FC United and Curzon Ashton to battle it out for much-needed win

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There will be much more than bragging rights at stake as FC UNITED host CURZON ASHTON in tonight’s derby at Broadhurst Park.

Both have progressed to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup but they could do with a league win to lift spirits – and lift them up the table as the two sides are sat immediately above the National League North drop zone.

Although FC thumped Ossett Town 7-1 in the FA Cup, they have failed to win in their last three league games. Saturday saw teenage loanee James Hooper score late on at Tamworth to claim his first FC goal and cancel out Danny Newton’s opener in first-half stoppage time. And having lost their previous two in the league, Rebels boss Karl Marginson was pleased with the result.

“We created a number of good chances in the first half, their keeper pulled off some great saves, but there was just a bit of a spark missing,” he said. “Tamworth is a difficult place to come and we went behind. But we showed great character to come back and possibly could have gone on to win it.

“There were a couple of lads that were off the pace. Normally when you have situations like that you end up with a defeat but the good thing is we showed great resilience to secure the point.”

Curzon were beating Stockport County in Saturday’s derby at the Tameside Stadium through a Niall Cummins header before the Hatters struck twice late on to win 2-1 and leave the Nash without a league win in five. Their last visit to FC United proved eventful as the two sides played out a 3-3 draw last August and leaking goals has been a concern for the Rebels and Curzon this term.

Marginson has also explained why Sam Madeley left FC last week. The former Salford City and Ashton United forward took up the opportunity to join MACCLESFIELD TOWN, who immediately loaned him to the Rebels’ league rivals STALYBRIDGE CELTIC.

Madeley’s last start for FC was in February before being frustrated by injury and he made just one sub appearance for the Rebels this term before going straight into Celtic’s starting line-up for Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Darlington.

“Sam missed most of pre-season because he was away on holiday and also had a car accident,” said Marginson. “We knew his fitness would be a problem and, in the meantime, I think it was Sam’s dad who contacted Macclesfield to see whether Sam could go on trial there.

“I agreed that it would be a good idea because it’d give him full-time training to get his fitness levels back up, which he had been doing. He injured his calf in a training session at Macclesfield so he wasn’t able to be selected for us. But he’s got back in training and Macclesfield offered him a contract, something which we weren’t able to do, and quite rightly, Sam’s taken it. It’s chance to play full-time football.

“We’ve got players in the squad who are chomping at the bit (to come into the side) and Sam would’ve been one of them. If he’s been loaned out to Stalybridge and they’re going to start him every week then it’s a no-brainer for Macclesfield, for Stalybridge and for Sam. Unfortunately that wouldn’t have been the situation with ourselves. He would’ve been in and around it, and if he got his opportunity and took it, as with all the players, then you keep your shirt.”