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Opposition New Mills
Venue Gigg Lane, Bury
Competition Moore & Co Construction Solicitors sponsored North West Counties Football League Division 2
Date 23-11-2005
Time 19:45
Attendance 2297
6 (3) - 1 (1)
Chadwick 27
Carden 35, 37, 53
Orr 62
Patterson 78
  Radford 1
1 Barrie George
2 Tony Cullen
3 Robert Nugent
4 Steven Spencer
5 David Chadwick (capt)
6 Dave Brown
7 William Ahern
8 Simon Carden
9 Jonathan Mitten
10 Steve Torpey
11 Adie Orr

12 Rory Patterson (for 11)
14 Billy McCartney (for 6)
15 Mark Rawlinson (for 8)
1. Steve Lyons
2. Steven Land
3. Andy Hewlett
4. Stacey Wild
5. Danny Jackson
6. Gary Morgan (capt)
7. Scott Dignan
8. Mike Ward
9. Danny Dignan
10. Craig Hall
11. Ryan Radford

12. Kelvin Lugsden (for 5, 13 mins)
14. Alex Radford (for 3, 74 mins)
15. Gavin Hunter (for 9, 60 mins)
Match Report
FC United�€trade;s first match at Gigg Lane for just over one month was preceded by a series of presentations and a ceremony. Firstly, Barrie George picked up the supporter�€trade;s player of the month award and then Darren Lyons donned his richly deserved jester�€trade;s hat award after his spectacular blunder at Darwen.

With this being the first home game since Russell Delaney�€trade;s death it was wholly appropriate that he should be remembered on this evening. Rather than honour his memory with a traditional minute�€trade;s silence, of which Russell almost certainly would not have approved, it was agreed that the management, staff and board would join the players on the pitch before kick off prior to a minute�€trade;s applause/singing. The applause and singing did not end there though as Russell�€trade;s name was chanted, at intervals, throughout the match. His contribution in forming this club will never be forgotten.

I sincerely doubt that the emotion of the occasion was to blame for the stuttering start to the match from the boys in red but, nevertheless, they found themselves a goal down after only 40 seconds. Perhaps the revamped back four weren�€trade;t all on the same wavelength as the match commenced. Kev Elvin picked up a bang on the knee in the Darwen game so Rob Nugent slotted in to left back with Cullen, Chadwick and Brown filling the other back four slots.

United kicked off but the first home attack floundered and the New Mills boys moved the ball quickly forward down the right flank. The United defence was at sixes and sevens and Ryan Radford received the low cross in space and made no mistake in slotting the ball past Barrie George. The goal was greeted by a very unusual sound at Gigg Lane this season, away fans making lots of noise! The Amber Army had travelled up in some numbers and were delirious with joy as their team had just taken the lead at the home of the league leaders. The Manchester Road End were quick to admonish the visitors, �€�you�€trade;ll wish you hadn�€trade;t scored�€trade; was their refrain and so it proved. 0-1.

United pushed hard for an early reply but a few opportunities went begging. A Torpey cross seemed to pick out Steve Spencer in a good position but the United number 4 couldn�€trade;t quite get the decisive touch. Right back Cullen played in Joz Mitten but Joz never really got the ball fully under control and was forced into a hurried shot wide of the right-hand post. A Chadwick header from a corner fell well for Adie Orr but he snatched at his shot and also failed to work the keeper.

Just before the quarter hour mark and the visitors were forced to make a substitution with Danny Jackson making way for Kelvin Lugsden. Soon after and Torpey finally forced a save from Lyons. He worked his way inside off of the left flank but saw his left footed shot from 25 yards well saved. On 20 minutes Torpey came even closer to notching the equaliser. He himself had won a freekick 25 yards out, right of centre, and he struck it with great authority. The ball flew goalwards and looked to have beaten Lyons all ends up but it ended up thumping into the right post about halfway up and rebounding away to safety.

On 27 minutes Torpey again threatened, his corner kick was cleared but only back to the taker. He beat his man before driving in a low firm cross that David Chadwick turned into the net from no more than a yard out. �€�We told you not to score!�€trade; was the immediate cry from the MRE directed towards the 200 or so souls comprising the travelling Amber Army congregated toward the far end of the main stand. 1-1.

Having equalised, United than pressed hard to take the lead. Joz Mitten and Simon Carden worked some space before Joz volleyed narrowly over the bar. On 35 minutes Rob Nugent took a throw-in on the left, Mitten used his strength to gain a yard of space before chipping across a tempting ball that Simon Carden ran onto. The United number 8 slid in at the far post meeting the ball with the side of his right foot on the volley. Another goal from very close range, this one from about 4 yards, giving the lead to the league leaders. 2-1.

Two minutes later and Carden grabbed another goal. This one a delightful chip from just outside of the area following a good run from Nugent and good work from Orr. Carden�€trade;s deft chip was tipped by Lyons but he could not prevent it from crossing the line. 3-1.

Aherne nearly added his name to the scoresheet just before the halftime whistle as he met a Mitten cross first time but his rasping drive from distance rose over the bar and into the Manchester Road End crowd.

Early into the second half and Torpey provides a great chance for Adie Orr. An early through ball set Adie galloping into space, he coolly shot from the edge of the area only to see the goalkeeper block his effort. Adie again takes aim as the rebound falls nicely for him but a measured right foot volley strikes the outside of the right hand post and bounces clear.

A couple of Torpey crosses cause problems for the Miller�€trade;s backline. Firstly Dave Brown rose to meet a freekick delivered in from the right but the centreback failed to make a good enough contact and the ball skidded beyond the post when a goal looked certain. Two minutes later, on 53 minutes, another cross from Torpey, this time from the left flank, picked out Carden who completed his hattrick with a soaring header from 10 yards out. Lyons had no chance as the ball arrowed into the net. 4-1.

Craig Hall might have got a goal back for New Mills on 57 minutes as a corner was fired in from the left. Hall earned space with a clever run but his flicked header from the near post area went harmlessly beyond the farpost and out of play for a goalkick.

Adie Orr beat the New Mills offside trap again on 62 minutes running on to a great ball from Aherne. This time Adie made no mistake, this goal marking his final contribution of the evening as he was then replaced by Rory Patterson. 5-1.

On 67 minutes New Mills thought they had earned a penalty kick when Chadwick clattered Mike Ward but referee Parker waved play on to the surprise of most in the ground.

Patterson completed the scoring on 78 minutes after a superb turn in the area gave him more than enough time and space to pick his spot beyond Lyons. 6-1.

The comedy moment of the night came soon after as Patterson went on a wonder run, he beat a couple of defenders and completely outfoxed the goalkeeper not once but twice. With the goal gaping the Irishman failed to apply the finish. His final effort being as ridiculous as the build-up had been sublime. To his credit Rory immediately made for Darren Lyons at the final whistle to �€�borrow�€trade; the jesters hat. All bets are now off as to the destination of the hat this month!!

Match sponsors dalemillhomefragrance awarded their man of the match honours to Steve Torpey who was, as usual, exceptional. Personally I would have plumped for Simon Carden, who is becoming a prolific goal threat from his attacking midfield role, for his excellent hattrick.

(With thanks to FC United supporter Wayne Clark for the match report)
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