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It really happened…no it did

Submitted by on November 8, 2010 – 1:47 pm4 Comments

For those still not quite comprehending, here’s a report from the Evening News on FC United’s 3-2 FA Cup win over Rochdale, with fan footage of the goals too…

Also worthy of note is FC United’s official backing of the NUJ’s BBC strike, which saw club staff and players refuse to talk to the company in solidarity with the journalists carrying out industrial action. This thing of ours.

FC United’s fairytale FA Cup adventure moved further into the realms of fantasy last night as they progressed to the second round of the FA Cup with a 3-2 victory over Rochdale at Spotland.

Rebels boss Karl Marginson had called on his £80-a-week part-timers to create history in their first-round clash against the League One club, and they managed just that by giving their followers an evening to live long in the memory.

Though the evening ended in controversy with Michael Norton’s hotly disputed winner in injury time, no one could deny them their moment of glory.

On a dismal evening at Spotland they lit up the occasion with greater spark and colour than the intermittent fireworks that exploded above the packed stadium, the fire in their bellies burning fiercer than any bonfire.

ESPN’s cameras screened the game to a national audience, and they hogged the limelight on and off the pitch.

Dale attempted to break down the visitors with composed, patient build up play and provided them with ample opportunities during the opening 45 minutes, but throughout the contest, FC’s desire was undeniable.

Jason Kennedy spilt the FC defence down the middle in the opening minute but was unable to squeeze the ball home from a tight angle and with fullback Scott Wiseman instrumental, the home crowd grew increasingly expectant.

Nicky Adams drove a shot across the face of Sam Ashton’s boughs while Anthony Elding’s glanced header was a whisker away from creeping inside the upright.

Elding was left holding his head in his hands after blazing over Dale’s best opportunity of the half, and the home side were made to pay for their profligacy.

Carlos Roca and Jerome Wright were off target with early attempts, but their intent at least spurred their supporters to crank up the volume a few more notches.

And they were positively bouncing when Michael Norton’s clever backheel had Josh Lillis scrambling across his goalline, the ball trickling inches wide of the post.

Confidence boosted, FC United increasingly became a tougher proposition for Hill’s men to content with. Carlos Roca, whose winner at Barrow set up last night’s clash, raced forward after collecting a loose ball in central midfield and tested Lillis with a drive from 20 yards and big Ben Deegan crashed a shot on target, plucked out of the air by Lillis.

By the time Wright went even closer with a volley that bounced awkwardly in front of Lillis, Dale were well and truly rattled.

And two minutes before the break, the goal that will live long in the memory for the Rebels supporters.

Nicky Platt, a name more closely associated with Weatherfield rather ran Wembley, lit the torch paper by handing the Rebels the lead just before the break.

Wright threaded an incisive pass through the middle for the man who shares his name with a character from Corrie and his finish was tastier than Betty’s hot pot, the midfielder drawing Lillis from his line before lifting the ball over the goalkeeper as he went to ground.

Platt, a groundsman by trade, had certainly done a job on Spotland and his work was far from finished.

The second half had only just kicked off when he teed up Jake Cotterell, the man described by team-mate Dave Chadwick as a one-goal-a-year man who couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo.

Perhaps those words inspired Cotterell, for the job seeker struck a heat seeker from 25 yards that rocketed into the top corner of Lillis’ net.

Two goals to the good and enjoying the night of their lives, the party atmosphere dimmed somewhat when Brian Barry-Murphy’s delightful freekick was headed home by Elding at close range.

Chris O’Grady and Craig Dawson forced Ashton into saves as Dale went for broke, and the pressure finally told in the 78th minute when Barry-Murphy’s corner was powered into the net by Dawson at the back post.

Ashton had a late scare when he spilled Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro’s shot, but he recovered in time to prevent the travesty of the tie being settled by a mistake from the underdogs.

With thoughts turning to a creditable replay, Norton nicked the ball out of Lillis’ grasp and slipped home the winner from a narrow angle.

Lillis was booked by referee Geoff Eltringham for his protestations but there was no dimming the party that followed as Rebels supporters spilled onto the pitch and celebrate with their supporters.

Watch it here before the FA get rid:
Thanks to Neil for the footage.


  • voxra says:

    if you register on vimeo you can download the video (just in case the fa removes it, like they did with the YouTube version). ;-)

  • LesBagg says:

    Jolly Well played people!
    I raised a glass or two to you in Blackburn yesterday afternoon.

    Right, fully understand the reasoning behind the ESPN screening and no doubt FCUM will once again be the story of the 2nd whether it’s Brighton or Woking who you end up playing.
    So, I have a couple of questions, whether it be Brighton or Woking it’s going to be rather awkward for FCUM fans getting to either for a daft o’clock kick off over the weekend or the Friday night game. Do you reckon FCUM would create a little bit more FA Cup history by refusing ESPN if they came knocking again to play it at 3pm on a Saturday?
    And regarding terrestial televison, do clubs actually have any say in which matches they choose to broadcast and whether they want to be on or not, would FCUM’s hands be tied if they wanted the game for the Sunday dinnertime match say?

    If it’s Brighton and the Withdean, a few words of advice. The ground is bang in the middle of the rather snooty stockbroker belt, there are no pubs there so booze in Brighton and get the train or taxi in (preferably to get into the ground no more than 5 minutes before kick off!) And wear your trainers, it’s a fair old sprint onto the pitch! ;-)

    Many congratulations on Friday night’s achivement, and along with me, my shop steward Mrs salutes every member of staff who supported the NUJ!

  • souldanista says:

    yes it really did happen and the revolution was televised.
    when i got i back to darks home we read some post`s about the game fc fans saying it was the best night they have ever had or the greatest game they have ever been to well i must agree i can`t remember a better game for atmosphere action twists and turns and i don`t really need to say (but i will) the fans it was up there with going to the custard bowl (home of wolves) and west brom doing the business as they say (i can`t compare it with winning the european cup since wba have never or will never do so).
    just a final thing they say you should never change your football club but fc united of manchester must be the exception to that rule the exploits of fc make that flame inside of me burn more brightly than the exploits of wba (who doing quite well this season) in the premier league just hope they don`t meet in the 3rd round.
    ps – great fanzine. kj etheridge

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