FC United of Manchester FC United of Manchester FC United of Manchester

FC United of ManchesterSmaller TextLarger Text

Reds ready for Brighton & Hove Albion replay

Wednesday sees FC United host Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON second round replay, which is undoubtedly the biggest fixture in our club’s brief history. Craig Phillips provides this preview...

Interest in the match has seen ticket sales go through the roof and the Reds could potentially break their own record home attendance of 6,023 which came at the end of the club’s inaugural season against Great Harwood Town in April 2006.

United know it took a resilient ‘backs against the wall’ performance at the Withdean Stadium a week and a half ago to gain a draw but everyone at the club will now be hoping that home advantage will help the Reds into the third round to take on former FA Cup winners Portsmouth.

With a minimum 5,000 strong crowd expected, FC United will be hoping to be backed by the same kind of noisy support which certainly seemed to have a hand in our fine first round victory against Rochdale at Spotland on 5th November.

The bad weather has meant that neither team has had a game since the initial tie but in a way that means both teams will come into the game fresh, although the postponement of FC United’s fixtures does unfortunately mean that both Jerome Wright and Scott McManus will miss the tie as they must serve a one game ban each for picking up five yellow cards this season.

Despite the suspensions, confidence is high in the FC United camp. Manager Karl Marginson said: “It is a blow to have players out suspended but it’s a squad game and I am comfortable that we have a talented group of players at the club. I’m expecting the atmosphere on the night will be a bit special with all four sides of the ground in use. They should be able to hear our fans back in Brighton!”

The Seagulls camp is not so happy. Speaking immediately after the 1-1 draw at Withdean, Albion manager Gus Poyet spoke directly to the section of supporters who chose to boo the team.

He said: “We should have been two or three nil up before they scored. I’m very disappointed today. I invite every single person who booed the team today to stay at home. They’re getting an honest team on the pitch. I can get fed up.”

Poyet also indicated after the game that he would send out the same team for the replay but the recent postponements appear to have caused a change of heart. He said: “Because we didn’t play on Saturday there is no reason why I shouldn’t play players who I might otherwise have rested. We will have to see but it is going to be a stronger team than last time.”

The last five times that The Seagulls have gone to a replay in the FA Cup against non-league opposition they have won four of these matches, including the first round victory at Woking where they were taken to penalties by the Conference South side. The only team who bucked the trend were Southern Premier team Sudbury who beat Albion 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the replay.

United know it’s an uphill task facing a team 120 league places above them but the backing of the 12th man could give them an added boost as the team look to pull off the unthinkable again.

Reds midfielder and scorer of the first goals at Rochdale and Brighton, Nicky Platt has no doubt what a difference the crowd can make. He said: “The fans are incredible to play for. There were only about 800 of them at Brighton but you could still hear them all the way through the match. We’ll have a few thousand of them at Gigg Lane and I think they’ll make it another great night like it was at Rochdale.”

Tickets are on sale in advance to ease congestion on the night but the option for supporters to pay on the gate should still be available, especially with all four stands open. It’s the usual admission prices with £8 for adults, £5 concessions and £2 under-18s. So bring a friend and another one and show them what this thing of ours is all about. We’re on the match with Margy’s army.

Home Email Facebook Reddit

First Posted ~ 16:54 Tue 7 Dec 2010
News ID ~ 3283
Last Updated ~ 16:54 Tue 7 Dec 2010