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United look to close the gap

FC United look to get back to winning ways at home to Rossendale United on Wednesday night and they could close the gap on leaders, Curzon Ashton to three points after the Nash lost in the league for the first time this season, at home to Bradford Park Avenue on Monday night.

The Reds slipped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat away at lowly Clitheroe on Saturday, but the Tamesiders failed to capitalise on the shock result and now United have the chance to reapply some pressure at the top of the table where a number of teams are beginning to stake a promotion claim.

Victory by a three goal margin would put United into second place on goal difference ahead of Park Avenue who leapfrogged over them after sneaking the three points on Monday through an 87th minute Tom Baker strike.

United have already beaten Rossendale 2-1 at Dark Lane back in August and will be confident of doing the double over them on Wednesday. Manager Karl Marginson knows how important Wednesday’s match is after Saturday’s result.

He said: “Against Clitheroe, we were defensively poor. We struggled to adapt to the difficult conditions but I’m sure our younger players in particular will learn from the defeat and hopefully we can bounce straight back on Wednesday night."

Observant supporters will have noticed that, although he didn’t play, Matty Taylor was back in the fold on Saturday and he could well make his long awaited return to the side on Wednesday whilst Colin Bell is expected to be recalled in place of Dave Brown.

Margy said: "Matty is the best full-back in this division as far as I am concerned and it is great to have him back. Colin gets another chance because he played two games, and we kept two clean sheets, so he was a little unlucky to lose his place."

And Margy is eager to get a good run together and he know that starts again tonight: "It could be a really tight finish to the season. We’ve lost four games and can’t afford many more. Whoever puts a really good run together will get that top spot and I feel we have a squad capable of that, especially when we start getting players like David Chadwick, Stuart Rudd and Josh Howard fit again and once Peter Thomson has a few more games under his belt."

Despite the confidence in the United camp, Rossendale will arrive at Gigg Lane in optimistic mood on the back of a three-game unbeaten run in all competitions, in which they have racked up 10 goals.

Stags manager Derek Egan is pleased at the progress this season. “Our defeat to FC United ended our good start to the season. We were disappointed with the result and could have got a win on another day. However, it was a fantastic day for the club – the FC fans were brilliant, their humour had us smiling in the dug-out!”

“We then went on a little bit a of a dip but have recovered recently and started to play decent football. The match at Gigg Lane should be another close affair. We aim to be in the mix at the end of the season.”

(Rosendale quotes supplied by John Freeman.)

14-11-2007 at 16:53

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UniBond League - 1st Div North
1 Curzon Ashton 22 27 47
2 Ossett Albion 25 11 44
3 Bradford PA 20 24 42
4 FC United 22 21 41
5 Skelmersdale United 22 28 41
6 Bamber Bridge 21 12 41
7 Lancaster City 23 2 37
8 Garforth Town 26 -1 35
9 Newcastle Blue Star 22 11 31
10 Rossendale United 25 -11 31
11 Mossley 25 -14 30
12 Wakefield FC 21 1 25
13 Harrogate RA 21 -5 25
14 Woodley Sports 25 -16 25
15 Bridlington Town 24 -34 20
16 Clitheroe 20 -14 19
17 Chorley 23 -15 18
18 Radcliffe Borough 22 -16 14