Sunday, October 30, 2011

Patience could deliver Old Firm to England

 Rangers and Celtic could set up grassroots proxies south of the Border and gradually climb the English football pyramid in order to realise their Premier League dreams, writes Stewart Fisher.

THOSE who conclude that Celtic and Rangers colours could never adorn the Barclays Premier League tend to forget one simplistic yet potentially rather startling detail: that in theory there is nothing to stop any interested private individuals or supporters grouping starting up a new team or affiliate in the English league system tomorrow if they wanted to.

The cases of FC United of Manchester and AFC Wimbledon, the latter having worked its way from scratch right back up to npower League Two, merely illustrate that the pyramid system that exists south of the Border can still offer a land of opportunity rather than a closed shop.

Sunday Herald
30 Oct 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Skelmersdale United sign David Chadwick and Steve Torpey

 Source: Liverpool Echo

 SKELMERSDALE UNITED have swooped for two experienced non-league campaigners.

The Evo-Stik First Division North leaders will be able to include David Chadwick and Steve Torpey in the squad for today’s match at home to Ossett Town.

Both players have been managed by Skem boss Tommy Lawson before when he was in charge of Prescot Cables.

Defender Chadwick and Torpey, a forward, were released by FC United of Manchester earlier this week, allowing Lawson to move in for them.

Chadwick, returning to Skem for a second spell, is a former FC United captain whilst Torpey scored The Rebels’ first ever goal in a 2005 pre-season friendly.

“David is a player I know well, he played for me at Prescot, he is just the sort of winning character we need if we are achieve our aim of promotion,” said Lawson.

“I am very happy to have signed him.

“I have known both players since they were youngsters, they played a great part in training tonight they are also characters that will play a part in the dressing room, too. I am looking forward to working with them again.”

l BOOTLE, meanwhile, have a ticket offer for all those attending lunchtime’s Everton v Manchester United match.

The Bucks entertain Alsager Town today (3pm) in the second round of the League Challenge Cup and upon the production of a match ticket from the early kick-off at Goodison Park, or a season card, you can gain entry for £2.

by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Echo
Oct 29 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

FC United Ground Permission,

 Edited from Manchester Confidential

 DESPITE angry protests, FC United were granted permission to build a £3.5million stadium at a council meeting yesterday. Fans celebrated after plans for a 5,000 capacity stadium in Moston were approved. Opponents argued building a stadium on the Ronald Johnson playing fields would destroy a local beauty spot. They said they plan to persue legal action to overturn the decision.

FC United plans approved

 Source: Place North West

 FC United of Manchester's planning application for a £3.5m stadium in Moston was passed by Manchester City Council on Thursday.

The proposals include a 5,000 capacity stadium, community changing facilities and classroom, a function space open for public bookings, two additional community pitches and landscaped public areas.

The football club is advised by Manchester-based planning and design consultancy, SCP. Implementing the travel plan for the new development was the priority now, according to Jim Budd, director of SCP, said: "The car parking and travel plans agreed between the club and council now need to be put into action so that we are ready to respond to the demand for travel by all modes when the stadium opens its doors for the first time.

"Based on our experiences with football clubs elsewhere, I am confident that we can show the residents of Moston that the club will be successful in minimising its impact on the community. This is a great day for the club and the people of Moston and everyone associated with FC United should be very proud of what they have achieved."

Earlier plans for a new stadium in Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath, owned by Manchester City Council, were abandoned when the council withdrew funding.

28 Oct 2011, 09:37

Second Time Lucky: A New Home For FC United Of Manchester, This Time?

 Source: Twohundred Percent

 This time. Perhaps this time. FC United of Manchester have been once bitten and can certainly be forgiven for being twice shy over their planning application for a new ground of their own, to be built in the Moston area of the city. Their previous attempt to do exactly this in Newton Heath ended in failure after government cuts slashed their hopes, but this time there should be no such concerns. This afternoon, Manchester City Council approved their planning application for the new ground, which will also house a community centre and training facilities, and the well of hope amongst their support base, which had been tempered by their previous disappointment, can begin to hope again.

In the attempt to build a football ground near a residential area, the club ran into vocal opposition, which was represented at this afternoon’s meeting. Attempts to reach out to this group failed and it was rumoured that the “no” group had been using tactics to secure signatures for a petition which may have been considered underhand. If true, this was probably a mistake on the part of the campaigners to adopt this tactic. It certainly gave the impression of a group willing to descend to whatever level they could in order to win this debate on points rather than relying of depending on the merits of their case.

As things turned out, it was an irrelevance. The Charity Commission, who had the final say over a covenant held over the land, confirmed that they had no objections to the proposed development. There had been a feeling of optimism amongst the supporters of the club that their case was water-tight, but the celebrations didn’t start until the announcement was made and for some the champagne may even remain on ice until a spade hits the ground at the site and the foundations begin to be dug out. It is also worth pointing out that the club doesn’t yet have all of the money in place to complete the construction of the ground. As such, the innovative Community Share Scheme, which has already raised around £1.5m, needs to step up another gear.

The good news for the club is that it has the volunteer base to be able to achieve this. If there is one thing that FC United of Manchester represents more than anything else, it is that people can and will join together for a cause that they believe in, and that they can create a football club of which they can be proud. There have been obstacles in their way at every turn since their formation in 2005, of which the end of their hopes of securing a home of their own at Ten Acres Lane was possibly the biggest of all. The club has, however, continued to work diligently and competently towards securing their new ground and today’s decision is an absolute vindication of all of the work that they have put in over the last few years or so.

There may be some that are wondering this evening why this new ground is so important for this club. After all, they have been ground-sharing at Gigg Lane, a ground with excellent facilities, for the last six and a half years. Setting aside the fact that Gigg Lane will always be somebody else’s home, there is a practical imperative for the club to build a home of its own as well. It costs the club in excess of £100,000 per year to rent the ground for league matches, and they also occasionally have to move matches to other venues – such as Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold – when Bury need to use it. In spite of regularly achieving excellent crowds for the level at which they play, they have been struggling financially in recent years in no small part because they will not compromise on a founding principle of keeping ticket prices as affordable as they can. The future prosperity and wellbeing of the club was in no small part dependent upon today’s decision.

For now, there is little else to say other than congratulations to all those at the club that have put in such a tremendous effort to make this project happen. It is also to be hoped that previous objections and disagreements are set to one side, and that the club does everything possible within its power to demonstrate to objectors what benefits this venue can bring to their neighbourhood. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that this won’t happen – this is a unique football club, one which will ensure that it maximises every opportunity that the new facility offers them. If the last six years or so have been an adventure for those that have given their all for this club, then the future this evening looks considerably brighter. And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of people.

By Ian

Reds win fight over ground

 Source: The Independent (no online content)

 FC United were yesterday given planning permission to build a new 5,000-capacity, £3.5m stadium in Moston, Manchester. The Manchester City Council Planning Department approved the plans, despite objections from some residents.

The Reds, set up by disaffected Manchester United fans, are a step closer to a home, as well as developing facilities for community use. FC United are seventh in the Evo-stick Premier Division.

FC UNITED RELEASE CHADWICK

 Source: Non-league Daily

 Karl Marginson, manager of Evo-Stik League Premier Division side FC United of Manchester, has agreed to release former captain David Chadwick.

"The reasons essentially boil down to finances," said Marginson. "Chaddy is getting married next year and he needs to be playing and earning regularly in order to save for the big day.

"It is difficult to see a player like Chaddy leave, we have known each other for a long time and I consider him a friend. But I can’t guarantee him a starting place every week so I fully understand his reasons for moving on.

"He has been an absolutely magnificent servant to the club from its earliest days and, as club captain, he has played a major part in the club’s development."

Margy believes that United fans may not have seen the last of Chadwick (pictured) and hopes to be welcoming him back one day.

He added: "Chaddy has shown an interest in the non-playing side of football and I have told him that the door is open for him to return to the club in the future as it continues to grow and develop."

When Margy signed Chadwick in August 2005, the manager said United had gained the sort of player who would put his head through a brick wall if he was asked to. And Chadwick certainly lived up to that billing during his 209 appearances for FC United.

The centre-half always led by example on and off the pitch. He scored 25 goals for the Reds with arguably his most celebrated one capping a memorable day at Edgeley Park in November 2005 when he headed home a last minute equaliser to make it 3-3 with Cheadle Town.

We’ll take fight to extra time say objectors as FC United stadium in Moston gets go-ahead

 Source: MEN

 Residents have vowed to fight on after FC United’s plans to build a stadium opposite their homes were given the green light.

Campaigners have hired a barrister and are planning to take legal action against the decision.

The 5,000-capacity stadium was approved at a boisterous Manchester council planning meeting, where jubilant fans and furious residents had a stand-off.

A consultation exercise found the plans were supported the people of Manchester by a majority of two-to-one.

But a group of objectors living close to the proposed site at the Ronald Johnson Playing Fields in Moston claimed the stadium would cause traffic chaos and destroy a local beauty spot.

Annette McGovern, from Residents United Residents’ Association, said: "There are lots and lots of holes in the arguments for this development and it is totally unacceptable. We have not given up and are definitely going to fight on.

"I will be seeking a meeting with our representatives to work out what our next step will be."

Part of the playing fields in between St Mary’s Road and Lightbowne Road are covered by a covenant which states the land has to be used for recreation of the people of Moston.

But the M.E.N. understands the Charities Commission is likely to rule that the land is not charitable and is suitable for the project.

FC United, who play in the seventh tier of English football, hope to be using the facility by the start of next season.

Andy Walsh, general manager of FC United, said: "We are very pleased. We still have a lot of hard work to do. We’ve got to raise the cash and we want to continue the consultation with residents to ensure that the development is something fitting for the area.

"We want to be long-term partners and good neighbours."

The £3.5m plans include two youth pitches for Moston Juniors, a full-sized artificial pitch, and an open-to-the public medical room managed by club physios.

Club bosses say they will put on special park-and-ride schemes during match days so that residents do not suffer parking problems.

The breakaway club chose the Moston site after its preferred location in Newton Heath fell through due to council funding reallocation in March.

HUNDREDS of people packed into Manchester town hall to hear whether FC United’s controversial stadium plans would get the go-ahead.

Reaction to the decision was utterly divided – fans cheered and clapped, while there were furious outbursts from campaigners.

Karen Galston, one of the residents against the plans, said: "We do not have a lot of green space in Moston and it is totally the wrong place for this development. I am shocked but not surprised by this.

"The land was given to the people of Moston in memory of people who died during the First World War."

In his submission to the planning committee, the club’s general manager Andy Walsh said he had been in contact with a member of the Ronald Johnson family. Mr Walsh said: "The representation from the person identifying themselves as part of the Ronald Johnson family said that FC United’s vision was a 21st-century version of the original bequest."

Two of Moston’s councillors – Paul Murphy and Rita Tavernor – voiced their support.

Coun Murphy said: "I believe the stadium will benefit all the community in Moston. However, it is important to monitor FC United to make sure they do what they say and we will be looking at that closely."

The only Moston councillor to oppose the scheme, Henry Cooper, said he was ‘disappointed’ by the decision.

Coun Cooper said: "Many of the people who supported the scheme did not directly come from the area and won’t be affected directly by the stadium when it is up and running."

The stadium was allowed to go ahead after a partnership was forged between Moston Juniors and Manchester council to allow FC United to use the land.

Coun Mike Amesbury, the council’s culture and leisure chief, said: "This will mean Moston Juniors FC and other sports groups in the area will have access to a top-class facility which will enable them to thrive.

Pamela Welsh
October 28, 2011

Skem swoop for FC United pair

 Source: Football Editorial

 Former FC United of Manchester captain David Chadwick and striker Steve Torpey have signed for Skelmersdale United tonight.

According to FootballEditorial.com sources, both players have finalised moves to Evo Stik Division One North (tier 4) side Skelmersdale this week after they were released by the Manchester club.

The signings are a major coup for manager Tommy Lawson, who said he was ‘very pleased’ to be bringing some much-needed experience to a young Skelmersdale squad.

Both players were members of the successful FC United side who were promoted from the Evo Stik Division One North and join former FC United keeper Sam Ashton in the Skelmersdale squad.

Chadwick, 34, made 209 appearances for FC United since 2005, scoring 25 despite playing as a centre half and is a former captain of the club.

FC United manager Karl Marginson said Chadwick left the club because of financial reasons. The experienced defender is getting married next year and decided he needed to play regularly to save money for the day.

He said: “It is difficult to see a player like Chaddy leave, we have known each other for a long time and I consider him a friend. But I can’t guarantee him a starting place every week so I fully understand his reasons for moving on.

“He has been an absolutely magnificent servant to the club from its earliest days and, as club captain, he has played a major part in the club’s development.”

Chadwick has played for Skelmersdale United before as well as spells at local rivals Prescot Cables – where he was managed by Skelmersdale boss Tommy Lawson – and Salford City before FC United.

He will be joined at Skelmersdale by former Liverpool youth player Steve Torpey, 30, who is no stranger to Merseyside football having briefly played for Prescot Cables in 2002.

Torpey scored three goals in 18 appearances for FC United but a series of injury problems limited his chances with the Evo Stik Premier side.

Earlier today, FC United of Manchester celebrated receiving planning permission for a new stadium called the Moston Community Stadium in the Newton Heath area of Manchester.

They will now attempt to raise the initial £500,000 to begin the ambitious £3.5m project to build a 5,000 capacity stadium.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Video: FC United's £3.5m Moston stadium gets the go-ahead

 Source: MEN

 FC United can build their new stadium in Moston after a crunch meeting. Jubilant fans cheered in celebration after planning bosses gave the green light.

The decision was taken at a boisterous town hall meeting where angry residents laid out the opposition to the plan.

They claimed building a stadium at the Ronald Johnson playing fields would cause traffic chaos and destroy a local beauty spot.

But council chiefs ruled in the club's favour, granting them permission to proceed with the £3.5m project.

However, the club, known as the Rebels, will have to wait until the Charity Commission decides the land can be built on before they can start work.

Part of the playing fields in between St Mary's Road and Lightbowne Road are covered by a covenant which states the land has to be used for recreation of the people of Moston.

FC United, who play in the seventh tier of English football, hope to be using the facility by the start of the 2012-13 football season.

Andy Walsh, general manager of FC United, said: "We are very pleased with the way this committee went today. We still have a lot of hard work to do. We've got to raise the cash and we want to continue the consultation with residents to ensure that the development is something fitting for the area.

"We want to be long-term partners and good neighbours."

Residents had mounted a substantial campaign against the proposal, claiming the site is unsuitable for a football stadium.

Paul Gibson, a solicitor acting on behalf of 17 of the residents, said: "My clients are astonished by this decision. We can't understand how it was taken and, further to instruction, I will be pursuing further legal action."

Annette McGovern, from Residents United Association, said: "Naturally, we are very disappointed and upset by the decision, but we need to look forward.

"This is by no means over and there are a lot of avenues we can try."

The breakaway club chose the Moston site after its preferred location in Newton Heath fell through due to council funding cuts.

The plans include two youth pitches for Moston Juniors, who currently lease the playing fields from Manchester council.

Meanwhile, the clubhouse will also be used by community groups and for education sessions.

Cllr Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council's executive member for culture and leisure, said: "This will mean Moston Juniors FC and other sports groups in the area will have access to a top-class facility, which will enable them to thrive."

Pamela Welsh
October 27, 2011

FC United granted planning permission for new stadium

 Source: Daily Mirror

 Plans for a new 5,000-seater stadium for Manchester United's breakaway club FC United have been approved by councillors, according to the club.

FC United had submitted plans for a stadium, club house, pitches and car parking at Ronald Johnson playing fields in Moston, Manchester.

The 5,000 capacity ground would cost around £3.5m.

The club said in a statement: "FC United is pleased to announce that Manchester City Council Planning Department approved the plans for our ground development at Lightbowne Road in Moston, at a meeting held this afternoon."

Councillor Paul Murphy, who represents Moston on the city council, told the BBC before the meeting: "If the application is approved, it will bring much needed investment to Moston - close to £4m.

"It will also bring sporting facilities for the young people of Moston and the surrounding areas which again is much needed and will be developed in a professional way."

FC United stadium plans for Moston to be considered

 Source: BBC

 Plans for a new 5,000-seater (Ed: Aaargh) stadium for Manchester United's breakaway club FC United are to be considered by councillors later.

FC United wants to build the stadium, club house, pitches and car parking at Ronald Johnson playing fields in Moston, Manchester.

Officers have recommended that councillors approve the application.

The recommendation is subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement, to include community use of the site.

It is also subject to a travel plan being submitted and reviewed, and the provision of off-site parking.

Councillor Paul Murphy, who represents Moston on the city council, said: "If the application is approved, it will bring much needed investment to Moston - close to £4m.

"It will also bring sporting facilities for the young people of Moston and the surrounding areas which again is much needed and will be developed in a professional way."

The council has received 5,635 letters in support of the application and 2,226 letters objecting to it.

The club, which is owned and run by its members, currently plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division at Bury's Gigg Lane.

It wants to build the stadium near Newton Heath - Manchester United's first home.

The council gave permission for a stadium at a site on Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath last November.

But, earlier this year, the council advised the club's board it was "no longer a viable option, as a result of the challenging local government budget settlement in December 2010, and the decision by the council to reduce revenue expenditure on the Ten Acres Lane site", a report to councillors said.

Live: FC United's Moston stadium planning decision


 Source: MEN

 It's decision day over FC United's proposed new stadium in Moston - and you can follow the site visit and planning meeting live here.

Planning officers will be handing down their decision over whether or not the club can build a £3.5m stadium on Ronald Johnson playing fields in Moston.

Councillors will be conducting a site visit at 11am and holding a full planning meeting at 2pm, and MEN reporter Pamela Welsh will be filing live updates via Twitter (Ed: Ms Welsh's twitterfeed is @PamelaWelsh)

Click on the grey box below (Ed: available here) to follow the day's event, or if you are using a mobile device, click here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Blues blown away by FC United of Manchester in FA Trophy


 Source: Hemsworth and Southelmsall Express

 FRICKLEY Athletic were blown out of the FA Trophy at the first qualifying round stage on Saturday when freescoring FC United of Manchester made light work of the Blues to win 4-0 at the Tech5 Stadium.

Michael Carr scored two goals while Carlos Roca and an Adam Jones own goal saw the visitors through to the next round and give Karl Marginson’s men a second win over the Blues in ten days.

It was a day to forget for Frickley, who also saw Leon Henry sent off.

Danny Walsh was sidelined with flu, meaning manager Peter Rinkcavage lined-up with five men in midfield, Jack Watts being the sole striker.

The hitman had the first chance on goal in the fifth minute but his shot lacked power and James Spencer, in the United goal, comfortably collected it.

James Ashmore also saw his free-kick cleared off the line as the Blues started brightly, but the visitors slowly found their way into the game.

United had the wind in their favour and they broke the deadlock with their first real shot on goal after 20 minutes. The Frickley defence failed to deal with a cross and Carr pounced for his first of the afternoon.

Before the Blues defence could recover it was 2-0, Roca whipping a free-kick in which Adam Jones could only divert into the back of the net at the far post.

Things could have got worse just after the half-hour mark but Roca, who was brought down inside the box, saw his penalty well saved by Frickley stopper Adam Billard.

Frickley’s goal remained under siege and there was better fortune was Roca ten minutes later when his free-kick struck the crossbar but found its way over the line off the back off a diving Billard.

And straight from the restart Frickley’s miserable first half came to an end with Carr nipping in for his second of the match and Henry seeing red for a late tackle on Jake Cottrell on the stroke of half-time.

Chances came at both ends in the second half but the damage had already been done and it was United who progressed into the next round.

Frickley: Adam Billard, Kelvin Bleau, David Cyrus (Brad Grayson 46), Stuart Ludlam, Lincoln Adams, Michael Simpkins, Grant Darley, James Ashmore, Jack Watts (Ollie Ryan 57), Ryan Mallon, Leon Henry. Unused subs: Mark Whitehouse, Karl Jones, Ben Saynor.

FC United: James Spencer, Kyle Jacobs (Greg Stones 55), Lee Neville, Jake Cottrell, Adam Jones (David Chadwick 81), Dean Stott, Carlos Roca, Michael Carr, Mike Norton, Matthew Wolfenden, Astley Mulholland (James Holden 73). Unused subs: Daniel Grimshaw, Nicky Platt.

Referee: Mr Gary Chapman

Attendance: 524.

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.

Published on Monday 24 October 2011 10:51

Dowson secures Durham City Trophy victory

Source: Newcastle Evening Chronicle

DURHAM City’s great run continued as they switched their Evo-Stik North form to the FA Trophy.

David Dowson’s late goal gave the Citizens a 3-2 first qualifying round victory at Goole to further boost the club’s coffers.

Durham are now hoping for a good draw in the next round and manager Dickie Ord is angling for a big fish.

Ord said: “FC United of Manchester and Chester are both big clubs with 2,000-strong support so either of those would do as the gate is shared.

“A run in the FA Trophy is a bonus to what we achieve in the league and having got through two rounds we want to go further.”

Not for the first time, Durham created a host of chances but were left to scrape a narrow win at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds.

Ord added: “We should have been out of sight after Amar Purewal and Billy Greulich put us two up early on.

“Goole have then got back into it through a penalty which was apparently given for a shirt pull inside the box by Ross Wilkinson.

“That has given them a lift and they then equalised 10 minutes later through one of the few efforts they had at goal all afternoon.

“Dowson has then gone past two players to finish well with his left foot to put us into the next round.

“He could easily have scored six on the day, as he missed a series of good chances.

“He was also unlucky to hit the bar.

“It is another good win, which has brought a few more bob into the kitty.

“Confidence is sky- high and everyone is buzzing.”

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Why Manchester United And FCUM Will Never Reunite


 Source: Sabotage Times and Zimbabwe Guardian (text from Sabotage Times)

 The Glazer family's takeover of Manchester United was the coup de grĂ¢ce for many United supporters, and caused an irreparable damage that is swelling rather than subsiding.

It was Joey Barton’s spiritual mentor Friedrich Nietzsche who stated that ‘When a hundred men stand together, each of them loses his mind and gets another one.’ In May 2005 thousands, let alone hundreds, of Manchester United supporters’ minds were distorted when the Glazer family completed their £800m takeover of the club. Many had campaigned tirelessly in a bid to stave off the American threat, yet their futile efforts were then compounded by the dawning quandary of whether or not to return to watch United at Old Trafford again.

But there was another alternative that had been pioneered by AFC Wimbledon, set up by supporters following their disillusion at the club being relocated and rebranded as Milton Keynes Dons. But unlike Wimbledon, United remained at Old Trafford (set to expand by a further 9,000 seats) and retained their name, contrary to fears following the Glazers’ rejigging of their NFL franchise Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Yet the prospect of financing the Glazers’ privilege of owning the club, now saddled with hundreds of millions of debt, saw thousands more cut the cord. And so FC United of Manchester was established in a bid to offer disenfranchised Reds an antidote to the acrimony over severing ties with their lifelong club. Over six years on, the club are plying their trade in the seventh tier of English football, playing their home matches in front of crowds of 2,000 at Bury’s Gigg Lane while only on Thursday the dream of a 5,000-capacity stadium edged closer.

Yet despite FCUMs progress, they divide opinion amongst United supporters. As one of Old Trafford’s taboo subjects, it will remain an unwritten rule to mention their name in the presence of Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot has belittled The Rebels’ inception and accused them of attention-seeking: ‘I’m sorry about that (the breakaway club). It is a bit sad that part, but I wonder just how big a United supporter they are. They seem to me to be promoting or projecting themselves a wee bit rather than saying, “at the end of the day the club have made a decision, we’ll stick by them.” It’s more about them than us.’

His view is shared by other United supporters who frown upon the non-league side as a treacherous formation, supported by deserters who purport their loyalty through abandonment, when one of football’s prime mantras is that the club you follow is the club you follow for life. Unfortunately the opinion has manifested itself because of certain United supporters who have capitalised on the Glazer takeover.

Stretford End Flags, responsible for the permanent banners which adorned the second tier of the famous stand, took down the decorations which back in 2005 in protest at the Glazers’ arrival. Almost immediately somebody else took over the reins of the group and has since displayed some truly cringing efforts, even seeking the advice of Liverpool supporters’ groups on mosaics (a recurring appearance at Old Trafford) since 2008. Imitating, not innovating.

Reviled and identified as a ‘Glazer stooge’, said imitator (who will remain unnamed) is inexplicably the mouthpiece news outlets contact to gain reaction from on a matter from a fans’ perspective. Thanks to his position he is the unofficial mouthpiece of the Old Trafford hierarchy, he voices petty dismay to feed his own hunger for power to the insatiably ludicrous extent that he was a convenient competition winner on the club’s website last season.

Knowledgeable United supporters’ frustration is that too few of them know who he is. Because Old Trafford, in the Glazer era, is populated by touristic jester hat (or sombrero) wearers who each strike a dagger to the heart of United’s soul, and the fan factions mount and the togetherness subsides so significantly that Manchester is far from united. Even pop culture has commented on the subject, courtesy of a scene in Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric (2009), which illustrates the ambivalence and dogmatic assertions that are synonymous with the issue.

Another fan, who has worn anti-Glazer garb at FC games and is the owner of another egregious banner (there’s a theme here), even asked to have his photo taken with Avram Glazer during the club’s tour of the United States last year. Yet whereas yesteryear it would be feasible for him to abstain from attending games due to intimidation, United’s support isn’t what it was.

Both sides of the fence have exercised the nuclear option of burning bridges thanks to the mudslinging and umpteen accusations of disloyalty. A truce was called in January last year when United supporters, outraged at the publication of club accounts which showed figures revealing that without the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80m, the colossal interest payments on the club’s debt would have meant a net loss, conjured up the Green and Gold movement. FCUM offered an olive branch – and solidarity – since two split divisions were literally singing from the same hymn sheet, but now that United are league champions the G&G momentum is irrelevant because success trumps identity for the majority.

Supporters who go to watch both sides tend to champion the ‘Love United Hate Glazer’ cause most fervently, but if and when the Glazers sell up, FCUM aren’t simply going to fold and undo years of work enhancing the club’s profile and working their way up the ladder of English football. In this case, Joey’s friend isn’t right; the future doesn’t influence just as much as the past.

By Samuel Luckhurst

Thursday, October 20, 2011

FC United 2 Chester 3

 Source: Bury Times

 TEN-man FC United conceded a last-minute winner against Chester in the Evo-Stik Premier League.

A crowd of 3,142 at Gigg Lane saw a Carlos Roca brace put the Rebels 2-1 up at half-time before centre-back Adam Jones was sent off.

Christopher Simm’s second of the afternoon levelled matters before George Horan struck late on.

FC lost 2-1 at Mossley in the first round of the Manchester Premier Cup on Tuesday night. Steve Torpey was on target.

9:00am Thursday 20th October 2011
By Bury Times Sports Reporter

FC United's £3.5m stadium in Moston set for green light


 Source: MEN

 FC United's dream of a 5,000-capacity stadium is set to become a reality, the M.E.N. understands.

The breakaway club want to end six years on the road by building a £3.5m complex on the Ronald Johnson playing fields close to St Mary's Road in Moston.

We can reveal that planning officers will recommend the council give the plans the green light, with conditions, at a town hall meeting next week.

The ambitious proposals have been the subject of controversy since they were first made public in April.

Some residents formed a protest group and vowed to fight the plans until the end.

They claimed building a stadium would cause traffic chaos and destroy a local beauty spot.

The club, formed in protest at the Glazer family's ownership of Manchester United, say the stadium will open up land currently closed off to the community.

They believe it will bring investment to the area along with a host of facilities for residents.

And after an extensive consultation process it appears planners agree with them.

They have recommended the scheme goes ahead subject to the signing of a 'section 106' agreement which promises community use for the site, a reviewable travel plan and provisions for off-site parking.

It is understood the club are happy to sign such an agreement.

The council will give their verdict at an eagerly-awaited meeting next Thursday.

There will then be a 'cooling off' period for those on both sides to reflect on their decision and an appeal can be lodged.

The plans will also only go ahead if The Charity Commission rule that the land can be built on.

But the M.E.N. understands they are likely to rule the land is not charitable and so is suitable for the project.

FC, a co-operative, currently play their home games at Bury's Gigg Lane ground.

They ply their trade in the seventh tier of English football and attract crowds of about 2,000.

The stadium would be a mix of terracing and seating.

Exclusive: Mike Keegan
October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book review: Reclaim the Game!

 Source: Socialist Party

 Coming out just days after the chief executive of Liverpool FC announced proposals to keep even more of the money from TV rights for the richest clubs in the Premier League, the timing of the latest edition of John Reid's book Reclaim the Game could not have been sharper.

As John says: "For fans everywhere the match is the highlight of the week. When your team loses you are depressed, when they win you are on top of the world. Football has been transformed from the people's game into a multi-billion pound arm of the leisure industry."

This is the first full edition for two years and reflects the growing impact of the economic recession on football. While generally ticket prices have increased dramatically, some clubs have been forced to temporarily freeze or reduce ticket prices to try to get more fans through the turnstiles. John also mentions some reheated plans such as having Premier Leagues One and Two, involving Celtic and Rangers from Scotland, in an attempt to boost the income of the clubs involved in this.

This pamphlet is packed with statistics that highlight the increasing grip of the super-rich on football worldwide. It touches on the protests in Brazil against the costs to the public at holding the 2014 World Cup while the multinationals rake in profits.

It also shows how fans on lower incomes are being priced out of going to matches as ticket prices soar while players' agents profits increase dramatically and the top players' wages spiral ever upwards .

There are sections in the pamphlet that deal with racism in football, women's football and the takeover of football clubs by multi-billionaire owners like the Mittal family of John's beloved QPR.

The growing concern that many fans feel about the multi-billionaire ownership of their clubs is shown in this following quote from an Ipswich Town fan on the "Those were the days" fan website about the attempt by the millionaire owner Marcus Evans to buy the freehold to the ground: "The ground should stay in public ownership - then at least there's always a stadium (however dilapidated it gets) into which a club can be formed. I follow ITFC not Franchise Evans."

But football fans have not taken these attacks lying down. John describes the rise of FC United in Manchester and AFC Wimbledon set up by respective fans. There are also fans' movements set up to save their clubs, the latest being Plymouth with fans of different clubs from around the country recently taking part in a fans reunited day.

What is different though about Reclaim the Game is that whilst many other books on football many describe the role of big business in football, very few it offers an alternative as to how football could be run. There is whole section at the end of this pamphlet both with immediate demands to change how football is run but also how football could be run under a socialist society. Chris Newby, London Socialist Party.

Reclaim the Game

£3.50 inc p&p

Bulk order deal - five copies for the price of four

Socialist Books

020 8988 8789

bookshop@socialistparty.org.uk

Sunday, October 16, 2011

FC United of Manchester 2 Chester FC 3: Updated report including Neil Young reaction

 Source: Chester Chronicle

 GEORGE Horan scored an injury-time winner as Chester came from behind to beat 10-man FC United for the second time this season on an afternoon of great drama at Gigg Lane.

The captain rifled in from close range to earn the second-placed Blues the win they ultimately deserved from a match that more than lived up to its billing as the biggest in the league.

At one stage Neil Young’s side, who remain three points behind Premier Division pacesetters Northwich Victoria, looked to be heading for their first defeat in nine games after two-goal Carlos Roca cancelled out Chris Simm’s early opener.

But after Adam Jones was sent-off for two bookings in as many minutes, they finally made their dominance count as Simm netted his second before captain marvel Horan struck at the death.

Chester boss Young said: “It was a great spectacle for the sport and for the league. I’m standing here happy because we’ve won, but even if we would have lost 2-1 I still couldn’t have asked any more of my team apart from their finishing.

“They showed battling qualities to keep going in a very difficult arena in which their supporters – like our own – were fantastic. The atmosphere was incredible and I think our fans enjoyed it because for the first time away from home it was in a stadium that they were used to.”

The match, which kicked-off 15 minutes late because of traffic problems around the ground, exploded into life when the recalled Simm broke the deadlock within 90 seconds.

An outswinging corner from Matty McGinn – the other change to the team which started the midweek draw at Buxton – was delivered to perfection and Simm sent an unstoppable 10-yard header past the outstanding James Spencer.

It was no more than the Blues deserved for an impressive start, but the hosts weathered the early storm and tested John Danby with long-range attempts from Jake Cottrell and Roca.

But former Chester City goalkeeper Spencer remained the busier stopper and after he made a flying save from another Simm header, he breathed a huge sigh of relief when Iain Howard volleyed over and Horan managed to miss from almost underneath the crossbar.

Karl Marginson’s men needed a break and they got one in the 32nd minute when the referee awarded them a soft penalty for a push in the box by Alex Brown.

Roca sent Danby the wrong way to restore parity before the same player turned the game on its head with a sublime free kick five minutes later.

Horan was adjudged to have fouled Mike Norton 25 yards from goal and Roca did the rest with a wonderful effort that curled away from Danby and into the top corner.

The winger came desperately close completing his hat-trick seconds into the start of the second half, but from that moment on it was the home goal which lived a charmed life.

In a relentless period of pressure top-scorer Michael Powell somehow volleyed wide from five yards out, Spencer made top stops from Howard and McGinn, before Howard hammered against the post from 20 yards.

FC United were rocking and their cause wasn’t helped when centre-back Jones collected two yellow cards in quick succession, the second coming in the 63rd minute for hauling Simm down when he was through on goal.

Blues boss Young threw on strikers Michael Wilde and Jamie Rainford, but it was his earlier replacement, Wes Baynes, who was to make the most impact.

The right-back sent over a 78th-minute cross which found Horan in space at the back post. Although the centre-back’s header was kept out by Spencer, Simm was on hand to tap in the equaliser and his fifth goal of the season.

And after Rainford and Matty Wolfenden missed golden opportunities at either end, better was to come at the death.

Another Baynes free kick caused chaos in the box and there was Horan to smash in his second goal of the campaign and bring a fitting end to a match which had everything.

FC United: Spencer, Jacobs, Jones, Stott, Neville, Wolfenden, Cottrell, Carr, Roca (Chadwick 63), Deegan (Mulholland 82), Norton. Subs: Platt, Battersby, Grimshaw.

Booked: Jones.

Sent-off: Jones 63.

Goals: Roca 32pen, 37.

Chester: Danby, Brownhill (Baynes 57), Horan, Taylor, McGinn, Booth (Rainford 68), Powell, Brown, Howard, Simm, McNeil (Wilde 68). Subs: Ormrod, Judge.

Booked: Taylor, Brown, Horan, Powell.

Goals: Simm 2, 78, Horan 90.

Oct 16 2011 by Paul Wheelock, Chester Chronicle

Saturday, October 15, 2011

FC United of Manchester 2 Chester 3


 Source: Chester First

 BLUES skipper George Horan clinched a last gasp winner in a thrilling contest at Gigg Lane.

Blues striker Chris Simm had put Chester 1-0 up after just two minutes when he headed home a right-sided corner from Matty McGinn.

But United equalised in the 32nd minute when Carlos Roca converted a penalty after Ben Deegan had been fouled by Alex Brown.

And Roca celebrated a spectaular 25 yard free kick to earn United a 2-1 lead after 37 minutes.

Chester created numerous chances after the break before and after United had been reduced to 10 men following Adam Jones' dismissal for two bookable offences in the 62nd minute.

Simm put Chester back on level terms in the 79th minute when he tapped home after seeing Spencer parry a George Horan header from Wes Baynes' pinpoint cross.

Horan clinched Chester's third goal in the 90th minute after United had failed to clear Baynes' right wing cross.

FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER (4-4-2): Spencer; Jacobs, Neville, Cottrell, Jones; Stott, Roca (Chadwick 63), Carr, Deegan (Mulholland 82); Norton, Wolfenden. Subs (not used): Platt, Battersby, Grimshaw.

CHESTER (4-4-2): Danby; Brownhill (Baynes 57), Horan, Taylor, McGinn; Booth (Wilde 67), Brown, Powell, Howard; Simm, McNeil (Rainford 67). Subs (not used): Ormrod, Judge.

REFEREE: David Midgley (Huddersfield).

ATTENDANCE: 3,112.

Published date: 15 October 2011 |
Published by: Dennis Wall

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Marine denied a win once again against FC United of Manchester

 Source: Crosby Herald

 MARINE extended their unbeaten league run to five matches with a draw at Bower Fold on Saturday, the game ending 1-1 with hosts FC United of Manchester.

The Crosby side have yet to record a victory over the Mancunians in seven attempts but probably should have broken their duck this time, having the better of the scoring chances on a damp afternoon at Stalyvegas.

Referee David Storrie had a busy afternoon, showing yellow cards no fewer than 11 times in what was a full blooded but generally fairly fought encounter, FC’s Ben Deegan seeing two of them to depart the fray amid much controversy.

The home side threatened with a free-kick which rebounded off Ryan McMahon in the Marine goal, Matthew Wolfenden sending the ball back in with the visitors’ defence managing to clear the danger.

Aaron Rey went on a good run down the left, cutting in before firing an angled drive which brought a fine stop from James Spencer to push the ball away.

The Mariners took the lead after 37 minutes with a smart finish from Stephen Johnson, the winger, pacy and direct throughout, pouncing on Dean Stott’s error to finish clinically with a crisp shot inside the near post from 15 yards.

The start of the second-half saw the Mariners have a great chance to double their lead, Andy Fowler driving in to the box with Johnson crossing, Rey blazing over the top from six yards .

It was a pivotal miss at a crucial point of the game.

The home side levelled proceedings just before the hour mark, a free-kick from the right being met by a stooping header from Wolfenden to steer the ball inside the far post.

Deegan collected the first of his yellow cards when sliding in on McMahon as the keeper came out to collect, cueing a flare up involving players from both sides.

Marine possibly had some good fortune late on when Deegan appeared to be tripped in the box, the Joe Jordan-esque forward instead seeing a second yellow card for simulation in modern parlance – in old money a dive – with opinion split amongst observers as to the merits of the decision.

A penalty and probable winning goal would have been harsh on the Mariners though, as they moved within a point of the play-off positions.

FC United of Manchester: James Spencer, Kyle Jacobs, Lee Neville, Jake Cottrell, Adam Jones, Dean Stott, Carlos Roca, Nicky Platt (Daniel Grimshaw 90), Ben Deegan, Matthew Wolfenden (Theo Kidd 90), Michael Carr (Richard Battersby 90). Unused subs: David Chadwick, Adam Edwards.

Cautions: Jacobs, Carr, Jones, Deegan (x2 = 1 red).

Marine: Ryan McMahon, Paul Lundon, Ian Latham, Sam Barnes, John Shaw, Joe Fowler, Andy Fowler (Carl Gargan 73), Jonathan Goulding, Thomas Moore, Aaron Rey (Peter Cumiskey 90), Stephen Johnson. Unused subs: Phil Brazier, Darren Byers, Karl Brown. Cautions: McMahon, Latham, J. Fowler, A. Fowler, Rey, Goulding.

Referee: Mr David Storrie; Assistants Mr Mark Smith, Mr Paul Secker.

Attendance: 1704.

Oct 13 2011 by Our Correspondent, Crosby Herald

Chester FC: Midfield battle key to beating FC United of Manchester, says Neil Young

 Source: Chester Chronicle

 NEIL Young believes winning the midfield battle will be key to Chester FC beating FC United of Manchester for the second time this season.

The Blues stopped the Red Rebels from dictating the tempo in August’s meeting between the fan-owned clubs – and Young will ask his team to do the same at Gigg Lane on Saturday (3pm).

The Chester boss said: “FC United are one of the best passing sides in the division so we’ve got to make sure we don’t allow them to play.

“Their three midfielders like to get on the ball and dictate the play so it’s up to us to get about them early doors, get a foothold in the game and then go for the win I fully believe we can get.”

FC United have made a underwhelming start to the season, losing five of their first 14 matches.

But Young still regards them as rivals for promotion and victory over Frickley Athletic on Tuesday extended their unbeaten league run to four matches.

Young, who sent chief scout Alex Hay to watch Karl Marginson’s men in action at Frickley, said: “It’s the biggest game in the league as we are the two biggest clubs in terms of our fan bases.

“I’m sure both sets of supporters would like to win the game – we’ve just got to make sure it’s us as we want to take advantage of the fact that some of the teams are not playing as they’re in the FA Cup.”

The Blues stretched their winning run to eight matches on Saturday with a last-gasp victory over Chasetown.

Their form is made more impressive given Young has only 14 fully fit senior players, including back-up goalkeeper Adam Judge, to choose from.

Former FC United winger Jerome Wright, Christian Smith and Ashley Williams remain sidelined – although all three should be back within a month – while Matty McGinn is struggling with a sore calf. The left-back was likely to be a substitute at best for last night’s trip to Buxton, which was played after The Chronicle went to press.

Oct 13 2011 by Paul Wheelock, Chester Chronicle

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rebels on the rampage up the table

 Source: MEN

 FC United continued their charge up the Evo-Stik League’s premier division with a 3-1 victory at Frickley Athletic seeing them climb to eighth place, writes Tony Glennon.

But the rapidly improving Rebels had to wait until the 53rd minute before breaking the deadlock when Ben Deegan’s cross was turned into his own net by defender Stuart Ludlam.

Matthew Wolfenden added a second goal just two minutes later, firing home from 15 yards after latching onto Deegan’s chested knock-down.

And, though Frickley reduced the arrears in the 63rd minute, Brad Grayson netting from no more than a yard out following a goalmouth scramble, Deegan promptly restored FC’s two-goal lead with a fearsome right-foot volley sealing the points for Karl Marginson’s men.

Meanwhile, Ashton United’s woes continued with a 6-3 drubbing at North Ferriby.

Garry Flitcroft’s Chorley missed a chance to move level on points with leaders Northwich, who visit Burscough tonight, in being held to a goalless draw by visiting Rushall Olympic.

Tony Glennon
October 12, 2011

Blues succumb to FC United of Manchester

 Source: Hemsworth and Southelmsall Express

 FRICKLEY Athletic suffered a second defeat in four days on Tuesday night when FC United of Manchester left South Elmsall with a 3-1 Evo-Stik Premier Division victory.

The Blues slipped to a 1-0 loss at Hednesford Town on Saturday and will go into this weekend’s big FA Cup third qualifying round clash at Gainsborough Trinity on the back of consecutive defeats.

Peter Rinkcavage’s men went behind in unfortunate circumstances early in the second half when Stuart Ludlam turned a Ben Deegan cross into his own goal.

The visitors went for the jugular and doubled their lead just three minutes through Matthew Wolfenden.

It gave the hosts a mountain to climb but they got back into the game on 64 minutes when Brad Grayson reduced the deficit by scrambling the ball over the line from a corner.

But their joy lasted barely a minute when the impressive Deegan fired in his side’s third to send United back across the Pennines with all three points.

Published on Wednesday 12 October 2011 11:22

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rebels are fuming

 Source: MEN

 FC United manager Karl Marginson was left fuming over the performance of referee David Storrie after the Evo-Stik Premier side drew 1-1 with Marine.

Matthew Wolfenden earned the Rebels a share of the spoils with a 59th minute equaliser but it was the overworked official’s hugely controversial decision to deny United an 89th minute penalty and instead send off Rebels striker Ben Deegan which most incensed Marginson.

The Rebels boss stormed: “Even the Marine lads have admitted we should have had a penalty but instead we end up down to 10 men.

“Some of the ref’s decisions were baffling and not just the ones which went against us. Marine’s manager Kevin Lynch was, I think, just as frustrated as me.”

Meanwhile, Ashton United chief Danny Johnson’s plea for his team to respond positively to their FA Cup loss to Spennymoor was wasted as the injury-hit Robins lost 5-1 to visiting Stafford Rangers. Ashton were reduced to 10 men when dangerman Chris Amadi was dismissed following an off-the-ball incident with the game still scoreless at that stage.

Northwich went top with debutant Jordan Johnson hitting both goals in a 2-0 home win over North Ferriby.

Curzon Ashton returned to the Evo-Stik North summit as they saw off fellow high-fliers Farsley 3-2 with goals from Andrew Watson and Graham Kay (two).

Altrincham’s surprise FA Cup conquerors Witton Albion are up to third after they de-railed visiting Harrogate Railway 4-0.

The FA Trophy preliminary-round brought wins for Woodley and Radcliffe but defeats for Trafford and Mossley, while Salford and Warrington each face replays.

Flixton held onto pole position in the North West Counties League with Phil Drummond’s single strike sufficient to sink Stone.

October 10, 2011

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

FC United 0-1 Lancaster City

 Source: Lancaster Guardian

 A PERFORMANCE FULL OF grit and determination saw Lancaster City progress to the next round of the FA cup.

They knocked out Evo-Stik Premier outfit FC United of Manchester at Gigg lane on Saturday with a Lee Dodgson strike and a full blooded defensive effort.

After a good first-half where they more than matched their supposed superior opponents the Dolly Blues nicked the lead just inside the second-half.

They then spent 40 draining minutes defending in the October sunshine to repel wave after wave of FC United attack and keep in the hunt for a place in the elusive First round proper.

In an impressive first-half display the Dolly Blues more than proved that they can mix it at this level and perhaps should have earned a goal for their efforts.

Max Rothwell and Dodgson both had half-chances from the edge of the box that they scuffed wide before Dodgson narrowly missed the chance of the half.

He broke into the box after a Danny Hattersley flick-on, leaving a somewhat flat FC back four in his wake and lifted the ball over James Spencer in the home net, the unseasonable Autumn weather had left the Gigg lane pitch hard and it took a bounce before hitting the bar and being cleared.

At the other end FC danger man Carlos Roca had the edge in his captivating battle with Ryan Elderton – it was short-lived as the City full-back was immense in the second 45 to take Roca out of the game- and he masterminded the home side’s best chance, a disallowed goal from Ben Deegan after Roca had just ran the ball out for a goal kick before crossing.

If City were disappointed not to go in at the break with a goal they did not show it, coming out after the break with renewed confidence that was justified five minutes in.

An angled free-kick from deep on the left was delivered towards the back of the box by Elderton and headed into the danger area by Jack Duggan, the FC defence again dithered for long enough to allow Dodgson to nip in on the ‘keeper and slice the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper into the net.

The home side reacted by bringing Michael Carr and Matthew Wolfenden off the bench and it was evident that City were in for a battle.

It was perhaps, with hindsight, a dangerous game to play by the Dolly Blues as they set up camp to defend for forty long minutes they were far too deep at times and invited a lot of pressure.

However they were still, as always, dangerous on the counter, particularly through Dave Swarbrick who flew off the bench like a man possessed and it seemed like they would have enough in the tank to take their opponents all the way.

It took a monstrous effort and fair amount of luck to keep the United hordes at bay, striker Deegan missed an incredible four headers from six yards and only troubled Martin Fearon with one that he was more than a match for.

While the only other efforts of note involved the tricky Wolfenden and Mike Norton, the former broke into the box but scuffed a shot wide while Norton showed a great first touch to bring down a long pass and find space but his shot was easily saved.

Inevitably Swarbrick broke free on three occasions, hitting two ambitious efforts high and wide, one a cheeky lob that had Spencer scrambling, on the other lightening counter he showed excellent trickery to beat Lee Neville but after breaking into the box he should have pulled back for Joe Bunney who was unmarked.

The back four take all the plaudits for forty brave minutes of backs to the wall defending however special mention must go to Simon Wills who showed great energy in covering his back four alongside Alex Kenyon who showed great fighting spirit to boss the centre of the park.

In a scouting mission the Tuesday previous Tony Hesketh had watched FC beat Whitby Town 3-0 and had remarked that he thought they were vulnerable at the back and Dodgson and Rothwell certainly had their number for most of the game.

A brilliant performance from the Dolly Blues, who looked a drained yet jubilant bunch when the final whistle blew. The FA cup dream is still alive.

FC UNITED: Spencer, Jacobs, Neville, Cottrell, Jones, Stott, Roca, Battersby (Carr 57), Norton, Deegan, Grimshaw (Wolfenden 57)

Subs not used: Platt, Chadwick, McGreevy, Armstrong, Edwards

LANCASTER CITY: Fearon 8, Henry 8, Elderton 9, Duggan 8, Marshall 8, Kenyon 7, Clark 7 (Bunney 66), Wills 7, Hattersley 7 (Swarbrick 66), Dodgson 8 (Wood 72), Rothwell 7

Subs not used: Gregson, Hall, Meaney, Turner

Attendance: 1147

Referee: Matthew Walsh

Starman: Ryan Elderton - Difficult to split a tremendous back four but his second-half handling of Carlos Roca was awesome

Published on Monday 3 October 2011 11:50

Monday, October 03, 2011

Misfiring big guns are shown the FA Cup exit

 Source: MEN

 Non-League big guns Altrincham, Stalybridge Celtic and FC United were among the teams to crash out of the FA Cup on a largely disappointing day for the region’s semi-pro clubs, writes Tony Glennon.

And it was Alty’s shock exit which will perhaps be felt the hardest as the once renowned Cup giant-killers suffered an embarrassing 2-0 second qualifying round defeat to visiting Witton Albion, who play two divisions below them in Evo-Stik North.

The Robins, playing for the first time in their new red-and-black Moss Lane centenary kit, were rocking from the moment Alex Titchiner fired Witton into a surprise 11th-minute lead.

Despite dominating possession, Alty rarely looked like breaking a Cup goals duck stretching back to 2008 and were eventually sunk without trace when sub Mark Buchan added Witton’s second goal three minutes from time.

Stalybridge joined Altrincham in falling at their opening hurdle as they lost for the first time this season in tumbling 2-1 to fellow Blue Square Bet North high-fliers Guiseley at Bower Fold.

To rub salt in Bridge’s wound, it was two of their old boys, Lee Ellington and Joe O’Neill, who hit the goals which shattered their dreams of Cup glory.

Phil Marsh pulled one back in stoppage-time but that was scant consolation for the Celts on the weekend their boss, Jim Harvey, was named BSBN manager of the month.

FC United’s hopes of repeating last season’s money-spinning run to the second round proper were dashed as they fell to a 51st- minute Lee Dodgson goal in losing 1-0 to Lancaster.

Ashton United also bowed out, crushed 3-0 by visiting Spennymoor.

Out too went Northwich – beaten 2-1 by neighbours Nantwich – Warrington, who lost 3-1 to Bradford Park Avenue, and Buxton, felled 2-1 by Rushall Olympic.

Eased

But there was delight for Droylsden as they made an impressive start to their bid to successfully negotiate the Cup’s qualifying stages for the third time in four years with Ciaran Kilheeney’s first-half brace giving them a 2-1 win at Workington.

Joining the Bloods in the third and penultimate qualifying round will be their Tameside neighbours Hyde, who eased past Staveley Miners Welfare 3-0.

On target for the Tigers were Ryan Crowther (2) and Matthew Berkeley.

Evo-Stik North strugglers Radcliffe Borough also continued their unlikely Cup progress with Steve Howson, Dave Sherlock and Ben Wharton scoring as they came from behind to triumph 3-1 at Clitheroe.

Tony Glennon
October 03, 2011