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Reds go clear with another victory

A second spectacular brace in a week from Rory Patterson and an opener from Stuart Rudd put FC United 11 points clear at the top of North West Counties Division One with another valuable 3-1 victory on their travels in a tough tackling match against Silsden AFC.

Manager Karl Marginson kept his promise to rest a few players ahead of Saturday’s semi-final second leg against Congleton Town, but as well as the goal scorers, captain David Chadwick, Steve Spencer and cup-tied Jerome Wright were still all present to give the side a strong feel.

Patterson had the first real chance of the game on the quarter of the hour mark but his finish resembled something more likely to get him into Keighley Cougar’s team as he smashed the ball over the posts and out of the Cougar Park stadium.

It was top scorer Rudd who opened the scoring after 18 minutes some what against the run of play with his 39th of the season. After collecting the ball in field, the former Skelmersdale man took on a defender before expertly firing a drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

The home side were unfortunate to go one down and they could have netted an instant equaliser when Tom Applebee went through one-on-one with Sam Ashton, but the young Yorkshireman lost his composure and stabbed his shot harmlessly wide.

Less than 10 minutes later, United made Silsden pay when Rhodri Giggs played a free kick back to Patterson who found his shooting boots to rifle a rasping drive into the bottom corner from fully 30 yards.

The Reds began to look more comfortable with Spencer and Wright working hard to keep the ball and subdue their opponents until the interval. However, it looked like United were going to make things difficult for themselves because just after the hour, Silsden scored a breathtaking goal of their own; Mark Bentham firing one over Sam Ashton from 40 yards.

With the deficit back to one, the Yorkshire outfit may well have sensed a way back into the game as Congelton had done two weeks ago, but the Reds were determined not to make the same mistake again and pressed forward.

Veteran player coach Darren Lyons was introduced for a rare outing alongside assistant manager Phil Power as United looked to gain victory without risking too much ahead of Saturday’s all important cup match.

‘Keeper Martin Foulger, who was sent off in the reverse fixture at Gigg Lane in September, kept Silsden in the game for a long 20 minute spell with a string of fine saves from Rudd, Wright and Patterson. But with just over 10 minutes to go, he was beaten for a third time when Patterson scored his 30th of the season with the help of a deflection capping another impressive victory on the road.

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First Posted ~ 21:09 Thu 29 Mar 2007
News ID ~ 904
Last Updated ~ 17:51 Fri 11 Oct 2013