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Davies Consultancy

Thursday 14th October 2010

Cup football continues this Saturday with the visit of Newcastle Town to Gigg Lane in the FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round, kick off 3.00 pm. FC are hoping to continue where they left off in the final 20 minutes last week up at Norton in the FA Cup but they will take nothing for granted against a Newcastle side who won the North West Counties League title last season by a country mile and who are now sitting comfortably in 4th spot in Evo-Stik Division 1 South, unbeaten in league games.

After the last two games Margy is at least happy on the goal scoring front. "Our last two games have seen us get amongst the goals after something of a slow start to the season in that regard, notching four against Ossett and then five in the Cup so that’s been very pleasing. Putting the ball in the back of the net is always the hardest part of the game so to get nine in two matches indicates we’re heading in the right direction. I was especially pleased for Michael Norton getting a hat-trick last week as it was well deserved. He’s been putting the effort in recently whilst perhaps not getting the rewards so that was good to see. Those two victories are something to build on and hopefully we can carry that on on Saturday."

"We’ve got cup games this weekend and next before returning to league action so it’s up to us to keep up the work rate and maintain the effort we’ve shown to get on a run to take into our league form. We want to start heading up the table and with any sort of decent spell of results we’ll do that. When things are going against you as they have been recently it can sometimes be hard to put your finger on exactly what the problem is and you just have to battle through it, all the more so if you’ve got faith in the players like we have here."

"For the Ossett game at Stalybridge after a bad couple of results there we decided to switch the changing room we used. I won’t say that was responsible for the win – if only it was that simple! – but sometimes it’s something seemingly insignificant that can make a difference. On Saturday in the north-east we got a little bit of luck to make it 2-2. We’ve not really had that of late, indeed, everything’s been going the other way. It fell for us there though and we’ll gladly take it. I suppose I was a bit worried at 2-1 down as they’d fought back well to put themselves in the ascendancy and with it being a cup tie we knew that they’ll be giving their all. Once we drew level our superior fitness told and hopefully that fortunate second goal has helped us turn the corner."

"Despite the win, I wasn’t completely happy with the way things went. The first goal was a bad one to concede. Sam made a good save from the free-kick but elsewhere in the defence we’d switched off and allowed them a free run to tap in the rebound. Our players should’ve been there anticipating the ball just as theirs were. If you’re reacting in those situations then it’s already too late."

"We’ve got a real tough test on Saturday against Newcastle Town. They stormed through their division last year on the way to promotion and are unbeaten in about fifteen games so far this campaign. They’ve got the winning habit and so we’ll have to be right on our game to get a result. There’ll certainly be no complacency at playing a lower division side. After the superb backing we got last Saturday hopefully you’ll have something left to cheer us on this Saturday and maybe I’ll see a few of you down in Chorlton on Sunday for the minithon."

"Norton scores the third against....Norton"

FA Cup Last Saturday, FA Trophy this Saturday, then there are the children with sweet FA!

Last Saturday it was FA Cup time on Teeside, this Saturday it's the FA Trophy competition that takes centre stage at Gigg Lane, but as ever at FC we're not just concentrating on matters on the pitch but off it as well. On Saturday two local charities will be outside Gigg Lane for Little Coat Day. The charities involved, Wood Street Mission and the Mustard Tree will be in attendance to collect coats and clothing suitable for children, these will then be distributed to families in need throughout the Manchester and Salford areas.

All of us at FCUM are rightly proud of the fact that we are a community football club, the two charities involved in Little Coat Day on Saturday also work within those same communities, so as we dream of FA Trophy glory let's also spare a thought for the children who have sweet FA and dig out your sons/daughters/grandchildren's clothing that is no longer worn or that has never been worn. Last year Wood Street Mission alone provided clothing for 3323 children that needed help, so this Saturday please show support for both Little Coat Day and the Red Shirted Heroes!

Get yourself to that football ground – FC United V Newcastle Town, FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round, Gigg Lane, Saturday 16th October, kick off 3.00 pm.

A Breed of their Own

It has been a rough old season for Goalkeepers. Poor Sam Ashton needed a 10 minute standing count at Bradford in September after a collision with an opponent and spent the next few weeks recovering from concussion.

In the previous game, Matlock Town keeper Adam Sollitt went down after conceding a goal and the game was delayed for 30 minutes with him prostrate on the ground, an ambulance eventually ferrying him to hospital.

The visit of Newcastle Town on Saturday will bring painful memories to Ashton. In our first meeting with the Staffordshire club in October 2006 at the Lyme Valley Stadium, Sam came off second best in a challenge with the inappropriately name striker Nick Wellecomme, who forced the ball into the net to put the home side 2-1 in front. Ashton hobbled off the field, and with 30 minutes remaining Rory Patterson donned the gloves, and in a happy ending, two opportunist strikes from the evergreen Simon Carden secured all three points for the Reds.

Injury to a custodian is nothing new of course. The shameful challenge by Aston Villa’s Peter McParland on Ray Wood in the 1957 FA Cup Final denied the Busby Babes the League and Cup ‘double’. In those days substitutes were still a fantasy, and with 10 men and Jackie Blanchflower going between the posts, United’s task was a thankless one. Wood, with a broken cheekbone, returned to the pitch eventually as a passenger on the wing.

In the following seasons FA Cup Final, Harry Gregg was bundled over the line by Bolton’s Nat Lofthouse, this was an era when keepers did not enjoy the protection they have now. Gregg was also involved in a bizarre game against Tottenham Hotspur in January 1962. Spurs were on their way to a League and Cup ‘double’ of their own, and in a League fixture at Old Trafford, Gregg injured his shoulder just before the interval with United 1-0 up. Alex Dawson resumed in goal and the tough Irishman returned to the fray up front, back-heeling a pass to Mark Pearson in the 74th minute who scored to seal a 2-0 victory.

The last ‘word’ goes to another United legend, Alex Stepney, who dislocated his jaw shouting to his team mates at Birmingham City in 1975. Don’t shout too loud Sam!

Follow, Follow, Follow……

OK, so they’re coming here, but the FA Cup draw this week has thrown up a mouth watering tie at home to Barrow of the Blue Square Premier, the Conference to you and me in the 4th Qualifying Round. Bury are at home in a league game on the Saturday so the match takes place a week on SUNDAY 24th October at Gigg Lane, kick off 3.00 pm.

Thoughts immediately spring back to the fantastic 3-3 draw in the FA Cup last season against Stalybridge Celtic in front of a tremendous Sunday afternoon crowd of 2819. With a large away support expected to travel from Barrow that figure could easily be beaten with a resultant ramp up in the noise and excitement levels also.

Barrow will be the highest ranked team FC have ever played in a competitive match and are one of Margy’s former clubs. They recently voted him into their best all time squad of players! In an FA Cup tie earlier this year Barrow took 8,000 supporters to Sunderland and they also won the FA Trophy final at Wembley in May in front of a crowd of 21,223.

So, dust off the rosettes, dig out the flags and banners and let’s make Gigg Lane a sea of colour and noise to carry the players through to the first round proper!

N.B. - Please all now touch wood and make sure you bring your lucky charms or wear your lucky clothes to the game.

Running Order – LA Boardwalk Style

For all those still going to get around to it it’s still not too late. The FC Minithon takes place this Sunday with a run, a jog or a gentle stroll through the meadows of Chorlton and along the banks of the River Mersey.

Participants will be meeting up on Chorlton Green from 11.00 am where there will be organised warm ups with the players before the run starts at 12.00. This will be followed by a couple of hours of food, drink and entertainment at Chorlton Irish Club where the MAD theatre group are once again expected to be the star turns.

Click here for registration or sponsorship details - http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/story.php?story_id=3155

Later on at around 7pm on Sunday, after the Mancunian participants have rehydrated themselves in the comfort of the Chorlton Irish Club, around a dozen hardy souls just over 5200 miles away in Los Angeles will be running their own version of the run, along the Venice Beach boardwalk. Starting and finishing at the landmark Santa Monica pier, the Los Angeles minithon is the latest iteration of what is fast becoming a global phenomenon.

The minithon is being organized by exiled Mancunian, and former regular matchgoer, Tony Tarpey, who returned to his adopted home in the summer.

‘The motivation for the LA minithon is simple – I love FC, and this is my way of staying close to the club, spreading the word, and helping to raise some money for 2 great causes, the Club and the Frost Foundation. I have run the London version of the minithon for the last 2 years, and it’s fast becoming a great tradition. This year I’ll have two other big FC fans, my brothers Rob and Ged, running it too, along with other friends and family, that appreciate the principles that FC stands for. Between us all, there should hopefully be a fair amount of cash coming to Manchester this year from the States, this time with no Glazers attached…’

To show your support for the Los Angeles minithon, visit www.justgiving.com/losangeles