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United mop up at Brid

FC United secured another vital victory and closed the gap on Curzon Ashton at the top of UniBond Division One North to just three points with a convincing display at Bridlington Town, mopping up 3-0 with goals from Aaron Burns, Jerome Wright and captain Rory Patterson.

Former Manchester United striker Burns broke the deadlock after just nine minutes, capitalising on a defensive mix up to grab his fifth goal in five games for the club. Chris Baguley put in another fine performance in the centre of midfield and it was the youngster who chipped a probing ball over the top of the defence. Centre-back Carl Giblin looked to have a fairly simple task of nodding back to his ‘keeper Mike Price, but his header fell short and Burns was the quickest to react, nipping round Price and sliding the ball in from an acute angle.

The game was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggests. The United defence, ably marshalled by Rob Nugent, had to be on top of their game to stop the hosts drawing level and Sam Ashton responded well when he was called into the action.

Moments after United broke the deadlock, Town could and probably should have been back on level terms. Dean Lackie created a good chance for top scorer Neil Towler on the edge of the 18-yard box but he could not add to his tally of nine goals this season, firing inches wide. Luke Smith probably had the other close chance of the first half when he sent a 25-yard free-kick just over the bar.

The Reds had to wait until the second half to double their lead with a superb Wright solo effort five minutes after the restart. The East Yorkshire side were desperately trying to get on terms and committing men forward did seem to contribute to their downfall.

A delightful through ball from Peter Naylor sent Towler racing clear of the United defence, he tried to take the ball around Ashton but the former Bolton Wanderers ‘keeper did well to force the striker out wide. With a tight angle to the goal, Towler decided not to shoot and instead elected to lay the ball back for Lackie who snatched at his shot and blasted it high over the bar.

There was no such wastage at the other end moments later. First Wright did what he does best, taking defenders on and surging into the box before unleashing an unstoppable low drive and six minutes later Rory Patterson notched his 16th of the season with an opportunist lob, putting the result beyond any doubt.

Every credit to Bridlington though because despite going three down they still endeavoured to play football and would almost certainly have been worthy of a consolation goal particularly when the Reds appeared to have taken their foot off the gas. However, more good last ditch defending from Ashton and Liam Foster, including a superb goal line block by the right back was enough to keep another clean sheet for the men from Manchester.

Peter Thomson looked lively when he replaced Patterson with just under 20 minutes to go and he was unfortunate not to add a fourth but the Reds were well worth their victory as they cemented their place as real promotion contenders.


Bridlington Town
1. M Price
2. C Rouse (cautioned 36)
3. L Smith
4. C Giblin
5. P Naylor (capt)
6. D Lackie
7. A Dexter
8. W Harratt
9. J Brown
10. N Towler (cautioned 71)
11. P Harrison
12. C Parker (for 2, 52)
14. T Carter (for 10, 69)
15. A Smith (for 7, 68

FC United
1. S Ashton (cautioned 58)
2. L Foster
3. S Roscoe
4. N Platt
5. C Bell
6. R Nugent
7. J Baguley
8. C Baguley
9. A Burns
10. J Wright (cautioned 39)
11. R Patterson (capt)
12. C Hanley (for 5, 66)
14. S Carden (for 9, 80)
15. P Thomson (for 11, 72)

05-11-2007 at 20:15

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UniBond League - 1st Div North
1 Curzon Ashton 21 21 44
2 Bradford PA 20 24 42
3 Skelmersdale United 20 20 41
4 Ossett Albion 24 7 41
5 FC United 21 20 38
6 Bamber Bridge 20 11 38
7 Garforth Town 25 0 35
8 Lancaster City 22 1 34
9 Newcastle Blue Star 22 11 31
10 Mossley 24 -13 30
11 Rossendale United 24 13 28
12 Wakefield FC 20 -2 25
12 Harrogate RA 20 -6 22
14 Woodley Sports 24 -17 22
15 Bridlington Town 23 -28 20
16 Clitheroe 19 -10 19
17 Chorley 22 -14 18
18 Radcliffe Borough 21 -15 14