FC United will be without their loyal travelling army of fans for tomorrow’s eagerly-awaited trip to early Evo-Stik Premier pacesetters Chorley.
Their absence follows a decision by Rebels’ chiefs to turn down an allocation of 520 tickets for visiting supporters in a row over security arrangements for the 12.30pm Victory Park clash.
Both FC officials and league bosses were left bemused when Chorley recently announced they’d been advised by Lancashire Police to make the game all-ticket, admit only United season-ticket holders, segregate supporters and bring the kick-off forward to lunchtime in a bid to reduce any threat of crowd trouble.
All four parties met on Monday but, having been unable to understand the reasons given for such draconian measures, United’s board have since issued a statement saying they’ve ‘regretfully’ refused their ticket allocation.
FC’s general manager Andy Walsh said: “If we’d been involved in talks about arrangements for this match earlier, we’re sure that matters could have been resolved.
“Unfortunately, this has not been possible on this occasion, but we’re grateful for the assistance given by the league and have pledged to work with them to ensure lessons are learnt for the future.”
FC, whose fans have earned the respect of the Evo-Stik League’s management thanks to their excellent behaviour at a several recent high-profile fixtures, will regard the showdown with Garry Flitcroft’s Magpies as a chance to get their fortunes back on track, having slipped to ninth after picking up just one point from their last two games.
Meanwhile, Ashton United stage another big game when they welcome high-flying Hednesford to Hurst Cross, while Andy Preece’s third-placed Northwich Victoria visit Stocksbridge.
Blue Square Bet North leaders Hyde, who have allowed out-of-favour midfielder Joe Evans to join Skelmersdale on a dual registration, will be seeking to extend their 100 per cent winning record to eight games when they travel to lowly Workington.
Stalybridge, just two points behind the Tigers in second place, entertain Eastwood, while eighth-placed Droylsden make the trip to Blyth Spartans and Altrincham, who are in 15th, host Worcester.
Moss Lane chief Lee Sinnott has released ex-Barrow centre-half Paul Jones and re-signed Robbie Williams on a month’s loan from Telford in an attempt to shore up the Robins’ leaky defence.
Droylsden’s Paul Brown has become the third player to be freed by the Bloods in less than a week, making way for boss Dave Pace’s latest capture, ex-City academy product Paul Marshall.
Evo-Stik North frontunners Curzon Ashton, who, like Hyde, have yet to drop a point this season, have a derby date with Salford City at the Tameside Stadium, while struggling trio Mossley, Radcliffe and Trafford also all have home games.
September 09, 2011