April 06, 2009
BOSS Karl Marginson issued a "catch us if you can" challenge to four of FC United's fellow UniBond premier promotion contenders after seeing his red-hot Rebels step up their sensational late push for a place in the play-offs with a 4-0 rout of North Ferriby.
Inspired by a magical Carlos Roca performance and watched by a bumper Gigg Lane crowd of 3,120, Marginson's men tore into the Humberside visitors with three goals inside the opening half hour from Jerome Wright, Tungi Moses and Simon Carden, effectively ending the game as a contest.
Roca made it four in the 70th minute by lashing home Simon Garner's cross, rounding off a victory which takes United up to fourth with just three games left. FC's charge appears to have come too late for them to overtake either Nantwich or Ilkeston, even though they still have to play both, while the title's definitely out of reach as they trail leaders Eastwood by 10 points.
But United's latest triumph, which coincided with keeper Sam Ashton's 50th clean-sheet for the club, means two from trailing quartet Bradford, Hednesford, Kendal and Guiseley now have to catch them in the closing-straight if they're to be denied a crack at a fourth successive promotion.
Karl said: "The lads have worked their socks off to get us into this position and now the pressure's on the teams below us.
"We never gave up hope of making the play-offs even when some people seemed to have written us off."
Meanwhile, Altrincham's alarming Blue Square Premier slump continued with an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at relegated Lewes - a result which prolongs the agony for the rocking Robins as they desperately seek the single victory which would surely see them safe from the threat of demotion.
To make matters worse for ailing Alty, who have now lost seven of their last nine league games, they had Anthony Danylyk sent off in the dying seconds.
Doomed Northwich crashed 1-0 at Ebbsfleet and are now on the brink of joining Lewes in going down.