Sunday, 3 March 2013

FC United of Manchester 1 v North Ferriby United 1 - Evo-Stik NPL Prem

Sunday 3rd March 2013
at Bower Fold (Stalybridge Celtic FC)
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Premier Division
FC United of Manchester (1) 1
Tom Greaves 45+
North Ferriby United (1) 1
Ryan Kendall 14 (pen)
Admission £8, Programme £2, Attendance 2,465
Ryan Kendall puts United FC 1-0 up at FC United
Apparently the commentator for FCUM TV, didn't think North Ferriby should've been given a penalty. However, from a position of complete neutrality, I would have to say that the home side's keeper, James Spencer, was never going to get to the ball with his outstretched left leg and Anthony Wilson had to rush his shot to avoid impact with him. 
Either way, the linesman was better placed to make a decision than either me, or the cameraman, who was just a few yards away to my left.
One of the comments posted about the following You Tube clip reads "Very unbiased commentators doing a great job".
I can't disagree that the people behind FCUM TV do a great job, that a number of other clubs would do well to learn from, but I'm not entirely convinced that using the word 'unbiased' isn't stretching it a bit.
It's called FCUM TV, it's manned by dedicated FCUM fans/owners, therefore nobody really expects it to be completely impartial, do they?

Left click for larger image
Third placed FCUM entertained Evo-Stik NPL leaders NFU at Bower Fold today, because under their ground share agreement with Bury FC they can't play at Gigg Lane on the same weekend that the Shakers have a home game.
The 2,465 who made their way to Stalybridge this afternoon, accounted for FC United's biggest home crowd of the season.
I had to travel over the Woodhead Pass (resplendent today with snow capped hills) this weekend to pick up a whole load of records that I've won on Ebay (I love my music, far more than I like my football) from a (currently very rich) guy in Mossley. So this fixture was an added bonus for me, given that his address was only approximately 5 miles away from Stalybridge Celtic's ground.
Taking James Spencer's lead, neither side were particularly shy about leaving a foot in at times, in what was often a physical, but never overly dirty game.
Some FC United fans seemed to think that the referee was North Ferriby's 12th man, but I thought he did quite well, to control an often feisty game, in front of a partisan 'home' crowd. In his defence, if the match official Peter Gooch really did have it in for them, he could quite easily have shown several cards to their players for some rather OTT protests and remonstrations when things didn't go their way. And if a referee's not allowed to consult his assistants from time to time, we might as well replace them and employ line judges like they have at tennis matches instead.
Personally, I thought that a 1-1 draw was, just about, a fair result, because although the 'Rebels' had the better of the second period, the 'Villagers' had shaded possession in the first half and could've been 2-0 up before Tom Greaves equalised on in first half added time.
One 'home' fan who spoke to me about the game, offered the opinion that he thought I must want North Ferriby United to win, because I wasn't a FCUM supporter..
Hmm, I actually know a few of the 'away' sides players and it's always good to meet up with Ryan William's family at games, although I didn't tell Williams senior, a fellow 'good music' enthusiast, about the new valuable haul of vinyl in my boot, he would probably have stolen my car.
I also have a lot of time for the visitors manager, the colourful and larger (and louder) than life, Billy Heath. but all I genuinely wanted to see this afternoon, was a good, competitive game of football (mission accomplished) and I had no vested interested in the result whatsoever.
I was grateful that the game was played on a Sunday, because it rounded the weekend off nicely, other than that, I was 100% impartial, non aligned and possibly (just for a change) a bit of a Groundhopper.
Bower Fold is one of my favourite football stadiums (despite it belonging to a team called Celtic) and I haven't been there for a few years.
You'd be surprised just how many people watch games of football and don't actually support either team that is involved.
Obviously, the two respective match reports, written by people who know infinitely more about FCUM and NFU than I ever will do, cover the game far better than I ever could; so I'll be lazy this time out and not write an actual overview of the match myself.
Besides, I'm going to be too busy getting my big speakers out and sampling my new wares tonight.
But in closing, I feel I should mention a forthcoming FC United away fixture:
On Saturday 16th March, FCUM travel to play Worksop Town, at the Windsor Food Service Stadium, on Babbage Way, Sandy Lane, Worksop, S80 1UJ.
Jason Clark, Worksop Town's owner has arranged for all gate receipts on the day, for what will no doubt be the Tigers biggest crowd of the season, to be donated to Sheffield Children's Hospital.
Jason is one of the good guys in local football, round my neck of the woods and this is an awesome gesture that he's making which will doubtless raise a large amount, for a great cause.
Well played that man.