Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FC United to face Stalybridge in FA Cup

September 29, 2009

FC UNITED have landed a plum home derby clash with Stalybridge Celtic in the FA Cup third-qualifying round a week on Saturday.

Karl Marginson's men, who'll be appearing at the penultimate qualifying stage for the first time, will start as underdogs as they lie 33 places behind the Bower Fold side.

But, having already recorded away victories over the world's oldest club, Sheffield, and UniBond premier rivals North Ferriby, the Rebels won't be overawed by a Bridge side, who hit seven in beating Stocksbridge Park Steels in the last round.

United boss Marginson said: "It's a fantastic draw for us but we know we're going to have to be at our very best to beat a team of Stalybridge's undoubted quality."

Northwich Victoria, fresh from thrashing Bardon Hill Sports 8-0, will entertain Ashton United's conquerors, Chorley, while Radcliffe or Warrington will travel to Workington.

Blyth Spartans await the winners of Hyde United's second qualifying-round tie with Salford City, which will only go ahead if the crisis-torn Tigers succeed in convincing the High Court to rescind a winding-up order served on them last week.

Should the Tigers fail and be forced into closure, Salford will go through by default.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Marginson targeting Cup run and promotion

Friday 25th September 2009

MANAGER Karl Marginson is determined to kick-start FC United’s season on Saturday with the trip to Hull’s North Ferriby United in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup – and the good news for the boss is he has a full squad to choose from.

Jerome Wright and Simon Carden should both be fit after shaking off knocks which kept them out of Wednesday’s defeat at Worksop and Rob Nugent is available despite being sent off in the match as his suspension will commence in two weeks, the club’s website is reporting.

Marginson is unwavering in his belief that his team are good enough to compete. He says: “The last couple of results have obviously been disappointing but both games could have been very different.”

The FA Cup provides a welcome distraction for Marginson and he knows it is a great opportunity for him and his players to test their skills against clubs higher up the football pyramid. However, promotion from the UniBond Premier Division is the number one target and Marginson is keen to get back to it, hopefully after booking a place in the Third Qualifying Round.

He says: “No team is setting this league on fire – they’re all beating each other, which is good. If we can put a decent run together, one that I know we’re capable of, then we’ll be right back amongst it at the top.”

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rebels star in knife robbery horror

Friday 25th September 2009

A MAJOR police investigation is underway after four men, including FC United’s Steve Spencer, were held at knifepoint by armed thugs targeting an England defender’s home.

Everton defender Phil Jagielka was confronted by knife-wielding thugs in his Cheshire mansion while he watched his team on television, the Manchester Evening News is reporting

The Sale-born footballer was held at knifepoint and forced to hand over jewellery and the keys to his Range Rover after being confronted by three men at the house in Knutsford.

The raid happened while Everton were playing away against Hull in the Carling Cup.

FC United’s Spencer, 27, was a victim of the robbery too. When the gang burst in he was at Jagielka’s home along with Michael Tonge, 27, who plays for Stoke City, and Grant Smith, 29, a former Carlisle United player.

All three have remained friends with Jagielka after they played as youngsters together at Sheffield United – Jagielka’s former club.

Spencer, originally from Wythenshawe, is Jagielka’s best friend. He has also played Leigh RMI and Radcliffe Borough, before switching to FC United.

The robbers threatened them all with knives and made them hand over cash and jewellery.

They made Jagielka open a safe before stealing two Rolex watches and a Breitling diamond watch.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

United in sport and friendship

September 24, 2009

CHARITY, sport and friendship will be the winners at FC United's minithon on Sunday, 18 October.

More than 300 people will be taking part in the 3.6-mile run starting at Chorlton Green.

And supporters of the breakaway club will be running with Rochdale Hornets fans to see who can raise most money.

There is still time to take part with half the proceeds of the run going to Medequip4kids and the other half to the participating clubs.

There will also be a supporting run in Italy with FC Torino supporters taking part in a similar run.

FC United general manager Andy Walsh believes the events for charity can only benefit both clubs and cement friendships forged over years.

He said: “Last year's Minithon was a great success and one we wanted to build on this year. With Torino and Rochdale Hornets on board we are certainly doing that”

While 300 Italian Torino supporters will be running in the scenic footholds of the Italian Alps, their Manchester challengers will be racing or jogging around leafy Chorlton Meadows besides the River Mersey.

FC United will be making sure they have stars of stage and screen joining their efforts. They include Looking for Eric film star, Steve Evets and James Quinn from the TV comedy series, Early Doors.

People across Greater Manchester are invited to participate and support either the team from Rochdale, the Manchester rebels or, if they want to travel to Turin, the Toro club.

As a gesture of thanks, all those entering for FC United are being offered a free ticket to an FC home league fixture of their choosing. And the Hornets are offering their backers a free ticket to the their first home game in the new rugby league season.

Key runners for FC United include labrador, Boru, who holds the record time for dragging a pet owner around the course. Boru will be running to win a new pet bed this year, while valuable prizes will go to the fastest runners, best fancy dress entrants and entrants with the best headgear. It is hoped to top the £18,000 raised last year.

Mike Hughson Medequip charity director said: “The funds raised through the Minithon event are vitally important in enabling MedEquip4Kids to continue to improve the health of injured and very poorly children in our local hospitals. All those that took part in the event last year will testify as to what a well organized and thoroughly enjoyable event it was. Sign on for the Minithon this year and we promise you another great day out.”

People wishing to participate in the event can register with Medequip4kids at www.medequip4kids.org or 0161 798 1600. Registration is £10 for adults and £5 for under 18s.


For comments and information about FC United please contact office@fc-utd.co.uk tel: 0161 273 8950 or go too www.fc-utd.co.uk

For comments from Rochdale Hornets please contact enquiries@hornetsrugbyleague.com tel: 01706 648004

1. MedEquip4Kids exists to improve healthcare for children and babies across the North West by providing specialist paediatric equipment.

2. We have spent more than £300,000 on vital medical equipment for children and babies across the region in the last twelve months.

3. To contact the charity, call 0161 798 1600 or email info@medequip4kids.org.uk

4. More information on individual projects at hospitals across the region are available via our website: www.medequip4kids.org.uk

Worksop Town 3 FC United of Manchester 1

Source: Worksop Guardian

Published Date: 24 September 2009

By Graham Smyth

WHAT a difference two wins make.

UniBond Premier
Worksop Town 3
FC United of Manchester 1

Worksop Town have put one of the worst weeks in the club's recent history firmly behind them with six points from their last two games.

With only one loss in nine league outings, Tigers suddenly look a different proposition from the side who hadn't won a game and could only seem to draw.

This was a game to savour for Tigers fans, who were segregated from their FC United counterparts thanks to an entirely unnecessary police intervention.

The visiting fans were a credit to themselves and their club throughout the 90 minutes, despite seeing their team reduced to 10 men and beaten comprehensively by Worksop.

An unchanged Tigers line-up started brightly, Ben Tomlinson using his pace to good effect to pressure the FC United defence and win a corner.
Kris Bowler's over-head kick from the set-piece was easily gathered by Sam Ashton in the visiting goal.

Tomlinson got away down the left thanks to a Danny Bacon pass, but his cross was poor, then the striker had a shot blocked on the edge of the box and on nine minutes he tore through the visitors down the middle but lose possession – although the referee brought play back for an earlier foul.

Referee Mr S. Cook got his book out for the first time on 20 minutes, showing yellow to Rob Nugent for bringing down Bacon as he latched on to a loose clearance from Ashton.

Seconds later Tomlinson was shown the same card for a late challenge.
FC United's first corner of the match brought a great save from Jon Kennedy, diving low at his back post to beat out Phillip Marsh's header.

With just 25 minutes gone the game began to slip away from FC United, Nugent falling foul of Mr Cook again when he brought down Tomlinson outside the area and saw his second yellow and subsequent red.

From the free-kick, Alex Callery whipped the ball in dangerously and Bacon's diving header found the net. 1-0 Tigers.

Bacon had a good chance to make it 2-0 on 33, but after picking up a loose pass his chipped effort was weak and Ashton caught the ball comfortably.

Danny Anson saw yellow for a late challenge on Carlos Roca and a minute later Danny Warrender was also cautioned for blocking Tomlinson's path.

With five minutes left in the half FC United replaced Simon Garner and Phillip Marsh with Jake Cotterill and Adam Tong.

The latter sent a free-kick just over the bar before the half came to a close.

Just 30 seconds after the break Tomlinson's shot was deflected to Callery, the midfielder shuffled his feet and blasted over the bar.
Tomlinson headed Scott Lowe's cross wide before Callery received a yellow card for a rash tackle on Deegan.

The early stages of the second half saw sloppy play from both sides and the best chance fell to Deegan, but the striker's header came off the bar.

Tigers broke immediately upfield, Tomlinson stripped Adam Carden of possession, touched it past Ashton and rolled the ball into the empty net to make it 2-0.

FC United could have got back into it on 63, but Lowe was there to clear when Kennedy failed to hold Roca's low shot.

Anson limped off for Tigers four minutes later, Matt Glass taking his place on the field and springing into action, drawing a foul from Ben Morris as he hared down the touchline.

On 73 minutes it was 3-0 and game over.

Tomlinson won the ball, fed his strike partner Bacon and the experienced forward slid the ball past Ashton and into the net.

FC United replaced Morris with Danny Williams with 15 to go, but Worksop created the next chance, Gary Townsend shooting well wide after two nice touches outside the area.

The visitors did get a goal back on 82 minutes, Tong getting the final touch to a dangerous cross.

A similar cross was dealt with by Kennedy with five left and then Carden got the game's final booking for his foul on Callery.

Man of the Match Tomlinson could have killed the game completely when he took Callery's pass in a good position, but he shot wide.

Try as they might, FC United could not create another clear cut opportunity and Mr Cook put his whistle to his lips and brought an entertaining game to a close.

Worksop Town: Kennedy 7, Asher 7, Davies 8, Jones 8, Lowe 7, Callery 8, Townsend 7, Anson 8 (Glass 67), Bowler 7, Bacon 8, TOMLINSON 9. Subs not used: White, Sanasy, Galloway, Chapman.

Guiseley prepare for FA Cup tie with two superb wins

Source: Wharfedale & Airedale Observer

10:00am Thursday 24th September 2009
By Rachel O'Connor »

GUISELEY prepared for Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round home game against Bamber Bridge with two superb away victories.

They disposed of league leaders FC United of Manchester 2-1 at their Gigg Lane ground at Bury and then produced a magnificent first-half display at Burscough on Tuesday night to take a 4-0 interval lead.

This ended up being the final score and sets Guiseley up well for their home clash with the UniBond Division One side Bamber Bridge on Saturday (3pm).

However, manager Steve Kittrick is taking nothing for granted against a side that defeated Guiseley in a pre-season friendly.

“We expect a tough game on Saturday, they are not a bad side and any Tony Greenwood side is well-organised. He knows what he is doing and has previously taken Fleetwood to the Premier Division title so we know what to expect,” said Kittrick.

Previous clashes between the two clubs, all in the UniBond League, between 1993 and the current day show 16 meetings with each team winning six and four being drawn.

The last time the sides met, in the 2004-5 season, Bamber Bridge triumphed 2-1, the game being sealed by a Richard Chattoe own goal after David Cooke had scored for Guiseley and King for Bamber Bridge.

Not one player from that Guiseley team remains with the club. The team was: John Lamb; Nathan Hay, Keiron O’Brien, Peter Sumner, Neil Grayston, James Stansfield, Dave Henry, Jonathan Hunt, Simon Parke, Richard Chattoe, Mark Stuart. Subs David Cooke (Sumner), Jeremy Illingworth (Grayston).

Kittrick is pleased with the two recent wins and said: “We gave a very professional performance at FC United, we worked very hard and got our reward, but on Tuesday at Burscough I thought we were outstanding. The new players Lee Askham and Harpal Singh did really well, Lee Tuck had a great game and Craig Bentham performed well when he came on but it was an all-round superb display.”

Guiseley will again go into the game without the injured Adam Muller and suspended James Walshaw while midfielder David Briggs has a suspected hernia. Chris Holland, who left the field at Burscough, is expected to be fit and Jerome Fitzgerald will be back from holiday.

The manager is in negotiations regarding on loan striker Damian Reeves, so his eligibility is not yet clear.

Two players who have left the club are former Rotherham United skipper Martin McIntosh, who had been wearing the captain’s armband at Guiseley, and James Nestor.

Centre-back McIntosh has left the club to pursue his coaching career while striker Nestor has joined Harrogate Railway, after scoring four goals against them for Guiseley Reserves recently.
FC United 1 Guiseley 2

GUISELEY edged a close game in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 at Bury’s Gigg Lane ground to move up to fourth place on Saturday.

FC United of Manchester are the best supported club in the division but they are only in mid-table while Guiseley with this win were just three points off then leaders Stocksbridge Park Steels and with a game in hand over them.

The visitors started well and forced several early chances. On loan striker Damian Reeves and Steve Burton both had shots saved before a third golden opportunity passed by as the ball flew over following a cross that had hearts in mouths in the home defence.

Mid-way through the half, a quick-fire double from midfielder Liam Needham turned the game in favour of Steve Kittrick’s men.

Burton was instrumental in the opener as it was his break and cross that gave Needham the chance. Having scored with a left-foot shot, he showed his versatility minutes later when he netted with a header. Guiseley had forced a corner and Dave Merris’ delivery was perfect for Needham.

FC United, who just missed out on the play-offs last season, ramped up their efforts and got back in the game. A good spell for them saw Guiseley’s lead cut before the break. Goalkeeper Jon Worsnop felt he had Jerome Wright’s shot covered but it took a slight deflection and the Guiseley stopper could not readjust in midair.

Although the home side bossed possession after the break, they failed to create many chances. Guiseley had opportunities to increase their lead but Reeves and Merris failed to convert from two late one-on-one situations.

Burscough 0 Guiseley 4

Guiseley gave a brilliant first-half performance at Burscough on Tuesday night. The pace, movement and passing were tremendous.

The third and fourth goals in particular were beautifully constructed. With two quick forwards, two quick wingers and solid tacklers in central midfield Burscough couldn’t live with Guiseley in the first-half and were comprehensively outplayed.

Unsurprisingly, the game went a little flat in the second-half although several more goals might have been added with better finishing. New signing Lee Askham looked a very good acquisition. The Guiseley goal rush started as early as the sixth minute when left-back Dave Merris took a corner and centre-back Danny Ellis was up there to head home.

In the 15th minute it was 2-0 when the Burscough number six was caught in possession by Lee Tuck who then ran into the box and crashed the ball home.

Just two minutes later it was 3-0 with a superb goal from Lee Tuck. A long ball from the back was cleverly flicked on by Damian Reeves into the path of Tuck and he sprinted into the box and smashed the ball left-footed into the net.

Midfielder Chris Holland left the field after 24 minutes to be replaced by Craig Bentham. Reeves got clean through but his effort hit the post. Guiseley did however extend their lead to 4-0 in the 36th minute when a superb passing move involving Reeves, Tuck and Askham saw the latter waltz into the box and calmly roll the ball into the net.

In the second-half after nine minutes a great left-footed effort by Askham was tipped over the bar by the ’keeper. After waiting since August 9 for his international clearance to come through, after playing in Ireland, former Leeds United player Harpal Singh eventually made his Guiseley debut.

After getting a taste of the action he was substituted in the 75th minute by Steve Burton. Askham, after a superb performance, was replaced in the 80th minute by Chris Davey.

There was one final effort from Guiseley in the 90th minute when Burton was superbly set up by Merris but his goalbound shot was saved.

Bacon double for Town

Source: The Star

Published Date: 24 September 2009
By Paul Webster

After going nine games without a win, Worksop Town have now won two in the space of five days as they followed up last weekend's 1-0 win over Marine by beating FC United of Manchester 3-1 at Ilkeston last night.

The visitors were reduced to ten-men in the 25th minute when Rob Nugent was sent-off for an innocuous challenge on Ben Tomlinson five minutes after being booked for a foul on Danny Bacon.

From the resultant Alex Callary free-kick Bacon powerfully
headed the Tigers in front from close range.

Worksop doubled their advantage as Tomlinson raced away to win a challenge with United keeper Sam Ashton .

Worksop made it 3-0 when Tomlinson's inch perfect cross was converted by Bacon. The visitors reduced the arrears eight minutes from time when a cross from Carlos Roca was headed home by Tong.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tigers v FC United of Manchester tonight

Source: Worksop Guardian

Published Date: 23 September 2009
By Guardian Sport

TIGERS are in action tonight against FC United of Manchester.
Worksop Town have confirmed that supporters at the New Manor Ground, Ilkeston, will be segregated.

A club statement said: "Please note that Ilkeston Police have confirmed that the ground has to be segregated for this match, so would all Worksop fans go to the turnstile to the rear of the clubhouse for access to the ground (including season ticket holders)."

"FC United fans should enter the ground at the turnstile at the right of the car park. Worksop fans will use the clubhouse and usual snack cabin; the bar area usually reserved for sponsors and a mobile catering facility will be available for FCUM fans."

For live updates from the match (kic-off 7.45pm) see HERE

Tigers are coming off the back of their first win of the season, after they beat Marine 1-0 at home on Saturday.

For a report and reaction see this week's Guardian.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stars of film and TV to join Rebels minithon

Monday 21st September 2009

LOOKING FOR ERIC film star, Steve Evets and James Quinn from the TV comedy series, Early Doors, will be leading the FC United challenge against rugby league club, Rochdale Hornets in a three mile fun run during October, writes Jules Spencer

The three mile “Run, Walk or Crawl” Minithon involving players and hundreds of other participants, will be held in leafy Chorlton Meadows besides the River Mersey on Sunday October 18th.

The challenge between new Co-operative rugby league club, Rochdale Hornets, who play with their oval shaped balls and FC United of Manchester, with their round balls, is to see who can raise the most money for North West children’s hospital charity, Medequip4kids.

Half the money raised by each team’s entrants will go to Medequip4kids and half to their respective clubs.

People across Greater Manchester are invited to participate and support either the team from Rochdale or the Manchester rebels.

As a gesture of thanks, all those entering for FC United are being offered a free ticket to an FC home league fixture of their choosing whilst the Hornets are offering a free ticket to the their first home game in the new rugby league season for their backers.

Key runners for FC United include Labrador, Boru, who holds the record time for dragging a pet owner around the course. Boru will be running to win a new pet bed this year, whilst valuable prizes will go to the fastest runners, best fancy dress entrants and entrants with the best headgear as it is being hoped to top the £18,000 raised last year.

Medequip Charity Director, Mike Hughson says: “The funds raised through the Minithon event are vitally important in enabling MedEquip4Kids to continue to improve the health of injured and very poorly children in our local hospitals. All those that took part in the event last year will testify as to what a well organized and thoroughly enjoyable event it was. Sign on for the Minithon this year and we promise you another great day out.”

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Needham double silences big crowd

5:35pm Sunday 20th September 2009

By Ian Whiting

FC United of Manchester 1, Guiseley 2

The Lions edged a close game in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 at Gigg Lane to move up to fourth.

FC United of Manchester are the best supported club in the division but they are only in mid-table while Guiseley are now just three points off leaders Stocksbridge Park Steels.

The visitors started well and forced several early chances.

Damien Reeves and Steve Burton both had shots saved before a third golden opportunity passed by as the ball flew over following a cross that had hearts in mouths in the home defence.

Midway through the half, a quick-fire double from Liam Needham turned the game in favour of the Lions.

Burton was instrumental in the opener as it was his break and cross that gave Needham the chance.

Having scored a left-foot shot, he showed his versatility minutes later when he netted a header.

Guiseley had forced a corner and Dave Merris’ delivery was perfect for Needham.

FC United, who just missed out on the play-offs last seaosn, ramped up their efforts and got back in the game.

A good spell for them saw Guiseley’s lead cut before the break. Keeper Jon Worsnop felt he had Jerome Wright’s shot covered but it took a slight deflection and the Guiseley stopper could not readjust in midair.

Although the home side bossed possession after the break, they failed to create many chances.

Guiseley had opportunities to increase their lead but Reeves and Merris failed to convert from two late one-on-one situations.

Monday, September 14, 2009

FA Cup joy for FC United

Source: Manchester Evening News

September 14, 2009
FC UNITED manager Karl Marginson singled out livewire winger Carlos Roca for praise after the former Northwich and Stalybridge man had struck twice in six minutes to help put the rebel Reds on the road to FA Cup glory.

Two-goal Roca inspired FC - the Cup's newest team - to a 3-1 first qualifying-round victory over the world's oldest club, Sheffield, who were never in the hunt after Ben Deegan's deflected shot had given visiting United a 32nd minute lead.

Roca quickly doubled FC's advantage by converting a penalty earned by Deegan before adding his second and their third goal with a sublime lob on the stroke of half-time to leave the Tykes with no way back.

Sheffield did reply through a Jordan Eagers spot-kick controversially awarded against Adam Tong, but FC, too, might have had more goals as first Deegan was denied by a goal-line clearance and then Roca came close to completing his hat-trick.

Marginson said: "We had pace and used it well, with Carlos the catalyst in nearly all our best moments.

"Our first-half display gave us the platform and, though we knew Sheffield would come at us after the break, we kept our shape well to win what was always going to be a tricky tie."

Elsewhere, ex-Hyde and Droylsden striker Paul Gedman was Salford City's two-goal star as the Moor Lane outfit went marching on in the Cup with a shock 2-1 home victory over Marine.

Ashton United eased past their neighbours Curzon Ashton's Cup conquerors Lancaster with Pat McFadden, Iain Howard and sub Callum Flanagan scoring in their suprisingly easy 3-0 win at Giant Axe.

Radcliffe and Warrington are also safely through to the second qualifying-round.

Andy Stanford netted a late penalty winner for Boro as they squeezed past Woodley at Cheadle, while Town were also single-goal victors over Nantwich.

No such joy for Glossop, who crashed out 3-2 to Chorley at Surrey Street, while Maine Road also left the Cup trail, crushed 4-1 by visiting Bamber Bridge.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Old vs Young in The Cup

Source: FA.com

Sheffield FC take on FC United of Manchester.
Sheffield FC v FC United of Manchester
The FA Cup sponsored by E.ON
First Round Qualfying
3pm, Saturday 12 September 2009
The Bright Finance Stadium, Sheffield FC

The oldest club in the world take on the new kids on the block as FC United of Manchester travel across the Pennines to take on Sheffield FC in The FA Cup First Round Qualifying.

Whilst Sheffield have been plying their trade in the lower leagues since 1857, FC United were formed only four years ago, when a group of Manchester United supporters protesting about the takeover of their club by the Glazer family decided to form a new team.

John England, FC United’s matchday secretary, explains: “The Glazer takeover was the catalyst, the final straw, but it all began with what we saw as the increasing commercialisation of the club. We wanted FC United to be different. As a matter of principle, we have no sponsorship on our shirts.”

In their first four seasons as a club, FC United have enjoyed three successive promotions. “We have to pinch ourselves sometimes to realise how far we’ve come in such a short time,” adds England.

But FA Cup success has been much more limited - they haven’t been beyond the First Preliminary Round yet. That means a win on Saturday would be their most successful FA Cup run to date. “That would be nice because The FA Cup always has something special about it.”

After a pre-season tour of South Korea - rather unusual for a Northern Premier League team - FC United are currently lying eighth in the division. Another promotion is the aim for this season, but the long-term ambition? “To go as far as we can while still retaining our principles,” said England

Today in Sport

Edited from: The Guardian

One interesting tie further down the leagues that I should've mentioned earlier is the FA Cup tie between Sheffield FC (the world's oldest club) and FC United of Manchester (quite a new one). There's an interesting blog on the game here.


The blog he's linking to (http://www.just-football.com/ ) says:

Sheffield FC vs FC United - World's Oldest Club Meets One Of The Newest In FA Cup

As a popular concept, 'the magic of the FA Cup' is one whose effect on the senses appears to have waned for the general public in recent years. Rather than embodying the spirit of a proud cup competition that dates back over 100 years it has, sadly, become more a phrase that is bottled up and sold back to us by over-enthusiastic advertisers keenly eyeing viewing figures. Either this or the last playing hand of the traditionalist battling valorously to maintain that the FA Cup is anything other than a pretty afterthought in a world where money talks and the Champions League has louder vocal chords.

But a hint of sorcery does still lie in the world's oldest football knockout competition, and yet another example of it's unique ability to enchant occurs this weekend when Sheffield FC, the oldest football club in the world, meet FC United - one of the newest, in the FA Cup 1st qualifying round.

As the oldest club in the world Sheffield FC hold a special place in the long and storied history of football. Founded in 1857, Sheffield Football Club was formed as a means to help channel the vast swell of enthusiasm for the game of football up in Sheffield at a time when football was an inherently new sporting concept in Britain.

Back then football was more traditionally associated with the public schools and universities. Wanderers for example, winners of the first ever FA Cup in 1872, were a team formed by Old Harrovians (old boys of Harrow public school). Outside of the schools and universities however football was most popular up in Sheffield, where games are reported to have taken place as early as 1831 in the city's Hyde Park. Sheffield Football Club was therefore formed as a reaction to the game's immense popularity in the city. The club often drew on former pupils of Sheffield's collegiate for players.

FC United on the other hand have a far less antiquated but no less compelling story behind their creation. Founded 148 years after Sheffield FC in 2005, FC United of Manchester was formed by disenfranchised supporters of Manchester United unhappy following Malcolm Glazer's controversial takeover of the Red Devils.

Although the Glazers' takeover of United is seen as the main catalyst for the creation of FC United, the club's founders often maintain that the reasons for defecting from Manchester United to form a new club are more complex than that. An overwhelming dissatisfaction with the state of the modern game is more often cited as chief stimulus for FC United's birthing. As Luc Zentar, acting secretary of the club at the time of it's formation put it back in 2005:

"[We were] sick of football and what it has become: the money; the arrogance; the lack of connection between the players and the fans; the way we, the supporters, are treated; the Gestapo-like environment. I can't stand the fact that is costs £36 to get in to a ground with no atmosphere, where you can't stand, can't shout, can't fart, can't even sit with your friends."

The principles and aims of the newly formed club are simple.

"There is no masterplan," explains Zentar. "We are bringing football back to the community. This is purely about providing cheap, enjoyable football. If we don't win the European Cup within the next twenty years then so be it. I am fed up of families having to spend half their weekly wage just to see their team. [Our] only dream is to get football back to what it should be."

762 teams entered the FA Cup for the 2009/2010 season, but of all the 1st qualifying round games this is surely the tie of the round. And isn't it funny how, despite the vast number of teams competing, the cup always seems to throw up these fascinating, fabled fixtures? Anticipation both in Sheffield and Manchester is building.

"It promises to be a cracking day, one that we’re really looking forward to," says Guy Higton, Sheffield FC spokesman. "We are rightly proud of our place in football’s history and there’s a nice symmetry to this fixture. Our clubs may have been formed nearly 150 years apart but we share many common values in how the game should be played and what it can contribute to the community."

FC United spokesman Jules Spencer is also excited:

"Our supporters can’t wait for the game. The FA Cup holds a special place in our hearts and when we knew we’d be playing Sheffield, knowing all about their history, it made it even more attractive. We’ll probably take around a thousand supporters over the Pennines and as always they’ll be in good spirits."

The game takes place at the BT Local Business Stadium in Dronfield, just south of Sheffield. Kick off 3pm on Saturday.

In the first qualifying round of the world's oldest football competition one club, whose historic roots lie right at the very heart of the game's creation, take on a club formed 148 years later by a group of supporters looking to reconnect the game with the ideals and values of a bygone era.

If it's magic you're looking for this weekend, you know where to find it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sheffield Cup underdogs in Roses battle

FC United of Manchester are favourites to proceed in the FA Cup.

Published Date: 10 September 2009

By Bob Westerdale

SHEFFIELD FC's FA Cup battle with FC United of Manchester will be an advertisement for non-League football, managers of both clubs predict.

The Roses rivals meet in the first qualifying round at Dronfield on Saturday, and both are intent on playing fluid, attacking football.

Sheffield manager Chris Dolby says: "I was at Rotherham with (FC manager) Karl Marginson and he was always one who wanted to get the ball down and play in the right way.

"They will get the ball to feet and work hard and play with quality.

"They have got some good calibre players but I take nothing away from my boys, we have some good new signings, a good work ethic will have the right approach physically and mentally."

Marginson, in an article in last Saturday's Star, said he thought Sheffield would follow Dolby's playing philosophy of attractive, attacking football.

Dolby said: "We are a League lower than them and definitely the underdogs going into the game. We have a lot of respect for FC but we are ready for a real battle!"

Up to 1,000 FC fans will make the cross-Pennine journey.

There was a short outbreak of trouble at FC's recent trip to play Retford at Lincoln, but Marginson insists FC fans were not the type to cause agro.

He said he thought that fans of league teams often showed up at matches to cause trouble because of FC's association with Manchester United.

*Stocksbridge Park Steels enter the FA Cup at this stage and face a trip to fellow Unibond side Clitheroe who are in Division One North.

They are set to do so without their star winger Jamie Vardy who is due to start a suspension on Saturday.

Clitheroe were held at home in the last round by NCEL side Staveley MW but they came over to North East Derbyshire and won the replay.

Gary Marrow's side go into the tie on the back of a 4-2 home win over Marine on Tuesday which enabled Stocksbridge to consolidate their position in the top two of the Premier Division.

However, Marrow will be keen to warn his players that they are there to be shot at in the uncertain world of the FA Cup and good starts to a league campaign can count for nothing in the most unpredictable cup tournament of all.

There are two ties on Sunday with a local derby which sees Worksop Town at home to their fellow Unibond League Premier Division side Frickley Athletic.

And Hallam entertain Burscough at Sandygate, both those ties kicking off at 3pm.

The clubs have a handy cash incentive because £3,000 goes to those who get through this stage.

Blues denied by 94th minute strike

Published Date: 10 September 2009

A LAST-gasp equaliser from FC United of Manchester denied a heroic Whitby Town side all three points on Wednesday night.

Blues boss Harry Dunn said despite a strong defensive performance, the draw seemed more like a defeat after FC United buried a 94th minute leveller.

"To be fair to them, they had an awful lot of pressure most of the second half, we defended manfully but couldn't defend the last corner, they scored, we kicked off again and the final whistle blew," said Dunn.

"We went 1-0 up through Jimmy Beadle and both Karl Charlton and Ryan Blott had chances but didn't put them away and a second would have finished the game.

"We were disappointed not to hang on."

In front a crowd of 1,716 at Bury's football league ground Gigg Lane, the Blues went in front on 66 minutes when Beadle's powerful drive was deflected past FC keeper Sam Ashton.

Town looked set to earn a precious away win but were undone when FC United substitute Jerome Wright let fly with a left-footed shot from the left wing that crept inside the near post.

Until then, Whitby were on course for their first win in three games, having defended brilliantly against an onslaught from the highly-rated home team.

Whitby could have even added a second with 20 minutes to go when Charlton broke free in the final third, but stroked a shot just wide of the post.

The referee added on five minutes after a Ben Deegan challenge on Town's Denny Ingram led to a 22-man confrontation in the middle of the park. United made full use of stoppage time, pressing the Whitby goal and finding the breakthrough with Wright's clever finish

FC United 1 Whitby Town 1

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Bumper crowd expected for Manchester cup clash

Source: The Star

Published Date: 09 September 2009

By Bob Westerdale

THE sleepy town of Dronfield will reverberate to the sound of an army of 1,000 travelling Mancunians on Saturday.
Sheffield FC host FA Cup visitors FC United of Manchester, the club with the biggest following in non-league football.

FC - the club born of Old Trafford fans' dislike of corporate American ownership - will virtually take over the stadium.

But that could only stir up the home side, says Sheffield manager Chris Dolby.

"Having that amount of travelling fans in the ground could well be a big factor in the result, but I'm not sure who will actually benefit from it!" he said "Our flair players seem to like to get on the ball and attack more when there is a big crowd.

"It will be similar to when Sheffield United played us pre-season or the Ferencvaros game.

"The atmosphere could spur on our players - they certainly won't be intimidated by it."

Lower-league Sheffield, on a good day attract between 350 and 450 supporters at Dronfield. And Dolby says he hopes they and others turn up for the (3pm) FA Cup qualifier.

"If they raise their voices and get behind their team it will be even better," he said.

Sheffield will get a 50-50 split of the gate and they also have an eye on the £2,500 prize money should they get through.

"It would be great if we could improve on last season when we had to fight hard to beat Guiseley and eventually were knocked out by Blyth Spartans," said Dolby.

"We have got a few games to get through before we'd get to the first round proper.

"But if somebody was to have offered me a game against non-distinct opposition or FC United of Manchester, I'd have picked FC. The atmosphere will be fantastic."

FC are coming off a UniBond Premier League defeat at Kendal and are lying in ninth.

BT Local Business is Sheffield FC's new stadium sponsor.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Town keep marching on

Source: Westmorland Gazette

9:04pm Monday 7th September 2009

By Richard Edmondson

The start of the season has been pleasantly surprising; another 3 points at the weekend and Town sit proudly at the top and 4 points clear of the chasing pack.

Even the most die hard of Kendal fan must be surprised by Town’s good start to the season.

The 1-0 home win over FC United, was eventful to say the least, the 1st half Kendal had enough chances to be comfortable, however in the 2nd half, FC United fought back and had Kendal on the back foot.

And I felt a combination of good defending and poor shooting on goal by FC United helped Kendal to victory.

It was actually a very strange 2nd half, the referee lost control which didn’t help. When an official loses control that tends to upset the rhythm of things and for this match the 2nd half was chaotic. Michael Cole being sent off for Town was controversial. I suppose I would say that but I didn’t see what he had done wrong as such.

Officiating at best is a difficult job and they can only give what they see and what they feel is the right decision, however common sense is lacking from the man in the middle and his assistants, and sometimes they make life harder for themselves.

I read a post on the Kendal Town forum where someone said the officials are anti Kendal, I would personally disagree with that as a few weeks ago Kendal were awarded a penalty at Ashton, and it was no where near a penalty, infact the Ashton defender put in a good clean challenge and won the ball. However the ref gave it and I wasn’t complaining nor were the Town fans, so it’s not only us because the rest of the league has the same problem But all players, and fans ask for is common sense and consistency, and if officials give that then they have done their job to the best of their ability.

Tuesday night sees Kendal make the trip to play Ossett Town at the Ingfield stadium. It’s traditionally not a happy hunting ground for Kendal; they went their last season and lost 5-1 in controversial circumstances.

Ossett, have had a mixed start to the season, they are weakened by the loss of both Aidan Savoury and Simon Baldry, but are strengthened by the goals of Adam Clayton. They also have a new man at the helm with Paul Lines taking over.

It will be an interesting test, Kendal being league leaders means that they are their to be shot down, and other teams are going to give that extra 10-20% to try and end the teams unbeaten record.

Hopefully the lads can go their and get a result and keep the fine start going!

Check out a photo I did of the match!


Joy for Droylsden but FC lose

Source: Manchester Evening News

Tony Glennon

September 07, 2009
DROYLSDEN boss Dave Pace insisted his barnstorming Bloods still have plenty more goals left in the tank after seeing them maintain their blistering start with a record-breaking victory.

Neil Sorvel (2), Paul Brown (2), Tony Gray, Simon Yeo and Alex Meechan (pen) shared in the carve-up as second-placed Droylsden thrashed visiting Stafford Rangers 7-1 to post their biggest-ever Blue Square North triumph.

It takes the Bloods' goals tally soaring to a quarter-of-a- century with the season still less than a month old and offers Pace's men the chance to replace Eastwood at the summit if they can follow up with another win against Harrogate at the Butcher's Arms tonight (7.45pm).

"Our passing and movement were superb and to score seven goals at this level is a tremendous achievement," said a jubilant Pace. "There's no telling what this squad can achieve, but, at the same time, it's crucial the players keep their feet on the ground and continue working hard."

No such joy for Hyde United or for their debut-making keeper Ayden Duffy, who was sent off after twice conceding penalties which played a key part in the Tigers tumbling 5-1 to visiting Alfreton.

Chris Lynch also saw red for Hyde as they sank to their third successive defeat, leaving manager Neil Tolson looking for an urgent response from his shell-shocked side when they lock horns with Gloucester at Ewen Fields tonight.

Hyde's latest set-back allowed bitter rivals Stalybridge to climb above them in mid- table with John Hardiker (29 mins) and Steve Woods (51) on target in a 2-1 victory at Farsley - Bridge's second win in five days.

Steve Burr's side had to dig deep but eventually proved too strong for a Farsley outfit who were happy simply to be playing at all after being saved from extinction by a dramatic late rescue act which had enabled the game to go ahead.

Northwich missed an opportunity to put clear daylight between themselves and the rock-bottom Yorkshire club as they went down 1-0 at Corby.

Meanwhile, FC United's three-match winning surge in UniBond premier was halted as they fell 1-0 at leaders Kendal.

But defeat was a little harsh on Karl Marginson's rebel Reds, who saw both Ben Deegan and Phil Marsh go close to cancelling out Mark Wane's 44th minute match-winning strike.

Kendal were then grateful to hold on for victory after being reduced to ten men when Michael Cole was sent off.

Ashton United seized on FC's Cumbrian setback to leapfrog them and go fourth by winning 1-0 at Bradford Park Avenue.

Ian Bennett's 57th minute header was enough to give the Robins their fourth win in six starts.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

How Millers misery taught Margy to manage

1,000 heading for Sheffield FC

Published Date: 05 September 2009

By Bob Westerdale

KARL Marginson is the first to admit he isn't a household name throughout Rotherham following his footballing days with the Millers.

"I went to Rotherham United as a left winger and ended up as a centre-half - I was that bad," jokes the 38-year-old, now manager of Sheffield FC's FA Cup opponents, FC United of Manchester.

"Phil Henson (manager 1991-4) brought me there and then later I played for Archie Gemmill and John McGovern (joint managers 1994-96)," recalled Marginson.

"The high point was my debut against Portsmouth. But my time there ended up a bit of a nightmare. I didn't play well and it didn't work out."

It wasn't a complete waste of time and effort, though.

As well as a £250-a-week pay packet, Marginson picked up a few tips on how to manage a club during his four years at Millmoor.

Now he is employing some of those techniques in charge of FC United, a UniBond Premier League outfit that regularly draws more fans through the turnstile than some Football League clubs.

FC's supporters are loud, brash and even political - their club was founded as a symbol of rebellion at Old Trafford being bought by American tycoon Malcolm Glazer in 2005.

FC home gates at Gigg Lane, Bury, in the seventh tier of English football, can reach 3,000. Up to 1,000 will invade Dronfield for the Sheffield clash a week today.

"Taking that number next week doesn't surprise me; we've taken 1,500 to games against Wimbledon and Buxton," says Marginson, a Manchester United fan who shares the fans' dislike of "franchise football", big-match ticket prices and corporate influence.

"The size of our support is a great boost to our players. And it is also good for other clubs like Sheffield to have so much money coming through the door."

FC are one division higher than Sheffield Club. Yet that doesn't make the North-west side favourites in 'Margy's' eyes.

"Certainly not with my record in the FA Cup! Sheffield are always knocking on the door for promotion and any side under Chris Dolby will be attack-minded and have flair. It'll be a good game," he said.

Is the former milkman's dream to face his one-time heroes, Manchester United, in the FA Cup third round?

"I saw United reserves the other night and they were awesome – I really don't want to be beaten 10-0! Seriously, though, it would be a dream game.," he said. "But we have to concentrate on Sheffield now. They have beaten us before (1-0, 2006 at Don Valley,) in a friendly. It is important to us to win this game, not least financially as we need money to develop our own ground."

So do FC aspire to join the Football League – where they may one day be vulnerable to the same satellite TV and commercial interests their supporters despise?

"That's up to the fans," he said. "One member, one vote; they decide. That's the beauty of fans owning a club.

"Nobody is more important than anybody else."

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Burscough are beaten 2-0 at FC United

Sep 3 2009 by Our Correspondent, Ormskirk Advertiser

ALTHOUGH the tempo was pretty quick, this game took a while to ignite.

Burscough were making things difficult for the home team in the early stages. Mark Halstead dealing with a Phil Marsh free kick, and a shot from the same man going past Halstead’s left-hand post the highlights.

Having restricted United, Burscough gradually built up the confidence to construct some attacks themselves and the game took light. Dave Roberts fired in a threatening free kick in the 11th minute that seemed to get them going.

The movement of Linnets forwards Karl O’Donnell and Darren Byers were keeping United central defenders Adam Tong and Dave Chadwick on their toes. O’Donnell was only kept at bay in the 18th minute thanks to a good save by home keeper Sam Ashton.

It was then Burscough’s turn to attack and after a fine example of team interplay, the pass and move build up sent O’Donnell into the home goalmouth on an angle from the right, as Ashton left his line, O’Donnell put the ball wide.

Burscough then suddenly went behind. The ball was played down the left by Simon Carden, finding an unmarked Wright, the United number ten used the space which allowed him to cut in on goal and slot the ball past an advancing Halstead.

United, set about finishing the game off after the interval and kicking towards their supporters put the pressure on Burscough who coped quite well, the biggest scare was when Marsh clipped the ball over Halstead and James Connolly cleared.

In the 54th minute a long clearance by Halstead caught United out, O’Donnell latched onto the ball and ran in only to chip the ball over the bar, followed soon afterwards by a Roberts shot that was saved by Ashton.

When United got a second two minutes later it had been preceded by a good spell for Burscough. Wright again caused Dave Ryan problems down the left, but, instead of crossing to a group of attackers in the area, he cleverly cut the ball back to Marsh, who thumped a blistering shot past Halstead from about 15 yards.

Full-time was beckoning when United almost grabbed a third, Danny Warrender being kept out by Halstead.

In conclusion, Burscough will play a lot worse this season than they did at Gigg Lane and win and United probably deserved to win on the day, but only just. But the big thing is Gray’s team continues to evolve and more importantly improve, leaving Burscough supporters needing to be patient, a new team cannot be built overnight.

FC United: Ashton, Carden A., Garner, Warrender, Chadwick, Tong, Roca (Williams, 64), Carden S. (Cottrell, 64), Deegan, Wright (Morris, 64), Marsh Subs (not used) Nugent, Mack

Burscough: Halstead, Ryan (McCulloch, 73), Roberts, Goulding, Connolly (Kay, 75), Kilbane, Parry, Moore, O’Donnell, Byers, Brookfield (Merrella, 82) Subs (not used) Bowen, Field

Referee: I. Gittins

Attendance: 1879

Burscough Man of the Match: Mark Halstead

FC United Man of the Match: Sam Ashton

Student deported to Nigeria

Source: Bury Times

2:00pm Thursday 3rd September 2009

A HOLY Cross College student has been deported to Nigeria after losing her fight to stay in the UK.

Saskia Iloba, aged 17, and her family were put on a flight from Heathrow to Lagos at 10.20pm last Thursday.

The family’s application for asylum was refused and they were sent to Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire on July 6.

Despite months of campaigning and support from thousands of people, they were unsuccessful in attempts to win a reprieve.

Saskia fled Nigeria in 2004 with her mother, Betty, and brothers Toby, aged 18, and Emmanuel, aged 14.

Their father was a police officer who they believe was murdered by people involved in a case he was investigating.

The family decided to flee to Britain when death threats were made against Mrs Iloba and they settled in Rochdale.

Saskia became a popular student at Holy Cross College and Toby was a member of Bury-based FC United’s under 18s team until the end of last season.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The perfect bank holiday!

8:31pm Tuesday 1st September 2009

As a fan the good times keep rolling at Kendal Town FC, the traditional bank holiday fixtures are always huge tests, but for Kendal to pick 6 points from the 2 games is more than what even the most die hard of Kendal fans would have hoped for.

Both matches were quite different; Saturdays 4-1 home win over Marine was relatively straight forward, Kendal, were just a class above on the day. Whilst the Whitby away match on Bank Holiday was a massive battle, so to win 3-2 in the 95th minute shows how far the team are progressing.

The man of the moment is Kieran Walmsley, he can’t stop scoring, he had 5 going into the weekend already and has already added on to that tally reaching 8 so far!

All the goals he has scored have been stunning strikes, that goal at Ashton a few weeks ago was a screamer, on Saturday he scored 2 sensational free kicks and on Bank Holiday Monday he scored another screamer volleying the ball home at the death.

This unbeaten start has put Kendal couple of points clear at the top, and even though it’s still relatively early days, Town are looking hard to beat, on Saturday they face another challenge when they host FC United. There is set to be 1,500+ their on the day, that match last season helped Kendal through financially till the end of the season, FC’s fan base is huge and they are always a good set of supporters!

Their will be one heck of an atmosphere on Saturday, Kendal will be looking to keep their good start going, whilst FC who after a slow start to the season are gradually coming back into form again!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

FA Cup brings cash windfall for Club

01 September 2009

By Bob Westerdale

SHEFFIELD FC will see the magic of the FA Cup converted into hard cash in the next round.

The Dronfield club says they have been asked to send a whopping 1,000 tickets by FC United of Manchester.

Exactly how many the Bury-based outfit will get for the September 12 battle is another matter. "We don't want to turn this into a home game for them," a member of staff said.

Sheffield FC got through the preliminary round with a 4-0 win over Flixton at the Bright Finance Stadium.