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Reds keep the pressure on

Rory Patterson struck twice and Stuart Rudd grabbed his second goal in three days as FC United cruised to victory over Chorley 3-0 on Wednesday night at Gigg Lane closing the gap at the top of the table to eight points.

United could easily have won by the match by five or six with Jerome Wright in particularly fine form, linking-up play with the Reds’ forwards in impressive style, but the important thing was getting three more points in the bag to keep themselves firmly in the hunt for the title and Margy’s men did that with ease.

The Reds were ahead after only eight minutes. Wright started FC United’s first real attack of the match by racing off down the left wing, cutting inside the penalty box before crossing to Patterson and even though the Irishman stumbled over the ball, there was only going to be one result from close range.

It could easily have been two for Patterson just four minutes later. Over on the right, Adam Carden mirrored Wright’s earlier work but this time Patterson fired straight at Peter Collinge in the visitor’s goal.

If the Chorley skipper Martin Clark didn’t expect to be in for a tough night before the game he soon found out about it as Wright was having plenty of success on the left wing. Once again our former Maine Road man strolled past Clark in the penalty box and executed a teasing cross that was begging to put home but it missed everyone and Chroley escaped going further behind.

Minutes later, United were once again striding forward. Rudd delightfully cut through the Chorley defence with a perfectly timed through-ball. Patterson had made the clever run to latch onto the pass but Collinge denied him with a terrific save to push the shot wide of his left post.

It took Chorley 40 minutes to produce their first notable chance of the game. Clark made a run down the right wing and when he received the ball he crossed for Danny
Nolan who had time in the centre of the penalty area but could only produce a weak shot straight at Ashton who was having a quiet night up to this point.

In true public bus service fashion a second Chorley chance came straight after their first. Nolan, with his back to goal, turned and found Mark Drew just inside the penalty area. He drilled just wide of the Reds’ goal to the relief of Ashton.

Five minutes after the interval Wright showed his value for United; his lightning pace once again left Clark looking like a statue and he had plenty of time to square for Patterson who had the easy job of poking past Collinge.

With Chorley adopting a high defensive line in the second half, it was inevitable with the pace of Wright and Patterson that United were going to get in behind them given the opportunity.

Bradley Howard’s long field ball gave Patterson the chance to do just that and the UniBond top scorer did everything right in rounding the out-coming Collinge but unfortunately the ball got caught up in his feet and Chorley defence were able to track back and do enough to put Patterson off before he fired so wildly that his effort went off for a throw-in.

Ten minutes from time Chorley had Collinge to thank from avoiding going three goals down. Jamie Baguley found his brother Chris, his first touch was perfect and it looked a certain goal but for 22-year old goalkeeper making an excellent one handed save, getting down low to his left very quickly.

Chorley almost went away with a consolation seven minutes from time. Howard made a mistake in his own box and his clearance found its way into the path of Mike Eckersley. However, Eckersley rushed his shot and it was no surprise to see it fly high of Ashton’s goal.

Collinge, the former Bury goalkeeper, was now starting to make a real name for himself. Baguley must have thought he’d found the back of the net when he hit a free-kick 20-yards from goal as sweet as he’s ever hit one. But this time diving to his right, Collinge managed to keep it out with his right hand.

For all his endeavours Collinge couldn’t deny United their third goal of the evening. Baguley’s ball somehow managed to find it’s way through the busy midfield and it broke to Rudd who coolly took it past the keeper before slotting it home to finish the scoring.

Match report - John Hill

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First Posted ~ 18:52 Thu 27 Mar 2008
News ID ~ 1574
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013