Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rebels sunk by Steele

 Source: Manchester Evening News

 Lee Steele’s razor-sharp finish cut FC United down to size as Ashton United knocked the Rebels off the top of the Evo-Stik League’s premier division by inflicting their first defeat of the season in front of a  1,069 Bank Holiday crowd at Hurst Cross.

The former Northwich star's 44th minute strike was enough to give Ashton a 1-0 victory over Karl Marginson’s men which sees them replace the Red Rebels at the summit and wreck their 100 per cent winning start to boot.

Steele sliced through the visitors’ defence to score with a precision volley from the edge of the box and give unbeaten Ashton their third win in four games.

FC came back strongly after the break but were unable to find a way through an Ashton rearguard which has yet to concede a goal.

Defeat for the Rebels means they drop from first to third, with Northwich among a clutch of clubs missing the chance to climb above them as they, too, had their perfect start ruined in a surprise 2-1 loss at Nantwich.

Meanwhile, it was a dreadful Bank Holiday for Manchester's four Conference clubs as all of them lost – and none of them scored.

Altrincham suffered a fourth successive defeat in crashing 4-0 to visiting Mansfield – a result which leaves the rock-bottom Robins already four points adrift at the foot of Blue Square Bet Premier.

The ailing Moss Lane outfit, who hadn’t scored in any of their three previous outings, were two-down inside 18 minutes to goals from Paul Connor and Adam Smith.

Keigan Parker then added two more late on as Alty were sunk without trace.

Droylsden meekly surrendered their unbeaten record in Blue Square Bet North in a shock 3-0 home defeat to previously winless Blyth.

To compound the Bloods' misery, they had winger Luke Holden stretchered off.

Struggling Stalybridge, like Alty, lost for the fourth time in a row as they lost 1-0 to Harrogate at Bower Fold.

And Hyde’s woes continued with a single-goal reverse at Guiseley leaving them still languishing in 21st place with just one point from their first six games.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Marginson cool as FC United put five past Retford

 Source: Manchester Evening News

 FC United boss Karl Marginson warned his rampant Rebels against complacency after seeing them march to the top of the Evo-Stik League's premier division with a five-goal rout of visiting Retford.

Marginson’s men reached the summit by extending their winning start to three games with new boy Colin Little climbing off the subs' bench to score twice in the 5-1 Gigg Lane romp.

Goals from Martin Parker (2 mins), Carlos Roca (29) and Jake Cottrell (39) had already put FC firmly in command before ex-Altrincham star Little’s stunning two-goal cameo – the second an inch-perfect 35-yard lob – set the seal on a rousing victory.

But, despite being pleased by FC’s showing, Marginson urged his players to keep their feet firmly on the ground as they prepared for today’s derby date at Ashton United, who are also still flying high despite dropping their first points in being held to a goalless draw at Frickley.

“It's been a good start, but we’ve done nothing yet,” said the FC chief. “The lads have got to keep their standards up throughout the season, not just for three games.”

Meanwhile, ailing Altrincham remained rooted to the foot of Blue Square Bet Premier ahead of today’s home clash with Mansfield after suffering their third successive defeat in crashing 3-0 at York. The Robins defended doggedly for more than an hour but were eventually undone by three goals in the last 20 minutes.

Stalybridge Celtic, too, lost for the third time in a row in Blue Square Bet North, Connor Jennings’ 75th-minute strike failing to prevent them going down 2-1 at Nuneaton.

Hyde finally broke their points duck with Scott Mooney on target in a 1-1 draw with Ilkeston at Ewen Fields.

But the troubled Tigers missed a golden opportunity to chalk up their first win as the visitors played almost the entire game with only 10 men after having defender Laurie Wilson sent off inside two minutes.

Droylsden stretched their unbeaten start to five games with a battling 1-1 draw at Hinckley.

The Bloods once again had to come from behind to earn a share of the spoils, Luke Holden netting their equaliser midway through the second-half.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

FC United of Manchester reach highest point in their history after hammering Retford United

 Source: Northwich Guardian

 8:45pm Saturday 28th August 2010

FC UNITED of Manchester sit at the top of the Premier Division table for the first time after winning three matches in the season’s first seven days.

A midweek win over Nantwich Town was followed by a five-goals demolition of Retford United on Saturday.

The only other club with a 100 per cent record after three games is Northwich Victoria, who edged out Bradford Park Avenue on Tuesday before scoring a comfortable 4-0 victory over Hucknall Town.

Tommy Brookbanks’ Yellows won by the same margin at Buxton on Wednesday.

Sharing third place in the standings are Ashton United and Matlock Town, both of whom have yet to concede a goal.

However the two teams failed to hit the target at the other end either in weekend draws at Frickley Athletic and Ossett Town respectively.

The fans of the latter two clubs suffered a goals after seeing their teams’ games draw blanks for the second time in the space of five days.

Indeed Billy Heath’s men have yet to find the net in three attempts!

Newly-promoted Mickleover Sports are finding the going tougher than last term, conceding ten goals in the first week, to Retford and Nantwich as the only teams still to score a point.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wins for Droylsden, FC United

Source: Manchester Evening News

August 26, 2010

Non-league Droylsden climbed to seventh in Blue Square Bet North as they took the Tameside derby honours with a comfortable 3-1 victory over struggling neighbours Hyde at the Butcher's Arms on Wednesday night.

Ironically, it was former Tigers striker David McNiven who gave the Bloods a 38th-minute lead and Ciaran Kilheeney then made it 2-0 with a 55th-minute header from Luke Holden's pinpoint cross.

Andy Smart gave Hyde hope soon after when he pulled one back from the penalty-spot, but, within a minute, Steve Halford restored Droylsden's two-goal advantage to kill off any chance of a Tigers fight-back.

Droylsden’s triumph extends their unbeaten start to four games, from which they’ve collected eight points, but defeat for Hyde leaves them still pointless in 21st place and increases the pressure on their beleaguered boss, Neil Tolson.

Meanwhile, FC United made it full points from their first two games in Evo-Stik Premier with Jerome Wright’s 21st-minute strike giving them a 1-0 win over Nantwich in front of a crowd of 1,866 at Gigg Lane.

Wright cut in from the left and fired in off the inside of the far post. He later hit the bar, as also did team-mate Chris Ovington, as the rebel Reds built on their impressive opening-day triumph at Marine with another commanding performance.

Norton gives the Rebels a flying start

Source: Bury Times

7:40am Thursday 26th August 2010

By Liam Chronnell

A MIKE Norton double ensured FC United made the perfect start to the new Evo-Stik Premier Division campaign with a 2-0 victory against nine-man Marine.

The Rebels new signing took just 15 minutes to open his account from the penalty spot after Ben Deegan had been brought down in the area.

Striker Norton wrapped up the points nine minutes after the restart before Marine had two players sent off as tempers flared towards the end.

FC, who took on Nantwich Town last night, face Retford United at Gigg Lane on Saturday and travel to Ashton United on Bank Holiday Monday.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Q&A with Andy Walsh

Source: Co-operative News (no online content)

Monday, August 23, 2010


Source: Non-league Daily

On the eve of the Evo-Stik League Premier Division starting, Karl Marginson, manager of FC United of Manchester, added two more players to his first-team squad – making it thirteen newcomers in total.

Wide player Chris Ovington has crossed the Pennines to join from league rivals Bradford Park Avenue.

Ovington signed a two-year contract with Garforth Town in September 2009 after joining them following nine years with neighbours Leeds United.

Ovington, an attacking player with blistering pace, impressed Garforth`s management after receiving the man of the match award against them when playing on loan at Guiseley in the FA Cup the previous season.

He moved onto to Park Avenue in January 2010.

Josh Burke is actually returning to FC United after a spell with groundsharers Bury.

The teenage midfielder came through the ranks at FC United before making a brief sojourn to their landlords.

Amongst Marginson`s other recruits are Zach Hibbert – 20-year-old goalkeeper who has joined from Chorley, Scott McManus, also 21 and a former Manchester United trainee and Crewe Alexandra central defender, Martin Parker, a centre back from Vodkat North West Counties League neighbours Glossop North End, and Lee Neville, a 21-year-old left-back and winger, who re-joins the club after having a brief spell training with the squad in February 2009.

Three more experienced signings include Richard Battersby, a 31-year-old right-back who has played for the likes of Stalybridge Celtic, Altrincham and Northwich Victoria, prolific striker Mike Norton, 29, who has scored ten in nine pre-season appearances for FC United after netting over 200 goals for Curzon Ashton, and 37-year-old Colin Little (pictured).

The former Crewe, Macclesfield and Hyde United striker has joined FC United following a six-year spell at Altrincham.

However, ex-Stalybridge Celtic, AFC Telford United and Altrincham midfielder Steve Torpey, who has been playing for FC United during the pre-season, is now considering his options on where to play his football.

FC United`s assistant boss Roy Soule said: “Steve has received offers from a number of clubs higher up the non-League Pyramid and so he is considering his options.

"Steve is well aware of our financial situation and he has to decide what the right option is for him. He’s got a close affiliation to the club and he’s really enjoyed his pre-season, so we’re hopeful but the decision rests with Steve.”

The door has also been left open for a number of FC United`s other summer triallists, including former midfielder Tunji Moses.

Nick Swirad has been playing for Vodkat North West Counties League side New Mills and it is hoped similar `loan` deals can be arranged for Jamie Mack and Grant Shenton, although both those players are yet to register for FC United this season.

Soule added: “I’ve been to see Nick play recently for New Mills against Atherton LR. We like to go see them ourselves and not leave them to dwell in oblivion. Nick is doing very well and we’ll be keeping a close eye on him. We’re in discussions to get Jamie and Grant clubs too.”

Nine-man Marine felled by FC United

Source: Liverpool Daily Post

Aug 23 2010 Liverpool Daily Post

NINE-MAN Marine fell to opening day defeat at home to FC United of Manchester.

Yesterday afternoon’s first match of the season at the Arriva Stadium saw the rebel side emerge 2-0 victors with both goals coming from hot shot Michael Norton (15 pen and 54) with the Mariners’ misery compounded with two dismissals.

Striker Thomas Moore saw red just after the hour and on his competitive debut for the club Kevin Leadbetter picked up two cautions to be sent off in the 72nd minute.

Cammell Laird stormed to opening day victory by thumping Radcliffe Borough.

Paul Wheeler’s goal five minutes before the break set the Kirklands side on their way to a 4-0 win with goals from Anthony Lipson (46), John Corrigan (52) and Shaun Tuck (82) completing the Evo-Stik First Division North rout.

Skelmersdale United handed manager Tommy Lawson the winning start he craved with a 2-1 victory over Wakefield. Karl O’Donnell popped up with just three minutes left to make it 2-1 to the West Lancashire side. Marc Roberts stunned the Skem faithful with a fifth minute opener but Chris Almond levelled with a penalty (25) before O’Donnell’s dramatic winner.

Warrington Town also required a goal deep into the second half to secure a first day three points against Ossett Albion.

Shane Kelsey had given the Yorkshire hosts the lead after 18 but Tony Evans replied six minute later before the experienced Gavin Salmon won it for Joey Dunn’s men in the 83rd minute. Elsewhere in the First Division North, Prescot Cables drew 0-0 at Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Burscough fell to opening weekend defeat in the Evo-Stik Premier Division as Lee Steele bagged the only goal to hand Ashton United the win.

Tuesday night’s fixtures: Burscough v Matlock Town, Chasetown v Marine, Prescot Cables v Salford City, Radcliffe Borough v Skelmersdale United, Warrington Town v Chester FC - all game kick-off at 7.45pm.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chester 3 FC United 3

Source: Chester Chronicle

Aug 11 2010 by David Triggs, Chester Chronicle

A STIRRING comeback saw the Blues earn a thrilling draw with FC United of Manchester at the Deva Stadium tonight.

The visitors forged into a 3-0 lead and looked set to run away with the match. But Chester refused to be beaten and drew level with a Michael Wilde brace and a late strike from Mark Connolly, who saw his corner kick deflected into the net by FC United’s sub keeper Sam Ashton.

It was exciting stuff and a healthy pre-season crowd of 1,762 left the Deva Stadium having been thoroughly entertained.

Chester could not have got off to a worse start. In the first 10 minutes, they fell 2-0 down and lost skipper George Horan to injury.

There were only five minutes on the clock when FC United took the lead. Jerome Wright scampered down Chester’s left flank and crossed for Mike Norton, who tapped home from close range after the ball took a slight deflection and fell perfectly into his stride.

Horan hobbled off on eight minutes – replaced by Danny Meadowcroft as a precautionary measure after injuring his ankle in a block tackle. Less than 60 seconds later, the Blues were 2-0 behind and facing a mountain to climb.

Michael Aspin’s slack pass fell to Norton, who saw a cheeky chipped shot come back off the crossbar with keeper Richard Whiteside well beaten. Chester had the chance to clear their lines but more poor defending allowed Ben Deegan to seize on the loose ball and fire a shot into the bottom corner.

It was mostly one-way traffic, with FC United keeping possession well and mounting some dangerous attacks. The threat from Chester was sporadic, with Iain Howard heading over and Wilde sending a lob on to the roof of the net from 18 yards.

Goal number three for the Manchester visitors came on 31 minutes when Deegan brushed aside Meadowcroft’s weak challenge and beat Whiteside with a low left-footed shot.

But Chester’s fans had something to cheer about three minutes before the break when their side pulled a goal back. Mark Peers whipped in a free-kick from tight on the left touchline and Wilde – running on to the ball unmarked and at pace – powered home a firm header.

The Blues had toiled with their 4-4-1-1 formation during the first half so boss Neil Young switched to a more conventional 4-4-2 for the second period, partnering sub Rob Hopley with Wilde in attack and pushing Andy Burgess into a central midfield role.

It took just eight minutes for the switch to pay off as Chester reduced the deficit to one goal, making it 3-2 Wilde was the man on target again, ramming home from close range after FC United keeper Zach Hibbert had spilled Howard’s fizzing 20-yard drive.

The goal set the tone for an exciting second half, with Chester pressing hard for an equaliser while FC United looked to score a killer fourth on the break.

Sub Anthony Sheehan must have thought he’d scored an equaliser on 65 minutes when his thumping left-foot volley from 20 yards arrowed in on goal, but Ashton showed sharp reflexes, stretching out to palm the ball to safety.

From the resulting corner, Connolly whipped a right-footed drive just past the post.

With 18 minutes to go, Young replaced Wilde with Josh Macauley, a former Tranmere Rovers striker who has been made an offer to join the Blues.

The equaliser the Blues had been pressing so hard for came 10 minutes from time. The impressive Connolly claimed it, but it may go down as an own goal as the midfielder’s in-swinging corner kick appeared to be punched into the net by FC United keeper Ashton.

Chester almost snatched a winner in the 90th minute. Hopley’s header was clawed out by Ashton and Burgess then pulled a shot agonisingly wide of the post.

Chester: Whiteside, Aspin (Sheehan 64), Williams (Hopley 46), Horan (Meadowcroft 8), Stones, Graves, Peers (Sharrock 68), Connolly, Burgess, Wilde (Macauley 72), Howard. Subs: Oldfield, Sheehan, Sharrock.

Attendance: 1,762 (329 away).

Tague on Tour: Newton’s cradle

Source: Insider News

As Ferris Bueller said, life moves pretty fast. It does for FC United of Manchester anyway. Still only five years old, it was only in July that we learnt the club had appointed a design team ahead of a planning application by early September. As general manager Andy Walsh wryly says: “There’s a lot of pressure.”

Planning consultancy Ludlam Associates, assisted by a team including architect Traylor Young and project manager Frank Whittle Partnership will submit an application to build a 5,000-capacity ground at Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath, the birthplace of Manchester United.

The site (6.3 acres rather than ten) currently houses an indoor sports centre and an all-weather football pitch. It’s still well-used by a local community that is being genuinely listened to over FC’s plans – doors have been knocked on at the 150-plus houses closest to the site, there has been a drop-in session and a family fun day and dialogue is ongoing..

It’s a sight more proactive than most consultations, which are often just box-ticking exercises. The sports centre will remain and be enhanced with new facilities, with more community activities added in. The trees bordering the site will remain as a natural green barrier.

“The main concern people have is over parking, which is understandable,” says Walsh. There is some parking onsite, while highway consultant AECOM is looking at offsite parking. Oldham Road’s “quality bus corridor” (stop laughing at the back) and the new Metrolink stop at Central Park are less than a kilometre away.

Ideally, FC would be in place for the start of the 2011-12 season, but a lot remains to be done. Grants could cover £1.5m of the estimated £3.5m cost, leaving FC to find £2m. The hope is to raise much of £1.5m (although there is provision for bank borrowing) through a community share scheme – an offer document will be issued in the next few weeks – while the club’s development fund will be required to raise £500,000 cash upfront. So far the total stands at £280,000.

Noises from Manchester City Council seem encouraging. “At the moment, the council have to keep investing in the site. We represent an opportunity to enhance it, improve its usability and help the community help itself. Our community schemes do a lot already, but we’ll be able to do even more.”

To see the work in action, we leap into Walsh’s car for the short hop from Ten Acres to Orford Park, where first team manager Karl Marginson, rounders bat and balls of all sizes at hand, is putting kids through their paces. You can’t help but be impressed.

It’s a big ask but there is a no-nonsense nous at FC – board member Scott Fletcher, the ANS Group founder and passionate advocate of entrepreneurial spirit, typifies its approach. And in a world where Yaya Toure’s being given £200,000 a week you’d like to think this can work, for the sake of our sanity if nothing else.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ramsbottom United 0 FC United 3

Source: Lancashire Telegraph

12:32pm Thursday 5th August 2010

Ramsbottom United’s run of five consecutive wins in pre-season came to an end with a 3-0 defeat to FC United.

The game’s first goal arrived on 33 minutes, when Roca was on hand to convert a right-wing cross.

The Rams hit back, and Mark Sharples saw his shot hit the post.

Andy Sensale and Dominic Smalley also went close.

But FC United made the game safe through Deegan on 76 minutes, and Maloney six minutes later.