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Great result on and off the pitch

On a landmark day in the history of FC United - a club whose fans are famed for making a huge racket wherever they go - it was the silence that rang out around the Tameside Stadium that spoke loudest as the Reds ran out 2-0 winners of league leaders Curzon Ashton.

In a well organised and brilliantly executed boycott, only 20 or so away fans were visible among the 297 in attendance, with an estimated 1,500 refusing to trek to Ashton for the 12.45pm kick-off arranged for internet television channel and without the approval of either of the clubs.

A few miles away at the home of Abbey Hey - just as captain Rob Nugent was powering home United’s second, building on Simon Carden’s first-half tap in - about 500 reds were watching the first-place reserves outfit beat nearest league rivals Club AZ.

It meant that for the first time in the club’s short history, as the first-team shirts put on an impressive display on the field, there was no singing, no merriment, no smiling young faces or joy expressed off it.

The mood of the day was reminiscent of the emotional Sunday back in May 2005 when 100 or so ’Big United’ fans dressed in black to mourn the loss of their club to current owner Malcolm Glazer, but those taking part will this time know that, unlike on that dismal Cardiff afternoon, they’ve won their battle.

FC United of Manchester general secretary Lindsey Robertson, meanwhile, said she was delighted with the success of the boycott. She said: "It just shows how strongly the supporters feel about this matter. I know it is hard for them because they want to support the team, especially in such a big game, but it’s important we stand up for what we believe in."

Paul Edmundson

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First Posted ~ 07:53 Mon 31 Dec 2007
News ID ~ 1392
Last Updated ~ 12:50 Mon 21 May 2018