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FC United look to close the gap on Youth United Day

FC United could move up to fourth place this weekend if they better Buxton’s Friday night result against Burscough, as the Reds return to Gigg Lane to host promotion rivals North Ferriby following a run of three away games that has seen our unbeaten run extended to 12 games.

After Wednesday night’s win at Whitby, the Reds sit in fifth place – the final play-off spot – level on points with fourth placed Buxton and five points behind third placed Ferriby.

With Matlock and Marine just one point behind FC United, a win would not only maintain the Reds’ chances of hanging on to fifth spot but it would also give a real boost to their aspirations of a top three finish which would guarantee home advantage in the play-off semi-finals.

Karl Marginson’s squad has a reasonably clean bill of health going into the last four weeks of the season with just a handful of players not fully fit. Carlos Roca is suffering from a slight leg strain, which has kept him out of the last two games, whilst Kyle Jacobs played his first full match of 2011 on Wednesday night despite still needing a hernia operation.

Centre-back Martin Parker is not far from returning after suffering a broken metatarsal five weeks ago at Frickley Athletic whilst midfielder Steve Torpey is hoping to feature at some point in the run-in since making good progress in overcoming his groin injury, which has kept him out of action since the beginning of September.

United and Ferriby met less than two weeks ago at Grange Lane and nothing could separate the two sides as the match finished in a hard fought 1-1 draw. This time around, the Reds will be hoping that home advantage will be the extra ingredient needed to gaining all three points. The two sides have met at Gigg Lane twice before with United running out 4-0 victors in 2009 but in 2010 they needed a late penalty by Ben Deegan to salvage a 3-3 draw.

After two ‘professional’ but not pretty performances in the last week, Margy will be expecting his side to get back to playing the type of football he knows they are a capable of.

He said: “The pitches at Whitby and Buxton were terrible - I’d defy any team to go and play on there, professional teams would struggle. Hopefully there’ll be a bit more football played on Saturday. North Ferriby are a good footballing team and I’m sure they’ll be coming to Gigg Lane looking to show that, just as we will.

“Looking at the table we will probably need to hit 75 points to get into the play-offs and being on 58 now those five home games are going to be the ones we really need to capitalise on. With just eight games to go now your backing will be invaluable in the run-in. It really is a twelfth man, as we saw when we reached the play-offs three years ago. The players draw strength from the support and it spurs them on.

“We need to win all our home games so I’m looking to everyone to help make these games a real intimidating cauldron to give ourselves the best chance of success. It’s been a long hard season and after fighting our way into contention it would be a shame to let it all slip now.”

Youth United Day is this Saturday where people under the age of 18 gain free entry to FC United of Manchester versus North Ferriby. The match kicks-off at three o’clock and there will be an on-pitch parade by the schools, youth groups and young people 15 minutes before the first half. Supporters are asked to get into the ground early if possible.

It’s pay on the gate for those who are old enough to get served in a pub - £8 for adults and £5 concessions. Get yourself to that football ground.

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First Posted ~ 17:22 Fri 25 Mar 2011
News ID ~ 3493
Last Updated ~ 17:22 Fri 25 Mar 2011