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Reds collapse as Collieries strike gold

Hat-trick hero Anthony Pilkington stole the show for Atherton Collieries as FC United crashed to their heaviest ever competitive defeat and only their second loss of the season.

Despite having a host of regulars back in action, the Reds failed to gel and were comfortably out-fought by a diligent Colls outfit who thoroughly deserved their victory.

The visitors took the lead on 15 minutes through a wonderful individual effort from star striker Pilkington. The rangy frontman skipped easily past three United defenders before finding just enough room for a low shot to beat Sam Ashton at his near post.

Atherton were well organised and defended resolutely throughout, constantly hunting down the ball. United, largely restricted to long-range efforts, went close from distance with strikes from Rory Patterson and Rhodri Giggs.

The visitors then delivered a sucker blow to make it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time. The impressive Hobson climbed above a static Reds defence to free strike partner Pilkington who calmly slid his second past the keeper.

Former hero Joz Mitten’s gave a stirring rendition of Wear a Red Bonnet during the half-time draw in an attempt to lift the majority of the 1,723 crowd and United did come back out with renewed energy.

Josh Howard’s introduction brought some much needed pace down the right with Patterson, Simon Carden and Stuart Rudd failing to convert a number of half chances. In truth though, United never really looked like scoring and deep into stoppage time The Colls sealed their victory. Once again a precise long through-ball carved open the Reds defence and Pilkington topped-off a fine display by netting his, and Atherton’s, third goal.

Margy’s men will not have long to wait to try to put the disappointing display behind them as they face Congleton away on Sunday at Wincham Park, but it could be a tough game as the Bears are doing well in sixth position in the table.

Mark Swanwick

Match information:

FC United of Manchester
1. S Ashton
2. M Taylor
3. A Mortimer
4. S Spencer
5. G Ormes
6. R Nugent
7. R Giggs
8. S Carden
9. S Rudd
10. N Platt
11. R Patterson (Capt.)
12. J Howard (7, 56)
14. D Allen (10, 65)
15. G Sampson (5, 65)

Atherton Collieries
1. G Bates
2. J Parkinson
3. D Rhodes
4. D MacLain
5. N Dyson
6. A Lord (Capt.)
7. N Davies
8. A Walker
9. C Hobson
10. A Howie
11. A Pilkington
12. B Massey (7, 88)
14. J Peters (6, 75)
15. S Bamber (10, 64)

Goals: Pilkingon 3 (14, 45, 90+5)

Attendance: 1,723

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First Posted ~ 08:59 Thu 30 Nov 2006
News ID ~ 711
Last Updated ~ 17:34 Fri 11 Oct 2013