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Comfortable win closes the gap

FC United moved up to fifth and closed the gap on the league leaders to nine points, still with three games in hand, after a comfortable 3-0 victory over lowly Clitheroe at Gigg Lane on Wednesday night.

Simon Carden broke the deadlock after just eight minutes but if the United faithful expected the floodgates to open they were proved wrong as they had to wait until the hour mark to see Rory Patterson double the lead by rifling home a free-kick from 25 yards and the Irishman sealed the match in injury time with a simple tap-in.

The Reds could easily have had more; Chris Baguley had a cheeky chip tipped over the bar by Clitheroe ’keeper James Mann, Patterson had a shot smothered from yards out when the goal was gaping and captain David Chadwick saw a header glance agonisingly wide of the upright from a Baguley corner.

Anymore than 3-0 would have been unfair on the visitors though because the Blues put up a good fight and could easily have taken the lead in he first half when Aaron Grundy acrobatically clawed away Gary Jackson’s header.

The early scare seemed to spring United into life and after Stuart Rudd had a shot blocked, Carden was on hand to steer the rebound home at the Cemetery End.

Despite their league position, the West Lancashire side certainly did not look over awed by the occasion. The Blues enjoyed much of the ball in the first half and if it wasn’t for some superb last ditch defending from Rob Nugent they might have snatched an equaliser.

However, the visitors tired in the second half and United, who looked like they could have stepped up a gear if they had needed to, were able to turn the screw and make sure of victory.

When the stooping Rudd won a contentious free-kick, Patterson asked no questions but obliged by smashing the ball home straight past an ineffective wall into the left corner.

As the game wore on holes were beginning to open in Clitheroe’s defence and it looked inevitable that United would add to their tally. Mann made good saves from Baguley and Patterson but despite parrying when substitute Nick Robinson connected with Jerome Wright’s left wing cross, he couldn’t prevent Patterson from converting the rebound.

FC United must now face Bamber Bridge, Curzon Ashton and Bradford Park Avenue in a mouth watering eight days that could make or break the season.

Teams:

FC United
1. Aaron Grundy
2. Liam Foster
3. Bradley Howard
4. Chris Baguley
5. David Chadwick (captain)
6. Rob Nugent
7. Josh Howard
8. Simon Carden
9. Stuart Rudd
10. Jerome Wright
11. Rory Patterson
Substitutes:
12. Jamie Baguley (on for 2, 63)
14. Nick Robinson (on for 9, 79)
15 Adam Carden (on for 7, 55)

Clitheroe:
1. James Mann
2. Russ Clark
3. Joel Pilkington
4. Paul Osborne (captain)
5. Jonathon Smith
6. Ryan Fisher
7. Gary Stopforth
8. Adam Koslowski
9. Karl Lomax
10. Gary Jackson
11. Scot Redhead
Substitutes:
12. Danny Toronczack (on for 10, 45)
14 David Hankin (on for 3, 69)
15. John Osborne (on for 6, 74)


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First Posted ~ 12:11 Thu 28 Feb 2008
News ID ~ 1515
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013