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Reds on the road to Radcliffe

FC United look to add to their winning streak of three consecutive victories and maintain their push for promotion in the process as they take on Radcliffe Borough at Stainton Park on Saturday. Craig Phillips provides this preview…

Since drawing with Saturday’s opponents on Boxing Day, the Reds have beaten league leaders Curzon Ashton (2-0), Mossley (5-2) and Chorley (2-1) to move back up the league and within six points of the Nash.

Manager Karl Marginson will be boosted by having winger Josh Howard back for selection and will be looking to continue the good form which has seen his side move up to fourth in the league.

Our opponents on Saturday’s are one of the more recognisable names in the division, Radcliffe Borough. The previous meeting between the two teams on Boxing Day ended in a 1-1 stalemate, with a below par performance from United, seeing them escape with a point with a late Chris Baguely goal.

The match won’t feel too much like an away fixture as a number of United’s midweek cup games have been switched to Stainton Park and even the league fixture against Rossendale was moved there due to Bury’s commitments.

Originally formed in 1949, the club played in various leagues including the South East Lancashire Football League and the Manchester League, before joining the North West Counties Football league (then known as the Cheshire League) in 1974.

Boro enjoyed many successful years including title wins in the second and then first division of the NWCFL in the 1980s. The club became a major player in the non-league game and enjoyed status as a NPL club, eventually winning the NPL first division in 1997.

Their best run in the FA Cup was in 2000, when they were beaten in the first round proper by York City in a game played at Gigg Lane. The club has a notable list of ex-players including Scouse legend Alan Kennedy, Frank Worthington, Ian Bishop and Peter Barnes.

The club have a long running affirmation with late comic Bernard Manning, whose son is still chairman to this day. But the side’s performances over the last 18 months have been no laughing matter.

They were relegated last season from the UniBond Premier League and have found life just as difficult this term; currently lying bottom of the league with only 14 points. They have, however, looked a lot better in recent weeks with some good results.

United should fancy their chances against the bottom club and will be hopeful of extending their run to four straight victories. But the passion that Boro will bring could be a leveller and nothing is guaranteed until the final whistle is blown.

Kick off is the usual 3pm and admission is pay on the gate priced £7 adults, £4 concessions and £2 children. So… get yourself down to that football ground.


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UniBond League - 1st Div North
1 Curzon Ashton 23 28 50
2 Ossett Albion 26 11 45
3 Bradford PA 21 23 42
4 Skelmersdale United 22 18 42
5 Bamber Bridge 22 12 42
6 FC United 22 21 41
7 Lancaster City 24 4 40
8 Garforth Town 26 -1 35
9 Newcastle Blue Star 23 12 34
10 Rossendale United 26 -10 34
11 Mossley 25 -14 30
12 Woodley Sports 26 -16 26
13 Wakefield FC 21 1 25
14 Harrogate RA 21 -5 25
15 Bridlington Town 25 -35 20
16 Clitheroe 21 -16 19
17 Chorley 24 -17 18
18 Radcliffe Borough 22 -16 14