Dickie Felton

I write about music and football

Forget Inter V Milan, Celtic V Rangers or "El Classico" Barcelona V Real Madrid.

Hold tight, it's time for a shoot-out of even bigger proportions. This is white V red, Mariners V Mancunians in a winner-takes-all clash. Hearts will be racing for the "Evo-Stik-ico" as Marine take on FC United of Manchester (FCUM).
Of course there'll be no Sky cameras, no build-up on BBC Five Live, no four-page special in the Mirror. We'll leave the media to its sterile Premiership, its non-personalities, and the boring quest for Champions League qualification zzzzzzzzz.
On Saturday it's time for real football, real supporters, real ales, pie and mushy peas at half time. No corporates, no inflated ticket prices, just turn up on the day for grass roots passion. Adults £9 (That's £53 cheaper than a ticket in the away section at Arsenal).
Having only played each other nine times, it's amazing how Marine V FCUM is now viewed as one of the biggest derbies in football (well biggest in non-league terms anyway!).
Welcome to the Evo-Stik Premier Division which is every bit important as anything played at the very top levels of world football. On paper it should be a win for the away team who are on a tremendous winning streak with seven victories on the bounce. But Marine, buoyed by their first ever win over FC back in November will have other ideas.
The home side have a solid defence, an organised midfield and a few tricks up their attacking sleeve. Striker Nick Rogan is on top form while new forward (and Crosby lad) Will Jones has bagged two goals in two league games since joining from Burscough. FC defenders will have to be top of the game to handle the pair.
A huge psychological hurdle was overcome during that fine 1-nil smash and grab at FC's temporary Bury home three months ago. Can the Mariners go that extra step and record their first ever home win over FC's Children of the Revolution?
It's a six pointer as third placed (Marine) take on fourth placed (FCUM). Whoever wins stakes a massive claim for the play-offs and can set sights even higher. With FCUM having games in hand they will have ideas on the title and automatic promotion. They may be the bookies favourites for a win tomorrow but Marine, roared on by their biggest home support of the season will fancy their chances too.
On a freezing November night I witnessed Marine's first ever win over FCUM. A result which assured the players, management and my fellow travelling fans a little place in Marine history. A story we can dramatically regale in years to come: "I was there..."
"What grandad, you were at Istanbul?"
"No, Gigg Lane Bury. FC United of Manchester 0, the mighty Marine 1.".

 

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