Tag Archives: fcum

4 Fixture Focus: Crunch Time For FC United

In FC United’s history of almost 14 years, they have had 4 promotions to get them into the National League North.

Although, this could all change this season after only winning 6 matches throughout the length of the season. With only one of those wins coming at home against local rivals Curzon Ashton, which saw the Reds come away with 3 points in a comfortable 2-0 win.

Five wins of United’s this season have come away from home after going against the odds by beating potential playoff contenders Bradford Park Avenue, Altrincham, Kidderminster Harriers and Blyth Spartans. However, with time running out Reynolds will be hoping to scrape out as many points as possible over the coming months in order to secure their position.

After a season that has seen United have 3 managers at the club, they have failed to stay out of the relegation places on a regular basis and the last few weeks results have conspired to find them set adrift from the safety of 19th place with teams above them also having games in hand.

This could potentially see the Reds set an unwanted milestone as they have never suffered relegation in their short history. The next four matches will prove crucial to FC United’s season-long battle. The men in red will be going into every one of their remaining matches as if it is a cup final, in order to secure themselves a place in the National League North next season and, with the reds 6 points from safety with 13 matches left of the 2018/19 season, it is all to play for!

Altrincham

This Saturday sees the red rebels play against local rivals Altrincham at Broadhurst Park. FC United’s first win of the season came at Moss Lane on August 14th, in a 2-1 win that saw United secure all three points after Kurt Willoughby scored the winner in the 80th minute with a wonderful curling effort.

The Robins currently sit in 7th place however with only 2 wins out of 5 in the calendar year, this weekend’s match is set up to be an absolute cracker with both teams fighting for the points at either end of the table.

Guiseley

The Reds face back to back home matches over the next couple of weeks as Guiseley AFC are the next team to visit Broadhurst Park after Altrincham. The reverse fixture saw The Lions take all three points at Nethermoor Park after a comfortable 3-0 win against FC United.

Guiseley sits just 6 points above United and have only one win in 2019 which came against fellow Yorkshiremen Bradford Park Avenue. With both teams being around the relegation places and both having a bad form, this match sets up to be a real six-pointer as the two teams will have to go out fighting for all three points in order to avoid the dreaded drop.

Southport

The first away match FC United face in this run of four fixtures will take place at Haig Avenue, as the reds take a trip to the seaside to play former league club Southport FC. The sandgrounders currently sit 13th in the league and will be looking to take all three points from the red rebels, after the points were shared in the reverse fixture at Broadhurst park in the less than enthralling 1-1 draw.

Liam Watson former Stalybridge Celtic manager will be hoping that former red rebel Jason Gilchrist will be able to remind his old club of his goal-scoring prowess, while the Moston Outfit will be aiming to keep him and his striking partners at bay.

Hereford

The final match the team from Broadhurst Park will play over these next four fixtures will be current Southern Premier League Champions Hereford FC. November saw the Red Rebels travel the 284-mile round trip twice in both the league and the FA Trophy. In the league fixture, it was the men in red who came out on top after a 3-1 win against The Bulls in their 4th away win of the season.

Two weeks later saw the same scoreline however for the other team as Hereford knocked United out of the FA Trophy in the Third Qualifying Round. Hereford are currently sat in 16th place, 7 points ahead of the drop zone. The Whites will be hoping to secure more points in the upcoming months in hope, of securing themselves a place for a second season in the National League North.

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FC United Will Look to Bounce Back After 2 Losses by Defeating Boston

This afternoon looks to see Boston United take on FC United of Manchester in the National League North at York Street. The match sees 11th Boston United play 21st place FC United as The Reds look for 3 crucial points that, depending on results could edge them closer to safety. Whereas The Pilgrims are hoping for a home win that could see them push towards the playoff places.

Neil Reynolds, who is back after an educational trip in relation to his day job, will be looking for a response from the red rebels after back to back defeats against local rivals Ashton United and Stockport County, with the County match showing some promise and team spirit, after giving 2nd place Stockport a run for their money and only losing to a last minute from Oldham Athletic loanee Jamie Stott.

Currently 6 points off 19th place York City, tomorrow’s match is a must win game for Reynolds team. However, Boston will be hoping for a long overdue home win that could get them into the playoffs, with only being 4 points behind 7th place Altrincham. The Pilgrims have only won one of their home matches in the past five. Reynolds will be hoping to take advantage of Boston’s poor home record as the reds have enjoyed 4 victories away from Broadhurst Park against teams in the top 10 of the National League North.

Neil Reynolds will be hoping in this match that his attacking flair players will be able to convert the chances, they have shown that they can create in recent games without having to rely on England C international and the clubs top goal scorer Kurt Willoughby – with his 11 league goals.

FC’s Gaffer will also be hoping for another solid performance from last seasons fans player of the year, Lloyd Allinson who after a shaky couple of games has showed signs of getting back to his best with some outstanding saves in recent matches.

Today’s match is set up to be an enthralling, entertaining encounter between two teams who like to attack which was evident in last seasons 4-4 draw and is a game not to be missed!

AWAY FANS SERIES: From Man Utd to FC United, How a Chance Read In a Newspaper Created an FCUM Chinese Supporters Branch for Fan Ming

Football Manc Cave caught up with FC United of Manchester’s Chinese Branch of Supporters founder, Fan Ming, ahead of his visit to the UK next week.

FC United Supporter Fan Ming

Read how he went from Man Utd to FC United via a newspaper article, flying over to the UK to film a documentary on the Red Rebels and setting up the Chinese sector of FC United supporters…

Ian: So what made you become an FC United fan, where did it start?

Fan Ming: The first time when FC United was formed, I saw this news on a Chinese Sports Newspaper. I was a Man Utd fan, but I love traditional English football culture, I was interested in small clubs at that time, that made my eyes turn to FC United.

Ian: Amazing, it’s a personal love of mine also. I was told you have started an FC United supporters group in China, tell me more?

Fan Ming: Yes, we have a group called FCUM China Supporters’ Branch, it was started in 2014. I thought there were only two FC United supporters in China before 2014, we knew each other on FC unofficial fan forum in 2007(probably 2006). We hadn’t contacted too much till 2013, I suddenly found there was another FC United supporter on China social media, and we started planning to create a group in China.

Ian: Wow, how many members are you up to now, what do you do?

Fan Ming: Not too many members at the beginning, one of our members and I went to England filming a documentary for FC United in 2015.

Catch Fan Ming’s Documentary here

We have an average of 50 members per season since that. Our branch usually renews membership for our members, organize some donation activity for our club etc, but I’m very busy this season, and nobody helps me for these tasks, so only a few members have renewed their membership for themselves.

Ian: How Often do you get over to Broadhurst park?

Fan Ming: It depends on my wallet! I’d prefer every weekend but only 3 times for me since 2014…this week will be the 4th time.

Ian: Do you get fully involved in the whole matchday experience when you come over?

Fan Ming: I savour every moment, sure, I enjoy my matchday experience, every minute! But I do prefer an away day, the away end atmosphere is a different class

Ian: What are your thoughts on this season?

Fan Ming: It’s a tough season, we have low player budgets, and losing attendance. It’s very difficult to stay at this level but the only thing I could do is cheer our club on whatever the result.

Ian: Thank you for your time, enjoy your trip over – Let’s hope for a home win!

‘A Tough Pill to Take’ FC United’s Battling Performance Could Help Survival Hopes

This weekend saw FC United face their local rivals, Stockport County, which resulted in the reds 16th loss of the season against a strong County side battling for promotion who got their 9th consecutive win.

Stockport looked to be the team on top in the opening minutes, however, it was the reds who broke the deadlock in the 10th minute with a goal from FC’s number 9 Kurt Willoughby, scoring his 11th league goal of the season. The goal seemed to set County back as the game levelled out and even saw United’s recent signing Mike Donohue miss a one on one chance against The Hatter’s keeper Ben Hinchcliffe. County levelled the score on the 45th minute after a fine reaction save from Lloyd Allinson saw the ball rebound to striker Frank Mulhern, whose cross into the box looped into the reds goal via a deflection off FC’s right back Joel Senior.

The teams who are at opposite ends of the table went into the break all square. It was County who looked to be in control for the majority of the second half without really threatening FC’s goal, however, FC still had the chances and Stockport still had to rely on their number one as Hinchcliffe made a superb reaction save to stop Chris Sharpe getting on the score sheet with a flicked header at the near post. Regardless, the Reds pushed for a winner which would’ve seen them get even closer to safety and spending another season playing in the National League North. Stockport guaranteed their ninth consecutive win and their three points on the 88th minute after Oldham loanee Jamie Stott scored the winner in what was his last game for the men in blue.

The game seemed to tell a familiar story for the Reds as they were never out of control of the game, however the lack of clinical finishing once again cost the Reds points and leaving them now with fourteen cup finals to save themselves a place in the league for next season. Their lack of finishing is going to be something that manager Neil Reynolds is going to have to look to improve on, if United are going to play their football at this level.

Breaking news on Monday has meant The Red Rebels may have an insurmountable mountain to climb, with news coming out they are under investigation from the National League for fielding an ineligible player – which has already seen them kicked out of the Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup.

If FC United Can Sort Out This One Problem, They Should Avoid The Drop – Agreed?

In FC United’s short history of almost fourteen years, they have had four promotions bringing them up to the National League North. However, after a long season struggling at this level, the reds may be seeing relegation for the first time ever. Although, they may be able to avoid the drop if they sort out this one problem…their discipline.

United’s discipline record is one of the worst within the National League North seeing them pick up a shocking 50 yellow cards and 7 reds. Having played 32 games so far throughout the 2018/19 season, the card to game ratio for the reds is 1.78 cards per game which has cost them points and their place in the FA Cup as well.

October 6th saw The Red Rebel’s play Witton Albion, from the Evo-Stik, in the FA Cup. On paper, this was a game that should’ve seen the United qualify into the Fourth Qualifying Round. However, like many times this season, their disciplinary record let them down after having 3 red cards. Kurt Willoughby, Harry Winter and Elliot Simoes were all sent off in the match that saw the underdogs Witton beat United 2-1. A week later Darlington were visitors to Broadhurst Park which once again saw further two red cards for the men in red, which cost them 3 points in the league with another 2-1 defeat.

The Christmas period saw FC continue their poor disciplinary record which cost them more points, that could potentially see them avoid their first ever relegation. Michael Pott’s put the reds ahead of a Spennymoor Town side, currently in the playoff places, however, a two-footed challenge saw a straight red for striker Tom Peers after 25 minutes which put FC out of control of the match. This was a similar story on New Years Day away at top of the table Chorley. The first half looked to set up for an exciting match as the reds were equal to their opposition. Five minutes after the second half kicked off saw Michael Donohue given his marching orders after picking up a red for his second bookable offence.

FC United’s disciplinary record is evidently a recurring problem throughout their fourth season playing in the National League North, and Neil Reynolds will be hoping that they are able to improve this over the next few crucial months – which will decide which league the reds will be playing their football in next season.

Red Rebels Aim To Rock Robins in Huge 6-Pointer

The Red Rebels look to edge closer to safety in this weekend’s local derby against The Robins. This Saturday sees two of the National League North relegation favourites, FC United and Ashton United hoping to edge closer to safety in the weekend’s massive six-pointer derby.

The two clubs sit close to the foot of the table as FC United are currently sitting in 20th and Ashton United are positioned 21st, 4 points behind their Manchester rivals. FC United are making the short trip to their neighbours Ashton United in a huge match for both clubs at Hurst Cross this Saturday.

The Reds have recently halted a run of four consecutive defeats after such a bright start under the clubs third manager Neil Reynolds, who replaced Club Legend and record goalscorer with 103 goals for the Moston outfit, Tom Greaves, in August 2018,. However, after last weeks shock result of the weekend When FC United managed to score three past title contenders Bradford (Park Avenue) at the Horsfall Stadium, the reds are hoping their impressive away record, which has previously seen them comfortably beat Kidderminster, Altrincham, Blyth and Hereford, will give them the upper hand against Ashton with them struggling to hit top form at home.

The last time these two clubs met was a night for the underdog on August 7th. FC United looked to be on their way to picking up their first 3 points of the season as they were comfortably 3-1 ahead at the break, however, the reds defence seemed to have disappeared minutes after the second half commenced. In no time, the newly promoted opposition were back in the game with the scoreline at 3-2, and by the end of the game had completed the come back with a 4-3 victory.

This Saturday’s fixture will be FC’s chance to start building confidence with back to back victories and, kicking on after Christmas as is their tradition over the last few years. Neil Reynolds will be keen to see the good performances of recent weeks which have not delivered the results they possibly deserved, repeated but this time the result included with goals added to the performances This promises to be a game not to be missed and a large crowd is anticipated due to the short distance between the 2 teams and FC’s renowned travel support.

The Meaning Of Proper Football – A Non-League Take on Life As a Fan

While labelling myself as a fan of Curzon Ashton, I have a complete obsession with groundhopping, and not enough funds to even consider trying to tick off the 92, so traipsing around non-league grounds, and indeed non-league football has become something of an obsession. And frankly, those that only go and watch their Premier League team are missing out.

Whether its the dizzying heights of the National League or the hungover scratched together teams, there is a charm to non-league that you just won’t find in the professional leagues.

No one in the history of Premier League football has ever turned to their companion and say “that number nine collects my bins, no really he does,” as I once overheard at a game. Nor has there ever been an announcement asking if the crowd has someone holding a referees licence in it, as I have seen happen twice at the same ground. Finally, my favourite ever was a South West London based team tweeting that their game was cancelled as they had no keeper, as their only goalie “Dave” had been kicked out by his wife “again.”

Getting to the grounds is often an adventure, and you find them, tucked away down terraced streets, or strangely, at Swinton FC, through the carpark of a funeral parlour, and Hyde in the carpark of a leisure centre. The excitement about the thought of a trip to Stalybridge Celtic, and the respective train station having a nigh on famous pub inside it, only to then realise Bower Fold is absolutely nowhere near the train station at all, and all of Stalybridge appears to be an enormous hill.

And when you get to the ground themselves you are in for a treat, bars that are more like real pubs at Guiseley AFC and Farsley Celtic, the odd characteristics like Salford’s sloping pitch, the bathroom facilities basically in sheds. And often a mishmash of stands built decades apart that has a charm that the higher leagues with concrete bowls of the edge of towns will never have.

The football is fast and physical, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a boring game. I saw two South Shields players sent off for entirely unrelated incidents in the space of 2 minutes, and when you get to the lower and Sunday leagues you are guaranteed more goals than you could imagine. I met someone once who played in a Greater Manchester league who claimed there was a team in their league with a goal difference of over -100, and they weren’t even bottom.

It’s also affordable, you can go and watch Maine Road FC, get in get a programme, a pie and a pint for little over a tenner. And the ground is full of characters with stories to tell, people at Stockport County with their tales of glory days, people at West Didsbury and Chorlton with their dogs.

Some of the clubs have incredible stories such as Rushden & Diamonds, rising from the flames following expulsion from missing a FA deadline, or Dulwich Hamlets dogged determination to continue despite the best efforts of their awful landlords.

Several of the clubs are staffed exclusively on match days by volunteers, with a real passion for their club and local area. Which, when standing at a freezing Hurst Cross watching Ashton United v Curzon Ashton on new years day I had an inordinate amount of respect for. There is a sign in the bar at FC United saying “Consider yourself part of the family.” And perhaps therein lies the very heart of non league for me; it’s accessible, the player hitting in three goals isn’t going to be driving home in a car that is worth more than the average Manchester House, the manager isn’t full time, you’ll see the same members of the crowd in the exact same spot week in week out and game after game, it doesn’t cost as much as a minibreak to Prague to take your family and while you’ll probably not be watching the next Jamie Vardy or Stuart Pearce, who both rose from the non league ranks rather than through academies, get yourself down to watch your local team, you’ll likely love it.

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