Friday, October 29, 2010

It’s a city of two halves

 Edited from: MEN

Last weekend was the 4th qualifying round in the FA Cup. It’s an important day for those clubs a little further down the football food chain. It’s a chance to dream of the glory and the financial boost that comes with making it through to the first round proper, when the Football League sides enter the competition.

Last Saturday, Altrincham, Stalybridge, Mossley and Droylsden were hoping to go through. Only Droylsden made it, though they were joined in the first round by FC United of Manchester, who beat Barrow on Sunday.

The vagaries of the Cup draw mean that the Bloods face a long trip to Hampshire to face Havant and Waterlooville, but supporters of FC United will be skipping at the prospect of a derby at Football League 1 Rochdale. It should be a game to savour at Spotland and, with their hugely impressive travelling support, FC might just fancy a spot of giant killing.

Pete Barrow: The green and gold dilemma

 Source: Huddersfield Daily Examiner

 Pete Barrow: The green and gold dilemma

 Oct 29 2010 by Peter Barrow, Huddersfield Daily Examiner

IT MUST be very perplexing to be a fan of Manchester United.

For those of us on the outside looking in, especially if you tend to be a Red Devils detractor, it is easy to point the finger and chuckle.

The last seven days alone have seen United claim to have pulled off a coup by re-signing England striker Wayne Rooney for five years – while the rest of us are thinking that the little ginger scouser’s agent Paul Stretford has pulled a real fast one in gaining his client a huge pay hike while the striker has hardly produced the goods on the field the best part of a year.

United also seemed to be wanting to be regarded as wonderful benefactors by buying Nobby Stiles World Cup winner’s medal for a record £188,200 at auction – while the rest of us are thinking Rooney could have given up a week’s wages and helped out the gap-toothed Old Trafford and England legend and the hero of 1966 could have kept his medal.

And looming on the horizon (although admittedly the chances are it may be a fairly distant one) is the conundrum that I think all football fans want to see – Manchester United FC against FC United of Manchester.

The club formed by fans in 2005 have made rapid progress up the non-League pyramid and have made their mark by reaching the FA Cup first round and face a derby tie against Rochdale.

The FA Cup being what it is I am sure I am not the only one who would love to see the boys from Bury battle their way through to a third round clash at Old Trafford.

Taking a rapid straw poll of United fan(s) – otherwise known as Sam in the office – he is quite plainly fully behind the efforts of the FCUM (what a brilliant acronym that is!) breakaway club and firmly believes that most United supporters share that view.

But just who would the green and gold scarf toting ‘rebels’ at Old Trafford be shouting for?

Let’s just hope we get to find out.

Barrow AFC fans have reached end of their tether

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 Barrow AFC fans have reached end of their tether

 By David Pickthall

CHANTS of “what a load of rubbish” and “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” belted out of the away end at Gigg Lane at the final whistle of Sunday’s match against FC United.

Before leaving the field, a handful of Barrow players – I can’t remember who – clapped in the direction of the travelling fans to acknowledge their commitment to the cause.

But it didn’t stop the verbal onslaught and boos.

The chants were venom-filled, heartfelt and borne out of an eight-match winless streak that the players had appeared to show no desire of stopping against FC United.

It was clear in that exact moment on Sunday that Barrow fans had reached the end of their tether with the way this season is unfolding.

Karl Marginson, like the Barrow fans, probably thought FC United would lose on Sunday.

The home manager wrote in his programme notes: “We’re in for a very tough game against Barrow today.”

How wrong he was.

What made the performance difficult to swallow was the fact this was no low-key FA Cup fourth round qualifier on a poor pitch in front of a low gate.

Quite the opposite.

Sunday’s match was played in an all-seater Football League stadium in front of more than 3,200 vocal supporters and Barrow’s biggest travelling support of the season by far.

It didn’t feel like your average Conference match.

It had that big game, big stage FA Cup atmosphere and yet Barrow fell flat.

Add that to the winless run and the fact Barrow lost to a team two tiers below them, and you can begin to understand the fans’ unrest – even though these results do happen, the history of the FA Cup will tell you that.

There is no FA Cup “distraction” now for Barrow as there probably has been for the past two years.

They need to ensure that is a good thing, especially given the difficulty of the upcoming league games.

THE Barrow fans were on top form midway through the second half on Sunday when they gave the current chart hit Barbra Streisand a Bluebirds twist.

Singing all the “oo’s” in the same high-pitched style as the original, they then inserted the words “Barrow Soccer”.

It summed up the day, though, when FC United scored as they were in full voice.

First published at 13:07, Thursday, 28 October 2010
Published by

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guardian's Fiver. Right to reply.

Source. Edited from: The Guardian

"Re: FC United and their 'groundshare' with Bury (yesterday's Fiver letters). They 'groundshare' like I 'carshare' with Avis and 'houseshare' with my landlord" - Tom Dowler.

Colwyn Bay FC faces tough decisions ahead of tie

 Source: North Wales Weekly News

 Oct 28 2010

 COLWYN Bay player-manager Dave Challinor admits he has a lot to mull over ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy tie against FC United of Manchester at Bury’s Gigg Lane ground after his side’s inconsistent home form continued with Tuesday night’s 3-0 defeat to Marine.

The Seagulls have now dropped 13 points out of a possible 21 at Llanelian Road, and that is undoing much of the excellent work being achieved on the road where they are still undefeated in the league.

Challinor was highly critical of some of his players after Tuesday’s disappointing defeat and said: "I thought the body language and attitude of some of them stunk to be honest – and I have told them so. Marine showed more desire and outworked and outfought us."

He will certainly be looking for much better on Saturday.

"It is an important game not only in what it means to the club financially (£3,000 in prize money to the winners of Saturday’s tie), but it is a chance for our lads to show what they are capable on a big stage in front of a big crowd against one of the best supported teams in the league," he added.

It also means a return to Gigg Lane for Challinor, assistant Colin Woodthorpe, Jon Newby and skipper Damien Allen who spent over 15 years between them playing for Bury in the Football League.

FC United, after an inconsistent start to their league campaign, have been in great form of late and have a televised FA Cup first round tie against Rochdale to look forward to after beating Blue Square Premier side Barrow in the final qualifying round last Sunday.

Midfielder Gareth Evans is a doubt for Saturday’s tie after suffering a nasty whack on the ankle on Tuesday, but defender Danny Grannon is likely to start after returning from injury and having a couple of run outs as substitute, while Mick McGraa will also be back after missing two games with flu.

Tuesday’s league tussle saw Marine take a 17th minute lead through Neil Harvey, who added a cheeky back-heeled second on 63 minutes.

Colwyn Bay did produce a late rally, but Marine broke away in added time for Jamie Rainford to seal a well-deserved victory with the third.

Win at Retford

COLWYN Bay maintained their outstanding unbeaten away record in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division on Saturday with a 5-3 triumph at Retford United.

The Bay totally dominated proceedings early on and raced into a 3- 0 lead after 35 minutes with goals from Dave Challinor, Damien Allen and Karl Noon before Retford clawed back two before half-time.

Colwyn came out of the starting blocks quickly to extend the lead after 49 minutes with a close range effort from Gaz Evans before Noon restored the three-goal advantage.

Retford hit back with a great long range effort to bring the score back to 5-3 but it was not enough to prevent the Seagulls returning home with all three points.

Bay player-manager Challinor said: "We are delighted with the three points, but I admit that at half-time I was absolutely furious we’d allowed them back into the game when at 3-0 we should have been out of sight.

"I asked for a response at half-time and two goals in the opening five minutes really settled any nerves from the end of the first half."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Guardian's Fiver. Right to reply.

Source: Edited from The Guardian


"Re: yesterday's quote of the day. FC United of Manchester don't have their own ground and groundshare with Bury FC, who take a big slice of our gate receipts and matchday income. We are currently raising money via a development fund to build a new community stadium at Ten Acre Lane, Newton Heath. The £67,500 we will receive by switching the FA Cup first-round kick-off to a Friday night is a small price to pay to get closer to our goal. I and all the other members I've spoken to who elected the board have no problem with their decision. If we're unhappy with any decisions they make, we vote them off the board. Try doing that with the Glazers" - Simon Anderson (and 1,056 others).

Nye United klar for FA-cupen

 Source: Nettavisen (Norwegian)

 Men skal slite med å komme lengre enn Manchester United.

Dag Langerød

FC United of Manchester ble stiftet av desillusjonerte Manchester United-fans i 2005.

Fem år senere er de så for første gang klare for 1. runde av FA-cupen. Det ble klart etter at Carlos Roca scoret kampens eneste mål i fjerde og siste kvalifiseringsrunde mot Barrow i helga.

Søndag ble trekningen av første runde foretatt, og FC United møter Rochdale, som holder til i League One, på bortebane.

Kampen spilles helga 6. og 7. november.

FC United startet sin historie med å vinne North West Counties League division 2 i 2005/06-sesongen. Året etter fulgte de opp med å gå til topps i divisjon 1 i samme liga. Dermed var de klar for Northern Premier League Division One North, og etter 2. plass i seriespillet rykket de også opp derfra etter play off.

Så har de stabilisert seg.

De to siste årene har de blitt nummer seks og 13 i Northern Premier League Premier Division, og foreløpig i år ligger de på 16. plass etter fem seirer og seks tap så langt i sesongen.

Northern Premier League Premier Division er det samme som sjuende nivå i det engelske seriestystemet.

FC United’s FA Cup Dilemma

Source: Twohundred Percent

When the dust settled after a weekend of FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round matches that were watched by over 40,000 people, one tie from the First Round draw stood out from the rest: Rochdale vs FC United of Manchester. It could hardly more apposite that FCUM earned their first appearance in the competition proper of the FA Cup in this of all months. The name of Manchester United has been dragged through the mud by the Wayne Rooney transfer debacle – an event that may have woken many up to the colossal lack of soul at the heart of Premier League football. The protest, meanwhile, goes on at Gigg Lane but such success brings new debates to be had for a club that is a protest against much of what is wrong with modern football.

It is hardly surprising that a cross-town derby featuring a club that is a story in itself should be attractive to television companies, and so it was that Rochdale vs FC United of Manchester was selected as the Friday night match to be shown live on ESPN at the end of next week. For many FCUM supporters, this created something of a dilemma. The concept of “3pm Saturdays” has become something of a rallying call for the club over the years, a protest against the sale of football’s soul to television companies. In December 2007, the club urged its supporters to boycott their Boxing Day league match at Curzon Ashton after the kick-off time was moved to lunchtime against the wishes of both competing clubs in order that it may be shown live over the internet.

What, some might wonder, is the difference this time around? Is the only difference between this and the Curzon match the amount of money being offered, does the soul of FCUM have a price? The answer to this is less straightforward than a simple denounciation of the club selling its supporters an principles down the river, of course, but it won’t stop many from trying. In the case of the Rochdale match, FCUM had the option to turn down the television money and insist that the match was played on the Saturday afternoon of the First Round weekend if they wished. However, the trust board didn’t have long to make a decision and it was agreed with Rochdale that prices would be reduced to a very affordable £10 and that the game would take place on the Friday night. It’s not ideal and it has not pleased all of their supporters, but sometimes compromise rather than intransigence is the prudent way to run a show, and this isn’t just about the money. It’s about the biggest match in the club’s history and about having the opportunity to show their club off on a national stage in way that not many members of the Evostik League Premier Division will ever get to.

The protest against televised football was more nuanced than just being against televised football and in favour of kicking off at three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. It was about supporters, en masse, being inconvenienced upon the whims of a television company. The Guardian chose to show up what it considered to be inconsistency in the club’s policies in its Fiver column this afternoon, but they chose to overlook that both FCUM and Curzon objected to the match in December 2007 and that this match was moved to a time that was enormously inconvenient to supporters of both clubs for no return. FCUM are going to to get this sort of nonsense in increasing measures should they become more successful. There will be plenty that will seek to deny them any right to any sort of commercial activity and mis-quoting the club’s constitution, as if they alone should put their principles ahead of the well-being of their club. That this should even need to be stated about a club that has any principles at all at a time when the moral stock of English football could hardly be said to be lower, however, seems surprising to say the least.

So, the match will go ahead on Friday 5th November and some people will probably use this as a stick to beat them over the head with. None of this is particularly surprising. What we should pause to remember, however, is that FCUM supporters, should enough of them be sufficiently outraged by the decision that the democratically elected Trust Board that runs their club has made on their behalf. It was undoubtedly not an easy decision for them to make, but it was a decision that had to be made exceptionally quickly and, if enough supporters do feel strongly enough over this matter to wish to stand against the existing board at the next elections, they can do. That’s how democracy work. It seems unlikely, however, that General Manager Andy Walsh will be replaced any time soon. Most importantly of all, a strong, articulate debate is being had amongst the supporters of the club itself and, if it sees fit, a resolution to the club’s constitution could be passed to state that they should never get involved in such a venture again. Their club, as they say themselves, their rules.

Multiple Minithons a success from Manchester to Dubai via Merthyr Tydfil

 Source: Supporters Direct

 150 FC United, Rochdale Hornets and Mancunians RL supporters and players swarmed through Chorlton Meadows in Manchester for the 3rd FC United of Manchester Minithon.

They were joined in Wales 60 running at the Merthyr Town version, and in South West London by 80 at the event run by AFC Wimbledon, both of whom sent their thanks to FC United for getting them involved.

Others participated in Brighton, Dubai, Los Angeles, Boston and Sidney.

For more pics from the day, head over to Andy Barker's excellent FC United Photography site.

FC United of Manchester hope to make friends rather than millionaires

 Source: The Guardian

 While Wayne Rooney was celebrating his new contract, a very different success story was being played out across town

o David Conn
o The Guardian, Wednesday 27 October 2010

FC United of Manchester FC United of Manchester fans welcome the team onto the pitch before their FA Cup tie against Barrow. Photograph: Javier Garcia/Back Page Images

As a palate cleanser following last week's gluttony in Manchester – where Sir Alex Ferguson, David Gill and Paul Stretford, with City waiting, negotiated to crowbar £180,000 a week out of the Glazer family for Wayne Rooney – Gigg Lane, Bury, on Sunday, was a refreshing place to be.

There, 2,700 fans who turned away from the whole Old Trafford money game in 2005 roared their own club, FC United of Manchester, to a nerve‑shredding 1-0 victory over Barrow in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round, sending FCUM through to play League One Rochdale in the first round proper a week on Friday, live on ESPN. Barrow, who play in the Conference Premier, brought 500 and the crowd, of 3,229, was bigger than those at four of Saturday's League Two matches.

Carlos Roca, who has played in the Football League for Oldham and reached the FA Cup third round with Northwich, at Sunderland in 2006, said it was "amazing" to score the winner. "We players understand the passion the supporters have," the 26-year-old said, "that it is all about this club being theirs, and it is a great feeling."

"Who ever would have thought it?" wondered Tony Jordan, the fan who, at Old Trafford, started the famous Stretford End banner logging City's years without a trophy. "That we'd feel as elated as this about going to Rochdale – as underdogs?"

Such is the revolution being celebrated at FCUM, the club the fans formed to embody their preferred values after the Glazers bought United with their half billion pound borrowings and loaded them on to the club to repay. For these Reds, their last United match was when they wore black to mourn the Glazer takeover at the 2005 FA Cup final, which Arsenal won on penalties. And for all the trophies United won after that, these fans have never been back, sticking instead with the manager Karl Marginson and his willing group of semi-pros, now battling such teams as Stocksbridge Steels Swifts in the Evo‑Stik League's Premier Division.

"Watching the Rooney saga made me very glad I'm not still there, paying Rooney's wages and the Glazers' interest," said Mike Turton, an FCUM founder member, at Gigg Lane with his wife, Gill, and children Ryan, Thomas and Danielle. "But we feel quite remote from all that now. We feel this is our club, doing things the right way."

Although the odd anti-Glazer tune still features in 90 minutes of ceaseless singing – "Glazer, wherever you may be/You bought Old Trafford but you can't buy me," goes one – FCUM are gradually growing more distinct from "Big" United as they work to forge their own story. Owned by the supporters, 300 of whom volunteer in vital tasks, community work is woven into the club's sense of purpose and written into its constitution. They are now striving to embed the club in Manchester football by raising £3.5m to build a stadium, in Newton Heath, where the whole United morality tale began.

The development, on a sports centre site in the deprived inner-city district, will incorporate a high-quality 11-a-side artificial grass pitch, renovated sports hall and club house, all for community use. Manchester city council, seeing the benefits of such a project in the area, is providing a £650,000 grant and revenue support in the first three years.

Fundraising is targeted to raise £500,000 and the club is applying for other sports-based grants but the largest single element of funding is a planned £1.5m investment from supporters and others who want to see the club succeed. The "community shares", designed by Kevin Jaquiss, a partner at Cobbetts, lawyers for the co-operative movement, invite investors to support the project for the long term.

Subscribers can invest as much money as they want to and commit to it not being withdrawn for three years, and after that only in 10% chunks, allowing security for the stadium to be built. After that, the club's business plan projects it will make a sufficient surplus to pay interest up to 2% above the bank base rate, provided its "primary commitment to community benefit" is being met. Investors are expected to receive an immediate 20% tax break on their investment if, as expected, the share offer is approved as an Enterprise Investment Scheme, which supports social entrepreneurial projects.

The share offer preserves the democracy of FCUM; however much investors put in, as members of the club they will still have the same single vote as others who have paid their £12 annual membership fee. That is highly significant at a club where all the board members, who have a range of senior experience in business, education, local authorities and the NHS, are elected by the supporters.

"This is a unique way of raising money for football clubs," Andy Walsh, FCUM's general manager, said. "This democratises the ownership of the club, putting fans and the community at the heart of it. And while it is difficult to raise money in this way, other smaller clubs could do it, and not have to turn to speculative business investors."

Adam Brown, an FCUM board member who was an appointee to the government's Football Task Force, said: "We feel we are setting a precedent. It is a better alternative to a football club being owned by one businessman. And there is an 'asset lock' in place, so the ground must be used for community benefit; it cannot be sold in future to make a profit."

At FCUM, the fans have transformed hostility to the Edwards family's cashing in on United – Martin Edwards made £93m selling his shares – then revulsion at the Glazers' leveraged exploitation of the club into a positive model of how they would have liked their club to be conducted.

The singing, including some golden oldies which date many fans as Stretford End and United Road veterans of the 1970s and 80s, have a joy, as well as defiance, about them. The banners – Making Friends Not Millionaires, said one; Pies not Prawns, said another – have a laugh, too. There is a tangible relish among FCUM fans about being free from the features of modern football which got them down, even as their own club was cleaning up.

That communicates itself to the players, Marginson said after the match, thrilled with his win. "You just do not get scenes like that at this level," he marvelled, a veteran of the non-leagues, including with Barrow, as a player. "Everything that comes off those stands is positive. There is a belief here that this is what football is all about, not wages of £200,000 a week."

As Marginson and Roca strode off to the dressing room, one of the stalwarts, Vinny Thompson, emerged, looking a little dazed. Previously a regular on United's European campaigns, here he is reinvented – to his own amazement – as a leader in FCUM's community work.

"Some people might wonder why that meant so much," he said, tears forming in his eyes. "It's only the first round of the Cup. But that is five and a half years of dedicated work rewarded. This is fan power. And it works."

Rebels' progress: The FC United story

2005 Formed by fans opposed to the Glazer family's takeover of Manchester United

2006 Promoted as champions from the North West Counties League Second Division

2007 Promoted as champions from the North West Counties League First Division

2008 Promoted as play-off winners from Unibond League First Division North to what has become this season the Evo-Stik League's Premier Division

Sep 2010 Launch "Community Share" investment scheme to raise £1.5m towards a new stadium in Newton Heath

Oct 2010 Reach FA Cup first round

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What a difference a win makes...

Here at Punk Football Towers, we normally see visitors per day in the region of 30-50. Big spike when the Community Shares thing was announced on the 11th of September - but look at the graph now! (drawing Rochdale, and winning against Barrow).


 Source: The Guardian (Fiver)

 13 December 2007: "The board is asking supporters to show their opposition to the league's decision by not going to the game against Curzon ... [we feel] that it is important that a message is sent to the league that the views of the match-going fan must take precedence and those fans should not be inconvenienced in favour of a potential internet audience" - the FC United board protest at a kick-off time change in favour of the UniBond League's broadcaster, NPLTV.

26 October 2010: "We would like to advise supporters that our FA Cup first round proper tie against Rochdale will take place on Friday 5 November, kick off 7.45pm ... Each club will be paid £67,500 for the game to be shown, a sum of money undoubtedly valuable to both clubs" - yep, you've guessed it. It's the FC United board again.

Ossett Town aim to spoil FC United of Manchester party

 Source: Wakefield Express

 OSSETT Town will be looking to spoil the FC United of Manchester party tonight when the Reds visit Stade France in the Evo-Stik Premier Division (kick-off 7.45pm), writes Nick Rigg.

Karl Marginson’s men celebrated reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup on Saturday as a crowd of over 3,000 saw United beat Barrow 1-0 at their Gigg Lane base.

United have been pitted against Lancashire rivals Rochdale in the first round of the prestigious competition, a match that will be screened live on ESPN next month.

It means the Reds will travel to Ingfield in confident mood but Ossett boss Phil Sharpe will be hoping it’s a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ for the visitors as Town look for three vital league points.

Sharpe’s troops have suffered three defeats on the spin in all competitions, a 2-0 loss at Matlock Town on Saturday being their latest setback, and suffered a 5-0 loss against Ashton United last time out on home soil.

A 4-1 defeat at United earlier this month also means Town will be out for revenge as well as much-needed points tonight.

The Stade France club sit a point above United in the league table but have played four more matches thanks to the Reds’ success in cup competitions so far this season.

Town are expecting their biggest crowd of the season at Stade France with United set to bring their usual large following across the Pennines.

Tickets for tonight’s match are proced £8 for adults and £4 for over-60s and under-18s.

See and Friday’s Wakefield Express Sport for full match report.

Three games to be televised

 Source: The FA

 First Round Proper matches get TV treatment.
 The FA Cup sponsored by E.ON
 First Round Proper
 5-7 November 2010

 Winning clubs receive £18,000 from The FA's prize fund
Live broadcast fee of £67,500 per club

There will be three games from next month’s FA Cup First Round Proper which will be televised live over the weekend.

Starting on Friday 5 November, when FC United Of Manchester make the short trip to face League One outfit Rochdale and that will be screened live on ESPN.

That is followed just under 24 hours later by League One high-fliers Huddersfield Town’s trip to Conference team Cambridge United at 5.30pm on Saturday 6 November.

The final game of the weekend to be televised is another interesting tie, as Sheffield Wednesday head to Haig Avenue to play Southport and that match kicks-off on ITV at midday on Sunday 7 November. The draw for the Second Round will also take place on the Sunday afternoon.

TV Ties

Rochdale v FC United Of Manchester
Friday 5 November
Live on ESPN
7.45pm kick-off

Cambridge United v Huddersfield
Saturday 6 November
Live on ESPN
5.30pm kick-off

Southport v Sheffield Wednesday
Sunday 7 November
Live on ITV
12.00 kick-off

The FA Cup Second Round Draw
Sunday 7 November
Live on ITV
Time TBC

Former Barrow midfielder's joy at FC United win

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 FORMER Barrow AFC midfielder and current FC United manager Karl Marginson was ecstatic after guiding his side into the FA Cup first round proper for the first time in their five-year history.

He beamed: “These are happy days. It’s the biggest win in our history. We’ve never played a competitive match against a Conference team before, so combine that with all the romance of the FA Cup and that makes it all that bit more special.

“I’m just buzzing for everybody at the club.”

Marginson was in no doubt as to who were the better side on the day at Gigg Lane. He added: “We deserved it. I said in the week that Barrow would probably have to have an off day and we would have to be right at the races, and that’s what happened.

“Going forward we caused them numerous problems, though when we hit the post in the second half and their keeper pulled off a great save, I thought it might not be our day. Credit to the lads for keeping going. Also credit to Barrow managers Dave Bayliss and Darren Sheridan, they both said at the end when we shook hands that it was a deserved result.

“I feel for Dave and Daz because obviously it was a banana skin and we’ve managed to prevail.”

Asked if the win was sweeter because it came against one of the clubs he used to play for, Marginson said: “No, I feel for all them fans. They travelled in numbers like they always do and they’re going home with that empty feeling. I’m sure Barrow will come again and bounce back like they always have done. For us though it means a few quid (£12,500 FA prize money and big gate receipts from a crowd of over 3,200), which will help us build our own ground.”

“It’s another major achievement for FC United. We’ve only been going five years and to be in this position is credit to the players and supporters. “I mean, scenes like that at the end with the supporters, you just don’t get that anywhere else at this level. They are the best fans you could wish for.”

Last updated at 09:05, Tuesday, 26 October 2010


 Source: Daily Mirror

 By Jon West 25/10/2010

 Cup Roll Fc United of M a n c h e s t e r have earned an FA Cup firstround trip to neighbours Rochdale by beating Barrow 1-0 yesterday.

Carlos Roca struck in the 78th minute for the Evo-Stik League Premier Division team, formed five years ago by fans angry at the Glazer takeover of Manchester United.

Hythe are the lowestranked team left in the competition and travel to the Football League's bottom club, Hereford.

They beat Staines 2-0 to become the first Kent League team for 53 years to get this far.

Three-times winners Sheffield Wednesday are drawn away at Southport, and Southampton - who lifted the trophy in 1976 - are at home to League Two promotion hopefuls Shrewsbury Town.

Fleetwood Town will fancy their chances at home to League One strugglers Walsall.

But Woking, of the Blue Square South, have their work cut out if they are to add League One leaders Brighton to their list of famous cup scalps.

Another club formed by supporters, AFC Wimbledon, play host to Ebbsfleet.

Monday, October 25, 2010

FC United - Living the FA Cup Dream!

 Source: Vital Football

 It may not, for us, start until the 3rd round in January but the FA Cup is well underway for many.

The weekend just past saw the last qualifying round before the draw for the 1st round proper was made.

One tie that was particularly intriguing involved FC United who were battling with a former member of the Football League, Barrow, for a place in that first round draw.

FC United duly overcome Barrow, courtesy of a goal from Carlos Roca and were given their reward when the draw paired them with League one side Rochdale.

The draw could have been a little more favourable as Rochdale will prove to be formidable opposition having gained promotion last term.

But United FC, who were formed five years ago by supporters disenchanted with the Glazers takeover of will hold out hope that they can progress and I`ve no doubt they harbour dreams of a third round tie, in January, with the mighty Manchester United.

Now what an occasion that would be!

Read more:

Red Rebels leave Barrow AFC without a cause

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 THE previous two seasons brought dream FA Cup runs which saw Barrow AFC play first Middlesbrough and then Sunderland in successive third round appearances.

There will be no fairytale for the Bluebirds to remember this term – only a nightmare exit at the first hurdle.

Barrow were outplayed by their fired-up lower-league opponents, who got the winning goal their performance deserved 12 minutes from time through Carlos Roca.

It was a banana-skin the Bluebirds royally slipped up on.

FC United – the club formed in 2005 by Manchester United fans angered by the takeover of the Glazers at Old Trafford – wanted it more, and richly deserved their reward of a first round trip to League One outfit Rochdale.

The Bluebirds have now failed to win any of their last eight games in league and cup, and, for probably the first time in their tenure, the pressure is on joint-managers Dave Bayliss and Darren Sheridan.

The two teams entered the pitch to a cauldron of noise, with banks of rival supporters singing their hearts out at the opposing ends of the ground.

It was every bit a classic FA Cup atmosphere in front of a crowd of more than 3,200 at Bury FC’s Gigg Lane.

Barrow started in a changed 3-5-2 formation, with Phil Bolland returning from suspension to partner skipper Paul Jones and Mike Pearson in the heart of the defence.

Simon Spender and Paul Edwards were deployed as wing-backs, with 42-year-old joint-boss Darren Sheridan, Mark Boyd and Ciaran Donnelly in midfield.

Nick Chadwick, making his first start of the season following months of knee injury hell, was paired up top with leading scorer Jason Walker.

The first half-chance of the game, following a cagey start in which FC United showed more promise, came on 10 minutes when Barrow’s number two keeper Shaun Pearson raced off his line to just beat Ben Deegan to the ball.

With the vociferous home support making themselves heard, the fired-up hosts continued to enjoy the better of the play.

Barrow weathered the inevitable opening 15-minute storm and then began to settle.

Donnelly forced home keeper Sam Ashton into the first save of the match with a low 20-yard shot, while at the other end, Mike Norton’s header was easily gathered by Shaun Pearson.

On 24 minutes, Jerome Wright broke clear down the left and his cross was almost turned in at the back post, first by Glynn Hurst – on as an early substitute for the injured Deegan – and then by AFC defender Mike Pearson before brother Shaun pounced on the ball.

Spender bombed forward on the half-hour mark and flashed a ball across the box.

The wing-back, who was being tugged from behind by Lee Neville, could – were he a less honest character – have gone down and justifiably appealed for a penalty.

Chadwick, showing signs of understandable rustiness, then miss-hit a 10-yard shot wide from a good position before, at the other end, Hurst headed over.

The best moment of the half came on 35 minutes, when the lively Wright tricked his way past Bolland on the left byline before bending a low right-foot shot just inches past the far upright.

Walker had a brilliant chance to opened the scoring five minutes later but he failed to connect sweetly with a 12-yard effort and Ashton easily saved.

Moments later, the AFC striker attempted an acrobatic scissor-kick, which Ashton again claimed.

A now very-much even contest was swinging from end to end, and on 41 minutes Jake Cottrell directed a header straight at Shaun Pearson.

The half ended with the Bluebirds having registered seven shots (five on target) and FC United five (two on target).

The home side started the second half brightly and, after great defensive work by Spender had resulted in a corner, Hurst flicked a near-post header across goal and just wide of the far post.

Another home corner moments later was half-cleared to Wright, whose viciously swerving low drive was palmed out by Shaun Pearson.

Fortunately for Barrow, the rebound fell kindly and a huge sigh of relief was breathed.

On 49 minutes the on-song Wright forced Shaun Pearson into yet another save, this time the Welsh stopper pushing wide a stinging 16-yard drive. Barrow were hanging on.

AFC introduced Forrest for Chadwick on 55 minutes, but the second half was now following a rather similar pattern as Wright, once again, had a shot which this time fizzed just wide.

Moments later, the Bluebirds made a double substitution, with Boyd and Mike Pearson replaced by wingers Goodfellow and Rutherford. It meant a return to a 4-4-2 formation.

Still the FC United pressure continued. Norton played a smart one-two with Hurst and saw his 16-yard shot beat Shaun Pearson but strike the foot of the far post. The AFC keeper then got to his feet and saved the rebound from Wright.

The Bluebirds gained some relief when a rare foray forward ended with a Goodfellow shot which Ashton gathered at the second attempt.

Substitute Forrest then suffered an ankle injury, but, with all three substitutions made, he limped on for the remainder of the game.

FC United got the goal their display deserved 12 minutes from time when Norton found space inside the box and his attempted shot was redirected by the lurking Roca, whose close-range prod sent the home supporters behind the goal into a state of delirium.

Barrow pushed men forward but were unable to create any real chances in the closing stages.

As the final whistle sounded jubilant FC United fans sang: “We’re going to Wem-ber-lee.”

Barrow, who last May were at Wembley lifting the FA Trophy, left the pitch to boos from their own fans.

First published at 13:05, Monday, 25 October 2010
Published by

FC United manager Karl Marginson targets FA Cup upset

 Source: BBC. For interview audio, visit BBC's site.

 Marginson is FC United's only manager since the club was formed in 2005

 FC United manager Karl Marginson has Rochdale firmly in his sights after his side made it through to the first round of the FA Cup by beating Barrow.

The 39-year-old has guided the club into the first round for the first time in the club's five year history.

He told BBC Radio Manchester: "It's eleven blokes against eleven blokes on the day and you never know.

"We'll try and cause them some problems, and hopefully leave Spotland with our heads held high."

Marginson has been the the club's manager since its inception in July 2005 and has overseen three promotions during that time.

He added: "Ever since the birth of the club it's been one high after another and the Barrow win was certainly up there with the best of them.

"It's a bit strange really, as a lot of supporters that come to watch us are United fans and it's always been a big thing the FA Cup for the Manchester United family, so everybody was just elated.

"There were grown men crying which I found a bit strange, but it's nice to give them the chance of that glory."

Roca horror show as Bluebirds crash out of FA Cup

Source: North West Evening Mail

DARREN Sheridan blasted his team’s dreadful display after they crashed out of the FA Cup against lower-league FC United of Manchester.

The 42-year-old player/joint-manager saw his side go down 1-0 in front of a crowd of 3,200-plus at Gigg Lane.

In losing to a side who ply their trade two divisions below them, the Bluebirds blew the chance of £12,500 in prize money and a first round trip to League One Rochdale.

The only goal of the game came 12 minutes from time through Carlos Roca, who instantly wrote his name into the hall of fame at FC United – the club formed five years ago by Manchester United fans angry at the Glazers’ takeover at Old Trafford.

Barrow, who reside in the Blue Square Bet Premier relegation zone, have now failed to win any of their last eight games in league and cup.

Sheridan said: “It was not good enough all over the park, myself included.

“Our movement, our endeavour, there was nothing there today. The lads were poor.

“We knew what we were in for coming here, with a big crowd, and them really up for it. We had to match them but we didn’t do that. They deserved it. They were the better side.

“I know I said the same after last Saturday’s loss at Cambridge, but again I feel for the fans who have come down in their numbers to support us and then watch a display like that.

“We just weren’t at the races today and it’s very disappointing. They were the better side all over the park.

“We had a meeting with all the players yesterday. We discussed the season so far and said we need to get our fingers out and show more fight.

“I thought that would have cleared the air, that we’d come here, get a good result in the cup and then take that confidence into the league. It must have gone in one ear and out of the other.”

For the first time in their tenure, the pressure is now on Sheridan and fellow joint-manager Dave Bayliss.

Asked if he and Bayliss were the right men to turn round the FA Trophy winners’ current slump, Sheridan said: “Definitely so. Me and Dave will talk about the players who we think might not be good enough.

“Every time we play a side around us in the league or below us, we don’t raise our game. Then we play one of the big sides and they don’t look like the same lads. We’re not showing it week-in, week-out. We need to do something about it, and do so quick.”

First published at 13:06, Monday, 25 October 2010
Published by

Football Round-up 25/10/10: the pure poetry

 Edited from: Manchester Confidential

The other really notable result locally this weekend was FC United’s victory over Barrow which gave them a local FA Cup first round tie at Rochdale – who won 3-2 against Dagenham and Redbridge in the League.

Carlos Roca scored the only goal of the game 12 minutes from time, in front of a crowd of 3,229. It’s the first time five year old FC United have progressed this far. The cup tie should be a fun occasion, a proper Greater Manchester party. It takes place on November 6/7.

FC United two wins from potentially historic fixture

 Source: ESPN

 October 25, 2010

 FC United of Manchester stand just two victories away from a potential showdown with Manchester United after the FA Cup first round draw was made on Sunday.

The Evo-Stik League Premier Division side, who were formed as a breakaway club for Manchester United fans opposed to the Glazer takeover, must first overcome a different derby encounter, against neighbours Rochdale.

Carlos Roca's 78th-minute winner secured a 1-0 victory over Barrow, booking them a place in the same draw as footballing giants Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton. Wednesday, currently fourth in League One, face a trip to Southport, while Southampton host Shrewsbury Town.

Hythe Town are the lowest ranked team left in the competition, but the Kent League Premier Division side have been handed an attractive-looking trip to the Football League's bottom club Hereford on the weekend of November 6/7.

Town boss Scott Porter told the FA's official website: "On our day we can beat anyone so whether it's home or away we're always in with a chance. We're going to make a weekend of it and it's going to be a great day for the football club."

Elsewhere, Hendon still must overcome an intriguing clash with the Metropolitan Police if they are to fulfil their place in round one against the winners of Carshalton Athletic or Chelmsford City.

The Rumour Mill - October 25

 Edited from: Lancashire Telegraph

 FC UNITED hero Carlos Roca can't wait for the FA Cup first round clash with neighbours Rochdale and declared: "We have nothing to fear."

The former Oldham Athletic man scored the only goal as FC United stunned Blue Square Bet Premier outfit Barrow yesterday.

Now the other United are indebted to a loan adviser

 Source: The Daily Telegraph (print edition), Sport, Page 10

 The online version can be found below: Loan advisor scores winner as FC United beat Barrow to claim an FA Cup first round place.

Loan advisor scores winner as FC United beat Barrow to claim an FA Cup first round place

 Source: Telegraph

 Funny, isn’t it, how Wayne Rooney’s concerns about the ambition and long-term stability of Manchester United evaporated as soon as Sir Alex Ferguson agreed to double his salary?

By Simon Briggs
Published: 7:30AM BST 25 Oct 2010

But there are plenty more people in the city who remain unconvinced. Some 2,000 of them turn out regularly to watch FC United of Manchester, the club formed five years ago as a symbol of discontent over the Glazers’ takeover.

Perhaps there is an element of nose-cutting and face-spiting to FC United’s supporters, who have swapped the artistry of Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov for the rather earthier charms of Jerome Wright — an office administrator from Wythenshawe — and Mike Norton, last year’s top scorer in the Evo-Stick League One Division North.

But there is also something heart-warming about a group of ordinary fans who are prepared to stand up against the corporate tyranny of Premier League football. As a neutral, you had to root for them on Sunday at Gigg Lane, the ground they hire from Bury FC, as they battled for a place in the first round in the FA Cup proper.

According to manager Karl Marginson, formerly a midfielder for Macclesfield and at least a dozen non-League clubs, this tie against Barrow was the biggest match in the short history of FC United. It was also a match they were expected to lose, on the basis that Barrow play in the Conference, two flights higher up on the ladder of non-league football.

But, from the way the game unfolded, you would never have guessed that the ‘Red Rebels’ had come in as underdogs. Marginson sent them out with instructions to enjoy themselves, and the mood was set as early as the second minute when Wright produced a flashy step-over to release Lee Neville (yes, even these Reds have a Neville at full-back) for a raid down the wing.

Wright, a 24-year-old who had a promising junior career at Oldham, proved to be the star of the show. A left-footed winger, he was on a different plane to the players around him — the Lionel Messi of Gigg Lane. He drew three fine saves from Barrow keeper Shaun Pearson during the match, and put in another shot that was almost turned in by Norton.

On the opposite wing, Carlos Roca, whose exotic name disguises his roots in nearby Withington, was having a quiet match by comparison.

But football can be a contrary beast, and it was Roca who wound up scoring the decisive goal in a 1-0 win. It came in the 77th minute, the result of a scuffed shot from Norton that ricocheted into his path some five yards out. A lucky goal, perhaps, but then no one could dispute that FC United were the better team on the day.

Given that this club were formed as a protest against the debt-laden ownership of Manchester United, it was ironic to discover the nature of Roca’s day job. “I’m a loan sales advisor,” he explained, which means that he helps people to service their own personal debt crises.

“I’ll be back in the office tomorrow, and I doubt anyone will have a clue what I did this weekend.”

Still, his goal will no doubt win him hero status among FC United’s fans, who were magnificently noisy throughout.

“You just don’t see scenes like that at this level,” said Marginson. “Now we’ve got Rochdale in the next round, which should make us a few quid to help us build our own ground.”

And there’s another irony. As FC United struggle to pay the rent at Gigg Lane, the club that rejected the evils of market forces now find themselves back at the mercy of economics all over again. Only without so many zeros at the end.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

FA Cup - FC United make first round of Cup

 Source: Eurosport

 Sun, 24 Oct 22:28:00 2010

 FC United of Manchester – the club started up by disillusioned Manchester United fans after the Glazer takeover, have qualified for the first round proper of the FA Cup.

Carlos Roca scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Barrow to set up a first round clash at League One side Rochdale for United.

The semi-professional team play in the Evo-Stik Premier which is two divisions below the Blue Square Premier full-timers Barrow.

Sheffield Wednesday, winners of the FA Cup on three occasions, have been drawn away to Blue Square Premier strugglers Southport in the first round of this season’s competition.

Former winners Southampton, finalists in 2003, will host League Two promotion hopefuls Shrewsbury – who beat Everton that same season – at St Mary’s.

Five-times finalists Huddersfield visit Cambridge United on the weekend of November 6 and 7, when the games will be played.

AFC Wimbledon, formed by disgruntled supporters in the wake of 1988 winners Wimbledon being transformed into Milton Keynes Dons, will welcome fan-run Ebbsfleet United to their Kingsmeadow home in Kingston-upon-Thames.

Oldest club in the world Sheffield FC, seeking a first appearance in the first round proper of the world's oldest cup competition, will travel to Carlisle United should they beat Tipton in their replay.

Roca roller

 Source: The FA

 By Alex Prior - Sunday, 24 October, 2010

 Carlos Roca goal sees FC United squeeze past Barrow in FA Cup.

FC United of Manchester 1-0 Barrow AFC
The FA Cup sponsored by E.ON
Fourth Round Qualifying
Sunday 24 October 2010
Winning clubs receive £12,500 from The FA's Prize Fund

Barrow AFC crashed out of this season's FA Cup following a 1-0 defeat at lower league FC United of Manchester in this Fourth Round Qualifying tie.

The only goal of the game came 12 minutes from the end when a shot by Mike Norton was prodded in from close range by Carlos Roca.

3,229 fans flocked to Gigg Lane for the tie which would see the winner travel to League One’s Rochdale in the First Round Proper.

The two sides couldn't be separated after an even first half, which the hosts started well but Barrow settled into.

The best chance fell to the FC United when Jerome Wright bent a shot just past the post. For Barrow, Jason Walker had an effort saved and Nick Chadwick shot wide with a ten-yard effort.

FC United started the second half really brightly and but for some great goalkeeping from Shaun Pearson would have taken the lead. The hosts came close on the hour mark when Norton hit the foot of the post.

They eventually got the goal their second-half dominance deserved in the 78th minute and will now make the short trip to Rochdale on the weekend of 6/7 November.

FC United set up Rochdale FA Cup clash

 Source: Manchester Evening News

 Dany Robson

 October 24, 2010

 Carlos Roca scored the winning goal 13 minutes from time to seal an historic win for FC United and clinch an FA Cup first round clash at League One side Rochdale.

It was no more than the Evo-Stik Premier side deserved as they reached the first round proper for the first time in their short five-year history and pocketed £12,500 prize money.

The semi-professional side more than matched Blue Square Premier full-timers Barrow, two league's above them, and dominated the second half at Gigg Lane.

Chances had gone begging for both sides in the first half but it was Barrow who should have taken the lead on 30 minutes. FC midfielder James Holden's back pass could only find Barrow's Nick Chadwick lurking in the area but the striker, with only keeper Sam Ashton to beat, spared Holden's blushes with a weak effort.

And then it was FC United's turn to come close when winger Jerome Wright's sliding effort almost tucked into the bottom corner of the net with Norton unable to provide the final touch at the far post as the ball rolled agonisingly wide.

FC United boss Karl Marginson must have rallied his troops at the break and they were on top in the second half.

Norton's clever backheel to Wright gave the wideman a chance to test Barrow keeper Shaun Pearson with the stopper one-handedly pushing the effort away.

Then Norton was denied by the woodwork, Wright's follow up was saved by Ashton and then Roca, finally, came up with his 77th minute to send the majority of the 3,289 crowd wild.

FC could have had more with man of the match Norton heading over in a good position as FC keeper Ashton had a relatively trouble-free second half.

FC United of Manchester land local derby at Rochdale after reaching FA Cup first round for the first time

 Source: Daily Mail

 By Nick Metcalfe
 Last updated at 5:08 PM on 24th October 2010

FA United of Manchester were rewarded for a victory over Barrow with a local FA Cup first round tie at Rochdale.

The club, who were set up by supporters disillusioned supporters of Manchester United, beat Barrow at Gigg Lane on Sunday.

Carlos Roca scored the only goal of the game 12 minutes from time, in front of a crowd of over 3,000.

Elsewhere in the first round draw memories of past giantkillings will be flooding back for Woking supporters after the Cards were drawn to play 1983 finalists Brighton and Hove Albion in the first round of the FA Cup. The game at Withdean Stadium will be one of the highlights of next month's first round.

Many eyes will also be on Haig Avenue, where Southport will play Sheffield Wednesday. Corby take on Luton Town, while there will be an east London derby between Dagenham & Redbridge and Leyton Orient.

Vauxhall Motors, who memorably beat Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in a penalty shoot-out in a first round replay in 2002, travel to Hartlepool.

FC United of Manchester face a short trip to Rochdale if they beat Barrow in their fourth qualifying round match.

Woking wrote their name into FA Cup folklore in 1991, when Tim Buzaglo scored the most extraordinary of hat-tricks to give the then Isthmian League side a 4-2 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.

Their meeting with Albion is the first since 1992, when Brighton won a second round tie after a draw at the old Goldstone Ground and narrow victory in the replay at Kingfield.

Woking's number was drawn out of the hat by well known Brighton fan Norman Cook, or 'Fatboy Slim', at Wembley Stadium.


Source: North West Evening Mail

Goals: FC United: Carlos Roca (78)
Attendance: 3,229

BARROW AFC crashed out of this season's FA Cup following a 1-0 defeat at lower-league FC United in the fourth qualifying round today (Sunday).

The only goal of the game came 12 minutes from the end when a shot by Norton was prodded in from close range by Carlos Roca.

The two sides couldn't be seperated after an even first half, which the hosts started well but Barrow settled into. The best chance fell to the hosts when Jerome Wright bent a shot just past the post. For AFC, Walker had an effort saved and Chadwick shot wide with a 10-yard effot.

FC United started the second half really brightly and but for some great goalkeeping from Shaun Pearson would have taken the lead. The hosts came close on the hour mark when Mike Norton hit the foot of the post. They eventually got the goal their second-half dominance deserved in the 78th minute.

FC United will travel to League One Rochdale in the first round proper.

The Bluebirds made three changes to the side that lost 3-1 at Cambridge United eight days ago. Striker Nick Chadwick made his first start after returning from a knee injury suffered in pre-season, while midfielder Mark Boyd and defender Phil Bolland were also given starting berths. Marc Goodfellow returned from an ankle injury to take a place on the bench, alongside Robin Hulbert, Paul Rutherford, Gregg Blundell, Danny Forrest and Dave Bayliss. The three players who lost their places following the loss at Cambridge were Rutherford, James Owen (suspended) and Neil Wainwright (ineligible).

Barrow and FC United of Mancehster knew prior to kick-off that the reward for winning the tie was a first round trip to Rochdale. The Spotland outfit currently sit ninth in Football League One.

The Bluebirds arrived at Gigg Lane on the back of a seven-game winless run which has resulted in them falling into the Blue Square Bet Premier relegation zone. The hosts - formed in 2005 following the resentment of some Manchester United fans to the Galzers' takeover at Old Trafford - had won their last three Evo Stick League Premier Division games. The two sides had never met before today.

FC United, who are managed by former Bluebirds midfielder Karl Marginson, beat Radcliffe Borough, Gainsborough and Norton to reach the fourth qualifying of the competition.

Barrow AFC: Shaun Pearson, Simon Spender, Paul Edwards, Phil Bolland, Paul Jones, Mike Pearson, Darren Sheridan, Mark Boyd, Ciaran Donnelly, Jason Walker, Nick Chadwick. Subs: Robin Hulbert, Paul Rutherford, Marc Goodfellow, Gregg Blundell, Danny Forrest, Dave Bayliss.

FC United of Manchester: Sam Ashton, Kyle Jacobs, Lee Neville, James Holden, Karl Munroe, Scott McManus, Carlos Roca, Jake Cottrell, Mike Norton, Jerome Wright, Ben Deegan. Subs: Glynn Hurst, Zach Hibbert, Simon Carden, Nicky Platt, Chris Ovington, David Chadwick, Scott Chhetham.

Referee: M Heywood.
Don't forget to read tomorrow's Evening Mail for full match report, photos and reaction.

FC United may face Rochdale in FA Cup first round

Source: The Guardian

 FA Cup The first round of this season's FA Cup takes place in two weeks' time.

The draw for the First Round of the FA Cup is as follows:

Colchester v Bradford

Corby v Luton

Harrow Borough v Chesterfield

Notts County v Gateshead

Stevenage v Milton Keynes Dons

Southport v Sheff Wed

Rotherham v York

Havant & W v Droylsden

Bury v Exeter

Cheltenham v Morecambe

Hayes & Yeading v Wycombe

Dagenham & Redbridge v Leyton Orient

AFC Wimbledon v Ebbsfleet United

Lincoln City v Workington or Nuneaton

Mansfield v Torquay

Hereford v Hythe Town

Bournemouth v Tranmere

Carshalton Ath or Chelmsford v Hendon or Met Police

Swindon Supermarine or Bath v Eastwood Town

Rushden & D'monds v Yeovil

Southampton v Shrewsbury

Cambridge Utd v Huddersfield

Burton Albion v Oxford Utd

Gillingham v Farnborough or Dover

Tamworth or Grimsby v Crewe

Darlington v Bristol Rovers

Guiseley v Crawley Town

Brighton v Woking

Macclesfield v Southend

Rochdale v FC United of Manchester or Barrow

Carlisle v Sheffield or Tipton

Leiston or Dartford v Port Vale

Forest Green v Northampton

Fleetwood Town v Walsall

Barnet v Charlton

Plymouth v Swindon

Accrington Stanley v Oldham

Hartlepool v Vauxhall Motors

Stockport v Peterborough

Brentford v Aldershot

The ties will be played on the weekend of 6 and 7 November.

FC United of Manchester v Barrow AFC - updates

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 Last updated at 15:07, Sunday, 24 October 2010



The Bluebirds made three changes to the side that lost 3-1 at Cambridge United eight days ago. Striker Nick Chadwick made his first start after returning from a knee injury suffered in pre-season, while midfielder Mark Boyd and defender Phil Bolland were also given starting berths. Marc Goodfellow returned from an ankle injury to take a place on the bench, alongside Robin Hulbert, Paul Rutherford, Gregg Blundell, Danny Forrest and Dave Bayliss. The three players who lost their places following the loss at Cambridge were Rutherford, James Owen (suspended) and Neil Wainwright (ineligible).

Barrow and FC United of Mancehster knew prior to kick-off that the reward for winning the tie was a first round trip to Rochdale. The Spotland outfit currently sit ninth in Football League One.

The Bluebirds arrived at Gigg Lane on the back of a seven-game winless run which has resulted in them falling into the Blue Square Bet Premier relegation zone. The hosts - formed in 2005 following the resentment of some Manchester United fans to the Galzers' takeover at Old Trafford - had won their last three Evo Stick League Premier Division games. The two sides had never met before today.

FC United, who are managed by former Bluebirds midfielder Karl Marginson, beat Radcliffe Borough, Gainsborough and Norton to reach the fourth qualifying of the competition.

Barrow AFC: Shaun Pearson, Simon Spender, Paul Edwards, Phil Bolland, Paul Jones, Mike Pearson, Darren Sheridan, Mark Boyd, Ciaran Donnelly, Jason Walker, Nick Chadwick. Subs: Robin Hulbert, Paul Rutherford, Marc Goodfellow, Gregg Blundell, Danny Forrest, Dave Bayliss.

FC United of Manchester: Sam Ashton, Kyle Jacobs, Lee Neville, James Holden, Karl Munroe, Scott McManus, Carlos Roca, Jake Cottrell, Mike Norton, Jerome Wright, Ben Deegan. Subs: Glynn Hurst, Zach Hibbert, Simon Carden, Nicky Platt, Chris Ovington, David Chadwick, Scott Chhetham.

Referee: M Heywood.

Don't forget to read tomorrow's Evening Mail for full match report, photos and reaction.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Marginson: We didn’t want Rooney anyway!

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 KARL Marginson was never going to attempt to lure Wayne Rooney to FC United of Manchester – but he still has plenty of striking artillery to fire at Barrow AFC in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round tomorrow (3pm kick-off).

ROO-TURN: Wayne Rooney has agreed a five-year deal at Old Trafford, before which Karl Marginson (left) joked FC United couldn’t afford his hairdressing bills!

The FC United boss was this week asked tongue-in-cheek if the Red Rebels – formed in 2005 as a protest in the wake of the Glazers’ takeover at Old Trafford – would make an audacious bid to land the then-want-away former Everton star.

But Marginson told the Daily Telegraph: “We couldn’t pay his hairdressing bills. And he doesn’t even have much hair!”

As it turns out, Rooney yesterday performed a dramatic U-turn and agreed a new five-year deal with the Red Devils.

Instead of Rooney, FC United have strikers Glynn Hurst – a 34-year-old former Bury and Chesterfield man who was linked with Barrow last season – plus 12-goal top-scorer Mike Norton, and Ben Deegan to pick from.

Marginson said: “We’re strong on the wings and up front, whichever way we go.

“We have experience in the shape of Glynn Hurst, Michael Norton has never scored less than 30 goals a season and Ben Deegan got a hat-trick in our last game.

“Going forward we look pretty strong, so it’s about keeping our shape when we don’t have the ball and making ourselves difficult to play against.”

FC United currently sit 16th in the Evo-Stick League Premier Division – 39 places below Barrow in the football pyramid. They have, however, won their last three matches, averaging almost five goals a game.

Former Bluebirds midfielder Marginson said: “Our form has picked up over the last few weeks, confidence is high and the lads are all buzzing.

“I do think Barrow are probably going to have to have an off day and us play to our highest standard.

“The standards Barrow have to play to, to compete in what is a very, very strong league will mean they’ll find it a bit easier against us. But, hey, we’re not bad and we certainly won’t be any pushovers.”

FC United are again expected to be without captain David Chadwick and the influential Steve Torpey, but have no further injury concerns.

And while this is Barrow’s first game in this season’s FA Cup, the Red Rebels have already had to negotiate three hurdles in the shape of Radcliffe Borough (3-0), Gainsborough Trinity (2-1) and Norton And Stockton Ancients (5-2) to get this far.

Marginson said: “I’m going to enjoy it, no matter what the result. It will be great to see some old friends from Barrow and I hope everyone has a good day. At the end of the day, we are the underdogs and have nothing to lose.”

FC United have never reached the competition’s first round proper. Last season they were knocked out in the final qualifying round by Northwich Victoria.

To avoid a similar fate tomorrow, Marginson knows his side must keep quiet Barrow’s 10-goal top scorer Jason Walker.

“Jason is a lad who knows where the back of the net is,” said the 39-year-old FC United boss.

“Goalscorers are a rare breed, but he’s certainly one of them. We know he will be a threat.”

Reacting to Rooney’s sensational u-turn, Barrow and Furness Manchester United Supporters’ Club chairman Mal Lawson said: “I didn’t want us to lose him, so it’s good news. He was probably right about what he said about the ambition of the Glazers but he will still have some questions to answer in the dressing room.

“I don’t think Coleen wanted to move anyway!”

Published by

Big army of Bluebirds fans going to Gigg

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 AROUND 500 travelling Barrow AFC fans are expected to cheer their team on against FC United tomorrow (3pm kick-off).

The club have filled two coaches, while the independent supporters’ club are also running two buses to the FA Cup fourth qualifying round clash.

Other Barrow fans from across the country are expected to make their own way to Gigg Lane, with many set to join home supporters in watching the first half of the televised Premier League clash between Stoke City v Manchester United (1.30pm kick-off).

The East Stand will be open to AFC supporters, who should use turnstiles numbered one to six.

The game is pay on the gate. Admission prices are: seats – £14 adults/£11 concessions; terrace – £13 adults/£10 concessions; under-16s – £5 all areas; under-sevens – £3 all areas.

Any supporters travelling by train into Manchester should note that today and tomorrow there will be no trams running on the Bury line. This is due to work for the construction of the new tram stop at Abraham Moss. A replacement bus will run from Bury to Piccadilly, calling at all stops to Victoria then non-stop to Piccadilly Gardens and Piccadilly station. Passengers should buy their tickets from Metrolink ticket vending machines as normal, before boarding the bus.

If the game finishes in a draw, a replay will be played at Holker Street on Wednesday night.

The draw for the FA Cup first round will be televised live on ITV tomorrow at 12.30pm.

Barrow’s game at FC United kicks off at 3pm, meaning both sides will be in the hat, alongside high-profile League One and Two clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton and Charlton, as well as Carlisle United and Morecambe.

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Swabba: FC United will be ‘tough test’ for AFC

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 BARROVIAN former FC United player Dave Swarbrick says the Bluebirds face a “really tough test” at Gigg Lane tomorrow.

The midfielder, who made 40 appearances during two spells at the Manchester club between 2006 and 2008, knows all about the potential banana skin facing Barrow in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Swarbrick, who also played for AFC under Lee Turnbull and Phil Wilson, said: “It will be a really tough test for Barrow. FC United seem to have found some form lately.

“Obviously Barrow are definitely the favourites and they shouldn’t slip up, but it does happen, that is the magic of the FA Cup.”

FC United’s supporters are famed for the vocal backing they give their team.

This was clear for all to hear when they visited Craven Park back in December 2005 to play Holker Old Boys in a North West Counties fixture. FC United won 2-0 in front of a crowd of 2,300-plus.

Two months later Holker visited FC United – in a game played at Altrincham’s Moss Lane because Gigg Lane was unavailable – and lost 4-1 with more than 3,150 in attendance.

Swarbrick was the man on target that day for Old Boys in an impressive individual display which later earned him a move to the Red Rebels.

FC United’s highest attendance so far this season is 1,866, for their opening home game against Nantwich.

Much more – including strong travelling support from Barrow – are expected tomorrow as FC United aim to make the first round proper for the first time in their short history.

“I think everyone knows about the FC United fans,” said Swarbrick.

“Barrow will find an atmosphere that they probably won’t have experienced against another team of that level.

“The FC United supporters are out for the fun of it. They love their football and really support their club the best they can. For Barrow, I think it’s important they try to silence those fans as quickly as possible. It definitely has an effect on FC United when they’ve got the fans behind them.

“Mind you, even if they’re getting beat, their fans probably still won’t be silent. I’m hoping to go myself, but I’ll be a there as a neutral, I think!”

Swarbrick has this week been training with Lancaster City after recently leaving North West Counties table-toppers New Mills.

First published at 10:39, Saturday, 23 October 2010
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Bayliss: We're the underdogs

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 BARROW AFC joint-boss Dave Bayliss believes his side will be the underdogs when they tackle FC United of Manchester in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The Bluebirds go to Gigg Lane hoping to progress past the fourth qualifying round and, in the process, bank £12,500 in prize money.

And, though Barrow sit 39 places above their Evo-Stick League Premier Division opponents in the football pyramid, Bayliss feels his side go into the potential banana-skin tie as second favourites.

The FA Trophy holders have not won any of their last seven games and now reside in the Blue Square Bet Premier relegation zone.

“I’d say we’re underdogs, not favourites, for the game,” said Bayliss.

“FC United are probably a bigger club fan-base-wise than we are and are at home.

“There will probably be about 2,500 there on Sunday, so it should be a great atmosphere inside a good Football League ground.

“At this stage of the competition, you can easily be given an away game on a sloping pitch in front of 300-400 people, but we’ve been given a really good, yet really tough, tie to play in.”

Asked if the cup tie provided a welcome distraction from Barrow’s current league troubles, Bayliss added: “I suppose so. We’ve played well in spells during the last seven games but we haven’t won, which is massively disappointing.

“But every game in football gives you the chance to redeem yourself and the lads, although despondent after last weekend, have trained hard this week and are excited about the game against FC United.

“Because it’s a Sunday game, we’ll do things a bit different and train Saturday morning rather than Friday.

“Especially after the success we’ve had in the FA Cup in the last two years, reaching the third round against Middlesbrough then Sunderland, the lads want more of what they’ve tasted.”

Barrow beat Accrington 2-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Holker Street on Wednesday.

Centre-half Phil Bolland, back from suspension, played the full 90 minutes, while all other players, including Nick Chadwick and Marc Goodfellow, both of whom are returning from injuries, featured for 45 minutes.

Bayliss said: “It went really well.

“Having Bolly back gives us more options again and we’re starting, apart from Simon Wiles obviously and Alan Martin, to get back together the full squad we’ve always wanted.

“We won the game 2-1, with Jason Walker and Mike Pearson scoring.

“The game allowed us to try a few things out, play a bit differently. It gave us some food for thought.”

Meanwhile, Bayliss rubbished rumours linking Barrow with a move for former Everton and Arsenal striker Franny Jeffers. He joked: “We’re more likely to get Franny Lee!”

Elsewhere, other ex-Premier League stars are being linked with clubs in non-league’s top-flight.

Former Arsenal winger Robert Pires is reported to be a target for big-spending Crawley Town, while former Manchester United and Newcastle wideman Keith Gillespie is to have a trial at Darlington.

l The draw for the FA Cup first round will be televised live on ITV on Sunday at 12.30pm

Barrow’s game at FC United kicks off at 3pm, meaning both sides will be in the hat, alongside League One and Two clubs like Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton and Charlton.

First published at 13:09, Friday, 22 October 2010
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FA Cup preview

 FC United boss Karl Marginson insists Barrow’s travel sickness is the key to his FA Cup glory-hunters making history this weekend.

The Rebels will need to bridge a gap of two divisions if they’re to knock out the Cumbrian full-timers, collect a winners’ cheque of £12,500 and advance to the first round proper for the first time in their brief but highly eventful existence.

It’s a big ask but Marginson, an ex Barrow star, believes the Bluebirds’ failure to win on the road in the Blue Square Bet Premier gives FC hope of an upset in the Cup’s fourth qualifying-round at Gigg Lane on Sunday (3pm).

The United boss, whose team fell at the same stage to Northwich 12 months ago, said: “Barrow are one of non-League’s biggest clubs and I’ve every respect for them, but the fact they’ve yet to win away in eight attempts this season makes us feel we have a chance.

“We’ll need to be at our very best but our confidence is high after scoring 14 times in our last three games.”

Meanwhile, four other Manchester semi-pro teams hope to make it to round one.

Altrincham, Stalybridge Celtic, Droylsden and Mossley will all be dreaming of earning the chance for their names to go into the hat with npower League One and Two clubs when they stage ties tomorrow.

Stalybridge, seeking to reach the first-round for the first time in eight years, will fancy their chances of beating fellow Blue Square Bet North outfit Eastwood Town at Bower Fold.

Droylsden, whose last appearance in round one came in 2008, will start as favourites at home to Evo-Stik South leaders Barwell.

Evo-Stik North minnows Mossley will attempt to end a 27-year wait for revenge when they square up to BSBP big guns Darlington at Seel Park, having crashed 5-0 to the Quakers in their last first-round outing in 1983.

Elsewhere, ailing Hyde face a BSBN trip to Blyth while, in Evo-Stik Premier, Ashton United host Hucknall and promotion hopefuls Northwich go to Burscough.
And Ken McKenna insists Altrincham are fully focused on their FA Cup tie with Gateshead despite their league woes.

McKenna celebrated his permanent appointment as Altrincham boss with a 1-0 win over Fleetwood Town, but a disastrous start to the season has left the Robins already seven points from safety in the Blue Square Premier table.

Gateshead visit Moss Lane on Saturday with a place in the FA Cup first round at stake and, even though there are no points on offer, McKenna says he won't change his approach.

“Gateshead are strong side and it'll be a difficult game,” he said. “They're a club that are progressing very quickly and they'll be desperate to get through.

“I don't see the FA Cup as a distraction because we need to win as many games as we can, whether they're in the league or the cup.

“It's an important game and we can't ignore the financial rewards of going on a cup run. We've already had a little bit of luck by getting a home draw, the first one we've had for a long time, and I'll be hoping for a bit more luck on Saturday.

“With the position we're in, we need to start winning games and picking up points. Even though it's a cup game we need to go on a run and build on the good result we had on Saturday.”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Who's up for Wayne?

Source: Irish Independent

FC United

While the Reds and the Blues do battle over Rooney's signature, the Rebels -- better known as FC United of Manchester -- declined to put in a bid yesterday.

"Forget his wages," said Karl Marginson, the manager of the non-League club. "We couldn't pay his hairdressing bills. And he doesn't even have much hair."

Formed as a protest movement in the wake of the Glazers' takeover of Manchester United, FC United are staffed entirely by local semi-professionals.

While Rooney seeks a new contract that would bring him nearly £1m per month, FC United are trying to raise the £3.5m they need to build a new stadium and free them from their ground-sharing arrangement with Bury.

FC United of Manchester confident of shock - Andy Walsh

 Source: BBC (audio on BBC's site)

 FC United of Manchester general manager Andy Walsh says they are in confident mood as they prepare to face Barrow in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round.

Walsh is optimistic the club can beat the current FA Trophy holders at Gigg Lane to reach the FA Cup proper for the first time in their five-year history.

He told BBC Radio Manchester: "It's a home draw at Gigg Lane so we're hopeful really, it's a good and exciting draw.

"Barrow should bring a few down as well so it should be a good atmosphere."

FC United have played at Bury's Gigg Lane since their foundation as a breakaway club in 2005, following Manchester United fans' disillusionment with the Premier League giants.

The Evo-Stik Premier Division club have applied to Manchester City Council for planning permission and it will be considered in November.

Fans and businesses are able to buy shares ranging from £200 to £20,000 as they attempt to build a new 5,000-seater stadium near Newton Heath.

Walsh added: "I think we're at a stage now where we need to move on with our new ground before we can press on as a club to be perfectly frank.

"A lot of money has dropped out of non-league in the last 12 months there's not as much money around or people investing.

"For us as a club we're still getting good crowds but we're not able to pay big money because we're paying out a lot of money for renting out Gigg Lane [from Bury]."

Colwyn Bay book trip to FC United of Manchester

 Source: North Wales Weekly News

 Oct 21 2010

 COLWYN Bay booked a trip to FC United of Manchester in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy following Saturday’s excellent 2-0 win over Bradford Park Avenue.

Goals from Jon Newby and Damien Allen secured Bay a welcome £2,200 windfall at the expense of opponents currently higher placed than the Seagulls in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Next up in the prestigious competition is a visit to Gigg Lane on October 30 to take on a side currently languishing in 16th in the Premier.
But before that Bay have a league double header – away to basement boys Retford United this Saturday and then home to a Marine outfit Dave

Challinor’s men have already beaten twice this season next Tuesday (7.45pm).

With Colwyn currently seventh in the table, a couple of good results could take them higher before their big Trophy date.

Boss Challinor saluted his players after Saturday’s success over Bradford.

“After taking a 6-0 beating from Northwich just a week earlier this was a very solid performance and the boys deserve great credit for it,” he said.

“It’s really important for the club’s finances that we do well in these big competitions, so that come January we are in a position to look at improving the squad still further and push on from there.

“We were so much on top that we could have won it five or six-nil, which is great to be able to say.”

The Seagulls certainly had the measure of a Bradford side looking for a fourth straight win, dominating from start to finish.

Ian Sheridan almost scored in the second minute in a one-on-one with keeper Michael Hale, who produced the first of many fine stops.
Ironically, an under-hit clearance by Hale led to the Bay’s opening goal on 16 minutes as alert Newby smartly exploited the half-chance to slip the ball past the keeper.

Bradford’s prospects of recovering nose-dived when defender David Briggs was sent off for a second yellow card on 52 minutes, and they were completely dashed when Karl Noon laid on the cross for skipper Allen to crack a second off the inside of a post from 20 yards on 67 minutes.

The Seagulls should have made it three on 90 minutes when a handling offence by Darrell Reardon brought a penalty opportunity for Noon.

However, his spot kick was superbly saved as Hale tipped the ball onto a post before it was hoofed clear.

Why United manager Karl still loves Barrow

 Source: North West Evening Mail

 FC UNITED manager Karl Marginson tells the Mail’s MATT DAVIES why he regards Barrow AFC as the best club he ever played for; manically celebrating the goal that clinched the NPL title in 1998; and a surprise career move for former Bluebirds boss Owen Brown

WHATEVER the result at Gigg Lane on Sunday, Barrow AFC will always command a special place in Karl Marginson’s heart.

The FC United of Manchester boss would like nothing more than to mastermind an FA Cup shock by dumping the Blue Square Bet Premier side out of the FA Cup.

But when the dust settles on what should be an absorbing tie – the Northern Premier’s most ambitious outfit against the renowned FA Cup fighters and FA Trophy holders – Marginson will still regard the Bluebirds as one of his favourite clubs.

“I have great memories of Barrow,” says the 39-year-old Mancunian, whose graft and craft in midfield played its part in AFC’s Unibond Premier Division title winning season of 1997/98.

Most fans remember him for the diving header against Boston United which clinched the title, but Marginson’s contribution was much greater than that one act of bravery and skill at the Holker Street end.

The former Rotherham United man was a member of a very strong squad assembled by manager Owen Brown, and made 78 appearances. He would have played more games but for injuries and he won supporters over with his gritty displays and sweet left foot.

“When I started there I didn’t set the world on fire with my performances, but then I got my head down and worked hard and things turned around for me,” says Marginson.

“My abiding memory of Barrow fans – and it’s pretty similar to FC United fans really – is that as long as you go out and give 100 per cent for the team they’ll give you their full support and that’s what a football crowd is all about.

“I’ve played at places where they don’t recognise the effort that goes in. But that’s not the case at Barrow and at FC United, where if you put 100 per cent in and play for the shirt, the fans respect you.”

Marginson guaranteed his name will forever be etched in AFC folklore, on the evening of April 21, 1998, when Brown’s boys needed a result against old enemies Boston to seal the title and bring Conference football back to the town for the first time in six years.

A milkman at the time, Marginson showed a lotta bottle to arrive at the near post fractionally ahead of Boston keeper Paul Bastock and plant a Neil Morton cross into the net, sending the Holker Street end into raptures.

He correctly remembers there being a ‘bit of history’ with Bastock. The Boston man was a hate figure at Holker Street after he made gestures to the crowd following a bad injury to AFC defender Tim Parkin in a game in February 1994, and that made Marginson even more determined to win that challenge in the six-yard-box.

“I made the run and the keeper’s come out and I thought I’ll collide into him, if you like, and luckily somehow it’s hit my head and bounced in,” he says.

“After that goal I ran around for about 10 minutes like a wailing banshee!

“The winning goal against Boston definitely stands out, but I also remember we had a game against Blyth and we were 1-0 down. I managed to get a couple of free-kicks to give us a vital win. The first free-kick I took early when the keeper was setting his wall up, and then the next one they actually put a lad on the line and I managed to bend it over the wall and in, so that was pleasing. There’s not many games when you manage to score two free-kicks.”

“I really, really enjoyed my time at Barrow,” adds Marginson.

“I’ve got to say, playing-wise, Barrow is my favourite club I played at without a shadow of a doubt. Because of the fans, it’s really a Football League club.

“It’s a Football League club and with Dave (Bayliss) and Darren (Sheridan) I’m sure they are going in the right direction because they know the game inside out.

“And with them being full-time now, and able to work on things on the training ground, then hopefully they can get back up there.

“The Conference is changing that much now it’s frightening – you’ve got the likes of Luton, Darlington, Mansfield, and Grimsby, and with the finances that they can throw at it it’s going to be tough to compete at the top of the league. But I’m sure Barrow can hold their own.”

One of the hallmarks of the 97/98 title-winning squad was their never-say-die attitude and great team spirit, and although a glorious era was to come to a pretty abrupt end soon after as the Stephen Vaughan reign came crashing down, Marginson still keeps in touch with some of his old team-mates, including current AFC skipper Paul Jones. He is still in touch with boss Brown too, who, Marginson hears, is now on the Inter Milan payroll, under former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, whom the Scouser worked for at Anfield.

“Now and again I’ve spoken to Jonesy and I’m looking forward to seeing him again,” he says.

“I tried to sign him a few years ago. He wasn’t getting in but Phil Wilson (then Barrow manager) was reluctant to let him go – as he would be, because he’s a good player.

“The squad actually had a reunion about four years ago in Liverpool. Owen Brown set it up and it was a great night.

“I still speak to Owen now and again – he’s got a decent job by the way.

“He was Rafa Benitez’s right-hand man at Liverpool and he’s taken him to Inter Milan as his European scout.”

Marginson’s career path after his AFC stint saw him play for several non-league clubs in the Greater Manchester area, before the lifelong Manchester United fan was appointed as the first manager of the newly-formed FC United in June 2005, leading the club to three successive promotions. His role with the Red Rebels is much more than managing the first team however.

He explains: “We do a lot of work in the community.

“It’s a massive part of the club, getting out and coaching in some of the deprived areas of Manchester, so I’m basically full-time coaching.”

Marginson’s most pressing current concern at FC United of course, is to try and knock Barrow out of the cup on Sunday – but, whatever the result, he’ll always remain an AFC fan, and a hero in the eyes of Bluebirds supporters.

First published at 13:07, Wednesday, 20 October 2010
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