Source: North East Manchester Advertiser
FC United manager Karl Marginson has scoffed at suggestions the Rebels can count themselves lucky to be preparing for a second successive Evo-Stik Premier play-off final appearance this weekend.
Marginson’s men, who lost to Colwyn Bay in last season’s final, visit old foes Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday (3pm) to decide who joins champions Chester in going up to Blue Square Bet North.
Having narrowly missed out on automatic play-off qualification in finishing sixth, FC are only appearing in the promotion knockout thanks to runners-up Northwich Victoria being barred from taking part for financial reasons.
But, having seen his side book their red-letter date at the Horsfall Stadium with a stirring 2-0 semi-final victory at Chorley, Marginson insists there’s nothing fortunate about the Rebels once again being just 90 minutes away from a place alongside fellow Mancunians Altrincham, Droylsden and Stalybridge in the Conference’s northern tier.
He said: "I absolutely think we deserve to be in the play-off final against Bradford.
"Every single one of my lads was excellent against Chorley and, as for what happened to Northwich, we can hardly be blamed for having put ourselves in a position which meant we were the ones to benefit from their misfortune.
"We’ve been in this situation before and we certainly don’t want to experience the same disappointment as we did at Colwyn Bay 12 months ago.
"It was a horrible feeling – we can’t go through that again.
"Bradford hold no fears for us. They used to be our bogey-team, but we’ve now well and truly ended that hoodoo.
"We won 2-0 there in last year’s play-off semi-final and have thumped them 5-2 home and away this season.
"Bradford thrashed Hednesford 5-0 in their semi-final, so we know what they’re capable of.
"But, in spite of that result, I think they’ll fancy meeting us a lot less than we do them."
Marginson also hailed star striker Mike Norton (above) after he broke the deadlock at Chorley with a stunning 63rd minute goal when he curled delicious left-footer past Magpies keeper Russ Saunders.
Sub Astley Mulholland then added an equally well-taken second late on as FC triumphed over Magpies side who had finished seven points and three places above them in third place in the table. Marginson added: "So often games like Saturday’s are decided by a scruffy goal but Norts’ finish was straight out of the top drawer.
"That’s what he does – he’s simply a born goalscorer."