Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ossett Town set for FC United of Manchester test

01 April 2009

By Nick Rigg

OSSETT Town boss Simon Collins is looking forward to seeing how his troops match up to FC United of Manchester in front of a bumper crowd at Gigg Lane tonight, kick-off 7.45pm.

The Manchester United breakaway club play in front of the biggest average crowds in the UniBond Premier League, with almost 2,000 fans attending their home matches this season.

And Collins is looking forward to seeing how his side will cope at Bury's Gigg Lane ground tonight.

Town are also looking to avenge the 4-0 defeat against Karl Marginson's men in the reverse fixture at Ingfield earlier this season.

"It's a big game going to a Football League ground and with them (FC United) being so well supported," he said.

"It's going to be interesting to see if the lads can stand up to the pressure of playing in that environment and whether they'll thrive on that kind of pressure.

"We certainly owe them one because they beat us convincing at our place, and I'm sure it'll be a much improved performance from that game."

FC United will be desperate to bag all three points as they sit on the edge of the UniBond Premier Division play-off spots with the season coming to its 'business end'.

But Town will be equally as desperate to pick up a positive performance to show how far they've come since the last time they met.

For match report and full preview ahead of this weekend's UniBond Premier League games, see Friday's Wakefield Express Sport and http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/.

Warrender blow for Rebels

March 31, 2009

FC UNITED have suffered a blow to their play-off hopes with key defender Danny Warrender out of Wednesday's Gigg Lane clash with Ossett Town (7.45).

The right back twisted an ankle while running in Heaton Park, but may be available for Saturday’s home game with North Ferriby United.

Adam Carden is expected to step in for Warrender, but manager Karl Marginson will otherwise name an unchanged team after a run of four wins and a draw have sent the Rebels surging towards the play-offs.

A win would put FC into the vital top five places, and with four of the last five games at home, Marginson says his team is hitting top form at just the right time.

“There’s a buzz about the dressing room better than anything since the club started,” he says.

“And we had captain Dave Chadwick on the bench when we won at Marine on Saturday, while players as good as Jamie Baguley, Dave Neville and Papis Dieyte didn’t even make it onto the bench. It’s a good indicator of strength in depth.”

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mariners sinking fast following ninth straight loss

Source: Liverpool Daily Post

Mar 30 2009 by Philip Kirkbride

IN FRONT of a record crowd and a ferocious atmosphere, FC United of Manchester inflicted a ninth straight defeat on Marine.

The Mariners have slipped to 13th place in the UniBond Premier Division following the defeat but will have taken heart from their first-half display in front of 1,146 fans.

Four goals in 11 manic minutes were befitting of the occasion with Simon Carden profiting from sloppy defending to open the scoring on 33 minutes.

Two minutes later and Marine rallied, Peter Cumiskey slid in Karl O’Donnell’s low cross before Wayne McDermott lashed a volley into the top corner a minute later to put the Crosby side 2-1 up.

However a minute before half-time, Carl Lomax bundled his way through on the home goal before firing past Sean Lake to make it 2-2.

The second half was less dramatic as FC United took control of proceedings and just past the hour Lomax was on hand to net his second and seal the win.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Non League round-up

5:45pm Sunday 29th March 2009


A Carl Lomax double earned FC United of Manchester a terrific win at Marine in a crunch clash on Merseyside.

The Reds took the lead on 34 minutes with a Simon Carden strike – only for Marine to reply immediately with two goals in 60 seconds through Peter Cumiskey and Wayne McDermott.

United fought back and Lomax equalised a minute before the break and added a second on 62 minutes.

Saturday’s win was the latest plus in a fantastic run of form for FC, who have gathered 13 points out of 15 since early March, restoring their promotion hopes.

With five games left, FC face Ossett Town at Gigg Lane on Wednesday and North Ferriby, again at home, on Saturday when entry will be free for under-18s.

Non-league round up

March 30, 2009

FC UNITED boss Karl Marginson backed his resolute Rebels to squeeze into the UniBond premier play-offs after seeing them step up their dramatic late promotion push by winning a see-saw battle at Marine.

Two Carl Lomax goals proved decisive in giving Marginson's men a hard-fought 3-2 victory after they'd allowed the mid-table Mariners to storm back from trailing to Simon Carden's 32nd minute opener to briefly lead 2-1. The win in Crosby takes FC up to sixth and to within a point of a play-off place with just five games remaining.

Said Marginson: "We had to dig deep, but we've got players who can do that and, when we perform, I feel we can get a positive result every time."

Meanwhile, Altrincham skipper Robbie Lawton admitted to feeling a mixture of elation and frustration after the Robins had succeeded in holding visiting promotion hopefuls Crawley to move tantalisingly close to guaranteeing their Blue Square North survival.

Michael Welch's goal-of-the-season contender - a 70-yard wonder-strike - and a Shaun Densmore volley secured Alty a 2-2 draw which means they're now just one win away from hitting boss Graham Heathcote's 50-point safety target with eight games still to go.

Elsewhere, seemingly relegation-bound Northwich showed they at least intend to go down fighting as they beat Rushden 4-2 to give caretaker-manager Andy Preece his first win in seven games. Vics made hard work of it after allowing the ten-man visitors to wipe out Joel Byrom's two-goal opening salvo but eventually triumphed with Byrom completing his hat-trick before Luke Joyce rounded off the scoring.

Stalybridge and Droylsden each suffered big promotion set-backs, with the Celts slipping out of the play-off places in crashing 1-0 at King's Lynn while the Bloods tumbled 2-0 at Telford to remain six points adrift of their Bower Fold neighbours.

Dejected Hyde United player-chief Neil Tolson conceded relegation's looming large for his troubled Tigers after they'd handed Harrogate a two-goal start before eventually succumbing 3-2 to the visiting Yorkshiremen.

"This was a game we had to win, but gifting Harrogate a two-goal lead left us with an impossible mountain to climb," he said.

Ashton United can kiss goodbye to the UniBond premier play-offs after going down 2-0 at home to Frickley.

Marine 2 FC United 3

3:23pm Sunday 29th March 2009

By Dale Haslam

A CARL Lomax double earned FC United of Manchester a terrific win at Marine in a pulsating crunch UniBond Premier Division clash on Merseyside.

The Reds took the lead on 34 minutes with a Simon Carden strike – only for Marine to reply immediately with two goals in 60 seconds through Peter Cumiskey and Wayne McDermott.

But United fought back and Lomax bagged an equaliser a minute before the break and added a second on 62 minutes.

The all-ticket occasion passed off peacefully despite fears rivalry could boil over after a controversial meeting between the two sides in December.

During that game, another 3-2 win for FC, then Marine player John Lawless was seen to taunt FC supporters over the Munich air diisaster. He was given a police caution and left Marine as a result.

Saturday's win was the latest plus in a fantastic run of form for FC, who have gathered 13 points out of 15 since early March, restoring their promotion hopes.

Defeats for sixth-placed Guiseley lifted United up a place to sixth, though all of FC's promotion rivals have at least one game in hand.

With just five games left, FC face Ossett Town at Gigg Lane on Wednesday and North Ferriby, again at home, on Saturday when it will be free entry for under-18s.

Five people arrested as FC United of Manchester take on Marine FC

Mar 28 2009 By Mark Johnson

FIVE people were arrested at Marine FC’s match against FC United of Manchester today.

Police made the alcohol related arrests before and during the game, outside of the Arriva stadium on College Road in Crosby.

The club never opened its bar for the game and the nearby Edinburgh pub was closed at 4pm following police advice, and re-opend at 5.45pm.

One further supporter was ejected from the stadium at half time.

Earlier in the day police arrested five people at Southport train station, which included FC United fans travelling in from Manchester.

Arrests were made for cannabis possession, breaking court bail conditions and for drunk and disorder.

Away fans travelling by train were advised to avoid entering Liverpool city centre and to head toward Southport where they could use the Northern Line route to get to Crosby.

The match saw the Arriva stadium’s biggest police presence in years with 21 officers, three sergeants, four mounted police, several dogs and a force helicopter deployed.

Shopkeepers near to the ground said they were closing up early to avoid any potential violence following the game.

Chief Inspector Nick Gunatilleke said: "We are happy with how the day passed off."

Marine were beaten 3-2 by the Manchester visitors.

FC United were formed in 2005 by Manchester United fans following the club's takeover by Michael Glazer.

Marine 2-3 FC United of Manchester - match report

Mar 28 2009 By Phil Kirkbride at the Arriva Stadium

FC United of Manchester edged out Marine in a thrilling encounter at the Arriva Stadium this afternoon.

After a manic first 45 minutes the scores were level at 2-2 but after the break United exerted more control on the game and grabbed the vital third goal just after the hour when Carl Lomax slotted in at the back post.

Marine's UniBond Premier Division woes continue with this defeat but manager Alvin McDonald will continue to take heart from what was a opening half display full of spirit and real quality at times.

However FC United's third goal provided a real hammer blow for the Whites, stunting their momentum gathered from a first half befiiting the hyped occassion.

Marine immediately fed off the electric atmosphere inside the Arriva Stadium with a purposeful start to the match.

Bouyed on by a large vocal support, the Mariners were soon causing FC United of Manchester trouble at the back and with a rejuvinated Karl O'Donnell on the right wing making inroads, the Whites looked threatening.

However, Marine's defensive frailties came back to haunt them on 33 minutes when Adam Farley failed to deal with a routine cross into the box and allowed Simon Carden to steal in at the front post - it kicked off a dramatic final 15 minutes of the half.

Two minutes after going behind, Marine responded when Peter Cumiskey slid in the turn O'Donnell's teasing cross past Sam Ashton.

A minute later, full-back Wayne McDermott piled forward down the left and unleashed a terriffic volley into the top corner to make it 2-1 to send the home faithful into raptures.

Unfortunately, Marine could not hold onto the lead as a minute before the break Carl Lomax powered his way through on goal and fired past Lake, desptie protest for a foul on McDermott.

On 61 minutes Carlos Roca's chip to the back post was not dealt with by Marine and Lomax had time to pick his spot.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mariners bank on fan power

Source: Liverpool Echo

MARINE are expecting their biggest league attendance for 16 years when they take on FC United of Manchester in the UniBond Premier Division at the Arriva Stadium tomorrow.

The all-ticket game is set to attract a 1,000-plus gate for the visit of the club formed by disillusionedÅ fans of Manchester United four years ago.

It is the perfect stage for Marine to attempt to finally get back on track after an alarming run of seven consecutive league defeats which have dropped the Crosby club into mid-table.

Prescot Cables continue their desperate battle to avoid relegation when they travel to Ilkeston Town.

Cables have slumped to the foot of the table after six consecutive defeats and are a worrying 11 points from safety.

Cammell Laird are in the bottom three after losing their last four games and will be looking to turn the corner when they entertain fellow strugglers Matlock Town.

Rebels on a roll

March 26, 2009

FC UNITED are on a roll as they head to Merseyside for Saturday’s all-ticket game with Marine.

The Rebels blitzed Ashton United 4-0 in midweek to move within three points of the play-off places, and manager Karl Marginson believes the four teams directly above them in the Unibond premier table will be casting a few anxious glances over their shoulders.

FC face three of those sides – Nantwich, Ilkeston and Bradford Park Avenue – in the last three games of the season, and Marginson says morale has never been higher in his camp.

“We have been building towards that result against Ashton for some time,” says Marginson, who has strengthened his squad by re-signing former fans’ midfield favourite Nicky Platt after his release by Stalybridge.

“There is a good feeling about the dressing room, and the togetherness of the players is probably the best it has been since the club started.

“In the last couple of years we have built some real momentum towards the end of the season, and I’m sure everyone will be looking at us and saying ‘Here they come again.’”

Platt’s return has made competition for midfield places intense. Tunji Moses told his manager after being named man of the match against Ashton that he had to be on form otherwise he would lose his place.

“The lads’ attitude is first-class,” says Marginson. “Nicky coming back is a big boost, but it shows how much players enjoy being here.”

There is similar competition up front, even with top scorer Kyle Wilson not due back until the end of April. Carlos Roca’s hat-trick against Ashton has, believes Marginson, boosted his confidence to a new level, while co-striker Carl Lomax also netted.

New signing Phil Marsh is without a goal in his first two games, but Marginson says it is only a matter of time: “He has shown more than enough of the Phil Marsh who played at Leigh.

“He has great movement, decent pace and holds the ball well. People forget it took Kyle four games to score his first goal – you need that settling-in period.”

Marginson also revealed that he had enquired about bringing back FC legend Rory Patterson after his release by Bradford Park Avenue, but FC could not match his wages and he has joined Droylsden.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

FC focused on promotion bid

March 26, 2009

FC UNITED manager Karl Marginson says that his players will concentrate on the job at hand as they prepare for a grudge game at Merseysiders Marine.

The reds are still in the UniBond Premier League promotion hunt as they set off down the East Lancs Road on Saturday, March 28, kick-off 3pm, for a showdown that is sure to have added spice following the behaviour of several Marine players in the reverse fixture, which resulted in one being sacked by the Crosby club for making gestures mocking the Munich air crash.

Despite his denial of the incident and laughable attempts to shift the blame on to fans of other clubs, it was later revealed that the player was a member of a Facebook internet site called ‘Munich 58 was the best thing ever’, leading to the commendable action of Marine FC in terminating his contract.

Matters were not helped when a journalist from a newspaper in the Sefton area hopped in a time machine to go back to 1975 with a remit for sensationalism and warned the citizens of leafy Crosby that their world was set to end at the hands of a marauding red army from Manchester.

Despite the distractions, Marginson says that his players will have their minds firmly fixed on what happens on the pitch at the weekend.

He said: "There will always be a bit of spice when clubs from Manchester and Merseyside meet but our players are determined to make the play-off places so the only thing that matters is getting the result.

"Marine will raise their game simply because they are playing United and that’s not a bad thing.

"It will be a competitive match and everyone is looking forward to it.

"We are still in the play-off hunt so Saturday’s match is a must-win game for us. Marine are a good club and they will make us very welcome so we are not interested in what has gone on before."

As the Advertiser went to press last night, Wednesday, March 25, the reds had added two key signings to the squad ahead of today’s (Thursday’s) UniBond signing deadline.

Following a long drawn out chase, former Manchester United youngster Phil Marsh was signed from Leigh and FC old boy Nicky Platt had returned to the club after being released by Stalybridge Celtic.

Marine FC manager Alvin McDonald says his side owes fans

Mar 26 2009 by Philip Kirkbride, Crosby Herald

MARINE manager Alvin McDonald has told the fans - ‘We owe you a win’.

The Mariners have only won twice in the last nine outings at the Arriva Stadium with the boss now demanding an end to the poor run .

McDonald says it is time his side put the Whites’ supporters out of their misery and secure a much needed three points in front of a bumper crowd on Saturday.

FC United of Manchester are the visitors to Crosby this weekend and McDonald is relishing planning his squad’s revival against the play-off contenders following a disappointing trip to Boston last Saturday.

He said: “I am looking forward to Saturday, it will be nice to have a decent sized crowd at the ground and if the band in the corner are making some noise then it should be a great atmosphere. I do not think it will be long before we get a win at home, we owe everyone a win because we have only had one since early December - it is time we repaid the faithful fans.

“We certainly should not have got beat at Boston, we should have come back with something. We made a great start and looked in control, there was no real threat from them, just we could not defend a simple free-kick. At 1-1 they had a little bit of a go for 10 minutes and Sean Lake has made a couple of saves from headers.

“After half-time we were back on top and had chances to go in front but again after another free-kick, which we could not defend, we find ourselves 2-1 down - I am just so disappointed.

“But there has been a turn around in attitude and we did not lose the last game because of a lack of commitment - we are just in a rut and can’t get ourselves out of it.”

Though Marine find themselves on a seven game losing streak, McDonald will be hoping the signing of defender Tony Davies will help stop the rot. Likewise, the emergence of youth products Joe Doyle and Peter McShane to the first team has filled the Mariners’ boss with optimism for the remainder of this season and for the future.

However a player McDonald earmarked for the 2009/10 campaign, Liam Kennedy has rejoined Prescot Cables - a move which disappointed the manager.

He added: “Tony eventually signed from Denby Town for us after we managed to get through the red tape of international clearance. He signed on Friday and got on for the last 25 minutes on Saturday, he is a big, strong lad and will hopefully add something to us.

“I was pleased for Joe getting his first goal on Saturday, he has a great attitude and him and Peter McShane are doing fine at the moment. They do not have much experience but are not letting anyone down.”

FC United 4 Ashton United 0

Stuart Brennan

March 26, 2009

CARLOS Roca's hat-trick fired FC United back into Unibond Premier League play-off contention last night.

The nippy striker was too hot for Ashton United to handle, and another goal for co-striker Carl Lomax secured a 4-0 win for the Rebels, their biggest home win of the season.

Roca began the rout after just two minutes, pouncing on the ball after Danny Warrender's free kick into the box had caused havoc, and firing home a well-struck shot.

Ten minutes later Lomax doubled the lead, another sweet striker after good work by winger Jerome Wright.

Roca grabbed his second from the penalty spot on 55 minutes and completed his hat-trick - his ninth goal of the season - in the dying seconds of the game, with a tremendous solo effort.

Victory moves FC to within three points of the play-off zone with six games to go, and a trip to Marine on Saturday.

Troublemakers warned about Marine FC v Manchester outfit FC United match

Source: Crosby Herald

Mar 26 2009 By Staff Reporter

TROUBLEMAKERS thinking of using the Northern Line train service when Marine FC welcome Manchester outfit FC United this Saturday have been warned.

FCUM have been given 1,000 tickets for the fixture while the home side have 750, and a heavy police presence has been planned for the streets surrounding the Arriva stadium on the day.

No tickets will be on sale on the day itself, while supporters will be segregated.

Inspector Adrian Yorston, of British Transport Police, yesterday told the Herald that the BTP will carry out a ‘fair’ but ‘robust’ operation on the day.

He said: "We are aware that large numbers of FC United fans are likely to travel to the game with Marine this Saturday, March 28.

"The team has a large following in itself, but the number of fans is likely to swell as there are no Premier League matches that weekend.

"We will have officers in attendance at a number of stations in Merseyside, as well as travelling on the trains, to monitor the fans as they make their way to and from the match.

He added: "As always we would urge supporters to be mindful of other passengers on the rail network when travelling to the games, especially on busy transport routes.

"We are hoping for a great day out for people who are attending the football, but we will be on hand to deal swiftly with any troublemakers and as always we hope the day will pass without incident.

"We will deal fairly but robustly with any disorder and will make arrests wherever trouble occurs and in every case where someone is arrested for a football related offence we will be seeking a banning order through the courts.

"Everyone has the right to use public transport in safety and we will do everything possible to ensure that this safety is not compromised because of the poor behaviour of a minority of individuals."

When Final Score is the last word on who we think we are

Source: South Manchester Reporter

Ryan Davies
March 26, 2009

"HE IS a Welshman who calls himself the Mancunian Candidate. He supported United but then left to support a non-league team in Bury and now claims he is a United fan again, but once wore a Liverpool shirt. I can’t keep up."

I have some sympathy with Frank Kelly, who left the previous comment about me on the Reporter’s website.

I can get confused myself at times. But then whoever said that issues of allegiance and identitiy were supposed to be straight-forward?

I suspect Mr Kelly’s real intention was to take a cheap shot at me in response to the words of support I gave to the breakaway club FC United in an offering to these pages some time ago. He does have some form in this regard.

But his email does at least raise some interesting questions as to who we think we are.

Some might not agree, but I see no contradiction in calling myself a Mancunian even though my ancestry is almost exclusively Welsh.

Manchester may be in England, but it is inhabited by people from all corners of the globe.

Do these people not make a daily contribution to making the city what it is, and, in turn, have their lives shaped and moulded by the experience of living here?

Does that not entitle them, after a suitable period of assimilation, to call themselves a Manc? Or is that noble title purely a birthright, thus excluding figures who have showered as much prestige as on the city as Alan Turning, Sir Charles Halle or Sir Alex Ferguson?

Our loyalties in the sporting arena should be far more straight-forward.

After all, the thing with being a football fan is there are no application forms to fill in, no fit and proper person test or criminal record checking.

Should Adolf Hitler be reincarnated tomorrow, there would be nothing to stop him calling himself a United fan - although as a Red I suspect I prefer to think he would have rather supported Liverpool. After all, the Fuhrer is rumoured to have visited Merseyside in 1912 and, like the Scousers, he was rather partial to a moustache.

What with Bin Laden’s well-documented visits to Highbury in the early 1990s, all we need now is to find out that Pol Pot used to sit in the family stand at Stamford Bridge and my convenient picture of football villany would be complete, but I digress.

To become a fan of a team, you just pin whatever colours take your fancy to the mast and get on with it.

Given the ages at which most footballing fates are decided, I guess its fair to say that the decisive factors rarely anything other than fairly trivial.

Was it the way the wind rippled Gary Bailey’s blond flowing locks as he embellished routine saves with a succession of dramatic sideways rolls in the late 1970s, or the three white stripes that ran bouldy down the front of the yet-to-be-bettered Admiral shirt of the same era that hardened my impressionable young mind towards the Red side?

Looking back, the cruel manner of the last gasp defeat to Arsenal in the 1979 cup final may have swung it, but whatever the reason, the decision was taken and I’ve never looked back.

Of course, being a United of Welsh origin can attract accusations of being a glory hunter.

It’s a concept I’ve never really managed to fully comprehend.

I’m not sure how much pleasure can be gained from basking in the success of a cause that you don’t truly believe in.

For me it’s when you lose that you’re left in absolutely no doubt as to which side you’re on.

I have plenty of recent experience to draw in this regard as United have conspired to throw away a nailed-on opportunity to equal the record of 18 league titles held by their most bitter rivals at the other end of the East Lancs.

Even in a week when I discovered I face the very real prospect of redundancy, the defeat to Liverpool felt like a kick to the stomach.

It left me running scared of newspapers for a week, and I haven’t been brave enough to watch Match of the Day since.

It is not as if I’ve been able to take sanctuary in the Six Nations as a Welsh side, heralded as the best in Europe only a few weeks ago, slumped to a depressing fourth placed finish, each defeat leaving behind a increasing sense of bewilderment and frustration.

So Mr Kelly, if do ever start to wonder who I am, I’ve have a simple test to clear things up. I simply put on Final Score and wait the results.

And just for the record, I never ‘left’ United as Mr Kelly suggested.

I simply offered my support to the United fans who set up their own club in an effort to make football affordable again and rid the game of some of the more commercial aspects that have sucked the life out of the the Premier League match day experience.

Should things go badly for me, it might be the only football I’ll be able to afford to watch.

I suppose what I’ve been struggling to say over the last 900-odd words or so was neatly summed up by another correspondent on the Reporter’s website in just three: Grow up Frank.

FC United 4 Ashton United 0

9:50pm Wednesday 25th March 2009

FC United boosted their promotion hopes as they crushed one of their rivals in the Unibond Premier Division. A hat-trick of goals from Carlos Roca in the first, 53rd and 88th minutes - the last a brilliant solo effort - and the second goal for Carl Lomax, destroyed an Ashton outfit, who produced a poor display at Gigg Lane.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Youth football: Dabbers earn cup final date with United

Edited from: Crewe Chronicle

NATHAN Southern’s double fired Nantwich Town U18s in to a cup final against FC United.

The prolific striker got both goals in a 2-0 North West Alliance Neil Thomason Memorial Cup semi-final win over Marine.


Friday, March 20, 2009

UniBond League round-up

11:40am Friday 20th March 2009

By Nick Jackson

RADCLIFFE Borough make the long journey to UniBond Division One North League leaders Durham City on the back of a fine 4-1 win at Garforth Town.

Boro became only the second side to beat City when they visited Stainton Park 11 days ago and Gerry Luczka’s men will be hoping the Garforth result, in which Tom Brooks scored a superb hat-trick and Steve Howson volleyed home the fourth, will give them momentum to complete an impressive double over the North East side.

In the Premier Division, bottom club Leigh Genesis have a mountain to climb if they are to avoid relegation as they are 10 points adrift of safety with only nine games of the season remaining.

Their cause was not helped in midweek when they suffered a demoralising 8-0 hammering by Nantwich Town in midweek and return to Stainton Park tomorrow when they entertain Guiseley, a side still with play-off aspirations.

FC United hope their own version of the Neville brothers can help the breakaway club continue their meteoric rise up the non-league pyramid The Rebels have signed Dave Neville’s younger brother Lee as they chase a fourth consecutive promotion.

The versatile former Oldham Athletic youngster will provide invaluable cover as FC target the play-off spots.

The next seven days will go a long way to deciding whether the Gigg Lane tenants will be playing in Blue Square North next season.

Marginson’s men visit fourth-placed Hednesford tomorrow, then have a home clash with Ashton United on Wednesday.

Back-to-back victories have reignited FC’s chances of promotion.

Ferriby must stop rot

07:43 - 20 March 2009

NORTH Ferriby travel to play-off rivals Kendal tomorrow desperate for a win to get their promotion hopes back on track.

Back-to-back defeats have seen the Villagers slip to eighth place in the Unibond Premier Division.

A 2-1 loss at struggling Witton Albion last weekend was followed by a 2-0 defeat at home to FC United of Manchester in midweek.

It means Manchester and tomorrow's opponents Kendal have both now climbed above Ferriby in the table.

Injuries continue to hamper team selection for manager Neil Allison, and chairman Les Hare admits a tough schedule has taken its toll on the Ferriby squad.

But he insisted confidence remains high as they prepare for the long trip to Cumbria, and says the Villagers simply need a little more luck.

"Kendal are in very good form and have won the last six games on the trot, so it is going to be difficult for us" he said.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Under-strength Blues put up a strong fight

Published Date: 19 March 2009



AN INJURY and suspension- ravaged Frickley fell victim to a double first-half strike at FC United, but they were by no means out of the clash with the Manchester big boys.

Centre half Steve Heath and leading marksman Lee Morris were both absent, making for a difficult time for the Blues, but the absorbed the early pressure with Adam Carden wriggling into the box and beating Adam Nicklin only for Steve Robinson to clear off the line.

But Frickley had chances of their own, as Peter Know dispossesed Rob Nugent and bore down on goal. His shot went inches wide, while Danny Clarke's curling effort was turned behind by the United keeper two minutes later.

Manchester went ahead just before the half hour when Danny Warrender headed in at the near post while Simon Carden netted from 12 yards minutes before the break to improve their advantage.

Frickley battled to reduce the arrears, with Knox drawing the best of United stopper Sam Ashton, while the heroic Nugent again blocked at the death from Rob Pell's header. Ashton saved well from a Chris Davies free kick after the hour mark while Dean Jones had a shot diverted off the line seven minutes later. Dean Wilburn and Pell both went close with headers in the closing stages with the home defence holding on but Frickley failed to find the net.

Second-placed Nantwich Town visit Westfield Lane on Saturday while struggling Leigh Genesis are welcome on Tuesday evening.

Other results: Ashton United 3-0 Boston United; Bradford Park Avenue 2-1 Leigh Genesis; Eastwood Town 4-1 Cammell Laird; Guiseley 3-2 Kendal Town; Ilkeston Town 1-0 Buxton; Marine 0-3 Hednesford Town; Nantwich Town 1-1 Matlock Town; Prescot Cables 2-3 Ossett Town; Witton Albion 2-1 North Ferriby United; Worksop Town 1-0 Whitby Town.

Rebels sign Marsh

by Stuart Brennan

March 19, 2009

FC UNITED have given their promotion hopes a major fillip by signing former Manchester United starlet Phil Marsh.

The Rebels tried to sign the 22-year-old from Leigh Genesis last month, but the St Helens-born player - who has one United first-team appearance to his name - elected to stay with the Unibond League strugglers.

He rubbed salt in that wound by scoring a hat-trick in Leigh’s 4-2 win at FC two days later.

Marsh, however, made it plain he still wanted to join the Rebels, but agreed to stay with Leigh until after their midweek game at home to Nantwich - which they lost 8-0.

FC boss Karl Marginson was delighted and will put Marsh straight into the squad for Saturday’s trip to Hednesford.

“I don’t really know why Phil decided not to join us last month - but he has now decided the time is right and that’s great news for us," said Marginson.

"I don’t think Leigh’s midweek result had a bearing, because he has been saying for some time he wanted to play for us.

"He needs to be playing for a team that is challenging for something - the way he was brought up at United, he is used to winning.

"He is a quick, intelligent lad with really good movement, and holds the ball up well.”

With the Unibond premier division’s top scorer Kyle Wilson due to hear the results of a knee scan on Monday, FC could soon team up two of the best strikers in that league.

”The two are not dissimilar,” says Marginson. “But they could easily play together. Kyle has been asking if we were signing him, and I could sense the excitement in his voice about the prospect of playing alongside Phil.”

FC hope for double boost

Stuart Brennan

March 19, 2009

FC UNITED are hoping for a double play-off boost in the space of two days.

The Rebels travel to promotion rivals Hednesford on Saturday, a win which could lift them back into the top five, with only one automatic promotion place and one play-off spot to be contested.

And on Monday the Unibond premier division’s top scorer Kyle Wilson – who has not played for nearly two months – discovers the results of his knee scan, which could mean he returns for the crucial run-in.

“That would be a huge boost,” says manager Karl Marginson, whose side have chalked up consecutive wins over Frickley and fellow hopefuls North Ferriby United.

“We have won the last two games 2-0 but we have been dominant, and you feel that with Kyle in the side we might have won by more.

“But we have shown strength in depth without him - Carlos Roca got on the scoresheet at North Ferriby, and that should boost his confidence, because he has being playing very well.”

FC will be further lifted by the returns of skipper Dave Chadwick, who had a calf strain in midweek, and striker Carl Lomax, whose young daughter was taken to hospital ill on Tuesday but has now recovered.

Marginson strengthened his squad further last week by picking up former Blackburn youth midfielder Gary Stopforth from Clitheroe, and he has impressed in two substitute appearances.

Now FC have eight games of the normal season left, five of them at home, and a win at Keys Park would see them move above their opponents.

Hednesford’s promotion push has hit the rocks lately, with six defeats in their last seven league games, but they bounced back to win 3-0 at Marine in midweek.

“They are a good side, very dangerous up front,” says Marginson. “But North Ferriby and Frickley were both on good runs before we beat them, and we believe we can beat anyone on our day.”

Play-offs in FC's sight

March 19, 2009

FC UNITED will climb back into the play-off places if they win away at Hednesford Town on Saturday, March 21, kick-off 3pm.

The reds beat promotion rivals North Ferriby 2-0 on Tuesday night to move within two points of the UniBond Premier League’s top five.

United leap-frogged North Ferriby in the table thanks to goals from Simon Carden and Carlos Roca.

Goalkeeper Sam Ashton made some good saves for FC to keep the scores level before Jerome Wright, who returned from suspension, twice went close to giving United the lead.

Roca scored from the penalty spot on 62 minutes with the Ferriby offender being sent off for his foul.

Carden then hit his second goal of the week to see off the home side.

Tuesday’s result followed a 2-0 home win against Frickley Athletic on Saturday.

Danny Warrender joined Carden on the scoresheet for FC.

United will hope to make it three wins in a row against fourth-placed Hednesford, which would take them above the Staffordshire side and into the play-off shake up.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rebels on the up

Source: Manchester Evening News

Stuart Brennan
March 18, 2009

FC UNITED moved to within two points of the Unibond premier division play-offs with a 2-0 win at promotion rivals North Ferriby United on Tuesday night.

The Rebels, backed by 350 travelling fans, leapfrogged their opponents and also benefited from Guiseley's shock home defeat by Frickley. Keeper Sam Ashton kept the scores level before Jerome Wright, back after a suspension, twice came close to giving FC the lead.

Carlos Roca fired them ahead from the spot on 62 minutes after a Ferriby defender was red-carded for the penalty offence. And Simon Carden saw off a spirited response by the home side by scoring the second.

NORTHWICH'S misery continued in the Blue Square Conference Premier as they slumped 2-1 at home to Wrexham. Kyle Perry fired Vics into a 13th minute lead but within two minutes Matt Jansen had levelled and Nathan Fairhurst wrapped it up on 74 minutes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

North Ferriby 0 FC United 2

Source: Manchester Evening News

March 17, 2009

FC UNITED moved to within two points of the Unibond premier division play-offs with a 2-0 win at promotion rivals North Ferriby United last night.

The Rebels, backed by 350 travelling fans, who made the long journey to Humberside, leapfrogged their opponents and also also benefited from Guiseley’s shock home defeat by Frickley.

Keeper Sam Ashton kept the scores level before as the home side began strongly, but FC took control Jerome Wright, back after a suspension, twice came close to giving FC Karl Marginson’s side the lead.

Carlos Roca fired them FC ahead from the spot on 62 minutes, his fifth goal of the season, after a Ferriby defender was had been red-carded for the penalty offence. And Simon Carden saw off a spirited response by the home side by scoring the second.

NORTHWICH’S misery continued in the Blue Square Conference Premier as they slumped 2-1 at home to Wrexham. Kyle Perry fired Vics into a 13th minute lead but within two minutes Matt Jansen had levelled and 16 minutes from time Nathan Fairhurst wrapped up the three points on 74 minutes for the Welsh side.

North Ferriby United 0 FC United 2

Souce: The Bolton News

10:00pm Tuesday 17th March 2009

GOALS from Carlos Roca and Simon Carden earned FC United a vital victory at UniBond Premier League promotion rivals North Ferriby United on Tuesday night.

FC Winger Jerome Wright’s blistering shot was handled by defender Danny Moore in the 62nd minute and, after Moore had been dismissed, Roca drove home the penalty.

Carden got on the end of Adam Carden’s cross to add a second 13 minutes later.

The win moves FC up two places to seventh in the league, knocking sixth-placed North Ferriby down into eighth.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Non-league round up

Edited from Manchester Evening News


FC United and Ashton United both recorded comfortable home wins to stay on the fringe of the UniBond premier promotion race.

First-half goals by Danny Warrender and Simon Carden gave FC a 2-0 victory over Frickley, while Ashton beat Boston 3-0 with Ben Smith, Gareth Richards and Ben Deegan on target.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spirited Blues go down to FC United of Manchester

15 March 2009

By Nick Rigg

FC United of Manchester 2
Frickley Athletic 0

A SPIRITED performance from the Blues brought no rewards as FC United of Manchester ran out winners in front of a near-2000 crowd at Gigg Lane.

Blues' boss Billy Heath took a reshuffled pack across the Pennines, with a number of regular first team players out through suspension or injury.

But the Blues' wafer-thin squad went down with a typically spirited and determined performance, being unlucky not to get something to show for their efforts in the second half.

The hosts all-but sealed the win with two goals in 14 first half minutes.

Daniel Warrender opened the scoring on the half hour mark before Simon Carden doubled the Gigg Lane club's advantage just minutes before the interval.

Frickley looked for a way back into the UniBond Premier Division clash on the resumption, and came close to scoring on a number of occasions, but the home defence held firm to collect all three points.

A full match report from the Blues' clash with FC United can be found in Thursday's Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Matlock Town v FC United of Manchester - full report

Published Date: 12 March 2009

Matlock Town 2-1 FC United of Manchester

In a dramatic climax which saw Ross Hannah have his penalty saved, Matlock grabbed a priceless victory when winger Jamie Jackson rifled home a last gasp winner to punish FC United for wasting their superiority and chances.

Sunday's first ever visit of the rebels to Causeway Lane attracted Matlock's first four figure gate for a league game in twenty odd years and they witnessed FC United hold the upper hand for much of the contest.

But Matlock had a steely determination about them and some fine defending, allied to some excellent goalkeeping from Paul Pettinger, did as much to secure the victory as did Dene Cropper's and Jackson's goals.

Early on in particular, the Gladiators paid their visitors too much respect and in Carlos Roca United had an attacking player of real quality.

Looking for an early breakthrough, Manchester quickly won a corner which resulted in a fiercely struck drive from midfielder Jamie Baguley being charged down.

Soon afterwards Roca broke through to fire narrowly wide and Pettinger swiftly joined his knees together to gather another Roca effort.

On 9 minutes though it was a case of third time lucky for Roca but it was also a gift of a chance for him.

Danny Wood gained possession halfway inside his own half but in trying to find Pettinger with a back pass, his ball was perfect for ROCA who calmly flicked his shot beyond the hopelessly exposed goalkeeper.

It was a suicidal start for Matlock in a game they knew they had to win.

As United continued to probe Matlock had to dig in and defend stoutly and it was a measure of the good job the back line did in that the next chance did not arrive until the 33rd minute.

When Matlock made a hash of a free kick the ball was transferred quickly towards Roca who forced Pettinger into a fine save from his low drive.

Then out of the blue, on 35 minutes, Matlock were suddenly on level terms.

Jackson found room on the right to deliver a peach of a cross which CROPPER met with a trademark downward centre forward's header into the corner past goalkeeper Sam Ashton's left hand.

Jerome Wright then crossed from the left as the visitors fought to regain the lead but Carl Lomax nodded too high before Wright himself tried his luck when he had escaped down the left again, but he pulled his shot across goal and beyond the back post.

The half ended with Jackson's electric run down the right with centre half Adam Tong making a significant and telling intervention.

Having had Hannah cautioned in the opening half, Ryan Laight soon joined him in the referee's notebook for bringing down Roca and from tyhe free kick Tong rose to power a header over the bar.

United attacked again through full back Simon Garner whose cross from the left skidded across the danger area and when United won another free kick, Pettinger did well to flick away Neil Chappell's cross.

But Pettinger could do nothing to halt Roca soon afterwards but there was a communal sigh of relief from the home support as his shot rebounded off a post.

Then came the unwelcome sight of Cropper writhing in agony on the turf and in a double substitution he was replaced by Nathan Benger with Lee Featherstone coming on for Wood who appeared to be struggling with his hamstring again.

Relief from the pressure came for Town when Hannah was pulled back and Liam King's free kick was comfortably stopped by Ashton.

The gods were smiling on Matlock and they had a let off on 82 minutes when Roca broke clear but Pettinger again saved the day standing his ground to save superbly in a one on one duel.

After substitute Papis Dieyte drove wide for United, Matlock finished the game strongly but it looked as if they had wasted a gilt edged chance two minutes from time.

Jackson drove in a cross which struck the hand of Rob Nugent and referee Scott Ledger instantly pointed to the spot.

United complained as it looked as if Nugent had little chance of getting out of the way, but they were spared temporarily as the normally ice cool Hannah looked on in anguish as Ashton superbly saved his penalty with Jackson skying the rebound high over the bar.

But Hannah had not let the miss upset him as with the match deep into stoppage time he slipped in JACKSON with a telling pass for the winger to drive low and true into the opposite corner and send the home support wild.

Jackson came off instantly to give the briefest of debuts to Adam Yates and then the final whistle blew to herald a dramatic victory for the Gladiators.

FC United will be baffled as to how they lost for they deserved a point at the very least but full credit to Matlock for continuing to fight and battle.

They will need loads more of the same in the coming weeks.

MATLOCK TOWN: Pettinger, Brough, Riley, King, Foyle, Laight, Jackson (Yates 90), Warne, Cropper (Benger 61), Hannah, Wood (Featherstone 61) Other subs: Thorpe, Buxton.

REFEREE: S Ledger (Barnsley)


STAR MAN: Paul Pettinger.

Frickley up next

March 12, 2009

FC UNITED hope to get their play-off dream back on track when they host 13th-placed Frickley Athletic at Gigg Lane this Saturday, March 14, kick-off 3pm.

The ninth-placed reds suffered an injury time defeat at lowly Matlock at the weekend despite taking the lead through Carlos Roca.

The Derbyshire side fought back to level before the break and they then stunned United with Jamie Jackson’s winning goal which came three minutes into stoppage time.

FC goalkeeper Sam Ashton had earlier saved a penalty but it was a case of missed chances proving costly for the reds and they now face an uphill struggle to make the top five with just 10 games to go.

They are struggling without top scorer Kyle Wilson, who is waiting for a scan on his knee problem, and midfielder Dave Neville, who is likely to miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle.

But they are still only four points off the play-off places.

Admission to Saturday’s game costs £7.50 for adults, £5 for over-60s and £2 for under-18s. The Manchester United versus Liverpool match will be shown inside Gigg Lane prior to the game.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rebels in need of promotion push at Frickley

4:01pm Wednesday 11th March 2009

By Bury Times Sports Reporter

FC United can ill afford another slip-up when they take on Frickley Athletic at Gigg Lane on Saturday.

The Rebels’ shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of second-bottom Matlock Town at the weekend severely dented their UniBond Premier League promotion hopes.

Karl Margsinon’s side – now six points off the play-off places – took a ninth-minute lead through Carlos Roca.

But the struggling Derbyshire side fought back and, after equalising before the break, they went on to grab a 92nd-minute winner.

United are expected to still be without 24-goal top-scorer Kyle Wilson (knee), while Jerome Wright is suspended after being sent off at Buxton. But FC will be boosted by the return of midfielder Simon Carden after a one-match ban.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Matlock Town: Gladiators claim precious points thanks to Jackson

Source: Derby Evening Telegraph

Monday, March 09, 2009, 07:30

JAMIE Jackson fired a late winner yesterday to give Matlock Town precious points in their battle to avoid relegation from the UniBond Premier Division.

But FC United of Manchester left Causeway Lane baffled by the manner of their defeat.

In Carlos Roca, FC United had by far the best player on the pitch but they wasted their chances and Matlock, needing three points desperately, got them thanks to a Jackson's late show.

Roca took advantage of a terrible back-pass from Danny Wood to give United a ninth-minute lead.

That had been Roca's third chance, at that stage having failed with two earlier attempts.

United continued to hold the upper hand but, out of the blue, Matlock levelled in the 35th minute when Jackson crossed for Dene Cropper, who netted with a fine downward header to level the score.

United continued to look the more likely side in the second half, as they pushed the Gladiators back.

But Matlock, with a poor defensive record in this campaign so far, defended stoutly and goalkeeper Paul Pettinger made a couple of fine saves.

Roca hit the post but Matlock survived and the hosts could have snatched victory earlier than they did when they won a penalty in the 88th minute after a handball.

But Gladiators' leading scorer Ross Hannah saw his spot kick superbly saved by Sam Ashton.

However, two minutes into added time, Hannah put his miss aside to set up Jackson's winner.

MATLOCK TOWN: Pettinger, Brough, Riley, King, Foyle, Laight. Jackson (Yates, 92), Warne, Cropper (Benger, 61), Hannah, Wood (Featherstone, 61). Other subs: Thorpe, Buxton. FC UTD OF MANCHESTER: Ashton, Carden, Garner, Moses, Tonge, Nugent, Chappell (Whitman, 77), Baguley (Dieyet, 77), Lomax (Williams, 69), Wright, Roca. REFEREE: S Ledger (Barnsley). ATTENDANCE: 1,038.

UniBond League round-up

Source: The Bolton News

7:20am Monday 9th March 2009

LEIGH’S plight at the foot of the Unibond Premier League inceased after another defeat left them seven points adrift of safety.

With Genesis manager Lee Merricks in Singapore on duty with Manchester United youngsters, assistant Lee Doherty was left in charge.

In an even first half, both sides had their goalscoring opportunities but neither managed to break the deadlock, with Leigh forced in to reorganisation on the half-hour mark when striker Chris Thompson withdrew through injury, allowing former Vauxhall Motors frontman David Roberts to make his Genesis debut from the substitutes bench.

Having hosted three ‘home’ fixtures at Hurst Cross during the course of the season, Genesis could be forgiven for almost feeling at home, but they fell behind to Ashton in the 52nd minute when midfielder Ian Bennett latched on to a through ball to score.

Ashton their victory in the 87th minute when a mix-up between Dean Porter and defender Alex Cunliffe saw the ball rebound to Rod Thornley, who made no mistake in lobbing the keeper.

Genesis visit Kendal Town tomorrow before travelling over the Pennines on Saturday to take on big-spending Bradford Park Avenue.

FC United went down to a 2-1 defeat at Matlock, Carlos Roca scoring their goal.

Defeat was harsh on United keeper Sam Ashton, who saved two penalties during the game.

Goals from Craig Dawson and Adam Roscoe gave Radcliffe Borough their first league win since January 27.

Dawson’s 13th minute strike, and Roscoe’s on the half-hour, moved Boro up from second bottom of the table, at the expense of Saturday’s opponents Rossendale United.

Boro host Durham City tonight, kick off 7.45pm.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Injury time winner gives Matlock Town's survival hopes a massive boost

Source: Matlock Mercury

Published Date: 08 March 2009
UniBond League Premier Division
Matlock Town 2 FC United of Manchester 1

MATLOCK Town gave their survival hopes a massive shot in the arm with a 2-1 home victory over play-off chasing FC United on Sunday, a dramatic winner coming in the second minute of injury time.

In front of a huge crowd of 1,038 FC United dominated a lot of the game but Matlock showed great determination and tenacity, especially after going behind to a soft goal on nine minutes.

A faulty back pass from Danny Wood gave Carlos Roca an opportunity to flick his shot past the exposed Paul Pettinger.

United held the upper hand but out of the blue Dene Cropper equalised with a 35th minute header.

Matlock had to defend for long periods but Ross Hannah could have won it for them on 88 minutes but he saw his penalty saved by visiting keeper Sam Ashton after a handling offence.

There was more drama to come though and in the 92nd minute Hannah then played in Jamie Jackson who fired a diagonal shot low into the corner to secure a terrific Matlock win.

The Gladiators climbed above Boston United into 19th place and Matlock now face a real 'six pointer' on Wednesday night when fellow strugglers Buxton, currently 17th, visit the Geoquip Stadium. Kick-off is 7.45pm.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Matlock Town: Concentration key if Gladiators are to emerge Sunday best

Source: Derby Evening Telegraph

Saturday, March 07, 2009, 07:30

MATLOCK Town manager Mark Atkins wants his side to increase their concentration level for tomorrow's eagerly-anticipated visit of FC United of Manchester.

Atkins, who is sweating on the fitness of Jamie Jackson, Ryan Laight and Danny Wood, said: "We've got to get down to business tomorrow and get the three points.

"It's all about us, our levels of performance and how we do on the day.

"Concentration will be the key."

The game, which has been moved back 24 hours at the request of Derbyshire Police, with FC United expected to bring around 1,000 supporters with them, should be a thriller for spectators if the last meeting between the two sides back in August is anything to go by.

Then, two goals from Ross Hannah and a third from Dene Cropper helped the Gladiators take a point from a 3-3 draw at Bury's Gigg Lane.

Atkins added: "It's a game that we're looking forward to.

"We have a few knocks to Jamie Jackson (ankle), Danny Wood (hamstring) and Ryan Laight (thigh) but I'm confident that they'll be OK."

There could also be a new face in the side, following the departure of striker Simon Barraclough to Belper Town.

"We need some fresh blood in the side," he added.

"We've had poor performances at both Whitby and Witton in recent league games. That can't go on.

"Wholesale changes aren't needed but we need strength in a couple of areas."

Atkins was left frustrated after watching his side beat Boston United and then fall to a 2-0 defeat against Witton Albion a couple of days later.

"Saturday's win over Boston seems a long way away now," he said.

"We did everything right that day.

"We were focused, the defence was very secure and we were always a danger going forward. It was a very good performance.

"We'd worked on a few things in training before the game, both defending and attacking, and they came off to a tee.

"Then we got two good goals. Once we'd scored the first one, we looked more comfortable and could then have won by more."

But that was where the praise ended and changed to grumbles.

"Against Witton, we were exactly the opposite for the first 45 minutes," he said.

"We didn't seem up for it and we definitely didn't work as hard. When we got in good positions going forward, the movement was poor inside the box.

"The game at Witton was a great opportunity for us to get a bit more breathing space and we've now lost that opportunity, which is annoying with two home games coming up.

"We've had a talk about a few things in the dressing room and, hopefully, the lads will take on board what's been said."

Friday, March 06, 2009

Wilson dilemma for Rebels

by Stuart Brennan

March 06, 2009

FC UNITED are in limbo over the future of injured top scorer Kyle Wilson.

The former Crewe striker, who has scored 24 goals in 32 games in his first season for the Rebels, has not played for five weeks after damaging knee cartilage in the home win over Guiseley.

FC have only won once in four games without him, slipping out of the play-off positions, and need a win at Matlock Town tomorrow to re-ignite their promotion hopes

Wilson is awaiting a scan on the knee, but has been pushed down the NHS pecking order as his case is non-urgent.

The Rebels are hoping the players union, the PFA, may be able to help, but there is a chance Wilson will not play again this season.

“The PFA judge every case on its merits, so it’s up to them,” says manager Karl Marginson. “It’s just the situation that a non-league club can’t afford to pay for scans.”

FC will also be without broken leg victim Dave Neville, and the team is weakened further by suspensions to midfielder Simon Carden and right back Danny Warrender, both for totting up five yellow cards.

“Adam Carden can fill in at right back, and we have Jamie Baguley, Papis Dieyte and Neil Chappell all vying for that midfield place,” says Marginson, whose team drew 3-3 with Matlock at Gigg Lane earlier in the season.

FC have dropped points against all of the bottom nine clubs, and Marginson feels that is an indicator of the strength of the Unibond League’s premier division.

“The difference between the bottom half and the top half isn’t that big,” he says. “I can’t believe a team like Boston, who were a good side that was strong, worked hard and were well-disciplined, is down in a relegation place.

“We have always had teams raising their game against us, and this division is no different.”

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Manager sets FC promotion target

March 05, 2009

FC UNITED manager Karl Marginson set his team a promotion points target after their disappointing home draw against Buxton.

The reds battled back to 1-1 in Saturday’s bad tempered affair, which saw Margy sent to the stands and winger Jerome Wright sent off for a scuffle in the dying minutes.

But the boss is still convinced that his talented side have what it takes to make the UniBond Premier League play-offs.

As he prepared his squad for their trip to Matlock this Sunday, March 8, kick-off 3pm, Margy said: "There are 11 games left and I still believe we will be there or thereabouts if we take 23 points from the remaining 33.

"It’s a realistic target but we need to get some consistency.

"We put in a great performance against a well placed team in Kendal one week and then we play like we did against a so-called struggling side in Buxton the next.

"We need to make sure our commitment is what it should be and, if we play to our capabilities, then the play-offs are there to be taken."

Margy was unhappy with the refereeing performance at Gigg Lane on Saturday.

He said: "He sent Jerome off for a push to their lad’s chest but it was an impossibility because the lad had him in a head lock and was clearly punching him in the face.

"How the ref and linesman missed that I don’t know.

"I told them I was disappointed with this and was sent to the stands. We will forget about it and move on."

FC hope to bounce back on their trip to Derbyshire to face 19th-placed Matlock.

Margy said: "We don’t look at the league positions.

"We have lost points to all of the bottom teams and yet taken points off some of the top ones this season. That’s the way this league works.

"They (Matlock) will raise their game as most clubs do against us and we need to be prepared and get back to playing like we did at Kendal if we’re going to return to winning ways."

Midfielder Dave Neville will be out of action for between four to six weeks with a broken ankle and top scorer Kyle Wilson is waiting to have a scan on his knee injury to assess exactly what the problem is.

Safety worries for clash with FCMU

Source: Crosby Herald

Mar 5 2009 by Mark Johnson, Crosby Herald

MARINE FC and police officials will today rubber stamp a plan to ensure the safety of the local community as fears grow that football hooligans are heading for Crosby.

The Herald understands 21 police officers, three sergeants and mounted police will be drafted into Crosby on Saturday, March 28, when Marine FC welcome Manchester outfit FC United to the Arriva stadium for the first time in a UniBond Premier League fixture.

Safety fears stem from the previous game at Gigg Lane, Bury, when Liverpool-based Marine players were subject to abuse.

A week after that match, Marine player John Lawless had his contract scrapped for allegedly making an aeroplane motion, which was felt by some to have been an insult referencing the 1958 Munich Air Disaster in which 23 people died.

FC United of Manchester was formed as a breakaway club by fans furious at Manchester United’s takeover by Malcolm Glazer.

The planning meeting takes place this afternoon and will approve the deployment of officers inside the ground, a feature which is not normally seen by fans at the Arriva .

Seven British Transport Police officers will also be manning the Northern Line to monitor behaviour on trains and stations.

There will also be a designated area for coaches at Crosby sports centre, the Herald understands.

Internet message board posters predict Crosby’s streets could be “a battle zone” and say it could be “the game to miss”.

The match is likely to see a bigger crowd because it lands on an international weekend, when Liverpool, Everton and Manchester United will not be playing.

FCUM, who normally take 600 fans, have been allocated 1,000 tickets, and Marine have 750.

Crosby neighbourhood Insp Neil Turner said: “We will ensure the safety of football fans and the local area on the day.”

FC duo's red card puzzle

March 05, 2009

FC UNITED manager Karl Marginson has reacted with bemusement to the red cards shown to him and star player Jerome Wright in the stormy finish to last week’s draw with Buxton.

Wright was sent off for a second yellow card after tangling with an opponent – who also received a booking - and Marginson was dismissed to the stands after protesting to the referee and linesman over the incident.

“The referee didn’t see what happened,” said Marginson. “The other lad sat on Jerome’s head and was punching him in the face. I was watching it clearly, and thought the linesman must have seen the same thing.

“Lo and behold, he gave Jerome a yellow card. I asked the linesman why, and he said Jerome pushed the other lad in the chest – how he could do that when he was sitting on his head, I don’t know.

“The referee told me to get back in the box, but I then pointed out to the linesman what he had missed. The referee came over and did what he did.

“I went in to see the referee afterwards and he told me I was sent off for calling him an expletive – which I didn’t do.”

Wright, who will now miss next week’s home game with Frickley, but is free to play on Sunday at Matlock Town, was also stunned: “It was a joke. me and the other lad had a tackle and he landed on top of me. Then he sat on my head with his hand in my face.

“I pushed him off me and then it all went off and the next thing, I was walking. The referee told me it was a linesman’s decision.

“He said I was dragging the opponent down to the floor, but I don’t know whay I would be dragging down someone who was sitting on my head!”

FC aim to go to Town

10:00am Thursday 5th March 2009

By Staff Sports Reporter

FC United will be hoping for a more comfortable ride than last time out when they travel to struggling Matlock Town on Saturday.

The Rebels, who still harbour ambitions to make the UniBond Premier League promotion play-offs, drew another enthusiastic 2,000-plus crowd to Gigg Lane last weekend.

But they failed to deliver the expected win when they were held 1-1 by Buxton in a match that ended in drama.

With the seconds ticking away, Reds’ winger Jerome Wright was sent off for a second bookable offence after reacting angrily to a late challenge. And in the ensuing row, manager Karl Marginson was ordered to the stands.

Marginson’s men have often struggled this season against so-called lesser teams and once again they made it hard for themselves, conceding after just seven minutes when Mark Reed put Buxton in front.

The visitors were unlucky not be be further ahead at half time but FC were back on terms seven minutes into the second period when centre-back Adam Tonge netted the equaliser.

Despite their efforts to claim all three points, the match ended in frustration as the Derbyshire side defended stubbornly and held out for a point.

Town's Sunday boost

Published Date: 05 March 2009

By Ian Richardson

MATLOCK Town are expecting their biggest crowd for years when they host FC United of Manchester in the Gladiators' first Sunday game for more than two decades.

FC regularly take 1,000 or more fans away with them, and with fans from other league and non-league clubs fascinated by the attraction of the rebels, the message from Matlock officials is to arrive early to avoid congestion at the turnstiles.

And if Sunday's game is half as exciting as the season's opener at Bury's Gigg Lane ground which ended in a 3-3 draw, supporters are in for a treat.

Then, on Wednesday, it is another crucial relegation six-pointer and potential bumper crowd when deadly rivals Buxton make the short trip down the A6.

Matlock boss Mark Atkins expects to have at least one new face in for the FC United clash.

"I've put seven days notice in on a player and that will soon be up, so I'll be speaking to him with a view to him being with us before the weekend," he said.

"We need some fresh blood and I'm also wanting to bring in one or two more new lads by the weekend if I can."

"We've had poor performances at both Whitby and Witton in recent league games," he admitted.

"That can't go on. Wholesale changes aren't needed, but we need strength in a couple of areas."

Matlock have one or two knocks going into the game which might be another reason for Atkins to add to the squad.

Jamie Jackson, who destroyed United back in August, left the field two minutes from the end on Tuesday with an ankle strain.

Danny Wood has still not recovered completely from his hamstring trouble and Ryan Laight picked up a thigh strain.

Atkins, though, remains confident that the trio will be okay by the weekend and hopes Tuesday's disappointing defeat at Witton will be a distant memory and that his players will repeat what they got right in their victory at Boston three days earlier.

"The game at Witton was a great opportunity for us for having won at Boston, we could be breathing that little bit more easily had we won again," Atkins said.

"The team that gets out of this mess will be one that can win two or three games together.

"We've now lost that opportunity which is annoying with two home games coming up.

"We've had a talk about a few things in the dressing room after the game and hopefully the lads will take on board what's been said.

"We've now got to get down to business on Sunday and get the three points.

"It's all about us and our levels of performance.

"If we can repeat performances such as Saturday's then we'll win more than we'll lose.

"The first forty-five minutes at Witton was terrible but it's no use crying over spilt milk.

"That game's gone now, we can do nothing about it now except not to play like that again and concentrate on the games to come."

Sunday March 8 (3pm)
Matlock Town v FC United of Manchester

Wednesday March 11 (7.45pm)
Matlock Town v Buxton