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Giggs hat-trick sees off Salford

A sublime Rhodri Giggs hat-trick saw off Salford City in style with Nicky Platt grabbing the other goal as the North West Counties Division One champions marched on with a 4-2 victory - their 12th straight league win.

Giggs’ master class wasn’t the only talking point with the 2,594 crowd, many supporters were puzzled as to why FC United captain (and Manchester City fan) David Chadwick was wearing a number 31 shirt rather than his usual number five.

The more astute soon realised though that it was to commemorate the number of years that have now passed by since the Blues last won a major trophy. The intention is for the shirt to be auctioned to help raise funds for the FC United Development Fund.

With the Reds having wrapped up promotion at Ramsbottom a fortnight ago, the main issue at stake was whether the visitors, currently in fourth-place, could register a win to maintain their own promotion hopes.

United continued slightly worrying trend by conceding an early opening goal on 10 minutes. Clever play by City’s Jamie Bagley set up Nick Robinson in front of goal and the Salford number 10 made no mistake in steering the ball past Sam Ashton.

But this was to prove only a temporary setback for FC United. On 24 minutes, Simon Carden latched on to a Giggs flick-on, but could only prod the ball wide of goal.

However, the resurgent Reds weren’t to be denied, and on 33 minutes, after two consecutive corner-kicks, Giggs found himself in the right place at the right time in front of goal to deftly flick the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards out to make it all square at half-time.

United took the lead within the opening 60 seconds of the second-half restart. Platt found himself with the ball at his feet inside the Salford penalty area, and his low, dipping shot gave Salford custodian Andy Moores no chance. And on 55 minutes, Giggs made it 3-1 after a neat one-two with Carden, before stroking the ball home from close range.

But Salford weren’t out of the game yet, and on 70 minutes, substitute Tommy Turner left a couple of United defenders in his wake, before unleashing a curling shot past the stranded Sam Ashton.

With the game rapidly switching from end-to-end, the next goal was going to prove crucial, and on 79 minutes, Stuart Rudd should really have put the result beyond all doubt, but could only blaze the ball wildly over the bar after latching onto a pinpoint Shaun Roscoe cross.

With the final whistle approaching, it was to be none other than Rhodri Giggs who was to apply the coup-de-grace. After being played in by Dave Swarbrick, Giggs raced clear one-on-one with the ’keeper.

The Welshman kept his composure magnificently to round Moores before rolling the ball into the goal from a tight angle for a well-deserved hat-trick goal.

Report by Peter Moulds

FC United
2) Matty TAYLOR
3) Shaun ROSCOE
4) Nicky PLATT
31) Dave CHADWICK (Captain)
7) Josh HOWARD
8) Simon CARDEN
9) Stuart RUDD
10) Jerome WRIGHT
11) Rhodri GIGGS
12) Steve SPENCER (Sub for 9, 86 mins)
14) Dave SWARBRICK (Sub for 7, 67 mins)
15) Liam FOSTER (Sub for 2, 86 mins)

Salford City

1) Andy MOORES
3) Rick WATSON
5) Kenny TUDOR
6) Matty BURKE
7) Lee McNALLY
8) Tunji MOSES
9) David GREY
11) Jamie BAGLEY
12) Matt ECKERSLEY (Sub for 4, 46 mins)
14) Tommy TURNER (Sub for 9, 64 mins)
15) Lathan FORESTER (Sub for 7, 29 mins)

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First Posted ~ 12:56 Tue 24 Apr 2007
News ID ~ 948
Last Updated ~ 17:34 Fri 11 Oct 2013