gigg Lane.

"We should have seen the game through, but we didn't kill it off and that's something the players have to learn to do very quickly," said FC boss Karl Marginson.

Joe Yoffe bagged a brace inside the opening 21 minutes for the Rebels.

Roger Sharrock pulled one back for Lancaster, but Carlos Roca looked to have put the tie beyond them with a superb effort 15 minutes from time.

However, goals from Jordan Connerton and Sharrock in the final minutes snatched an unlikely draw

Debutant Neil Chappell was a two-goal hero for Salford City as they eased into the third qualifying round with a 5-3 victory over Clitheroe.

Leigh and Witton Albion also went through, while Mossley will host Brackley on Tuesday in a replay.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Marginson has Wembley in mind

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

October 30, 2009
FC United can get their season back on track with a win at Lancaster in the FA Trophy second qualifying round, according to manager Karl Marginson.

The Rebels travel to the Giant Axe on Saturday following successive defeats to Northwich and North Ferriby, but Marginson believes his side can progress despite their recent blip.

“We conceded a poor goal early on at North Ferriby but then controlled the game,” said Marginson.

“That defeat is a kick up the backside for the players and I’m confident that we can go through,” he added.

FC go into the tie against the Unibond First Division North outfit as favourites, and Marginson thinks that will benefit his players.

“It suits us because we’ve learned to live with that tag in most of our games over the last four years,” he said.

Despite the divisional difference between the sides, Marginson expects Lancaster to provide a tough test for the Rebels as they have lost just one of their last 11 games in all competitions.

“They’re a very good team who are averaging about three goals a game at the moment, so we’ll need to work very hard and try to put them under pressure early,” said the FC boss.

Marginson, won the Trophy as a player with Macclesfield and admits he would relish the chance to lead out his FC side at Wembley next May.

“Anyone would love to go all the way,” he said, “it’s probably bigger than the FA Cup for non-league clubs because we have a realistic chance of getting to Wembley,” he said.

FC will welcome Danny Warrender back to their squad for the game after the defender came through training on Wednesday.

"Having Danny back is a big boost for us," said Marginson.

Hornets' fans run for fun and charity

Source: Rochdale Online

Date published: 30/10/2009

Fans of Rochdale Hornets put their best foot forward with a family fun run in aid of children’s charity, MedEquip4Kids.

The rugby club took part in a 5.8k sponsored fun run around Chorlton Meadows, organised by community-run club, FC United.

The money raised by Rochdale Hornets supporters will be split between MedEquip4Kids and the rugby club.

Prizes were awarded for fastest adult and fastest junior along with best fancy dress and other fun categories.

The first ‘minithon’ took place last year when FC United raised £20,000 with 100 supporters taking part. This minithon was an even bigger event as the club opened the event to fans of Rochdale Hornets and members of Trafford Athletics Club to raise money for MedEquip4Kids and their own clubs.

MedEquip4Kids provides specialist paediatric medical equipment for use in hospitals and community health teams across the region. The equipment is specifically for use in children’s wards and neo-natal units to ensure children and babies are receiving the best possible care when sick or injured.

Non-league preview

Edited from: Manchester Evening News


FC United travel to Lancaster's Giant Axe in the FA Trophy second round on the back of consecutive defeats against Northwich and North Ferriby.

From The Bolton News

Edited from: The Bolton News


FC United will have to overcome the disappointment of back-to-back defeats when they travel to Lancaster in the FA Trophy.

The Rebel Reds’ dreams of FA Cup glory were dashed when strikes Mark Danks, an Adam Tong own goal and Wayne Riley condemned them to a 3-0 defeat at Northwich Victoria.

“We’ve had a great run,” said FC manager Karl Marginson. “Credit to the lads for getting so far.”

There will be extra spice for the Vodkat League Cup second round clash at the weekend when Daisy Hill host Atherton LR.

Daisy, who have had an encouraging start to their season in the Vodkat North West Counties First Division, will be after upsetting their neighbours who play in a higher division.

Atherton Colls are in league action where they will be after precious league points at Oldham Boro, a side also desperate to haul themselves away from the bottom of the First Division.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rebels must bounce back

Source: Bury Times

12:10pm Wednesday 28th October 2009
By Marc Higginson

FC United will have to overcome the disappointment of back-to-back defeats when they travel to Lancaster in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

The Rebel Reds’ dreams of FA Cup glory were dashed on Saturday when strikes by Mark Danks, an Adam Tong own goal and Wayne Riley condemned them to a 3-0 defeat at Northwich Victoria.

“We’ve had a great run,” said FC manager Karl Marginson. “Credit to the lads for getting so far.”

A miserable week continued on Tuesday night when the breakaway club were beaten 1-0 at North Ferriby in the UniBond Premier Division, with Carlos Roca missing a penalty and Dave Neville being sent-off.

Meanwhile, Marginson has strengthened his ranks with the signing of Guadeloup international midfielder Ludovic Quistin from Zamaretto League Premier Division side Hednesford Town.

Quistin, who is reputedly the cousin of Arsenal and France defender William Gallas, has played for several non-League clubs in England but most notably Weston-super-Mare, King’s Lynn, Boston United and Tamworth.

Foot steers Ferriby to victory


Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 06:00

NORTH Ferriby skipper Paul Foot led his side to a third successive win as his first-minute goal helped secure a 1-0 win over FC United of Manchester.

Foot may have broken the deadlock early on, but it proved to be enough for his UniBond Premier Division play-off hopefuls.

However, it could have been a different story if former Oldham midfielder Carlos Roca had put away a second-half penalty.

But after the referee harshly awarded the spot-kick against Liam Chapman, the tricky right winger blasted it against the post.

The Villagers should already have been 2-0 ahead, but striker Alex Davidson wasted a shooting opportunity when he broke through just before half-time.

And the 20-year-old's luck did not improve after the break when he fired wide after earning a one-on-one chance.

After coming on as a late sub, Mark Whitehouse should also have done better when put through for his first chance but he saw goalkeeper Sam Ashton close him down quickly and snuffed the shot out.

That meant the Villagers had to endure an anxious spell of pressure towards the end of a match which they should have won more easily.

But the three points have taken Neil Allison's side up to eighth in the table, with games in hand on some of their rivals.

North Ferriby 1 FC United 0

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

October 27, 2009

FC United slumped to defeat at North Ferriby in the Unibond Premier League on Tuesday night.

The Rebels never recovered after falling behind in the first minute when North Ferriby captain Paul Foot rose unchallenged to head home from a corner.

The home side should have doubled their lead soon after but striker Alex Davidson blazed over with only Sam Ashton to beat.

Ben Deegan spurned FC’s best chance of the first half five minutes before the break as his effort was tipped over the bar.

FC were handed a golden opportunity to equalise just after half time as Phil Marsh was brought down in the area, but Carlos Roca hit the post with the penalty.

The below-par Rebels failed to create any other clear cut chances throughout the second half and were reduced to ten men in injury time after Dave Neville was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Danny Moran on a mini-riot at Northwich Vic with FC United and the fan who got away with the cuffs

Source: Manchester Confidential

Few reasonable football fans would dispute that FC United - the club formed by disaffected Manchester United fans in the wake of the Malcolm Glazer takeover - have been a breath of fresh air in the football world. Owned by the fans and committed to the finest ideals, they play football the way it should be played, backed by an army of joyously full-throated supporters.

Having progressed rapidly from their inception in the North West Counties Second Division (the tenth tier of England’s ‘football pyramid’) to the Unibond Premier League (the seventh) the current season has seen the club embark on an unprecedented FA cup run, defeating Sheffield FC, North Ferriby United and Stalybridge Celtic of the Conference North en route to a place in the fourth qualifying round and the chance of a first round draw against Football League opposition.

Saturday’s tie at Northwich Victoria saw the Rebels up against Northwich Victoria of the Conference North, but on a day of mixed weather everything seemed to go wrong. On a greasy pitch, both teams struggled to keep the ball on the ground, and FC found themselves caught between their footballing ideals and the need to grind out a result, typified by winger Carlos Roca’s constant struggles to keep his footing. The Vics meanwhile (managed by former Bury boss Andy Preece) stuck to a more prosaic game plan, muscling in from the start and feeding the ball through to forwards Mark Danks and Lee Elam as quickly as possible. FC held out until the fifty-seventh minute when FC captain Dave Chadwick conceded a penalty, bringing down Lee Elam as he broke into the box. Danks converted from the spot. Eight minutes from time, Adam Tong turned a Danks cross into his own net. The FC fans, in typical fashion, responded by singing the unfortunate centre half’s name.

It was when the third goal went in that things went awry. As FC pushed up, Northwich caught them on the break, Elam setting up substitute Wayne Riley to tap in from close range. As the Vics striker sallied by the FC fans he raised his finger to his lips to quell the away supporters, who had been dominant all afternoon. In response, two or three fans ran onto the pitch. One was led away. The other fought with the steward who intercepted him, then with the police who attempted to restrain him, first with handcuffs and then finally with leg restraints.

What happened next should serve as a warning to the excesses of self-righteousness in the stands. Emboldened by the lack of policing a crowd of fifty to a hundred FC supporters gathered round the fracas in a bid to defend ‘one of their own’ - succeeding finally in freeing the miscreant, who eventually was able to flee, albeit with a handcuff intact.

Shushing, ear-cupping and celebrating in front of opposition supporters have been all the rage this season. In August Southampton’s Ricky Lambert celebrated a penalty conversion against former club Stockport County with no little comedy (he stuck is bum out and it was funny) In September Emmanuel Adebayor ran the length of the pitch to acclaim the Arsenal fans who had rejected him, so revealing the extent of his professional insecurities.

The current popularity of the gesture might be traced back to Jose Mourinho’s reaction to the Liverpool crowd in the 2005 Carling Cup Final. Mourinho, of course, always loved to ham it up. And there’s the thing - it’s part of the pantomime. The bad guys score and then they leer. Under circumstances such as Saturday’s the authorities are understandably trying to stamp it out, but in some ways it will be a shame to see it go. When it does it will be the fault of the fans and no one else. The appropriate response – loosely speaking - is to boo and hiss.

On Sunday it came almost as a rebuke to the Murdoch-trashing grassroots to watch the beach balls rain down comically on Sky TV - as ‘Big United’ took on Liverpool at Anfield. Rafa Benitez’s superbly orchestrated victory over the man who so successfully got under his skin last term may put a temporary end to questions regarding his tenure, but the gulf between last season’s top two cannot have been more heavily underlined this past week.

Benitez’s side now lie a mere four points behind United, who also sport a depleted and unfinished team (we could argue as to the extent). But while in Manchester Fergie can afford to sit and wait until a new team comes together – possibly until the season after this – Benitez will feel the pinch whenever results go against him. A further bad run could see the wheels come off completely.

Monday, October 26, 2009

FC United are on their way up

Source: The Sun

From NEIL CUSTIS at Marston Arena

FA CUP dreams may be over but FC United claim their meteoric rise up the pyramid will continue.

The club, born out of frustration with the Glazers' takeover of Old Trafford, played the biggest game of their four-year history on Saturday.

A 3-0 defeat at Northwich robbed them of a place in the first round proper.

But roared on by 2,000 visiting fans in a crowd of 2,615, they will now turn their attention to another promotion with League football their ultimate aim.

FC United currently inhabit the seventh tier of English football in the UniBond League Premier Division.

This after three straight promotions was halted by a sixth-place last season.

They are guided by manager Karl Marginson, or "Margentina" as the FC faithful chant.

An ex-player with Macclesfield, he, like the rest of the club's founding members, was a Stretford End stalwart who was disaffected by the Glazers plunging United into £700million debt.

FC United is not anti-United - it is simply anti-Glazer.

The fans still sing United songs and Marginson said: "We all have feelings for the club.

"It was a tough and emotional decision for a lot of people not to go to Old Trafford any more.

"I couldn't stand seeing my club, that won the European Cup in 1999 and was worth £1billion, go into massive debt.

"They make profits of £80million a year, yet half of that goes straight out the window, not to pay off that debt, just to service the interest. It's ridiculous."

Their top attendance has been an incredible 6,023 for a match with Great Harwood Town in April 2006.

The club groundshares with Bury FC but is in talks with Manchester council to get a ground of their own.

Northwich, a league above in Blue Square North, blew away FC United in the second half with a Mark Danks penalty, Adam Tong own-goal and Wayne Riley stoppage-time strike.

Read more:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

FC United of Manchester's FA Cup dream ended by Northwich Victoria

Source: The Guardian

Northwich Victoria 3-0 FC United of Manchester

* David Hopps at the Victoria Ground
*, Saturday 24 October 2009 19.58 BST

At the Victoria Ground, tucked behind Northwich Asphalt, a little piece of football history stubbornly failed to materialise. This was the day that Football Club of Manchester, the grassroots club formed by disaffected Manchester United supporters, imagined that they might reach the FA Cup first round for the first time. Instead, the game turned against them on a disputed penalty, a tough reminder that it is one thing to begin to lay the asphalt, quite another to extend the road to its final destination.

Eric Cantona even expressed the hope last year that the club might win the European Cup in 50 years' time, but upward momentum was halted, temporarily at least, by Mark Danks, a former England U15 international and FA Trophy winner with Hednesford, who rolled in a 57th-minute penalty after Adam Tong had brought down Lee Elam. Tong's misery was complete eight minutes from time when he clumped an own goal past his goalkeeper.

Among FCUM's vociferous supporters, there was dismay. "I thought he got the ball," bemoaned one regular. "He normally gets the ball." There were chances to equalise, Jerome Wright bringing a fine save from Curtis Aspden, but as a rainbow briefly appeared above the asphalt plant, it was Northwich who retained hopes of an FA Cup pot of gold.

Three back-to-back promotions have taken FCUM to the Unibond League Premier Division. But it is getting harder. They lie only in mid-table this season and it had been their progress to the FA Cup fourth qualifying round that had brought the greatest cause for optimism this term. Their heroics against Stalybridge Celtic in the previous round are on YouTube. "Jerome Wright smacks the shit out of the ball to put FCUM into the fourth qualifying round,'' it says.

"We've had a great run,'' said FCUM's manager Karl Marginson. "Credit to the lads for getting so far.''

Since the club were formed in protest at the Malcolm Glazer takeover, with a commitment to one-member-one-vote and community involvement, it is amazing that others have not followed. Considering the Tom and Jerry routine of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, you would have thought that FC Liverpool would have been a gimme.

But it is not just Premier League clubs who can live a crazed existence. Northwich Victoria have 130 years of history, but they too are an example of what happens to a town's football club when they lose touch with the community, and with reality.

Northwich need the money more than FCUM do. The club is in administration, the Inland Revenue remain unhappy and creditors are being offered 25 per cent. The owner, Jim Rush, talks of having invested £350,000 since assuming control two years ago and promises that a consortium is on the verge of buying the Victoria Stadium for £1.5m.

The arrival of FCUM swelled the crowd to 2.615, the largest since Rush assumed control, and Northwich played enough decent football maybe to tempt back a few casual fans. The decision to segregate the supporters, though, caused a few problems with the half-time raffle. "Come and see me in the main stand for the winning ticket,'' said the PA announcer. "But maybe you can't get to me because of segregation. Bring a steward.''

FCUM's principles have rightly brought political approval. Earlier this year, Andy Burnham, in his time as minister for culture, media and sport, praised them for "defying the odds'' in setting up "a genuine democratic, community-based club".

There again, it is best not to get too carried away with political approval for the grassroots in a week when another former sports minister, Richard Caborn, the head of the 2018 World Cup bid committee, has spent a week overseeing the wooing of wives of the Fifa voting committee with Mulberry designer handbags.

Northwich, one tier above FCUM in the Conference North, fully merited this victory. As defeat became inevitable, behind the goal one banner proclaimed "FCUM – MUFC – I Got Love Enough For Two.'' But for how much longer?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Northwich Victoria manager Andy Preece praises defenders' contribution

Source: Northwich Guardian

6:52pm Saturday 24th October 2009

By Andrew Simpson

NORTHWICH Victoria’s resilience was the key to their victory over FC United of Manchester, according to Andy Preece.

The Vics boss told the Guardian that the hosts’ backline had proved to big a barrier to breach for their spirited guests.

“They were immense – a real rock for us,” he said of Vics’ defence.

“I felt there were times when we came under pressure but they stood firm.”

He paid special tribut to shot-stopper Curtis Aspden who, soon after Vics had taken the lead, stopped Jerome Wright’s goalbound effort.

The Rebels ran out of momentum afterwards, eventually losing 3-0.

“It was a massive moment when Curt makes the save to stop the shot,” admitted Preece.

“We switched off once and they had the quality to make a great opportunity. It’s a better save when you consider he’s had nothing to do for an hour before that.”

Indeed, the hosts fluffed three one-on-one chances with the visitors’ custodian Sam Ashton, two of those in the opening quarter hour.

Preece said: “We had a number of chances early on to get our noses in front.

“Their keeper did well and perhaps we did not finish as ruthlessly as we did. That meant we had to keep working hard to make chances.

“We got there in the end and I don’t think anybody can argue that we deserved our win, which is a big one.

“They came here in great form but all in all we restricted them to only one real chance – a great chance – but just the one.”

Vics’ extra quality told after the break following a turgid opening half.

Adam Tong put through is own goal trying to intercept Mark Danks’ clever cross to settle the outcome after Vics’ leading scorer had broke the deadlock from the penalty spot.

Sub Wayne Riley converted fellow replacement Jon Newby’s assist in stoppage time.

“I think we are very good when we have little bit more time on the ball,” said Preece.

“To be fair they didn’t give us any room to play in the first half but after the break we got hold of the ball more and were able to take control.

“That just opened them up a touch and in the end our extra quality told because we were able to get in front of goal more easier then they did.”

The game turned on referee David Coote’s choice to punish David Chadwick’s tackle on Lee Elam inside the penalty area on the hour.

The Rebels’ captain did not argue with the decision. Before that Elam had swapped passes with Jonny Allan to cut open the visitors’ fragile backline.

Danks scored his ninth goal in this season’s competition from the spot.

“The move to make the chance was great,” said Preece.

“If you slide in like that inside the box then you have to get the ball. It’s such a big decision as it could cost your team a place in the cup.

“Their guy put his hands on his head instead of protesting. I think that says everything.

“Mark Danks showed strength of character to step up though.

“He set up the second goal as well with a great ball across the penalty area and their defender could do nothing but turn it in.”

Vics’ reward is a place in tomorrow afternoon’s first round proper draw, due to be broadcast live on ITV 1.