Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sinnott - We can push for promotion

 Source: MEN

 Lee Sinnott is convinced the only thing stopping Altrincham mounting a push for promotion is a bout of travel sickness.

Altrincham were dumped out of the FA Trophy by Evo-Stik Premier FC United on Sunday, prompting chairman Grahame Rowley to issue a plea to supporters not to criticise Sinnott and his players.

The Robins have picked up just five points on their Conference North travels this season compared to six wins from nine games at Moss Lane.

And despite the disappointment at seeing the road to Wembley blocked by FC United, Sinnott believes a change of fortune on the road could see Altrincham challenge the league leaders in the new year.

"We’ve been together for five months and we’re looking to build something," said Sinnott, who replaced Ken McKenna in the summer.

"It takes time and it’s an on-going process.

"We’ve got 25 points in the league and we’re six points off the play-offs with a game in hand. Our away form just needs rectifying.

"You get the sense that people think there’s a little bit of doom and gloom. Form in this league can change very, very quickly. We know where we need to improve and things are going on behind the scenes to bring new people to the club.

"I’ve said to the players, we’ve just got to keep our heads down and work our way through it. It’ll make them better players for later in their careers. In the meantime, we’ve just got to keep our heads down and graft."

Sinnott was adamant Altrincham didn’t deserve to lose after watching FC United progress into the first round of the FA Trophy with a 2-1 win at Gigg Lane.

Carlos Roca’s fantastic 20-yard strike was cancelled out by Jack Redshaw’s second-half header before Mike Norton won it for United.

"I’m not the type of person who thinks, because FC are a league below us, we can just come here and do what we want to do for 90 minutes," said Sinnott, who takes his team to FC Halifax on Saturday.

"If you look at the balance of play, of course we should still be in the hat. But this is cup football and sometimes you don’t get what you deserve."


 Source: Non-league Daily

 Only two matches went ahead in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division on Tuesday evening, and they both ended in 1-1 draws.

Sean Cooke gave Nantwich Town a ninth minute lead against FC United of Manchester from the penalty spot, but Michael Norton (pictured) rescued a point for United with nine minutes to go.

Elsewhere, Stocksbridge Park Steels took the lead through Jack Muldoon in the 16th minute of their match against Frickley Athletic, but the visitors levelled on 74 minutes through Bradley Grayson.

Kendal Town's scheduled match at home to Chester was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Guiseley have big home tie in FA Trophy

 Source: Bradford Telegraph and Argus

 Guiseley’s reward for their 7-0 thrashing of Eastwood Town in a Carlsberg FA Trophy tie at the weekend is a home draw against FC United of Manchester in the first round a week this Saturday.

Today’s draw handed the Lions home advantage against the club with the big support who came within one game of joining them in the Blue Square Bet North Division.

FC United, like Bradford Park Avenue, were in the play-offs last May and, after beating Avenue, they were themselves beaten in the final at Colwyn Bay.

FC Halifax Town are also still in the FA Trophy but face a replay against Colwyn Bay after the sides drew 0-0 in Wales on Saturday.

Should the Shaymen be successful tomorrow night they will host Blue Square Bet Premier Division club Lincoln City .

Guiseley are in action tomorrow, defending their West Riding County Cup when they host Harrogate Railway Athletic at Nethermoor.

Lions boss Steve Kittrick said: “The same players will be on duty. We only have the one squad and it is a small group of players because we don’t have a reserve side.”

Avenue also have a second-round tie and they will be heading to Glasshoughton Welfare.

Avenue should have more players available, with both Martin Drury and Ross Daly having served one-match bans at the weekend.

However, Bradford boss Deacey may decide not to change a winning side as they enjoyed a 4-0 away romp in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Liversedge must also travel as they were drawn away at Garforth Town.

The derby tie between Eccleshill United and Farsley AFC was due to be played tomorrow night but has been switched to Wednesday.

4:45pm Monday 28th November 2011
By Ian Whiting

FC United of Manchester 2 Altrincham 1

 Source: Messenger Newspapers

 ALTRINCHAM slumped to their fifth defeat in six matches on Sunday with this loss to a team from a step lower down in the non-League pyramid.

Victory would have won the club £4,000 as well as progress to the next round of the FA Trophy.

After a reasonably bright start from Altrincham, United gradually got on top.

Their main attacking focus was their speedy left-winger and former Altrincham player, Carlos Roca. He put his side ahead just before half-time when the Rebels were given the benefit of the doubt about an offside decision. The ball came to Roca who fired into the top of the net from outside the box.

Having barely threatened a goal in the first half, Alty levelled the scores just seven minutes into the second half when Jack Redshaw, the shortest player on the pitch, was given a free header from a Nicky Clee corner from the right.

After this, with Alty having their best spell of the game, they made a couple of changes to their attack, as Twiss and Lawrie replaced Redshaw and Clee.

But it was FCUM who scored again, with 12 minutes remaining. This time Roca played a fine pass to another former Alty man, Astley Mulholland. His cross was headed home by centre-forward Mike Norton.

Despite a late flurry, in which Altrincham won four corners, FC United hung on to secure a tie in the first round proper of the FA Trophy.

ALTRINCHAM Coburn, Lees, Flynn, Williams (Watmore), Brown, Richman, Danylyk, Densmore (capt), Clee (Lawrie), Reeves, Redshaw (Twiss). Unused subs: Reid, Coombs


 Source: Non-league Daily

 Blue Square Bet North side Altrincham were dumped out of the FA Carlsberg Trophy by Evo-Stik League Premier Division side FC United of Manchester in a Third Qualifying Round tie on Sunday.

Former Alty player Carlos Roca (pictured) broke the deadlock with an excellent long-range shot to put FC United ahead.

Altrincham equalised when Jack Redshaw headed home.

But a Michael Norton header on 78 minutes gave United a 2-1 victory.

Friday, November 25, 2011

United we stand!

 Source: The FA

 Big Trophy crowd expected as FC United host Altrincham.

FC United of Manchester have a chance to claim the scalp of a club steeped in non-League tradition when they face Altrincham in The FA Trophy on Sunday, according to their manager Karl Marginson.

One of the most intriguing Third RoundQualifying ties this weekend sees the meeting of two clubs separated by just ten miles - but poles apart when it comes to their history.

Altrincham - now playing in the Conference North - were formed in 1891 and boast a proud 120-year tradition that has featured them lifting The FA Trophy on two occasions and going as far as The FA Cup Fourth Round.

In contrast, FC United were born as recently as 2005 and have since enjoyed a steady rise through the non-League pyramid to the Northern Premier Division - one tier below their opponents.

"Altrincham, especially from the northern area, are one of the most famous non-League teams going and have a great heritage," Marginson told

"We've only been going six years and having these games and these situations is really enjoyable - it's a great opportunity for everyone at the club.

"They are going to be favourites because they are in a higher league but we will look to compete and make sure the lads go out there and enjoy the occasion.

"It's a fantastic competition for non-League clubs and presents a real chance to play at Wembley, last year we had the great FA Cup run so let's hope for a repeat of that."

While awaiting the planning permission required to build their own stadium, FC United play their home games at Bury's Gigg Lane.

And, with near neighbours Manchester United playing on Saturday and Manchester City away at Liverpool on Sunday, Marginson is expecting a big crowd.

"There is a lot of local interest in the North-West and I would imagine there will be a few down there with it being on the Sunday," he added.

"Altrincham will bring a good few fans, our supporters will turn out in their numbers and you will get members of the public who have nothing else to do with their Sunday.

"The fans will have a bit of banter because it is a local derby and that will only add to the occasion. I'm sure it's going to be a great spectacle for everyone."

FC United Of Manchester v Altrincham
The FA Carlsberg Trophy
Third Round Qualifying
3pm, Sunday 27 November
Gigg Lane, Bury FC
Winning clubs receive £4000 from The FA's prize fund

By Giuseppi Muro - Friday, 25 November, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Head boy Norton fires FC United to victory

 Source: MEN

 Ten-man FC United shrugged off the 55th minute dismissal of Jimmy Holden to step up their Evo-Stik Premier promotion challenge with a hard-fought 1-0 win over visiting Kendal.

Mike Norton headed in what proved to be the only goal after just six minutes.

But Astley Mulholland's failure to convert a similar chance early in the second-half threatened to be costly when Holden saw red soon after for serious foul play.

Nevetheless, the Rebels held on comfortably for a win which takes them back up to sixth.

Meanwhile, Ashton United fell to a 38th minute goal scored by former Droylsden full-back Liam Brownhill in losing 1-0 at Chester.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Non-league round-up

 Edited from MEN

 FC United stepped up their Evo-Stik Premier promotion challenge with a 3-2 victory at Worksop although it needed a 71st-minute Luke Shields own-goal to gift the Rebels the points after they’d lost a 2-0 half-time lead given them by Nicky Platt and Lee Neville.

Friday, November 18, 2011

FC United boss Karl Marginson has announced a backroom re-shuffle

 Edited from MEN

 FC United boss Karl Marginson has announced a backroom re-shuffle in a bid to get more from his Rebels’ staff.

The move sees FC’s youth-team manager Chuks Akuneto promoted to first-team coach, with Dave Brown replacing him in charge of the club’s juniors.

Akuneto’s step-up means assistant Roy Soule will no longer need to regularly work alongside him on matchdays.

Soule will instead team up with United’s head of player development Darren Lyons in finding and nurturing young talent while also assessing future opponents.

Marginson said: “I’ve thought long and hard about these changes and feel they will help us take greater advantage of the individual strengths within my backroom team.

“Chuks’ primary responsibility will be for training and tactics, freeing up Souley to make better use of his years of experience in scouting and reporting on teams.”

FC, unbeaten in five, will be out to add further weight to their Evo-Stik Premier promotion assault with victory at Worksop.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mickleover 0 FC United 2

 Source: Bury Times

 TWO goals in two first-half minutes from Astley Mulholland completed a great week for FC United.

The forward came off the substitutes’ bench to score in Wednesday night’s FA Trophy replay win against Durham.

And he was back among the goals as his quickfire double moved the Rebels up to seventh in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Against Durham, Michael Norton, Jimmy Holden and Mulholland were on target in the 3-1 extra-time victory.

10:00am Thursday 17th November 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Durham City boss Dickie Ord is very frustrated

 Source: Newcastle Evening Chronicle

 THE curse of the Manager of the Month Award has struck Durham City boss Dickie Ord after his side’s winless run stretched to four games.

After exiting the Durham Challenge Cup in a 4-3 defeat at home to Su nderland RCA, City took FC United of Manchester to a replay in the FA Trophy.

Wednesday’s extra-time defeat at Gigg Lane was then followed by a 2-0 defeat at title-chasing Curzon Ashton.

After winning every game in October, Durham have yet to taste victory this month and have slipped to seventh – while unbeaten Ashton have taken over at the top.

Durham paid the price for two defensive lapses at the Tameside Stadium, though there was only one goal in it until the closing stages of the game.

Both high-fliers had early chances, but Curzon’s Chris McDonagh shot into the side netting and City defender Ross Wilkinson put a free header wide.

The home side were ahead after 37 minutes with a simple goal from Kristian Dennis, who tapped home after James Winter failed to hold on to a Sam Walker shot.

That changed Ord’s half-time team talk, with Durham now behind against a side which had won 12 and drawn two of its opening 14 league games.

The first goal was always going to be crucial, though Elliott Cutts spurned a chance to put Durham back into the game early in the second half.

Winter then kept the Citizens in it with saves from Andy Watson and Walker, but it was all over 12 minutes from time.

Wilkinson could only turn McDonagh’s cross from the right into his own net and against a side which had conceded only nine league goals there was no way back.

Durham City now have a free week to prepare for the visit of 13th-placed Salford City this weekend.

Nov 14 2011,
Evening Chronicle

Non-league round-up: Hyde ease past Boston

 Source: MEN

 Hyde boss Gary Lowe insisted they and neighbours Stalybridge Celtic can make it a straight fight between themselves for the Blue Square Bet North title after the Tameside pair moved further clear at the top with identical 2-0 victories.

Lowe’s table-topping Tigers maintained their two-point lead over their Bower Fold foes with goals by Shelton Payne (48 minutes) and Danny Broadbent (70) securing them a fourth successive win as they triumphed over Boston in Lincolnshire.

And Jim Harvey’s similarly slick Celts are now a massive 11 points ahead of third-placed Gainsborough after they comfortably saw off nine-man Histon with Phil Marsh scoring twice to sink the Cambridgeshire visitors.

Lowe, whose resurgent Hyde side can open up a five-point gap by winning at Hinckley tonight, said: “We’re delighted to have come away from a tough place with another victory and clean-sheet.

“It’s also good to see the likes of Gainsborough and Guiseley both dropping points.

“Stalybridge and ourselves now have a nice little cushion and, who knows, it could be between just the two of us all the way.”

Meanwhile, Altrincham missed a chance to climb into the play-off places and instead drop two spots to eighth after crashing to a 3-0 defeat at Worcester.

The Robins, who were without manager Lee Sinnott due to a family bereavement, were second-best for long periods of the game.

But things could have been so different had their 16-goal top scorer Damian Reeves not fluffed an early scoring opportunity.

Droylsden moved level on points with Alty in ninth but needed an 89th minute Danny Rowe equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw at Vauxhall Motors.

Managerless Stockport suffered further Blue Square Bet Premier heartache as they were beaten 2-1 at Ebbsfleet. County, making their first league appearance under caretaker boss Willie McStay in the wake of Didi Hamann’s exit, looked to be on their way to a vital win after skipper Nick Chadwick had put them ahead from the penalty spot.

But two goals in the final ten minutes saw County lose again.

FC United stepped up their Evo-Stik Premier promotion challenge with Astley Mulholland’s quickfire brace giving them a 2-0 victory at Mickleover.

The former Flixton and Altrincham striker struck twice in two minutes midway through the first-half to ensure the Rebels kept up their chase on the leading pack. Leaders Northwich preserved their three-point advantage at the top of the table with Tom Field hitting two in their 3-0 romp at Rushall.

Third-placed Chorley lost ground in being held to a goalless draw by visiting Stocksbridge, while Ashton United lost 1-0 at Chasetown. Curzon Ashton returned to the top of the Evo-Stik North, and stretched their unbeaten start to 15 games by beating Durham 2-0 at the Tameside Stadium.

Jon Robinson was Ramsbottom’s match-winner as they pipped Runcorn Linnets 2-1 to stay tucked in behind NWCL frontrunners Runcorn Town.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Big week for Town

 Source: Retford Today

 SATURDAY’S big game marks the start of a big week for Worksop Town.

A derby game against a bogey side will be followed by TWO midweek matches in the space of 24 hours, then a visit from FC United of Manchester and their hordes of fans.

Simon Clark’s Tigers travel to Matlock Town on Saturday, a side who have often given them trouble.

Tuesday brings a League Cup game at Belper Town and on Wednesday South Kirkby visit Sandy Lane in the Sheffield Senior Cup.

FC United should bring the biggest crowd of the season to Worksop the following Saturday.

Tigers are in red hot form having made it nine games unbeaten under Clark on Wednesday, when they ousted Radcliffe Borough from the FA Trophy.

But in his post-match interview with the Guardian, Clark issued a statement that may serve as a warning to the rest of the league – this Worksop Town side is not yet the finished article.

“We’ve got a lot more to come,” said the former Stamford boss.

“We need to get them on the training ground but we can’t do the sessions we want to at match tempo because we have so many games in November.”

“Tonight we’ve had Michael Jacklin out, Owain Warlow out, Jamie Jackson out with illness, Luke Sharry coming back from injury and Chris Wood playing left-back when he’s not a left-back.”

“Matlock will be a test for us, but we ought to have a full squad.”

The manager has added to the ranks this week, bringing in striker Gary King from Stamford and taking Gavin Allott on loan from Guiseley.

He paid tribute to club owner Jason Clark for allowing him to sculpt a squad that fits his needs, and the demands of the packed fixture list.

“The chairman has been magnificent,” he said. “We’ve now got a Trophy squad and a league squad.”

And he admits that he’ll have to draft in players from the ‘junior’ section to cope with next week’s midweek double header.

“The lads who start on Tuesday will come and do a cool down on the pitch on Wednesday while we’re warming up for South Kirkby,” he explained. “We’ll drag seven or eight in from the Under 19s hopefully for that game.”

“We’re out to win it, but more so it’s a great opportunity for me to see what the Under 19s are about, and it’s good for the club to have them involved.”

l For reports from the FA Trophy tie, and the replay that earned Tigers a third qualifying round clash at home to Curzon Ashton on 26th November, along with an interview with Gary King, see pages 78 & 79.

Published on Friday 11 November 2011 13:00

Thursday, November 10, 2011

FC United 3 Durham City 1

 Source: MEN

 FC United booked an FA Trophy third qualifying-round date with Altrincham by seeing off Durham at the second attempt at Gigg Lane.

But the Rebels needed extra-time to secure their passage with substitutes Jimmy Holden and Astley Mulholland each scoring in the added half-hour to earn them a 3-1 victory.

Mike Norton put them in front in the first half but Amar Purewal poked Durham level soon after the break.

:: Witton Albion secured a Trophy trip to Droylsden with Anthony Sheehan, Alex Titchiner, Daniel Andrews and Josh Hancock on target in a 4-1 romp over Leek.

Radcliffe crashed 2-0 at Worksop, who next host Curzon Ashton.

Durham City suffer FA Trophy agony

 Source: Newcastle Evening Chronicle

 TWO extra-time goals ended brave Durham City’s FA Trophy hopes in front of a 672 crowd at Gigg Lane last night.

The Citizens took FC United of Manchester all the way in their second qualifying round replay after the two sides had drawn 1-1 at New Ferens Park.

The Reds, a league above Durham in the Evo-Stik Premier, led through Mike Norton’s header on the half-hour.

However, the gutsy visitors were always in the tie and levelled through Amar Purewal early in the second half.

Either side could then have won it but it was not until the last minute of extra-time that Astley Mulholland clinched the tie with United’s third.

A 3-1 defeat was harsh on Dickie Ord’s side, who nevertheless picked up useful money from a share of the gates in the two Trophy ties.

Norton put United ahead when he headed home Lee Neville’s cross.

Durham, though, were back in it when Stephen Thompson set up Amar Purewal to level.

City were unlucky not to go ahead, while James Winter saved well from Kyle Jacobs and Mulholland blazed over the bar.

Thompson almost won it for City five minutes from time, but his free-kick from just outside the box was tipped past the post by Spencer.

Holden then put the Reds ahead seven minutes into extra-time with a header and then Mulholland sealed a third-qualifying-round derby against Altrincham with a 120th-minute goal.

Durham City next face a top-six Evo-Stik North clash with Curzon Ashton on Saturday.

Read More

Durham City 1 FC United 1

 Source: Bury Times

 FC United got a second bite of the FA Trophy cherry after drawing their second qualifying round tie at Durham City on Saturday.

Mike Norton put the Rebels in front just before half time, but the lead was short lived with David Dowson equalising for the home side two minutes after the restart.

The winners of last night’s Gigg Lane replay will have a home tie with Conference North side Altrincham in the next round on Saturday, November 26.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Dickie Ord wants spirit of 2009 to inspire Durham City

 Source: Sunderland Echo

 Published on Wednesday 9 November 2011 13:30

DURHAM City boss Dickie Ord will remind his players of a memorable March day two years ago when he gives his pre-match talk at tonight’s FA Trophy replay against FC United of Manchester at Gigg Lane, Bury.

It was then that City won for the first time in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division and Ord remembers the occasion very well.

Ord, right, said: “We hadn’t won a match all season. The main sponsor had pulled the plug, most of the squad had left and the club was really struggling on and off the field.

“We were fielding a team of kids week-in and week-out and went to Bury with everybody predicting another hiding.

“But what a day it turned out to be. We won 2-1 and although we managed just two victories all season, that was a result to savour. It was one of the best feelings I’ve had in football.

“We did it then and there’s no reason why we cannot repeat the result tonight.

“I thought we deserved to defeat them at the first attempt on Saturday, but a couple of decisions didn’t go our way, so we are certainly up for the task tonight.”

Ord is sweating, though, on the availability of centre-half Ross Wilkinson, who is unsure whether he will be able to travel because of work commitments.

“The bus leaves at 3.30pm and I’ll wait until the very last minute for Ross.

“His absence would be a massive blow since he has been in outstanding form,” added Ord, who expects Stephen Thompson to come through a fitness test.

Washington will aim to arrest a losing sequence when they line up with Shildon at the Nissan Sports Complex in the Second Round of the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup.

Manager Richie Latimer, who is looking to strengthen the squad, welcomes the return of Nicky Evans and John Lydon.

Birtley Town, who moved into third in Division Two at the weekend, could upset the odds at First Division Guisborough Town, who have slipped into the relegation zone.

A close result is anticipated at Waterhouses, where Esh Winning have home advantage over Second Division leaders Team Northumbria, whose recent results have been erratic.

In contrast, Spennymoor are enjoying a rich vein of form and they are firm favourites to go through at Morpeth Town.

Easington Colliery, now fourth-from-bottom in the Second Division, are at home to Hebburn in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup.

Manager Mark Proudlock has yet to announce his starting line-up.

Manchester holding no fear for Durham City

 Source: Chester Chronicle

 DURHAM CITY go to FC United of Manchester tonight without fear, Ross Wilkinson says.

The New Ferens Park outfit held their Evo Stik Premier opponents to a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s FA Trophy second qualifying round clash.

They replay at Gigg Lane this evening, and City skipper Wilkinson believes they do so buoyed by their weekend performance.

“We’re quite confident going down there,” Wilkinson said.

“We were really pleased with Saturday’s performance, especially the second half when I thought we fought hard.

“In the first half we stood off them a little bit, and let them get the ball down but in the second half we were in their faces and I think we could have won if we’d pushed on a little bit harder.

“We had a couple of good chances, and I had a goal disallowed, which I thought was a bit harsh, I thought I was onside.

“I felt if the game had gone on a little bit longer we would have won it.

“In the end, we settled for the draw. Against a team from the league above us, that’s a good result.

“Now we’ve got an excellent chance going down there to Gigg Lane.

“We’ve got to go there with confidence, start the game like we finished on Saturday and we might surprise a few people.

“Spirits are high at the club right now, the banter and morale are good.

“Dickie (Ord) gets us fired up for every game, and as long as we can keep this squad together and everybody fit, I think we can give it a good push in the Trophy and in the league.

“The money involved in the Trophy is obviously very important for a club like this, and the further we go in the competition the higher the standard of the opposition.

“People work their backsides off here to keep the club afloat so it’s important we keep our good form going.

“Two years ago the team that kept the club going won down there so it’ll be good to go back. If we play like we did on Saturday we’ll have a good chance.

“They’ll expect to win but there’s no fear among us, and nothing to lose.”

Meanwhile, City vice-chairman Ian Walker added: “We’ve got to take confidence from Saturday’s game.

“When you look at FC United, the spin-off of Manchester United, they’ve got big support but haven’t forgotten what we did down there two seasons ago when we went down and beat them 2-1 with a bunch of kids.

“That shows where we’ve come from, we’ve risen from the ashes and I think they respect us for that.

“We’re getting recognised now across the north of England and we’ll go there on Wednesday with confidence.

“If we’ve got a strong squad I firmly believe we can give them a good run for their money and pick up a win.”

by Steve Brown, Evening Chronicle
Nov 9 2011

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Robins wait in wings for Rebels

 Source: MEN

 FC United have landed a plum home tie with non-League neighbours Altrincham in the FA Trophy’s third and final qualifying-round on Saturday November 26.

First, the Rebels must beat Durham City in a replay at Gigg Lane tomorrow (7.45pm).

Stalybridge Celtic will launch their Trophy assault with a trip to Droylsden’s recent FA Cup conquerors Blyth Spartans.

The Bloods, meanwhile, will entertain either Witton or Leek, while Hyde will visit Matlock or Hednesford.

Other ties will see Curzon Ashton visiting either Worksop or Radcliffe and Northwich Victoria hosting Ilkeston. Stockport County, as members of Blue Square Bet Premier, don’t enter the Trophy until its first-round stage.

Hyde had to wait nearly an hour longer than they had planned to knock Tameside neighbours Stalybridge Celtic off the top of Blue Square Bet North. The Tigers' clash with bottom-of-the-table Blyth Spartans at Ewen Fields last night kicked off 50 minutes late after the match officials were held up in traffic en route to the game.

But Hyde made light of the delay with Adam Griffin's 27th minute strike securing a 1-0 win.

Durham City have to see reds again after cup draw

 Source: Sunderland Echo

 DURHAM City will have to make another attempt to see off FC United of Manchester on Wednesday night after a thrilling FA Trophy tie, writes Malcolm Pratt.

A pulsating, end-to-end contest at New Ferens Park finished 1-1.

City’s biggest crowd of the season was still a disappointing 533, considering the visitors expected at least 1,000 to make the journey to the North East. However, those who did turn up were not let down, with thrills and spills at both ends.

City’s Stephen Thompson was dispossessed and Michael Norton tried to lob into an empty net after goalkeeper James Winter had raced to the edge of the box to try and intercept the ball.

Gary Brown then headed over from a Thompson cross and United’s Kyle Jacobs forced a double save from Winter.

A superb challenge by Ross Wilkinson prevented Norton from getting in a shot and visiting goalkeeper James Spencer was forced to concede a corner, with David Dowson through on goal.

A ding-dong first half ended with United taking the lead on 45 minutes.

A free kick by Carlos Roca found Norton, who drove into an empty net.

City’s disappointment lasted only a couple of minutes, however, when Dowson deservedly equalised with a spectacular effort in off the far post.

The pattern of the first half continued into the second. Amar Purewal went close for Durham, but only a brilliant block by Jonathan Davis prevented United’s Astley Mulholland from capitalising in front of an open goal.

City, however, went even closer 20 minutes from time as Thompson rattled the woodwork, with United goalkeeper Spencer nowhere in sight.

Two minutes later Mulholland missed an open goal, so the sides must try again on Wednesday.

Durham City: J Winter, Stephenson, Madden, Davis, Wilkinson, Arjun Purewal, Cutts (Greulich-Smith), Brown, Dowson, Thompson (Home Jackson), Amar Purewal.

Ref: Mr Tony Peart. Att: 533.

Not what you'd egg-spect: Manchester's latest craze

 Source: Daily Mail

 Manchester City fans need no egging on when it comes to strange or quirky - just look at the Poznan, the bouncing, backwards celebration they adopted from Poland.

And now a popular but odd snack named the 'Manchester Egg' is the latest fad to make its way to the Etihad Stadium.

The snack, a pickled egg surrounded by Bury black pudding, coated in breadcrumbs and then deep-fried, will be sold on match days after taking the Manchester Food and Drink Festival by storm.

Inventor and amateur chef Ben Holden said: 'I don’t think you can surpass the meat pie, but it’s about time football fans had another option.

'I think the Manchester Egg is perfect for eating on the hoof while walking to the match, washed down with a pint.

'We were overwhelmed by the success of the stall at the food and drink festival, and we’ve been looking for loads of ways to take it to a wider audience including at City.'

Although Blues fans will be able to buy the egg from December before and after matches at City Square, home of Marco Pierre White's Blue Moon Cafe, it is not for City mouths only.

The egg was well received by FC United fans before a recent home match, selling out in 15 minutes, while Manchester United fans are also invited to try it.

Neil Worcester, head of catering operations for Manchester City, told the Manchester Evening News: 'The north-west boasts some of the finest produce in the country and Manchester City prides itself on promoting locally-sourced ingredients across all our catering.'

Not somebody to put all his eggs in one basket, Worcester added: 'The Manchester Egg is one of many locally-produced products that will be featured in our match-day offering in City Square.'

By Rik Sharma
Last updated at 3:07 PM on 3rd November 2011

Monday, November 07, 2011

David Dowson delight with his 'fluke'

 Source: Newcastle Evening Chronicle

 DAVID DOWSON admits the goal that earned Durham City an FA Trophy second qualifying round replay at FC United of Manchester on Wednesday was a fluke.

But the former Sunderland starlet insists another stab at the Evo Stik Premier outfit is the least his side deserves.

Though City trailed to Mike Norton’s 45th-minute goal at New Ferens Park on Saturday, they struck back through Dowson’s intended cross.

And though unfortunate not to claim victory with a string of late chances, Dowson believes Durham go to Gigg Lane in midweek full of confidence.

“I thought we were very unlucky, we had enough chances to win it,” Dowson said.

“Their keeper made a couple of good saves and we had a couple cleared off the line, and overall I think we gave a good account of ourselves.

“In a way, we’re disappointed. But we feel we’ve done ourselves justice.

“We’re coming off the back of a good few wins, confidence is high and I think that showed in our performance.

“They’re from the league above us, so we take encouragement from that. We knew they were going to be a challenge, we showed them respect but not too much.

“We just felt that if we went out and gave it a right good go, we fancied our chances.”

On his goal – a right-wing cross that looped over FC United keeper James Spencer – Dowson added: “I’ll be honest, it was a bit of a cross.

“It came off the side of my foot and ended up in the net, so happy days. They all count.”

Skipper Mike Norton strikes to keep Rebels’ dreams alive

 Source: MEN

 FC United kept their Wembley dreams alive with a 1-1 draw at Durham City securing them an FA Trophy second qualifying-round replay at Gigg Lane on Wednesday.

The Rebels were made to work hard by their lesser-ranked opponents, who quickly replied after skipper Mike Norton had turned in Carlos Roca’s free-kick in the 44th minute.

Durham drew level within two minutes of the re-start when a mishit cross by dangerman David Dowson somehow found its way past United keeper Scott Spencer.

Both teams then contrived to waste a string of chances, Astley Mulholland missing FC’s best with a shot which sailed over.

Curzon Ashton progressed at the first attempt but needed a late Chris McDonagh goal to knock out Belper after the visitors had threatened to snatch a replay by cancelling out Sam Walker’s 36th minute opener.

Northwich, too, needed no second invitation to ease past Buxton, crushing their Evo-Stik Premier rivals 3-0.

Radcliffe and Witton Albion face replays, but Salford and Woodley both crashed out.

Ashton United were held 1-1 by visiting FA Cup heroes Nantwich in Evo-Stik Premier, while Garry Flitcroft’s Chorley missed a chance to go top, losing 1-0 at Rushall Olympic.

Trafford climbed to sixth in Evo-Stik North, Michael Oates hitting a hat-trick in their 4-1 romp at Clitheroe.

Ramsbottom had a pair of two-goal stars in Andrew Dawson and Lee Gaskell as they thrashed Squires Gate 4-0 to march to the top of the North West Counties League.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Durham City 1 FC United of Manchester 1

 Source: Sunday Sun

 THERE were fireworks at Durham yesterday. No literally, FC United’s fans turned New Ferens into the San Siro with some final-whistle flares.

During the game, it was just as explosive.

After an incendiary enough first half with little to choose between the two sides but Mike Norton’s 45th-minute goal, the second 45 ignited into a cacophony of incident.

City rocketed back into contention moments after the break through David Dowson, and though both sides had chances to win it, the hosts can take heart from having had more of the better.

And they can take heart too, from having outplayed in spells, a side from the league above them.

So while the curse of manager-of-the-month – defeat and this draw since six straight wins, won it for Dicky Ord, who prefers to call it ‘club-of-the-month’ – has yet to fully subside, Durham are still in with a shout for £3,000 prize money, and the cut from Wednesday’s replay gate at Gigg Lane should add a tidy sum.

On and off the pitch, City are – after a tough time – on their uppers. Even president Asbery’s jokes are getting better.

His side were unfortunate first half not to lead, Ross Wilkinson’s header well saved by James Spencer, who then denied Dowson one-on-one.

At the other end James Winter pushed away Kyle Jacobs’ firm, 20-yard effort, and saved comfortably from Carlos Roca and Norton.

So it came as a considerable blow when, moments before the interval, Roca hung a free-kick into the area, Winter collided with Lee Neville – a Manc Neville, they’re everywhere – and Norton tapped into the vacated net.

So what, say City.

For after sausages, sausage rolls and Scotch eggs – cholesterol, pah! – I just made it back to my post in time to see Dowson bolt down the right and, from a narrow angle, slice an intended cross over Spencer and in.

If it was lucky, Durham deserved such fortune. Thereafter, it deserted them.

On the hour, Amar Purewal ghosted into the six-yard box but from point-blank range stabbed straight at Spencer, and minutes later – after Elliot Cutts was grounded, no pen – Stephen Thompson’s free-kick struck the foot of the post and Purewal was again denied by the FC United keeper.

Before then Adam Jones headed on to the crossbar for the visitors and Ashley Mulholland ought to have done better than smash a loose ball in the City box well over. With 10 minutes remaining Wilkinson fired in from another Thompson free-kick, but was adjudged offside.

But while that and other spurned chances may have left Durham feeling somewhat aggrieved, there was much more from which to be encouraged.

So replay Wednesday. Expect more fireworks.

DURHAM: Winter, Stephenson, WILKINSON, Arjun Purewal, Madden, Cutts (Greulich-Smith 84), Davis, Brown, Amar Purewal, Thompson (Home-Jackson 83), Dowson.

FC UNITED: Spencer, Stott (Deegan 74), Jones, Stones, Jacobs, ROCA, Cottrell, Carr (Platt 90), Neville, Wolfenden (Mulholland 34), Norton.

Attendance: 533.

Referee: Tony Peart (Northallerton).

Nov 6 2011 by Steve Brown, Sunday Sun

Saturday, November 05, 2011

FA Trophy round up

 Source: The FA

 There were 36 Second Round Qualifying ties on Saturday.

The FA Carlsberg Trophy
Second Round Qualifying
Saturday 5 November 2011
Winning clubs receive £3,000 from The FA's prize fund

The FA Cup took a backseat to The FA Carlsberg Trophy on Saturday, with 36 ties up and down the country in the Second Round Qualifying.

Teams need to negotiate just one more qualifying round before the Football League's big names come calling - but Radcliffe Borough will need win their replay with Worksop Town to reach that stage after the sides drew 1-1 in Saturday's early kick-off.

Radcliffe were indebted to Dave Sherlock, whose penalty snatched a draw to set up a replay at Worksop this Wednesday.

Chippenham Town and Mangotsfield will also have to do it all again as the sides played out an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Northwich Victoria are there, though, as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Buxton and Joe Francis was among the scorers as Lowestoft beat Hitchin Town 3-1 away from home.

Billericay Town beat St. Neots Town 2-0 and Chester also advanced with the same scoreline as they beat Stafford Rangers, while Brackley Town beat Hemel Hempstead Town 3-2 away from home.

Elsewhere, FC United battled to a 1-1 draw at Durham City and the teams will face each other in a replay.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Durham City set for big crowd

 Source: Sunderland Echo

 DURHAM City will have their biggest gate of the season at New Ferens Park tomorrow with FC United of Manchester expected to bring at least 1,000 spectators.

“It should be a cracking occasion,” said manager Dickie Ord. “They have a terrific fan base and hopefully we can put on a good show.

“I know we lost to Sunderland RCA in the Durham Challenge Cup on Tuesday night but I wasn’t too disappointed.

“Yes, there was a lack of concentration which cost us goals but there were a lot of tired legs out there following last Saturday’s game on a heavy pitch at Mossley.”

Before Tuesday’s result, City had won six Evo Stik League Division One North games on the bounce and Ord is confident his side will quickly return to winning form.

He added: “We were going great so there’s no reason whatsoever why we cannot keep up our challenge for at least a play-off place.

“I should have everybody available. Steven Thompson took a knock on Tuesday but should be okay and I’ve also re-signed Josh Home Jackson, who has returned from Greece and he goes straight into the squad.”

Published on Friday 4 November 2011 13:30

Sir Alex Ferguson's fascinating relationship with the press

 Source: Belfast Telegraph

 From slanging matches to bunches of flowers

It is a sign of the way things have changed that there were eight minutes of skirting the subject yesterday before someone actually summoned the courage to ask Sir Alex Ferguson about the 25th anniversary of his arrival at Old Trafford.

The word was out that he did not want to dwell on this topic – or was "nae getting into all that" to cite the response which has become his catchphrase – though since 700 of his closest friends will celebrate this silver jubilee overlooking the Old Trafford cricket pitch tonight, it may equally be a case of him not caring to give those who chart his life in newsprint the satisfaction of a story. "You f***ing sell your paper and radio shows off the back of this club," as he said, eight years ago.

"I'm nae going to get into all that," Ferguson replied when the BBC, only restored to his press conferences two months ago, took the plunge. "All I'm going to say is I've been very fortunate to have some of the best players in the game. When I look back at these players I say to myself 'how fortunate I am'." But that wasn't the finish of it. The Manchester United manager's full reflections are reserved for tomorrow's newspaper but as he sat back, gazed into the pale sunshine illuminating the Carrington training complex and talked, you could have heard a pin drop. Very few questions were required, just the odd prompt for the most disarming and engaging manager in football – when the mood and the subject take him.

It is not always like this, of course. It is not even often like this. Ferguson's press conferences in United's nondescript youth academy building are generally prickly and fairly desperate affairs: a process of seeking to extract a meagre few beads of information from a man who does not need a good press and does not need to be here. His 10-minute audiences are actually a lot easier than Kenny Dalglish's. He goes in for monosyllabism and irritation, but rarely his compatriot's mockery.

But since Ferguson relocated this event across the car park from the main Carrington building in 2005 – punishment for the verbatim reporting of a press conference which he stormed out of after 74 seconds and 85 words – it has become an increasingly monochrome affair. Ferguson insisted when imposing this regime that everything he said must be filmed and, though he was persuaded two years ago that the daily newspapers' questions should not be transmitted on screens until they are published, it is a very different world. Daniel Taylor's This is the One, an excellent and affectionate portrayal of Ferguson republished for this anniversary, offers a reminder of how Ferguson waltzed down Carrington's central staircase, tanned and healthy after a few days in Malta with Lady Cathy, singing an old Josef Locke song to Kath, his receptionist. "Hear my song, Violetta, hear my song beneath the moon..." That was six years ago and yet somehow also a lifetime.

This was the Alex Ferguson encountered in 1986 by David Meek, chronicler of his actions at the Manchester Evening News and also the ghostwriter of his programme notes all these years. For Meek, the arrival of the new man from Aberdeen was a "breath of fresh air" – delivering a more accommodating manager than Sir Matt Busby, Wilf McGuinness, Frank O'Farrell, Tommy Docherty, Dave Sexton or Ron Atkinson had ever been – though Atkinson was a little more media-minded. It helped that Ferguson was an evening newspaperman's dream – installed at The Cliff training ground by 8am and and ready to take a call to hit first edition deadlines – and aware of the need for a fresh line from the nationals.

The propensity to erupt was also there from the start. The first spot of bother for Meek came when Ferguson took his players for a day trip to the SAS headquarters in Hereford, at the instigation of the club's head of security Ned Kelly, who had served with the regiment. One of the MEN news reporters got wind of the story, Ferguson asked the paper not to publish – fearing that his club would become a target for the then active IRA – but the paper went ahead anyway.

Ferguson effectively severed all relations with Meek when the reporter decided to meet the problem head on at Old Trafford, where the players were training just before Christmas. Ferguson spotted him. "The Manchester Evening News is finished at this club," he bellowed and marched away up the slope to the top of tunnel. He was out of breath, at the top, when Meek caught up with him. "OK. If that's how you feel, then Merry Christmas," he retorted as another Glaswegian volley came his way. Meek was marching past him when Ferguson's arm came out. "Nothing personal, you know!" Ferguson said, a smile breaking across his face.

It is a brave individual who puts Ferguson's club at risk but fire is always best met with fire where Ferguson is concerned. That much was also revealed when a recent dispute with one of the few journalists he engages with – all of his own vintage – was recently settled by his text message offering a racing tip. The Evening News's own relationship with Ferguson was not helped by the 1995 readers' poll asking whether he should resign – the answer was yes – though the paper almost got away with it. The manager was holidaying in the United States at the time and did not appear to have spotted the story until someone pointed it out. The relationship remained good enough in 2003 for Meek's successor, Stuart Mathieson, to have a Good Friday lie-in disturbed at 8.45am. Ferguson was on the line, asking a bleary Mathieson: "Are you in bed?" and barking: "What the fuck is a day off?" before declaring he had a story to offer, involving United's side in a bitter dispute with Arsenal over Sol Campbell's dismissal for an elbow at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It was the local paper's series of articles on the breakaway FC United which severed the long, significant relationship.

Meek is one of many journalists to have known Ferguson's compassion. After illness forced him to break off from 16 years of uninterrupted programme notes, he arrived at hospital to find a huge bouquet. He was convalescing at home a week later when the phone rang. There were no words of introduction down the line, just a growl declaring: "The Scottish beast is on its way!" Ferguson was at Meek's door in 20 minutes. The same went for John Bean, the former Daily Express journalist who after a heart attack awoke in hospital to find flowers and a note. "What have you been doing to yourself, you silly old tap dancer?" There has been professional empathy, too. When Mathieson was estranged from United for a newsroom misdemeanour, Ferguson wrote to his editor, saying it was not the journalist's fault. "You're not giving the lad a chance," he said. Strangers receive random acts of kindness, too. In March, Ferguson phoned the club doctor when a cameraman collapsed at a press conference.

And when it comes to his own utterances, an appreciation of how his words will be received is undoubtedly there. About one in four of Meek's columns, which he emails to Ferguson for approval, return via the manager's secretary, Lynn, with amendments. For the Sunderland programme on Saturday, Meek added writer's licence to Ferguson's praise for the returning John O'Shea and Wes Brown. "Although perhaps not big-name superstars, they nevertheless brought a quality and strength to the squad that was invaluable," Meek's script read. Ferguson indicated that the "superstar" reference must be removed, for fear of causing offence.

The media world is unrecognisable to an individual who so embraced it from his Aberdeen years on. There is always a suspicion when a face he does not know appears at his press conferences particularly for those who look young, when they are British. Taylor relates the story of a Daily Express reporter in his mid-thirties who turned up. "Jesus Christ," Ferguson said. "Do they get them straight from school these days?" But it is the 24/7 media monster which he sees as a root of many evils. "[The English media] source a problem where there's no problem [and] create a sensation just to counter the challenge of Sky [Sports] and the internet," he said in a rare and revealing interview last year to see La Gazzetta dello Sport's Giancarlo Galavotti into retirement.

The media will doubtless attempt to doorstep his big bash tonight, being held in a space known as The Point at cricket's Old Trafford. But he will close the doors, shut out the scrutiny and reflect – for an evening when red wine will certainly flow – that, though the enemy might be at the door, it will certainly not get beyond it.

Fergie on the media...

* "I don't get the press coverage I'm entitled to and I no longer see it as part of my job to fulfil their interest."

* "The media has become a monster. They know all the answers, right and wrong. They want exclusive stories and confidential background. They want their cards marked. They want gossip. And believe me if they don't get it you're in trouble."

* "Whenever we lose the media want an instant answer, preferably something a bit different so it makes a good headline. By now the press know I am immune to their sniping."

* "I don't give any of you [press] credibility. You talk about wanting to have an association with people here and you wonder why I don't get on with you? But you're a f***ing embarrassment. One of these days the door is going to be shut on you permanently."

Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday described his 25 years at the club as "a fairy tale". Ferguson, 70 in December, has won 12 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two Champions Leagues and a Cup Winners' Cup.

"It is a bit of a fairytale to last so long," he said. "It has been a fantastic spell for me. It is something you don't think is going to happen and I appreciate that." He reflected briefly on his career since succeeding Ron Atkinson in 1986. "I say to myself how fortunate I am to have had these players. The list is incredible, going back to Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside, Brian McClair, [Mark] Hughes, [Paul] Ince, [Roy] Keane, [Eric] Cantona. What a collection of players. It is hard to think I controlled all these players for so long."

By Ian Herbert
Friday, 4 November 2011

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Amateur chef's Manchester Eggs to go on sale at Etihad Stadium

 Source: MEN

 Football fans may be used to scoffing down meat pies at the match – but now City supporters can enjoy a new local delicacy instead.

The Manchester Egg has sparked a craze among pub-goers after it was invented by amateur chef Ben Holden last year.

And now it is to find a new audience among Manchester City fans – when it goes on sale at the Etihad stadium on match days.

The snack consists of a pickled egg wrapped in Bury black pudding and coated in breadcrumbs which is then deep-fried in hot oil.

It was a star of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival – with its stall selling out of them.

The egg is now set to vie with more traditional football fare like the meat pie and sausage rolls for the affections of football fans.

Chef Ben said: “I don’t think you can surpass the meat pie, but it’s about time football fans had another option.

“I think the Manchester Egg is perfect for eating on the hoof while walking to the match, washed down with a pint.

“We were overwhelmed by the success of the stall at the food and drink festival, and we’ve been looking for loads of ways to take it to a wider audience including at City.”

He added that he didn’t want the Egg to become ‘just a City thing or just a United thing’ – adding that a small number of eggs had gone down a storm with FC United members before a recent home game, selling out in just 15 minutes.

The egg will be available from December at City Square for two hours before matches and for one hour afterwards. The square is currently home to the Blue Moon café and a fish and chips stall.

Neil Worcester, head of catering operations for Manchester City, said: “The north west boasts some of the finest produce in the country and Manchester City prides itself on promoting locally-sourced ingredients across all our catering.

“The Manchester Egg is one of many locally-produced products that will be featured in our match-day offering in City Square.”

The Blue Moon Cafe has also started selling locally-sourced gourmet snacks created by celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, including chunky sausage rolls, onion bhajis and real pork pies.

Tom Brooks-Pollock
November 03, 2011

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

FC United boss Karl Marginson: We’ll be good neighbours

 Source: MEN

 FC United boss Karl Marginson believes the club has ‘laid the foundations for success’ after plans for a stadium in Moston were approved.

The £3.5m development, complete with clubhouse and pitches, was given the go-ahead by Manchester city council despite fierce opposition from protesters concerned about potential noise and traffic. But Marginson assured those against the move to the club’s new home at Ronald Johnson playing fields that the new arrivals would make good neighbours.

“The council has obviously seen the benefits of what we can offer the area,” he said.

“I understand where protesters are coming from. If somebody came to my house and said they were going to build a stadium across the road, I’d have a few questions.

“But having known FC United since the start I can assure the Moston community that this is not a club that makes false promises. We will do all we have said.

“I’d urge them to get behind the stadium because it will lead to a brighter future for the area.”

And Marginson believes the new stadium will see the Rebels flourish.

“We’ve laid the foundations of the club – but the Moston stadium will really allow us to build on our success,” he said. “From a football point of view we’ve never had our own dressing room and space to congregate.

“It will really help the bonding within the squad and the relationships in the team. It will build strength and depth within FC United, not just in the first-team, but the youth set-up which has always been really important for us.

“We’re going to work with Moston Juniors and other junior teams in order to build a ­pathway.

“If they aren’t picked up by league sides they can come and play for FC United.”

Martha Kelner
November 02, 2011

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Walcott Returns to FC United

 Source: Pitchero Non League

 Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division club FC United of Manchester have re-signed Jay Walcott from NPL First Divisio North side Mossley.

Walcott, 18, is a lightning quick young striker who signed for Mossley in the close season from FC United.

Previously a junior with Manchester United and Woodley Sports, he impressed in his seven appearances for the Lilywhites and that brought him back to the attention manager Karl Marginson, who brought him back to the FC United ranks.

City boss Ord has decisions to make

 Source: The Journal

 DURHAM CITY boss Dickie Ord is weighing up the pros and cons of making changes to his line-up for tonight’s Durham County Challenge Cup tie against Sunderland RCA at New Ferens Park, writes JAMES HUNTER.

The Citizens go into the first-round clash on the back of a six-game winning streak in all competitions and Ord wants to keep that momentum going, with an FA Trophy tie against FC United of Manchester coming up this weekend.

But he is also aware of the need to give his squad players an outing, and possibly rest key men ahead of the FC United game.

“I haven’t decided whether to go down the road of making changes or not, as yet,” he said.

“I’ll either make wholesale changes or none at all.

“It’s a difficult one, though, because there are reasons for and against.

“On the one hand, we are on a great run of form and I don’t want to do anything that will risk that coming to an end.

“But I also have a responsibility to the squad players who travel up and down the country with us, often without seeing much action.

“We have a squad of 21 or 22 players and they need to get some match action so that when they are needed, they don’t come into the side cold.”

Ord has a full squad to pick from tonight, with defender Dan Madden available again after serving a two-match ban.

Durham’s winning run continued at the weekend as they came back from 3-0 down to win 4-3 against Mossley in the Evo-Stik First Division North.

And Ord wants his side to show the same fighting spirit in their cup games this week.

He said: “It was a terrific fightback from the lads at Mossley after we had conceded three bad goals.

“To come back from 3-0 down to win shows the spirit in the camp.

“I said last week that I wanted us to go into these two cup games on the back of six wins, and that’s what we will do.

“Obviously, all the attention has been on the FA Trophy tie against FC United of Manchester, but we have a big game against Sunderland to focus on first.

“We beat them in pre-season and they will be out for revenge. They play in the Northern League Division One and will see us as a scalp, so we have to make sure that we don’t slip up against them.”

by James Hunter, The Journal
Nov 1 2011

Opponents to FC United stadium in Moston suffer setback in 'charitable land' ruling

 Source: MEN

 Charity bosses will not try to stop plans to build a new stadium for FC United.

Town hall planners gave the green light last week for the club to build a 5,000-seat ground on playing fields in Moston.

Neighbours fighting the development were pinning their hopes on an appeal to the Charity Commission, in the hope it would recognise the ground’s historic covenant.

But lawyers for the independent commission have now ruled the Ronald Johnson Playing Fields is NOT charitable land.

The decision paves the way for the club to build the £3.5m stadium at the ground.

Campaigners maintain the proposed site is protected by an historic agreement and was given to residents for ‘leisure’ purposes in memory of heroes who died during the First World War.

But the Charity Commission said it did not believe the land met the description

A spokesman said: “Based on the information provided to us by the council and numerous members of the public, our initial view regarding the land was that it did not appear to be held on charitable trusts.

“However, this was a question for the council to consider and satisfy themselves on, based on their legal advice.

“We have since been informed that the council is satisfied that the land is not held on charitable trusts, therefore the land does not fall within our jurisdiction and there is no regulatory role for the Commission regarding its use.”

Bob Hill, chair of the residents association in Moston which is fighting the plan, said it would be seeking further legal advice.

He said: “Our chief concern has always been the loss of a much loved open green space in Moston. No attempt has ever been made to investigate a brown field site for this purpose of which there are many.

“We will of course be speaking to our legal people regarding this and other matters.”

But club officials welcomed the ruling. Andy Walsh, general manager of FC United, said: “Thursday’s planning decision was a great step forward for us. “We are aware that there are a number of covenants on the land but we believe that our plans satisfy those covenants and we are working with Manchester council to be able to do that.”

FC United, who currently play at Bury’s Gigg Lane, will now wait for a decision from Manchester council’s executive on unlocking the £750,000 funding needed to build the stadium. Council planners approved the scheme after visiting the site last week.

The club says it hopes to complete the stadium for the start of the 2012/13 football season.