United looking for Blood


FC United make their debut in the Manchester Premier Cup on Tuesday evening and they couldn’t have drawn a tougher tie as they take on holders and Nationwide North champions Droylsden at the Butchers Arms Ground. Craig Phillips provides this preview…

The Reds will come into the game refreshed after a weekend off and full of confidence on the back of two wins out of the last two after defeating Wakefield 2-1 at home before dispatching Clitheroe 3-0 away on Tuesday with new signing Aaron Burns scoring a debut double. However, despite the recent return to form, Tuesday provides a tough tie as the Bloods are three divisions above FC United in the Blue Square Premier.

Margy’s men haven’t enjoyed the best of times in cup competitions this term, with early exits from three cup competitions in the FA Cup, FA Trophy and League Challenge Cup.

However, despite the gap in league standings, Droylsden’s form this term has been a far cry from last season and they currently find themselves 23rd in the Blue Square Premier with a mere five points from 16 league games. So FC United may sense the chance to claim a big nonleague scalp in the first round of the competition.

Tuesday night’s hosts were initially formed in 1892 and for more than 20 years played friendly matches behind the Butchers Arms pub. In the early 1930s the club’s record goalscorer; Ernest Gillibrand, scored 275 goals in just four seasons.

The club, who were given the nickname of “The Bloods” by their fans in reference to their traditional red shirts, were founder members of the NWCFL in 1982.

They were drafted into the inaugural season of the Conference North in 2004, and the season after reached the playoffs, only to lose out in the final by way of a penalty shootout to Stafford Rangers.

The season after, they went one better, winning the Conference North and clinching promotion with a 2-0 win over Harrogate Town. The Bloods capped a remarkable season last year when beating Flixton 3-0 in the final of the Manchester Premier Cup, a cup they will be looking to defend after reaching the final of the competition in consecutive seasons.

The Bloods could also be forgiven for looking ahead to their big match at the weekend as they face an away trip to Corby Town in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, as they look to put themselves in the draw for the First Round Proper.

The home side may have the advantage of being three divisions above United, but Margy’s men will smell an upset and will be looking to pull it off come Tuesday night.

Fans should not the game is no longer all ticket and admission prices are £10 adult, £5 over-65s and 14 to 16 year olds and £3 under-14s. Kick off is 7.45pm.

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1 Curzon Ashton 11 12 25
2 Ossett Albion 10 4 21
3 Bamber Bridge 9 8 20
4 FC United 10 9 19
5 Mossley 12 -1 17
6 Lancaster City 11 -2 17
7 Bradford PA 10 12 16
8 Garforth Town 10 1 15
9 Newcastle Blue Star 11 2 14
10 Skelmersdale United 9 2 13
11 Woodley Sports 7 5 12
12 Wakefield FC 11 0 12
13 Rossendale United 11 -10 12
14 Harrogate RA 10 -3 11
15 Bridlington Town 12 -18 9
16 Chorley 9 -4 7
17 Clitheroe 8 -9 4
18 Clitheroe 7 -11 1