Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thousands to flock to Colwyn Bay for play-off final and Prom Day

 Source: Daily Post

 * by Dave Powell, DPW West
 * Apr 30 2011

 POLICE are putting in place plans to handle a major football match which will attract 2,000 supporters.

Soccer fans will descend on a resort for a showpiece play-off final involving a team backed by spin-off Manchester United fans.

It comes on Bank Holiday Monday, May 2 – the same day as Colwyn Bay Prom Day, which attracted 15,000 revellers last year.

The clash between Colwyn Bay and FC United of Manchester will be at 3pm at the Llanelian Road ground of the Bay.

But officials want to avoid a repeat of crowd trouble when Colwyn Bay played a tense pre-season friendly against Chester FC last July 10.

Chester were trailing 2-0 away to Colwyn Bay when 15 to 20 travelling supporters clashed with police and security staff. The match was held up for a couple of minutes before the fracas calmed down – and several fans were arrested as the police helicopter hovered overhead.

Yesterday Inspector Glyn Brumby, of North Wales Police, said: “We are aware of the football fixture and plans are currently being put in place to police the event.”

Cllr Glyn Jones, who is a North Wales Police Authority member and lives 200 yards from the Llanelian Road ground, said: “There was trouble on the day Colwyn Bay played Chester. That took us by surprise and I’m quite confident that the police will have in place adequate precautions to deal with this match.

“I’m sure they and British Transport Police at Colwyn Bay Station will keep any disruption to a minimum. Most fans will act responsibly.”

He said it would be most straightforward to ask away fans to go along the Promenade and up past The Marine pub to Llanelian Road.

He added: “It’s a tremendous coup for Colwyn Bay FC to reach this play-off final. It would be nice if they won.”

Due to a capacity restriction of 2,000, both clubs have been allocated 1,000 tickets for this Evo-stik sponsored Premier Division play-off final. The Seagulls’ average gate is 400-500.

Mark Williams, a Colwyn Bay FC director, said tickets, costing £10 or £6 for concessions (OAPS and under 16s) go on sale today at 10.30am. Fans must go in person to Llanelian Road ticket office.

Mr Williams apologised to fans who had turned up yesterday but said both sides’ 1,000 ticket allocations had to go on sale simultaneously.

Victory would propel the Seagulls into the Blue Square Conference North division, one league below Wrexham in the Blue Square Conference Premier.

FC United of Manchester warn Colwyn Bay FC they’re confident of promotion

Source: Daily Post

FC UNITED have warned Colwyn Bay they intend to continue their remarkable rise through football’s lower echelons by beating their hosts in today’s play-off final at Llanelian Road.

Victory today would mark a fourth promotion in six seasons for the ambitious club, formed by disenchanted supporters of Manchester United.

The club continue to astonish their rivals with attendances which outstrip some of those at Football League games.

And despite Bay having beaten the Mancunians twice in league combat this season, FC United manager Karl Marginson is confident.

He said: “Colwyn beat us twice in the league but they were close games so we have nothing to fear – especially since we beat Rochdale in the FA Cup and then did so well against Brighton.

“Dave Challinor is their manager and he’s experienced and has a big team that concentrates on set pieces with good movement up top.

“My message to the lads who are sensible about these things is to enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend and then let’s give it our best on Monday afternoon.

“We are physically strong as you would expect at this stage of the season. We have the ability to beat them and continue our remarkable progress.”

Bay of hope for FC United

 Source: M.E.N.

 Peter Spencer
 April 30, 2011

 FC United are confident of writing another glorious chapter in their brief history when they head to Wales on Monday.

The Rebels’ remarkable rise through football’s lower echelons continues apace with the Blue Square Bet North play-off final against Colwyn Bay.

Victory will mark a fourth promotion in six seasons for the ambitious club, formed by disenchanted United supporters, who continue to astonish their rivals with attendances which outstrip some of those at Football League clubs.

Colwyn Bay, who finished second in the league to FC’s fourth, have a 2,000 ground capacity. With FC taking that number of fans to the semi-final at Bradford Park Avenue on Thursday, the club are in a position where they could sell up to three times their 1,000 allocation.

Season ticket holders who are members were given priority when the final tickets went on sale today from the club’s Ancoats HQ – although as manager Karl Marginson told M.E.N Sport, there is a farmer’s field near the hillside ground where there are restricted views of the pitch!

Marginson said: “I’m not joking, the game can be seen from the field so I hope the farmer is willing to ‘moove’ on his cows. Our fans are amazing and have helped the team so much come from second bottom to a play-off place in three months.

“Colwyn beat us twice in the league but they were close games so we have nothing to fear – especially since we beat Rochdale in the FA Cup and then did so well against Brighton.

“Dave Challinor is their manager and he’s experienced and has a big team that concentrates on set pieces with good movement up top.

“My message to the lads who are sensible about these things is to enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend and then let’s give it our best on Monday afternoon.

“We are physically strong as you would expect at this stage of the season. We have the ability to beat them and then the club can continue its remarkable progress by reaching another level.”

A key factor in FC’s success this term has been the form of captain and 32-goal top scorer Mike Norton, the Stalybridge-based self-employed tiler who a smiling Marginson likens to Alan Shearer.

But goal-machine Norton, who joined from Curzon Ashton after a highly-successful spell at Woodley Sports, is out suspended on Monday. Still, he epitomises the spirit of the club and will travel with the squad.

Norton, 30, who relaxed playing golf at Denton on Friday with the manager, said: “I’m not so sure about Shearer, I’m better looking than him that is for sure.

“It is frustrating not being able to play in the final especially as I lost in so many play-offs with Curzon. I believe the hardest game was the semi-final and we did great to beat Bradford Park Avenue.

“It will be tough on Monday but we will be okay. I joined FC rather than Halifax for two reasons – the incredible number of fans and the fact I am a Manchester United supporter.”

Friday, April 29, 2011

Evo-Stik Premier: Colwyn Bay FC to face FC United in play-off final

 Source: Daily Post

 TWO first-half goals gave Colwyn Bay victory over North Ferriby in front of a crowd of over 861 last night and secured their place in next Monday's play-off final against FC United of Manchester.

That game at Llanelian Road will be all ticket, with tickets going on sale at the ground from 3pm today.

It looks set to be a tremendous occasion with FC United certain to bring a huge following after they beat Bradford Park Avenue in last night's other semi-final.

The only down side for the Seagulls last night was the injuries to Jon Newby and their star attacker Jimmy McCarthy.

Both had to be withdrawn at half-time with head injuries and could be struggling for Monday.

Colwyn Bay made a great start to the game and were a goal up after just nine minutes.

A long throw into the area by Jimmy McCarthy was played back by Danny Meadowcroft for Rob Hopley to volley a right-footed shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the area.

McCarthy then broke through on the right but shot wide.

North Ferriby looked threatening when they attacked but they were close to conceding a second goal on 15 minutes when another long throw by McCarthy picked out Meadowcroft whose header hit the top of the bar and bounced over.

Wayne Brooksby fired a shot narrowly over the bar and Alex Davidson and Russell Fry both brought diving saves from Chris Sanna as the Yorkshire side probed for an equaliser, and skipper Paul Foot headed wide from a corner.

Joe McMahon then headed goalwards from a McCarthy corner only for a North Ferriby defender to divert it over the bar, but Colwyn Bay got a second goal two minutes into added time at the end of the first half.

McCarthy cut inside his full-back and although his shot was blocked, he followed up to score with a brave header as he was clattered by keeper Adam Nicklin and a defender.

Newby was also hurt in a clash of heads during the build up to the goal and neither he or McCarthy, who also suffered a clash of heads in his collision, came out for the second half.

Newby needed stitches in a head wound and McCarthy was sporting a huge swelling on the side of his face.

Colwyn Bay started the second half well, however, with Damien Allen and Danny Meadowcroft both shooting narrowly over the bar.

But as the half progressed, and without the threat of McCarthy down the right, they dropped deeper and deeper into a defensive shell and looked to play mainly on the break.

Even so they could have increased their lead with Allen playing in substitute Karl Noon for a great chance, but he pulled his shot wide of the far post as the keeper came out to meet him.

Second substitute Alex Titchiner was then tripped as he was breaking clear on goal, but North Ferriby defender James Williams escaped with only a booking.

Damien Allen also went close again with a volley from 20 yards that swung narrowly wide.

The closing minutes saw North Ferriby camped in Colwyn Bay's half, but apart from beating away a shot from Gary Bradshaw, home keeper Sanna did not have a save to make as Colwyn Bay ran down the clock and secured their place in Monday's final.

Colwyn Bay confirm play-off sell-out

 Source: BBC

 Colwyn Bay's Evo-Stik Premier Division play-off final with FC United of Manchester at Llanelian Road on Monday has been confirmed as a sell-out.

Bay moved a step closer to Conference North promotion with a 2-0 win over North Ferriby United on Thursday as United beat Bradford Park Avenue 2-0.

Rob Hopley and James McCarthy scored for the Welsh side in their Evo-Stik Premier Division play-off semi final.

Colwyn Bay will bid for back-to-back promotions in Monday's game (1500 BST).

Town lose as FC United claim a play-off spot

 Source: Matlock Mercury

 Published on Friday 29 April 2011 12:18
 by Ian Richardson

 Evo-Stik League Premier Division
 Saturday, April 23, 2011
 Matlock Town 1
 James Lukic 46
 FC United of Manchester 2
 Matthew Wolfenden 38
 Jerome Wright 53

Matlock Town: Nick Buxton, Ben Turner, Lee Featherstone, Liam King, Adam Yates, James Lukic, Gareth Davies, Steve Warne (Kris Bowler 85), John McAliskey (James Knowles 46), Ross Hannah, Ryan Mallon (Paul Sykes 65) Other sub: Kris Witcombe

Referee: S P Bennett (Stoke-on-Trent)

Attendance: 1249

Star man: Gareth Davies

Matlock’s home campaign finished with a disappointing defeat to second-in-the-table FC United who claimed their place in the play-offs.

Their win was all the more remarkable as they were forced to play striker Ben Deegan in goal for the entire contest with regular goalkeeper Sam Ashton suspended and his deputy Grant Shenton at a wedding.

And with Town striker Ross Hannah hungry to beat Bobby Mountain’s club goals record, they would have entered the fray with a touch of trepidation.

But Hannah had a quiet day, down in no small measure to United defender Scott McManus who kept a tight rein on him.

Hannah and Matlock scarcely tested Deegan and United’s vast and impeccably behaved travelling support were able to celebrate their play-off slot in the hot April sunshine.

Matlock forced a first-minute corner through Steve Warne’s dash forward and then Deegan blocked from Hannah, but the goalkeeper would have little else to do for the rest of the afternoon.

United’s first threat came on 11 minutes when a McManus shot was deflected over the bar for a corner, from which it needed a tremendous Gareth Davies header to avert danger.

Davies was to repeat this shortly afterwards as United forced another corner and were starting to look more of a force. Nick Buxton pulled off a terrific save from Matthew Tierney but had the shot gone in it would not have counted as the referee had already spotted an infringement.

Buxton was then in the right spot to claim an overhead effort from Matthew Wolfenden but in the 38th minute it was Wolfenden who broke the deadlock.

A fiercely-struck Tierney shot reared up at the diving Buxton, who managed to parry it but the ball fell to the winger who drove home the rebound.

Matlock then won a free kick some 30 yards out but Hannah pulled his shot well wide.

James Knowles came on for John McAliskey at the interval and with less than a minute gone, the Gladiators equalised. Hannah floated in a free-kick and nobody tracked James Lukic, who headed convincingly past Deegan.

Another free-kick saw Adam Yates head too high and when Hannah was allowed to continue from a Knowles flick, he lobbed over both Deegan and the bar.

That was his best and only chance to beat the record on the day.

But then, on 53 minutes, a rare Lukic error gifted United the lead when he was dispossessed by Jerome Wright as he tried to find Ben Turner. Wright had a clear path to goal and kept calm and collected to slot a precision finish home.

Deegan’s only scare came when he flapped at a Warne shot but Matlock did not do enough to produce a fightback.

United worked hard in the heat and were in no mood to relinquish their advantage. Matlock sent on Paul Sykes in an attacking role and towards the end Lukic moved forward, but it made no difference.

Another bitter-sweet ride on the Bradford Park Avenue rollercoaster

 Source: Bradford Telegraph and Argus

 Bradford Park Avenue are galvanising themselves and looking to gain strength from their experience after Thursday’s disappointing defeat in the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-offs.

It is the second season on the trot that Avenue have tasted bitter defeat at home in front of a bumper crowd in the end-of-season extras.

Last term they finished as runners-up but were defeated by Boston United. This season Avenue ended in third spot and a 2-0 loss to FC United of Manchester.

“It is a dreadfully disappointing feeling but its part of the game,” said Bradford director Kevin Hainsworth.

“It was a superb atmosphere at Horsfall Stadium on Thursday night. I don’t think we performed overly well, I think the occasion got to the players.

"But, as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so we 'dust ourselves down and start all over again’ as the song goes.

“You have to congratulate FC United and their fans. In an atmosphere like that those supporters are like an extra man, so when we had a man sent off it was as if it was 12 against ten. You have to be honest and say they got at us early, didn’t let us settle and were worthy winners.

“I spoke to Lee (FC United’s manager Marginson) for a while after the game and wished him and his club well in Monday’s play-off final at Colwyn Bay.

"It was nice to speak with him and its how football should be - you fight tooth and nail on the pitch and you make friends off it.

“On reflection, it’s bitter-sweet really because going back to January we would have taken facing FC United in the play-offs.

"Now it’s happened, it is over for us but what a ride. We wouldn’t be Avenue if we didn’t do things the hard way.

“We are working on next season already. John (manager Deacey) has asked me to go this week and watch a player we are thinking of bringing in. Just because our season is over doesn’t mean we will be clocking off.”

FC United one step from glory

 Source: M.E.N.

 Tony Glennon
 April 29, 2011

 FC United are just 90 minutes away from securing promotion to Blue Square Bet North after ending their Horsfall Stadium hoodoo with a magnificent Evo-Stik Premier play-off semi-final victory over Bradford Park Avenue.

The rebel Reds, who had never previously beaten Bradford on their own patch, booked a play-off final trip to Colwyn Bay on Bank Holiday Monday with goals by Matty Wolfenden (8 ) and Jerome Wright (47) sinking their shellshocked Yorkshire hosts.

FC will now fancy their chances of being promoted for the fourth time in their brief six-year history when they head to North Wales to face opponents who finished just three points above them in non-League football’s third-tier.

The kick-off at Bradford was delayed by 15 minutes due to heavy congestion at the turnstiles.

But the estimated 2,000 travelling FC fans who eventually crammed into the ground soon had a goal to cheer as their red-shirted heroes stormed into an early lead.

Home keeper John Lamb could only parry United skipper Mike Norton’s goalbound shot and Wolfenden seized on the rebound to fire home from close-range and get Karl Marginson’s men off to a dream start.

FC then found themselves pressed back for much of the first-half, but stand-in keeper Grant Shenton, again deputising for the suspended Sam Ashton, was rarely troubled as the visitors stood firm.

United doubled their lead within two minutes of the restart when Wright latched onto Wolfenden’s superb angled pass and squeezed a low shot just inside Lamb’s right-hand post.

Bradford’s chances of forcing their way back into the tie were almost immediately dealt a hammer blow when they were reduced to ten men after their centre-half James Riley received his marching orders for his second bookable offence.

FC might have added a third goal with 15 minutes remaining, but Norton, who, along with Wright, will miss the final through suspension, had strayed offside before converting Wolfenden’s cross.

Bradford battled furiously to the finish only for first Tom Greaves and then Aiden Savory to miss clear chances to pull a goal back.

But United, whose victory was greeted by scenes of wild jubilation, could claim to be worthy winners as Park Avenue were unable to breach a defence superbly marshalled by Scott McManus and veteran Dave Chadwick.

Colwyn Bay victory secures play-off final against FC United of Manchester

 Source: Wales Online

 Colwyn Bay 2 North Ferriby 0

 TWO first-half goals gave Colwyn Bay victory over North Ferriby in front of a crowd of 861 last night and secured their place in next Monday’s play-off final against FC United of Manchester.

The final, at Llanelian Road, will be all-ticket, with tickets going on sale at ground from 3pm today.

It looks set to be a tremendous occasion with FC United certain to bring a huge following after they beat Bradford Park Avenue in last night’s other semi-final.

The only downside for the Seagulls last night were injuries to John Newby and their star attacker Jimmy McCarthy.

Both had to be withdrawn at half-time with head injuries and they could struggle to be fit by Monday.

Bay made a great start to the game and were a goal up after just nine minutes.

A long throw into the area by Jimmy McCarthy was played back by Danny Meadowcroft for Rob Hopley to volley a right footed shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the area.

Bay got a second goal two minutes into added time at the end of the first half.

McCarthy cut inside his fullback and although his shot was blocked, he followed up to score with a brave header as he was clattered by keeper Adam Nicklin and a defender.

The closing minutes of the game saw North Ferriby camped in Colwyn half, but, apart from beating away a shot from Gary Bradshaw, home keeper Sanna did not have a save to make as Bay ran down the clock.

Bradford Park Avenue promotion dream over

 Source: Bradford Telegraph and Argus

 Park Avenue 0, FC United of Manchester 2

Avenue’s dreams of promotion to the Blue Square North ended in heartbreak for a second season on the trot when they lost at home to FC United of Manchester in the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-off semi-finals.

The Bradford club ended the Roses clash – watched by a crowd of 2,785 – with ten men following the dismissal of centre back James Riley early in the second half.

That second yellow came just minutes after the visitors had doubled their first-half lead.

The visitors broke the deadlock when Matty Wolfenden pounced on a rebound to slot in after Avenue keeper John Lamb had parried an effort from skipper Mike Norton. That sparked wild celebrations in the throngs of visiting supporters and smoke from a flare.

Avenue went close to an equaliser when an effort following a Martin Drury corner was headed off the line and onto the crossbar.

There was still all to play for at the start of the second half but just two minutes had elapsed when Norton latched onto Wolfenden’s ball across the area to steer in United’s second.

The writing appeared to be on the wall for Avenue’s chances in the 50th minute when Riley went for an early bath. His second booking was for dissent as he hurled the ball to the turf in frustration.

Norton had the ball in the Avenue net once again but was flagged offside and, as time ebbed away, Avenue striker Aiden Savory missed a glorious opportunity.

It was a phenomenal effort for Avenue to finish third in the table and gain home advantage in the play-offs after John Deacey had returned to the club for a third spell in the hot-seat. But ultimately, it proved to be a step too far.

FC United of Manchester now travel to Colwyn Bay to contest the play-off final on Bank Holiday Monday. Bay beat North Ferriby United by the same score-line in the other semi-final last night.

ZRF Community Day launch

 Source: The Muslim News

 Children from St Marys CoE, St Cuthberts RC & Manchester Islamic Preparatory School took part in ZDF Community Day

Supported by FC United of Manchester and KD Grammar School, the Zesh Rehman Foundation (ZRF) organised a Community Day on March 23 for pupils from three primary schools in Manchester.

Premier League footballer and Pakistan skipper Zesh Rehman set up ZRF to promote community cohesion develop young people’s aspirations and encourage British Asian participation in football.

St Mary’s CofE, St Cuthbert’s RC and Manchester Islamic Preparatory School took part in day - designed to develop learning skills and teach children to interact with one another. The children were put into groups mixing children from each school together.

After the morning session of team building activities the children took part in a mini tournament competing in the newly formed teams.

ZRF North West Coordinator, Irfan Kawri told The Muslim News, “It’s great to see children from different faith schools... integrating and making new friends. We believe valuing diversity needs to start at a young age. After Mr Cameron clearly said, ‘Multiculturalism has failed in the UK’ we believe we need to break down barriers at grass roots level to help multiculturalism.”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Zum Auswärtsspiel in die Heimat

 Source: ZDF

 Der Schalke-Fan Stuart Dykes (@stuartdykes) gründete 2005 den FC United of Manchester

 von Stefan Bunse

FC Schalke 04 erlebt am Dienstag mit dem Heimspiel im Champions-League-Halbfinale gegen Manchester United das bisher größte Spiel der Vereinsgeschichte. Stuart Dykes ist da ein gefragter Mann. Denn keiner kennt das Seelenleben beider Vereine besser als er.

Lange Jahre war der 47-Jährige Vorsitzender des Manchester-United-Fan-Klubs "Krefeld Reds" und gleichzeitig Mitglied der Schalker Fan-Initiative. Seit dem 12. Mai 2005 hat der in Mansfield bei Nottingham geborene Engländer allerdings mit dem Rekordtitelträger aus seiner Heimat gebrochen.
Stiller Protest

An diesem Tag hatte der US-Milliardär Malcom Glazer den Verein übernommen. "Glazer bekommt von mir keinen Penny", schwor sich Dykes damals. Der Schwur hält bis heute, seit jenem Tag hat Dykes das Stadion in Manchester aus Protest gegen die Übernahme nicht mehr betreten.
„Glazer bekommt von mir keinen Penny“
Stuart Dykes

Den Verein eines Unternehmers, dessen einzige Motivation "die eigene Gewinnmaximierung" ist, wollte er ab der Übernahme nicht mehr unterstützen. Zusammen mit 4000 weiteren entrechteten und desillusionierten Fans gründete Dykes als Opposition den "FC United of Manchester" und begann in der zehnten englischen Liga von vorn.
Immerhin 6000 Zuschauer

Inzwischen spielt der Klub vor bis zu 6000 Zuschauern in der siebten englischen Liga und hat Fanklubs in Australien, Neuseeland und USA. In dieser Saison winkt gar ein Platz für die Aufstiegsrunde zur sechsten Liga. "Malcolm Glazer, wo immer du auch bist: Du hast Manchester United gekauft, aber mich wirst du niemals kaufen!" So lautet bis heute bei allen Spielen des "FCUM" das verbalisierte Mahnmal an den Investor.

Vor 27 Jahren kam Dykes als Student nach Duisburg - und blieb im Ruhrgebiet. Schnell engagierte er sich in der Schalker Fan-Initiative - zum Beispiel gegen Rassismus. Wie sehr er seinem Heimatverein in England aber trotz der "emotionalen und geographischen Distanz" noch immer verbunden war, wundert ihn manchmal selbst.

Einst Miteigentümer von ManUtd.

Einst gehörte ihm sogar ein Stück United. Seine Anteile in Höhe von 120 Pfund an dem ehemals börsennotierten Verein musste Dykes aber 2005 an Glazer verkaufen. "Ich wollte das nicht, aber nachdem er 90 Prozent der Aktien erworben hatte, musste ich sein Angebot annehmen."

Dykes arbeitet derzeit für die UEFA an einem Projekt der englischen Fanorganisation Supporters Direct. Borussia Mönchengladbach und der FC Schalke 04 greifen gerne auf die Dolmetscher-Dienste des Briten zurück. Aber anstatt auf der Pressekonferenz vor dem Hinspiel in Gelsenkirchen für ManUnited-Trainer Sir Alex Ferguson zu übersetzen, besuchte er am Ostermontag das letzte Saisonspiel seines "FCUM" an der Gigg Lane in Manchester.

Nicht erwartet

"Das war lange geplant", sagt Dykes, "dass Schalke das Halbfinale der Champions League erreichen würde, konnte keiner ahnen. Immerhin habe ich den Rückflug aus England so gelegt, dass ich am Abend das Spiel in der Arena sehen und mich zuvor mit meinen alten Freunden aus Manchester auf ein Bier in der Schalker Fankneipe treffen kann."

Ausnahmsweise: Bruch mit dem Schwur

Und gegen seine eigentliche Überzeugung will Dykes beim Rückspiel am 4. Mai in Manchester das Old Trafford erstmals seit sechs Jahren wieder betreten. "Nach der Auslosung habe ich gesagt, ich fahre nach Manchester, treffe mich mit meinen Kumpels und gucke mir das Spiel dann im Fernsehen an", erzählt er. Aber seine Liebe zu den Königsblauen war stärker: "Gegen Schalke kann ich nicht draußen bleiben. Ich muss meinen Verein unterstützen."

Bei seinen Kumpels vom FC United of Manchester habe er sich für seinen "Verrat" schon entschuldigt. Dykes lacht: "In zwei Wochen fahre ich zum ersten Mal in meinem Leben zu einem Auswärtsspiel nach Manchester. Bis 2005 habe ich gehofft, dass es nie zu diesem Spiel kommt. Aber jetzt werde ich lauter schreien als jeder andere Schalker."

FC United back AFC Telford aim for Football League spot

 Source: BBC

 FC United of Manchester have helped in AFC Telford's top-to-toe review as part of an ambitious drive for fan-run clubs to reach the Football League.

FC's Finney Thompson is on the panel examining the Bucks' affairs to ensure they can continue to move forward.

"I'm knocked out by Telford. They do great community work and the fans have a strong voice," said Thompson.

"We believe this town has the potential to support a Football League side," added Telford chairman Lee Carter.

"There's always that danger in football that you'll be shot down if you're seen to be too ambitious but we believe a community-led club can make it to the Football League.

"We've been evolving for seven years (since the old Telford United went bust) and it's quickened up over the last 12 months, and we need a fit for purpose organisation going forward - hence this comprehensive review of everything we do."

The process started with a census for Telford fans to highlight their good and bad points of the club - which resulted in a satisfaction rating of more than 90%.

"We've already put into operation some of the recommendations - from opening up different parts of the ground for home fans, to reinstating mushy peas in the buffet bars," Carter continued.

"We are a listening club, a fans club and we want everyone on board to make sure we can continue to move forward in this mould - rather different from most clubs."

Thompson, who took a proactive part in the club review, felt the Telford way might also benefit his own FC United - themselves a fans club formed by Manchester United followers disillusioned by the Glazer takeover six years ago.

"The review is a great idea and the open exchange of ideas is a model that can help other clubs at every level," Thompson added.

FC United face Avenue of dreams

 Source: M.E.N.

 FC United boss Karl Marginson insists he’s more than happy to be taking the Rebels to in-form Bradford Park Avenue for tonight’s Evo-Stik Premier promotion play-off semi-final.

Marginson’s men missed the chance to secure a much easier-looking home tie with North Ferriby when surprisingly losing at home to Kendal in their final league outing on Easter Monday.

Having slipped two places to finish fourth, they must now travel to face a Bradford team which has reached the play-offs by winning eight successive games.

But the FC chief says he has no qualms about sending his side into battle at the Horsfall Stadium, even though it’s regularly been a graveyard for United in the past, with their last visit there back in September ending in a crushing 4-1 defeat.

Marginson said: “Of course we’d have liked to have clinched runners-up spot, but that’s now water under the bridge.

“We’ll go to Bradford believing not only we can beat them but also that we can go on to win at either Colwyn Bay or North Ferriby in the play-off final on Bank Holiday Monday.

“Considering where we were three months ago, it’s a fantastic achievement for us to even be in the play-offs and the lads deserve tremendous credit for having won 14 and drawn four of our last 20 games to get us here.


“Bradford are clearly a decent side and many people will now make them favourites but, with respect to them, they’re neither a Rochdale nor a Brighton and look at the results we achieved against those two in the FA Cup earlier this season.

“The fact we’re away doesn’t unduly concern me either as we’ll have huge support and our magnificent fans will make it feel like a home game for us.

“It’s all down to what happens on the night, but our experience of winning the UniBond North play-offs three years ago will stand us in good stead and I’m confident of reaching the final.”

With first-choice keeper Sam Ashton serving the final game of a three-match ban, FC will again have Grant Shenton deputising between the sticks.

Centre-half Karl Munroe also misses the tie through suspension, so Rebels stalwart Dave Chadwick will partner Scott McManus at the heart of the defence.

Meanwhile, FC’s fellow local non-League promotion hopefuls Curzon Ashton, who have already guaranteed their place in the Evo-Stik North play-offs for the fourth season running, tomorrow conclude their league campaign with a trip to Wakefield (3pm).

The outcome of this and Chorley’s game at Salford City will determine whether Curzon or Garry Flitcroft’s Magpies have home advantage when they meet in Monday’s semi-final.

Colwyn Bay FC prepare for play-off clash

 Source: North Wales Weekly News

 COLWYN BAY player-boss Dave Challinor is urging his players to grab "a fantastic opportunity" when they meet North Ferriby United at Llanelian Road tonight (7.45) for a place in next Monday’s play-off final, writes Tim Channon.

Two wins and six points over the Easter weekend saw the Seagulls finish runners-up in their first season back in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, and has given them a major chance of successive promotions.

If they beat North Ferriby they will be at home again in the final on Monday against either Bradford Park Avenue or FC United or Manchester.

"We have a chance to do something fantastic," says Challinor. "As a player, opportunities like this don’t come around very often, particularly at this level of football, and you need to grab it when they do.

"I never won promotion as full-time professional so to do it as Colwyn Bay captain last season was special – and to do it again in my first season as a manager would be massive.

"If we do get to Monday’s final and go on to win promotion to the Conference North then that would be a huge challenge for next season and really test us."

And it seems the former Tranmere, Stockport and Bury defender does see himself being at the Bay next season.

"I would like to keep as many of the present squad together as possible next season and try and add bit of extra quality to it if I can," he says.

"A manager is only as good as his players and I am fortunate that we have a squad here who are very close, have a great team spirit and have been magnificent for me all season.

"Obviously there has been the odd blip where we have let ourselves down, but only once this season have we suffered two league defeats in a row – that shows tremendous consistency through a long season in a very competitive league.

"I’ve seen some managers call us an average side who rely a lot on our big defenders, but I think that is being a bit disrespectful. We have a lot of very able footballers who have played at a higher level and I believe still could.

"Only champions Halifax can boast a better away record than us this season (12 wins and only four defeats) and every member of the squad can take some credit for that."

Challinor knows, however, that tonight’s semi-final will be very tough.

"North Ferriby are the best footballing side we’ve played here this season (they won 2-0 at Llanelian Road in February) and they will make it a very tough night for us.

"But we’ve had wins against all the other top five teams this season and we know that on our day we are very hard to beat."

An excellent Easter Monday crowd of nearly 750 saw second half goals from Rob Hopley and Karl Noon secure that second place finish with a 2-0 home win over Nantwich Town.

The Bay, after resting four of their first choice players, struggled in the first half, but the introduction of Jimmy McCarthy early in the second stanza changed the game.

Colwyn forced three quick corners and from the third Hopley headed past Nantwich keeper Dan Platt for his 10th goal in 20 games since rejoining the club from Chester.

Although it needed a goal-line clearance from Danny Meadowcroft to prevent Mike Lennon scoring a Nantwich equaliser, a second Bay goal on 75 minutes clinched the points.

McCarthy’s cross from the right was only half cleared and Noon scored with a first time shot from 17 yards.

Jon Newby scored the only goal of the game from a Hopley cross three minutes into the second half in last Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Hucknall Town which booked Bay a guaranteed play-off position.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bradford Park Avenue hoping to take extra step

 Source: Bradford Telegraph and Argus

 Bradford Park Avenue are expecting a bumper crowd as they host FC United of Manchester in tomorrow night’s Evo-Stik League Premier Division play-off semi-final.

John Deacey’s men snatched home advantage for the one-off clash to determine who goes through to Bank Holiday Monday’s final with a 3-1 away win on the last day of the regular season. Avenue clinched third spot as FC United suffered a defeat and had to settle for fourth.

The Horsfall side will be keen to go one better than last year but know the might of their opponents. At the end of the last campaign, Avenue were second to Guiseley and in the box seat for the play-offs, only to end up beaten in the final by Boston United after extra time.

Both Guiseley and Boston have done well in the Blue Square Bet North competition this term and are challenging for promotion to the top tier of non-League football.

Avenue have seen that and desperately want to emulate last season’s rivals but are aware of the popularity and financial clout of the club born out of the Glazers’ takeover at Old Trafford.

“To have finished third, above FC United, is amazing after the position we were in when John (Deacey) returned as manager,” said Avenue chairman John Dean.

“I think we were 16th and almost half of the season was gone but John and his assistant Mark Hume have done wonderfully well. When we won at Mickleover in the last league game, it was our eighth victory on the trot.

“The players, the management team and even the supporters were disappointed because it was 3-1, which meant we had let a goal in. The last goal we conceded before that was April 2 – and Mickleover got their goal in the 88th minute, so that made it more galling in a way.

“For us all to be so upset just because we let one in late in a 3-1 win shows what brilliant form we have been in and we hope John can keep working his magic for the next two games and take us up, especially after last year’s bitter disappointment against Boston.”

The down side of the win at Mickleover was not, however, the goal conceded as Avenue suffered injuries that may hamper Deacey’s selections for tomorrow.

Striker Tom Greaves, who passed 20 goals for the season in last Saturday’s 4-0 home win, was rested but fellow forward Nicky Boshell pulled up with a hamstring strain and midfielder Nathan Hotte was carried off.

Hotte was able to walk after the game but only tentatively, so he and Boshell will have late fitness tests. But James Knowles does return to the squad after serving both his one-match bans in the last two fixtures.

Rebels in Park visit

 Source: Bury Times

 FC UNITED will travel to old rivals Bradford Park Avenue in the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-offs on Thursday night after missing out on home advantage on the final day of the season.

Kendal Town grabbed a last-minute winner on Monday to send the Rebels to the Horsfall Stadium, with Colwyn Bay entertaining North Ferriby United in the other semi-final for a place in Monday’s final.

Captain Mike Norton’s 31st goal of the campaign had cancelled out Mark Jackson’s early opener at Gigg Lane before Kendal were awarded a penalty deep into injury time.

Stand-in goalkeeper Grant Shenton saved the spot-kick but former FC winger Danny Williams pounced on the rebound to seal the win and leave Karl Marginson’s side fourth in the table.

United moved into second last Wednesday when they beat Marine 2-1 – Norton and Ben Deegan were on target – before winning 2-1 at Matlock Town on Saturday with goals from Matthew Wolfenden and Jerome Wright

Ross sets record with 52 goals!

 Source: Derbyshire Times

 Buxton 1, Matlock Town 3

Ross Hannah was the talk of Buxton, Matlock and beyond as he smashed the Gladiators’ record for goals scored in a season, and at the same time shattering the Bucks’ play-off hopes.

Buxton needed to better North Ferriby United’s result at Frickley and possibly overturn a six goals deficit.

But that scenario never looked on as Hannah plundered a fantastic hat-trick to take his season’s tally to an amazing 52.

Bobby Mountain hit 49 goals in the 1982/83 campaign, but Hannah has surpassed this to become a legend in Gladiator fans eyes.

As Hannah pointed out afterwards it was a hat-trick that had everything. One goal with his right foot, one with his left, with a header in the middle.

Nobody could deny him his delight, nor his confidence as he spoke afterwards, but as always, his humility meant that he had time to praise his team mates.

He said: “I’m ever so happy for it’s a fantastic achievement. I’d have been pleased to equal last season’s total but to get 52 is absolutely amazing. It’d have been nice to get the record in front of the home crowd last Saturday, but to get it here, on the ground of your local rivals is definitely more satisfying. I couldn’t have achieved this without the rest of the lads and the support of the fans has been brilliant, so all in all I’m on top of the world.”

Only time will tell if Hannah is wearing a Gladiators shirt next season. But if this was his farewell appearance, he certainly made it one to remember, both for himself and his supportive family, and the Town fans.

More remarkable was that Matlock had to play the last third of the contest with just ten men following Kris Bowler’s 59th minute red card for foul and abusive language at referee Andrew Wood.

Hannah gave Matlock a 20th minute lead before the home side levelled through Josh Wilde.

The Town goal king bagged two more in the second-half, one in stoppage time, to take his total to an amazing 52.

The victory saw Matlock end the campaign in 11th spot.

Meanwhile, a crowd of 1,249 flocked to the Reynolds Arena for Matlock’s clash with FC United of Manchester.

The second-in-the-table visitors eneded Matlock’s play-off homes with a when they returned home with a 2-1 win.

Their win was all the more remarkable as they were forced to play striker Ben Deegan in goal for the entire contest with regular goalkeeper Sam Ashton suspended and his deputy Grant Shenton at a wedding!

But Hannah had a quiet day and Matlock scarcely tested Deegan and United’s vast travelling support, impeccably behaved throughout, were able to celebrate their play-off slot in the hot April sunshine.

Hannah was booked after only three minutes for diverting a cross over Deegan and into the net with his hand. Deegan was then able to comfortably field an effort from Liam King which was straight at him and lacked power.

In the 38th minute Wolfenden broke the deadlock. A fiercely struck Tierney shot reared up at the diving Buxton who managed to parry but the ball fell to the winger who reacted the quickest and drove home the rebound.

With the second half less than a minute old, the Gladiators equalised. Hannah floated in a free kick from the right and nobody tracked James Lukic who headed convincingly past Deegan.

But on 53 minutes a rare Lukic error gifted United the lead again when he was dispossessed by Jerome Wright as he tried to find Ben Turner. Wright had a clear path to goal and kept calm and collected to slot a precision finish past Buxton.

Matlock’s season fizzled out and it’s a case of preparing for a challenge next term.

On the day consolation came for them from their largest crowd for a league game since the 1,038 witnessed United’s Sunday visit two seasons ago.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bradford Park Avenue seal home play-offs advantage

 Source: Bradford Telegraph and Argus

 Mickleover Sports 1, Bradford Park Avenue 3

Bradford Park Avenue booked home advantage for the Evo-Stik League Premier Division play-offs on Thursday with victory at Mickleover Sports on the final day of the regular campaign.

It was far from comfortable but Avenue’s eighth win on the trot in the league lifted them above FC United in the table, meaning they now face the Manchester outfit in the play-off semi-final.

Mickleover started well and hit the bar in the fourth minute but Avenue responded well and thought they had scored minutes later.

A header from a corner seemed to have crossed the line before being headed out but the officials were unmoved by Avenue’s protests.

The visitors did get in front just after the half-hour mark. Matty Plummer played in Brice Tiani and when his shot was parried, Plummer was well placed to slot in the loose ball.

The down side of the first half were the injuries John Deacey’s men incurred. Having made changes to the side, they had be patient and they did not extend their lead until the 78th minute.

Substitute David Heagney was brought down in the area and Aiden Savory fired the resulting spot-kick into the corner of the net.

Karl Ashton lashed a shot in off the post to reduce the arrears but Tiani picked the ball up in the last minute and sent Savory away to net his second with a well drilled shot.

Premier Division champions FC HALIFAX TOWN ended the Evo-Stik League season with a 0-0 draw at Ossett Town.

GUISELEY were held to a goalless Blue Square Bet North draw at Blyth Spartans in their penultimate fixture but they had already cemented their play-off berth.

The Lions dominated the first period and created numerous chances. Top scorer James Walshaw had the ball in the net but was flagged offside and skipper Simon Ainge saw a header cleared off the line.

The second half saw Blyth in control without really troubling keeper Steven Drench.

SILSDEN also drew a blank but gained a point from a 0-0 draw at home to Squires Gate in the Vodkat League.

They have two Premier Division games still to play, at home to Ashton Athletic on Wednesday before ending the season with a trip to New Mills on Saturday.

Thackley enjoyed a superb result in their penultimate Kool Sport Northern Counties East League fixture as they returned from a Premier Division trip to Bridlington Town with a 4-2 victory.

The Dennyboys were in control in the first half but turned around 2-1 down as Matt Mathers’ opener was overturned by strikes from Tom Lee and James Bennett.

Thackley had to weather a good opening 20 minutes by the home side after the interval but recovered to equalise through a Matt Hall volley, before a Rob Eeles own goal and Mathers’ second completed their tally.

FT: FC United of Manchester 1 Kendal Town 2

 Source: Westmorland Gazette,

 Evo-Stik Premier League
FC United of Manchester 1
Kendal Town 2

A DANNY Williams goal with virtually the last kick of the game earned Kendal Town a final day victory at FC United of Manchester this afternoon.

The tie was evenly poised at half time after Mike Norton had cancelled out Mark Jackson's opener.

But when Ashley Dunn went down in the box, Keiran Walmsley's spot kick was tipped onto the post, but Williams reacted first to poke home for a 2-1 victory.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Glazed over

 Source: WSC

 Pete Green watches Manchester Disunuted, a film about Manchester's splinter club

When Malcolm Glazer seized Manchester United two years ago, the protests at Old Trafford elicited little sympathy from other fans. Maybe the claim that the club was suddenly “not for sale” grated a bit after United had done very well out of plc status since 1991. Maybe, when debt and changes of ownership are commonplace, outsiders saw the violent reaction to Glazer as arbitrary and disproportionate. And, let’s face it, it didn’t help that it was Manyoo. Whatever the reasons, if AFC Wimbledon became everyone’s second favourite club, then FC United of Manchester have not found goodwill so easy to come by.

It may be harder to deny FCUM a little warmth of feeling after watching Manchester Disunited, a film offering genuine insight into the predicament of fans who hate what their club has come to represent. In this regard it usefully rebuts the impression given by much of the coverage in 2005, that Glazer suddenly alienated fans who had otherwise been happy with life. The real story is that the takeover consolidated existing disenchantment at the corporate pillage of the game. Supporters who were already unhappy – with stratospheric prices, compulsory seating and the “daft o’clock kick-off”, as one fan in the film puts it – were given a tangible cause to rally round and, as the new club emerged, a chance to keep the faith while opting out of commercial depravity. If this is having their cake and eating it, let’s share the recipe.

Disunited is the work of amiable Brummie journalist Adrian Goldberg, who uses a series of droll stunts to illustrate his points. Glazer’s unpopularity is borne out in a ­bucket‑shaking exercise conducted in the Birmingham suburb of Bearwood (for no reason more apparent than it being the filmmaker’s old stomping ground), which asks passers-by to donate to either the Glazer or the Saddam Hussein “defence fund” – with hilariously pro-Iraqi results. “We’re not claiming that in any way it’s scientific!” grins Goldberg, who later offers tweezers to a bemused Chelsea drone in case £24 million bench fixture Shaun Wright-Phillips “has got any splinters in his bum”.

It might have been fascinating to examine the logistics of conjuring a club from thin air and indignation, but footage of a public anti-Glazer meeting cuts straight to FCUM’s first fixture at Leigh RMI. From here we receive a crash course in supporter ownership via Wimbledon, Barcelona and Brentford, a gobsmacked English visitor to the Camp Nou asking: “How can they have democracy, cheap costs, and fantastic football?” A well grounded sequence tracking the wider context of football finance fingers Sky and the Stock Exchange as the rich clubs sew up the competitions and Martin Edwards trousers a fortune. For this Goldberg wisely enlists David Conn, whose brilliant investigative work on boardroom carpetbagging has done much to enlighten those of us with attention spans on a par with Peter Ridsdale’s goldfish.

FCUM chief executive Andy Walsh comes across very well, but his assertion that “literally tens of thousands of football fans have been disenfranchised from the professional game” by greed and corruption is a modest one – the Premiership boasts literally millions of contented consumers – and must be set against the total failure of the anti-Glazer campaign, whose leaders were ultimately far wider of the mark than the American tourist in Stretford who doesn’t “really follow football” but tells Goldberg: “I don’t think they’re gonna have empty stadiums. I think they’ll get over it pretty soon.” The fact is that the refuseniks, though growing in number, are still a minority subculture. “If [the Glazers] supply the money and let Fergie buy who he wants,” shrugs one southern-accented Old Trafford loyalist, “then that’s it, innit?”

This need not remain the case. While the iniquities of the Premiership and its parasites are now well documented, football journalism is ripe for a killer text that explicitly links the ruination of our game to the devastating logic of the global free market. Much of Manchester Disunited will already be familiar to well informed fans. But it is an accessible introduction to these issues for supporters who may not have given them much thought, and a satisfying recap for those who have.

From WSC 246 August 2007

Thursday, April 21, 2011

FC United set to make Evo-Stik Premier play-offs

 Source: M.E.N.

 FC United all but guaranteed their place in the Evo-Stik Premier play-offs with a 2-1 victory over Marine at Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold ground.

But the rebel Reds had to come from behind to secure a win which takes them up to second place and leaves them needing only a point from their final two games to ensure they qualify for the four-team promotion knockout.

FC trailed on 19 minutes when John Shaw struck with a near-post header.

But Karl Marginson's men were back on terms three minutes before the break courtesy of skipper Mike Norton's 31st goal of the season – a towering header from Jerome Wright's inswinging free-kick.

Wright also supplied the cross for United’s 73rd-minute winner, powered in by sub Ben Deegan.

Norton then missed a glorious chance to kill off the Mariners, but FC comfortably held on to take a huge stride towards their promotion target.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Offside!: Moston residents in bid to block FC United stadium bid

Locals with placards reading "Save the
peoples (sic) park. Say no to FC United"

The women leaving out the apostrophe
in the picture are Joanne Hilton and
Nicola Erlam.

 Mike Keegan - April 19, 2011

 Hundreds of people have launched a campaign to block a bid to use playing fields for a new stadium for rebel football club FC United of Manchester.

The club – formed in protest at the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United – want to build a 5,000 capacity stadium on the council-owned Ronald Johnson playing fields, close to St Mary’s Road and Lightbowne Road in New Moston.

But people living close to the site – currently home to a junior football team – have vowed to fight the plans. Nearly 1,000 have signed a petition against the proposals, which they are to take to the town hall.

FC United, who have played at Bury's Gigg Lane ground since being formed in 2005, want to move to Manchester. Joanne Hilton, who lives on St Mary’s Road, said: "The community does not want this. It’s our local field and it has always been for us.

"There isn’t much greenery in Moston and we don’t want a stadium here.

"It has nothing to do with football. This field was gifted to the public and nothing was ever meant to be built here. There will be crowds, cars and there will be alcohol and the problems that causes."

The plans are expected to go before the council for approval in July.Moston Juniors currently hold a lease at the site until 2032 and pay £1,000 rent a year.

A spokesman for Moston Juniors said they had held positive meetings with FC United and the council.

Andy Walsh, general manager of FC United, who play in English football's seventh tier, said: "Football matches would be played there 25 to 30 days a year.

"We have always dealt with things in an open and honest way.

"The people of Moston Juniors and Moston are the very people whose views we have to take into account. This is not just about football, it's about creating a community facility and that is all part of the consultation over the coming weeks."

Moston councillor Paul Murphy said that the plans were far from a done deal.

He said: "There is a covenant on the land and the Charity Commission need to be satisfied this can happen. And if Moston Juniors are not happy with the plans, this is not a goer."

Eamonn O'Rourke, from the council, said: "We asked FC United to carry out a full public consultation and this is now under way. All representations will be taken into consideration before any final decision is made."

Comment: Goal should be a principled result

 Source: MEN

 FC United is a football club forged in the brazier of protest – a protest at the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United.

That this football minnow should now be on the receiving end of protest over the location of its first stadium bears a certain irony.

FC United had aspired to create its first home at Ten Acre Lane in Newton Heath. This was a site of enormous historical significance, since Manchester United evolved from a railway works team founded in Newton Heath in 1878.

The cuts made necessary by the savagely-reduced government grant settlement to Manchester city council meant the withdrawal of the council’s £600,000 funding for FC United’s stadium plan and a search for a new site.

The Ronald Johnson playing fields in Moston were the next choice for FC’s 5,000-capacity stadium. But this has not gone down well with local residents. Almost a thousand have signed a petition in opposition, with only a handful of locals expressing support for the proposal, say campaigners.

These residents do not just complain about crowds, cars, and the possible drunken rowdyism associated with football. They also have a principled objection, that this land was gifted to the public, and that nothing was supposed to be built here.

Local councillor Paul Murphy confirms that there is a covenant on the land, and this is a matter which will involve the Charity Commission.

There is another vital stakeholder in all this. Moston Juniors have a lease on this site until 2032, running 20 teams, from under-sixes to an adult first team. Whatever happens with FC United’s aspirations must not interfere with all these other teams from lower down football’s food chain.

So far FC United talk a good game. Football would only be played here 25 to 30 days a year, says Andy Walsh, general manager of the team. The new stadium would be even more accessible to the community than at present. Moston Juniors would be helped, not hindered.

This will be, one suspects, a long and tight match which may run into extra time. But it is absolutely vital that FC United and the city council find the reassurances necessary to make this happen with residents’ approval, not in the teeth of their opposition.

If FC United stands for anything, it stands for the idea of a football club for the people, not the vested interests. To build FC United’s first home in the midst of people who don’t want it would be a contradiction of its own founding principles.

Gift kicked off 101 years of sport in community

 Source: MEN

 The Ronald Johnson playing fields were donated to the people of Moston in 1910 by the family who owned the nearby wire works.

Apart from a spell during and after World War Two when they were used to host prefabricated homes for those whose houses had been bombed, they have been used for football and cricket ever since.

The proposed stadium on the site replaces FC United's original plans to build a stadium at Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath which collapsed when the council withdrew £600,000 funding.

Town hall bosses blamed that withdrawal on government cuts.

However, a draft proposal for the new site shows that the council will spend £750,000 if the plans get the go-ahead - money which was earmarked for improvements to the Moston site in 2009. It includes £200,000 to be spent on feasibility plans and business studies.

That disclosure will no doubt add fuel to claims - denied by the council - that it pulled the plug on Ten Acres Lane to avoid upsetting Manchester City, who are set to pump millions into the area as part of a huge regeneration scheme.

FC United, which is run by fans, has always wanted to build a new home in Manchester and looked set for Ten Acres – symbolically close to where Manchester United were born.

It is understood that plans for Moston will be similar to those that were drawn up for Newton Heath – a stadium with a capacity of 5,000 with around 500-600 seats.

The plans would include an astro-turf pitch and a club house but there would be no sports centre.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From M.E.N.

 Edited from: MEN
Nine-man FC United suffered a triple Evo-Stik Premier promotion set-back in sinking 2-0 at Chasetown - their first defeat in 17 games.

The third-placed Rebels now face being without both their 30-goal captain Mike Norton and star winger Jerome Wright in the play-off final, should they get there, after both were sent off.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blues fail to cause a shock at FC United of Manchester

No, we don't know who
they are either...

 Source: Sth Elmsall Express

 FRICKLEY Athletic failed to cause an upset in the Evo-Stik Premier Division last night as they went down to a 4-1 defeat at promotion-chasing FC United of Manchester.

Blues boss Peter Rinkcavage insisted his side would make the trip across the Pennines with nothing to lose and Ashley Burbeary fired the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute.

United are pushing for promotion this season though and will have highlighted the game as a must for three points. Karl Marginson’s men got on level terms eight minutes before the break through Jerome Wright.

And the hosts carried the momentum into the second half as Scott McManus turned the game on its head seven minutes after the restart with United’s second goal.

Mike Norton added a third to all-but seal the points for the hosts before Ben Deegan rubbed salt into the Frickley wounds on the stroke of full-time.

The defeat leaves Frickley two points adrift of safety going into another crucial match at Northwich Victoria on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

FC United show fighting spirit

 Source: MEN

 Tony Glennon

Ten-man FC United continued their Evo-Stik Premier promotion charge with an ultimately comfortable 4-1 win over Frickley Athletic at Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold on Wednesday night.

The Rebels had to dig deep for a victory, which extends their unbeaten run to 16 games after defender Karl Monroe was dismissed after conceding a 22nd minute penalty, which Ashley Burbeary dispatched.

But FC made light of their numerical disadvantage with Jerome Wright getting them back on terms seven minutes before the break when he rose at the far post to head home a Kyle Jacobs cross.

There was no stopping Karl Marginson’s men after Scott McManus nodded them in front early in the second-half with his first goal in a United shirt.

Skipper Mike Norton made it 3-1, taking his season’s tally to 30 in all competitions, before substitute Ben Deegan completed the scoring in the final minute.

FC’s triumph takes them back above Buxton into third and leaves them looking almost certain to secure a place in the play-offs.

They aim to take another big step towards that goal when they visit Chasetown at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Ashton United, who are surely now safe from any threat of relegation, head east to Whitby, while Northwich will hope to take a leaf out of FC United’s book when it’s their turn to entertain Frickley.

Curzon Ashton, buoyed by Monday’s victory over Evo-Stik North leaders and championship favourites Chester, can home in on a fourth successive appearance in the play-offs by beating visiting Durham.

Long-time Vodkat Premier frontrunners New Mills will move to within touching-distance of the title if they can defeat Padiham at Church Lane.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Northwich manager Andy Preece is frustrated after defeat at FC United

Andy Preece, 43, believed his team did
enough to beat  FC United of Manchester
on Saturday.
Photograph: Andrew Simpson

Source: Northwich Guardian

By Andrew Simpson

ANDY Preece did not hide his frustration after Northwich Victoria failed to beat ten-man FC United of Manchester on Saturday.

He told the Guardian that he expected the visitors to pick up three points following the dismissal of goalkeeper Sam Ashton after an hour.

However his players failed to take the chances they created.

“We won’t have a better chance to beat them than that,” he said.

“A penalty against ten men with an outfield player between the posts; it’s a position from which you should go on to win the game, no question.”

Wayne Riley missed from the spot for the third time this term as stand-in custodian Ben Deegan, usually a forward, guessed right to save his weakly-struck shot.

Vics later hit the woodwork three times in an incredible passage of play.

“Wayne himself admitted it was a poor penalty,” said Preece.

“There were other chances too though, and the game should have been over before they scored.

““Wayne then had an easier opportunity in open play than from the penalty spot only somehow not to put it away. The ball came out to Mike Clarke who had an equally good chance but put it over.

“I couldn’t believe it.”

Mike Norton’s shooting was sharper, steering in the game’s only goal with an expert finish after ghosting on to a lofted through ball with 11 minutes left.

It was enough for the Rebels to extend their unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division to 15 matches.

“We weren’t at our best in the first half, perhaps because there were some nervous players in our team,” added Preece.

“They seemed overawed by the occasion.

“It was our fourth match in seven days too and it’s true that we looked leggy but I don’t want to offer that as an excuse.

“I still felt we’d done enough.

“Of course you can’t expect to go to FC United and dominate the game, that’s not going to happen. But we held our own.”

On Ashton’s red card – shown by referee Phil Dermott after he judged the net-minder to have led with an elbow in a challenge with David Fitzpatrick – the Northwich manager was unequivocal.

He said: “The referee spotted it so it’s hard to argue.

“There had been a couple of instances before that where our players had been hit after the ball had gone and it was the same sort of thing.

“So I’ve got no sympathy for their player, he shouldn’t have done it.”

Friday, April 08, 2011

Undaunted FC find new home site

 Source: Bury Times

 FC United could leave Bury at the end of next season after organisers of the non-league club confirmed they had found a site for new home.

The Evo-Stik League Premier Division side wanted to start their 2012-13 campaign at a new stadium in Newton Heath, but the proposal fell through last month when Manchester City Council withdrew £600,000 funding.

It looked like the hold up would keep the Rebels at Gigg Lane until at least 2013 and continue paying Bury up to £5,000 a game. However, United general manager Andy Walsh said the club now plans to build a 5,000-capacity ground in Moston and, if it can overcome hurdles, the first ball could be kicked there in August 2012.

FC United must now consult neighbours of the Moston site and apply to Manchester City Council for permission.

If the move goes ahead, it would be a further financial blow to the Shakers after they lost a shirt sponsorship deal with Bury Council earlier this year.

Worksop 1 FC United 2

 Source: Bury Times

 A last-minute penalty by Jerome Wright sealed a victory over promotion rivals Worksop at Cannon Park as FC United came from 1-0 down at half-time to take all three points, keeping them in the play-off places with six games to go.

The Reds fell behind to a superb strike by James Cotterill in the eighth minute and it took until 19 minutes from time for Mike Norton to get them back on level terms with a low diving header – his 28th goal of the season.

With the game seemingly petering out into a draw, United were awarded a last minute penalty when centre-back Terry Barwick handled the ball in the box. Wright calmly stepped up, sent keeper Jon Worsnop the wrong way and placed his spot-kick into the bottom left corner, sending the majority of the 892-strong crowd into raptures.

It was a match that United probably just shaded but one which could have gone either way right up until the last minute. In the end, it was the Reds who grabbed another vital three points and extended their unbeaten two-month run to 14 games.

FC United extend fantastic run


 By Chris

 FC United of Manchester have extended their unbeaten run to a fantastic 14 games following Saturday’s narrow 2-1 win at Worksop Town. 892 were in attendance at Cannon Park as Jerome Wright’s 90th-minute winner handed maximum points to the Red Rebels.

Captain Mike Norton had cancelled out Worksop’s early opener on 71 minutes.

Wright then snatched the points for the visitors from the penalty spot as the Rebels bagged a trademark United comeback.

The result leaves FC fifth in the Northern Premier League table with six fixtures remaining.

After a very poor start to the season, Karl Marginson’s incredible 2011 form has given the club a realistic shot at promotion to the Conference North.

Full Time – Worksop Town 1-2 FC United of Manchester
Attendance – 892

FC United plans new stadium in Moston

 Source: Place North West

 The club, set up in 2005 by angry Manchester United FC fans following the take over of the Premier League club by the Glazer family, is set to build a new ground in Moston, Greater Manchester.

FC United of Manchester proposed new and renovated community sports facilities and a multi-function community space on the existing 6.3-acre site of the Ten Acres Lane sports centre in Newton Heath, owned by Manchester City Council, which included a 5,000 capacity stadium.

However, the council could no longer support the plans and pulled funding from the scheme due to the central government funding cuts, but has remained working with the club to find an alternative site.

Andy Walsh, club general manager, told Place: "The council's executive is meeting to consider a paper recommended for development which is subject to a decision at 1pm today.

"We plan to submit a planning application in the summer and look to be on site in the autumn this year. The scheme will be largely similar to the one in Newton Heath but without the sports hall because we haven't got the budget for that. Plans include an artificial pitch as well as the full size grass pitch."

Within the council report, it said: "FC United is a member's owned football club constituted as an Industrial and Provident Society. The club wish to establish a 5,000 capacity stadium and accompanying community facilities, which they had originally intended to develop on an existing leisure site at Ten Acres Lane, Newton Heath.

"This report identifies the Ronald Johnson Playing Field site as the preferred option for the development and authority is sought to enable FC United and officers to undertake detailed site investigation works, consult with the local community and other stakeholders and undertake detailed feasibility on the potential development.

"The site is currently used by Moston Juniors FC and the council executive is being recommended to agree £750,000 towards a joint scheme between FC United and Moston Juniors."

The council said the majority of the site is currently let to trustees of Moston Juniors FC on a 25 year lease expiring in 2032.

The rent is £1,000 a year but may need to be relinquished as part of the proposed surrender and grant of new lease to FC United.

FC United is seeking investment from Manchester City Council to secure community funding originally committed towards its Newton Heath plans.

The club proposes to use a £1.5m community shares scheme towards the development, plus £500,000 from its development fund, an £850,000 grant from Football Foundation, Sport England and other grant bodies.

FC United has raised £1.3m to date from its community shares offer associated with the development of Ten Acres Lane.

The community share scheme involved investors purchasing £1 shares to a value ranging from £200 up to £20,000.

The club intends to keep residents surrounding the Ronald Johnson Playing Field site involved during the feasibility study.

Walsh added: "The council have been fantastic working to find an alternative site and have worked extremely hard over the last four weeks because they recognise the community and regeneration benefits the scheme will bring to the area."

FC United is seeking support from the council to enable them to meet its shareholders at a general meeting on Thursday 7 April to confirm the revised offer.

FC United currently plays its home games at Gigg Lane in Bury and has office space in Ancoats. The club attracts an average crowd in excess of 2,200 and plays in the EvoStik League Premier Division.

To meet the club's requirements, it is intended that the ground will be operational by the start of the 2012/2013 football season.

Broughton Park and Wythenshawe Park were the other sites being considered for development.

FC United is expected to submit a planning application in July this year. The club is holding its general meeting at The Central Methodist Hall in Oldham Street, Manchester, from 6pm.

FC United want 5000 seat stadium

 Source: Manchester Confidential

 FC UNITED are planning to move to a new 5,000 capacity stadium in Moston. The club, founded in 2005, are hoping to build on The Ronald Johnson Playing Fields, close to Lightbowne Road providing a planning application is granted.

FC United stadium plans move forward

 Source: Construction News

 FC United has identified a new site on which it hopes to develop a new 5000 capacity stadium after its previous plans for a stadium collapsed. The Construction News Regulation Report 2011 is available now. Practical advice on health and safety, ...

(it's £277 to read the rest of the article, so that's not going to happen. Sorry)

Correction - FC United did *not* steal cup tickets

 Reuters, and many who rely on them for stories, used an image of FC United's badge to go with their "Man arrested after theft of FA Cup semi-final tickets" story. The text below the image read: "The emblem of FC United of Manchester is seen as players warm up during a training session in Manchester, November 1, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble". Anybody who didn't read the full story might assume FC United had something to do with the theft, and Reuters has since posted a correction.

The following has been found to include: "Corrects first picture issued with reference to FC United of Manchester. The team is not connected to the story in any way" in their RSS feed.

Reuters UK
Los Angeles Times

Example of story with our badge:

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Home win: FC United to build 5,000 capacity stadium in Moston

 Source: MEN

 Mike Keegan

 FC United new home is to be in Moston, the M.E.N. can reveal.

Officials from the club - formed in 2005 in protest at the Glazer family's ownership of Manchester United - have been locked in talks with council bosses since their plans for a 5,000-capacity stadium in Ten Acres Lane, Newton Heath, collapsed last month.

The Ronald Johnson Playing Fields, close to Lightbowne Road, have now been identified as the new site. It too will have a 5,000 capacity, including up to 600 seats.

FC bosses will put a planning application before Manchester council this summer with a view to kicking off the 2012/13 season in Moston.

If all goes according to plan, work could commence before the end of the year.

FC general manager Andy Walsh said the planned stadium would be very similar to that earmarked for Ten Acres Lane.

He described it as a very positive day for the club but warned there was a long way to go.

Residents in the area will be consulted and a feasibility study carried out before the club, which is run on a co-operative basis, can progress.

Mr Walsh paid tribute to the work of council officers. He said: “They have done what they told us they were going to do.”

It will have a club house and an additonal a full-size artificial pitch. There are no plans at this stage for a sports centre but that may change.

Moston Juniors currently play from the site and they would be accommodated in the scheme,..

The plug was pulled on Ten Acres Lane when town hall bosses withdrew £600,000 of funding after carrying out a spending review in the light of government cuts.

Mike Amesbury, from the council, said: "These are exciting plans which will mean further welcome investment in north Manchester.”

Broughton Park, close to Hough End playing fields, and Wythenshawe Park were looked at but neither were considered viable. FC United currently play their matches in the seventh tier of English football at Bury's Gigg Lane. They regularly attract crowds of more than 2,000.

The club has raised £1.3m through a share scheme and £400,000 in donations towards the project. They will offer payment plans to residents close to the ground who wish to buy shares.

Monday, April 04, 2011

FC United benefit from last-minute penalty

 Source: MEN - Tony Glennon.

 FC United needed a hotly-disputed last-minute penalty to secure a vital victory over fellow Evo-Stik Premier play-off contenders Worksop.

The Rebels looked set to return home with only a draw until Tigers defender Chris Wood was controversially adjudged to have handled in the box in the dying seconds.

Wood was then sent off for protesting before FC’s Jerome Wright coolly dispatched the spot-kick to earn Karl Marginson’s men three more points towards their promotion push.

United had earlier trailed to a James Cotterill piledriver but captain Mike Norton’s 72nd-minute headed equaliser put them back on track for a win which stretches their unbeaten run to 14 games and keeps them riding high in fifth place.

Meanwhile, Ashton United collected another point towards their bid for safety with a goalless draw at Hucknall, while Northwich ended a four-match losing run by crushing Burscough 3-0.

Curzon Ashton remain on course for a fourth successive appearance in the Evo Stik North play-offs after sinking neighbours Trafford 3-2 at the Tameside Stadium.

Mossley fell 1-0 to leaders Chester at Seel Park despite the title-chasing visitors being a man short for more than an hour following the dismissal of former Droylsden and Ashton United winger Iain Howard for a dangerous two-footed challenge.

New Mills all but wrapped up the Vodkat League title with a 3-1 comeback triumph over visiting Bacup giving them a seemingly unassailable 17-point lead.

Manager Ken McKenna was prepared to settle for another point towards Altrincham’s Blue Square Bet Premier relegation fight despite the Robins letting a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with visiting Cambridge.

Alty appeared to be cruising towards a fourth win in five games when goals from skipper Robbie Lawton and Damian Reeves (pen) put them two-up inside 35 minutes.

But a defensive blunder by Marc Joseph then allowed Liam Hughes to swiftly pull one back and the Moss Lane strugglers had to rely on stalwart keeper Stuart Coburn to save them from a potentially disastrous defeat after Cambridge’s Brian Saah had made it 2-2 just before the hour.

Alty’s second successive draw wasn’t enough to prevent them slipping back into the drop-zone with just five games left.

To add to their concerns, fiery midfielder Steve Connors will miss Saturday’s crucial relegation battle at Forest Green through suspension after being sent off for a second bookable offence late on.

But, despite the double set-back, McKenna (pictured) was quick to take the positives, saying: “Some might regard this as a bad result for us but at least we have pulled another point back on some of the other clubs who are fighting to stay up.

“We were the poorer side and will just have to hope this result proves to be a good one in the long run.

“We looked tired mentally and physically but if we can win our two remaining home games against Newport and Eastbourne, we’ll still have a good chance of avoiding relegation.”

Meanwhile, Droylsden’s hopes of making a late push for the Blue Square Bet North promotion play-offs suffered a huge set-back as they were thrashed 4-0 by leaders and red-hot title favourites Alfreton.

The Bloods were effectively sunk from the moment on-loan centre-half Paul Jones saw red for violent conduct just seconds after Paul Clayton had given the table topping hosts a 19th-minute lead.

Stalybridge stretched their unbeaten home run to eight games with a Phil Marsh penalty - his 20th league goal of the season - and a 30-yard screamer by Andy McWilliams giving them a 2-1 victory over Workington at Bower Fold.

But Hyde are staring relegation squarely in the face after sinking back into the bottom-two with a 2-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Gainsborough.

Kevin Holsgrove struck to give the troubled Tigers an interval lead, but they fell to two goals in three minutes in the closing stages.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Last minute penalty costs Tigers

 Source: Worksop Guardian

 A 90th minute penalty condemned Worksop Town to a third consecutive defeat today in front of a bumper crowd at Cannon Park.

FC United of Manchester beat Tigers 2-1 thanks to a Jerome Wright spot-kick in the final minute, after Terry Barwick handled in the box.

Chris Wood was sent off for taking his protests at the penalty award too far, and player-manager Martin McIntosh was booked also.

McIntosh had been a dominant force for Worksop in the first half, FC United unable to play their usual passing game on an awful pitch, and Tigers were well worth their 1-0 lead.

James Cotterill sent a sublime volley into the top corner in the eighth minute, putting the hosts ahead.

It wasn’t until the 71st minute that FC United equalised, Mike Norton stealing in with a back post header.

And after mounting pressure on Jon Wornsop’s goal, the referee spotted a handball in the box and Wright sent the Worksop keeper the wrong way to take all three points back to Manchester.

Worksop are in action in the Sheffield Senior Cup on Monday, at home to Stocksbridge Park Steels, before hosting North Ferriby United in a must-win league game on Wednesday.

For reports see next week’s Worksop Guardian.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Tigers sign defender ahead of FC United clash

 Source: Worksop Guardian

 Published on Thursday 31 March 2011 19:33

 WORKSOP Town have moved to add a defender to their ranks, ahead of the visit of FC United of Manchester on Saturday.

Beating the non-league transfer deadline, Martin McIntosh has brought in full-back Simon Marples.

The 35-year-old has been plying his trade with Alfreton Town, after a career that started in earnest at Stocksbridge and took him to Doncaster Rovers and Chester City.

Today’s signing news eases McIntosh’s defensive worries, with right-backs Scott Wharton and Max Wragg out of contention.

Wharton could be out until August 2012 after injurying his anterior cruciate ligament earlier this season, while Wragg is moving back to Canada, where he previously featured for Victoria Highlanders.

Marples joins a Tigers side who have lost their last two outings, and will be hoping to bounce back at Cannon Park against felow play-off hopefuls FC United of Manchester.

When the two sides met in March, FC United were victorious, winning 2-1 at Gigg Lane.