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FC United look to avoid unwanted record at Bradford Park Avenue

FC United look to avoid unwanted record at Bradford Park Avenue

FC United travel to second place Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday afternoon and will be desperate to avoid a fifth consecutive competitive defeat for the first time ever in the club’s 13 and a half year history.

The Reds have been on poor runs of form before and have lost four in a row several times before, including last season. However, they have always managed to pull themselves out of the mire at the fifth attempt. Can they do the same on Saturday?

Before Christmas, things were looking up for FC United with a priceless 2-0 victory against fellow strugglers Cruzon Ashton in early December and a creditable 2-2 draw two weeks later at midtable Leamington.

However, Vanarama Conference North survival has been left looking precarious after four defeats from four matches, 13 goals conceded and two red cards against promotion chasing sides over the festive period. United need to bounce back and bounce back quickly.

Manager Neil Reynolds started life at the club with two draws in October followed by three victories in November and life looked good. The change of fortunes helped the Reds move away from the relegation zone and into the semi-finals of the Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup.

However, since then the Renolution has only reaped four points in eight weeks. In a miserable run against mainly promotion chasing teams, the Reds have suffered seven defeats in nine matches, which has left us third from bottom and four points from safety.

At times, FC United have played some excellent possession football but they struggle to create chances, struggle to keep 11 players on the pitch, and have a goalkeeper in Lloyd Allinson - last season’s supporters’ player of the season - struggling with confidence after a series of costly errors.

It’s at times like this that people need to stand up and be counted - players, managers and supporters. Seven years ago last week, FC United went to the Horsfall Stadium and found themselves 1-0 down after 16 minutes against their old rivals.

The Reds stuck to their task and stuck five goals past Avenue courtesy of Nicky Platt (32), Paul Armstrong (35), Michael Norton (36), Adam Jones (62) and Matthew Wolfenden (67) before the hosts grabbed a late consolation through Nathan Hotte.

A performance with guts and guile. How the FC United faithful would love to see something similar on Saturday.

It’s a tall order, make no mistake about it. Bradford were top of the table at Christmas but they have now slipped to second after going three games without a win.

17th placed Guiseley won 2-1 at the Horsfall Stadium on New Year’s Day, so our West Yorkshire rivals are susceptible to an upset and FC United can cause one. In October, the virtually managerless Reds went to second placed Kidderminster Harriers on a wing and a prayer and came back with all three points.

The Reds need to keep their shape and discipline while believing that they will finally get the goals their football deserves and a point or three that they are capable of.

Bradford Park Avenue versus FC United of Manchester is this Saturday at the Horsfall Stadium at the supporter-friendly kick-off time of three o’clock. It’s pay on the gate, just as football should be, so get yourself to that football ground. Bring on United.

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First Posted ~ 00:32 Fri 11 Jan 2019
News ID ~ 8219
Last Updated ~ 09:58 Sun 13 Jan 2019