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Rudd brace seals derby

Two goals from Stuart Rudd clinched another last gasp victory for FC United against a resolute Maine Road who were reduced to ten men in the first half during a fiery derby in front of 3,181 fans at Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold.

Rudd broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time, but Gareth Richards equalised for The Road less than ten minutes into the second half before Rudd popped up again to snatch a poacher’s goal after a scrappy goalmouth melee in the 81st minute.

With both sides playing in traditional United and City colours the game mirrored the fierce Manchester derbies of the past. It was the Reds who started the game the brighter of the two and could easily have taken the lead after just four minutes. A poor kick by Maine Road keeper Greg Hall fell to the feet of Rory Patterson, however, the young Irishman failed to capitalise.

United went onto dominate the first half with only one notable effort coming from Maine Road, in which Jerome Wright hit a 30 yard strike that went only inches over the bar of the helpless Sam Ashton.

It was the last five minutes of the first half that really edged the game into United’s favour. Firstly, Maine Roads Marc Clancy was shown red for a late tackle on Rhodri Giggs and it got worse for Maine Road minutes later when United took the lead deep into stoppage time. Maine Road keeper Hall couldn’t grab onto to Rudd’s header from 12 yards, which put Marginson’s men in the driving seat.

Early in the second half United nearly made the extra man count as a superb cross from the right found Giggs and with a free header, he could only head wide of the The Road’s goal.

Just before the hour mark United had a great opportunity to extend their lead when Oliver McGee’s clearance only find the feet of Simon Carden, however, when through on goal his shot failed to hit the target.

It was just a minute later that Maine Road made United pay for their woeful finishing. A break down the left with a cross from Jerome Wright found the path of Gareth Richards. Richards neatly tucked home from 12 yards to briefly silence the United fans.

Then came the onslaught from the United as they huffed and puffed to regain the lead. Patterson could easily have grabbed the winner after a good run and cut back by substitute Jamie Phoenix, but the usually potent Mr Mystery failed to hit the target.

The winner eventually came in the 81st minutes as the ball was scrambling around the Maine Road box only to be fired home in true predator fashion from Rudd for his second of the afternoon.

In the end it was another priceless victory for Margy’s men as they maintained their runaway lead at the top of North West Counties Division One.

By John Hill

Match information

Maine Road
1. G Hall
2. M Clancy
3. S Mason
4. A Kennedy
5. O McGee
6. N Chappell (capt)
7. S Cheetham
8. M Turner
9. G Richards
10. L Mack
11. J Wright


12. M Mitchell (for 9, 82)
14. S Halligan (for 8, 69)
15. A MacLean (for 7, 76)

FC United
1. S Ashton
2. M Taylor
3. A Mortimer
4. S Spencer
5. D Chadwick (capt)
6. R Nugent
7. R Giggs
8. S Carden
9. S Rudd
10. J Howard
11. R Patterson

12. N Platt (for 11, 90)
14. J Phoenix (for 10, 67)
15. D Brown (for 6, 65)

Scorers: Rudd 45(+8), 81

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First Posted ~ 15:52 Sun 5 Nov 2006
News ID ~ 649
Last Updated ~ 17:34 Fri 11 Oct 2013