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Reds set for Saturday’s semi-final

After Wednesday’s 3-2 win over promotion rivals Curzon Ashton, FC United get an unexpected opportunity to play in the semi-finals of the President’s Cup on Saturday away to Goole FC. Craig Phillips provides this preview...

The Reds were soundly beaten 5-1 by Nantwich Town in the quarter finals, but due to the home team fielding an ineligible player, the Dabbers were unceremoniously kicked out of the competition and Untied brought back in.

With a serious title challenge mounting, United will be looking to give the fans even more to shout about with a cup game that could be as good as the Congleton game, the Curzon final, the trip to Fleetwood or even the battle with Quorn and if successful the Reds will be into their second cup final in two years.

Margy’s men will know that victory isn’t guaranteed and even with their recent run of decent results Goole represent a tough task. Originally formed in 1912 as Goole Town Football Club the East Yorkshire Club are affectionately known as the Vikings and currently ply their trade in UniBond Division One South.

A long history in the Midland League and the Yorkshire Football league saw them crowned champions of the Yorkshire League on four separate occasions, but this was surpassed by the teams achievements in the FA Cup.

The team has made it past the qualifying stage on two separate occasions, firstly back in 1915, when they reached the first round proper before crashing out on the wrong side of a 9-3 defeat to Middlesbrough .

In 1957 the club beat Wigan Athletic and Workington before reaching the third round, where they were given a tough tie against Nottingham Forest ; who won the cup two years later in 1959.

The Vikings were also founder members of the Northern Premier League in 1968 and alongside teams like Wigan Athletic, Boston United, Macclesfield Town and Scarborough. The club finished the league’s inaugural season in 8th place.

Despite a long association with the NPL, the club has never won or come close to winning the championship, although they won the league cup in 1989 a feat they will be looking to replicate in this season’s President’s Cup.

Some FC United supporters may have been here before because Alex Ferguson brought his men here for a friendly in 1987, with United running out 4-3 winners in front of a crowd of 1,759.

The Vikings reached the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Wakefield in February. Before this the club beat Spalding United 3-1 and Stocksbridge Park Steels 2-1.

The Vikings are sailing in high waters in the league, currently lying in fourth place with 53 points from 30 games and will be looking to make an assault on the play-offs at the end of the season.

One man that the Reds defence will defiantly have to watch is forward Chris Tate; not the dead millionaire from Emmerdale, the striker who used to play for League One side Leyton Orient and last season played in Sweden .

The Vikings were fortunate to escape from their last fixture with a point after Chris Tate scored a last minute equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 draw away to Grestley Rovers.

Saturday’s game is at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds and is the usual 3pm kick off. Admission is priced at £6 adults and £4 concessions. So why not get yourself down to that football ground and hopefully push United into another cup final?


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UniBond League - 1st Div North
1 Skelmersdale United 31 35 61 94
2 Curzon Ashton 31 28 60 93
3 Bamber Bridge 29 15 54 93
4 Bradford PA 28 29 53 95
5 FC United 27 28 52 97
6 Garforth Town 34 4 49 73
7 Lancaster City 33 -9 48 75