MATCH PREVIEW: FC United of Newcastle v Rothbury
ROTHBURY BACK ON THE ROAD AND VISIT FC UNITED OF NEWCASTLE
Kyle Smith’s early opener put the Reds on the way to their fifth League win of the season and he declared the atmosphere after as ‘electric.’
The big fella got into the box to power home a header from a Tony Brown corner – bread and butter stuff, he claimed – before Greg Woodburn extended the Rothbury advantage ten minutes later with a special.
“Greg was just outrageous in the first half – I think the “nose ring” pre-match pep talk from James ‘Mins’ Jackson definitely made him play to the ability everyone knows he can play at,” said Smith.
“His goal was like ASM (Allan Saint-Maximin), he skipped into the box took a few players on and put it away nicely into the bottom left.”
It was game over when Chris Laidlaw added the third against basement side Seaton Burn just two minutes after the break, though Smith was a little less complimentary about the strike.
“I don’t really know what to say about Fid’s goal – it was nearly Christmas by the time the ball trickled into the far corner but a goal’s a goal,” he joked.
Rothbury had plenty of chances to extend the scoreline further and man-of-the-match Smith was impressed with the performances of a number of his team-mates.
“We were definitely happy with the result and the whole team was on a buzz,” he grinned.
“Sam Proudlock was solid at the back and didn’t step a foot wrong. It was also class to see big bad Keega (Paul Appleby) back between the sticks. He had nothing to do to be fair to him so that would’ve suited him,” laughed Smith, who says the side are well up for the tough challenge posed by FC United at the Langdale Centre on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm).
“We’re expecting another challenging game but if we play like we did on Saturday or like we did against Newbiggin we’ll be spot on!” he said.
Reds Secretary/Chairman/Groundsman Dan Herron puts huge amounts of hours into the football club and he was both very impressed with the performance and the team bonding after.
“We controlled the game at a canter. We looked like when we were going forward we’d score every time, so what I was most pleased about was how we adapted the play to keep passing it short with one twos as it would have been easy to force the through balls every time because it was effective,” he said after watching on and cajoling from Armstrong Park’s impressive new dug-outs.
“I thought 8 mile (Greg) was outstanding, he’s playing with the shackles off and showing his skill by roasting their defenders time and time again, flip-flapping hell! I also thought Kyle was brilliant too, in the last 4/5 games he’s shown that massive desire to win and do well for the club which can’t be underestimated,” he continued.
“It was great to have a team night/meal out with the boys at La Mensa after too, big thanks to them and Sam Proudlock for thinking the idea up. The atmosphere is the best it’s been for a long time, long may it continue!”
A serious injury cut short Herron’s playing career but his professionalism and dedication to Rothbury FC in a now administrative capacity has seen the progression of a series of impressive development plans that have seen the club establish themselves as a well-respected Alliance outfit.
He also expects a tough game on Saturday and said: “The surface is no Armstrong Park but I expect us to pick up where we left off and pass pass pass!”
Words: Jon Tait Images: Susan Aynsley