The Mini Derby: Maine Road vs FC United

If like me you've been bored shitless over the last few weeks watching the odd pointless summer tournament like the horn-friendly Confederations Cup, or our three-game one-goal Vodacom Challenge non-triumph then i'm sure you'll be eager to get back into things now August is upon us.

Maine Road FC have been going for over fifty years now, formed in 1955 as City Supporters Rusholme, and started off playing in the Sunday League. In the late sixties they moved to Maine Road Social Club, changed to their current moniker and joined the Manchester Amateur Sunday League. After achieving a league and County Cup double in 1971/72 they joined the Manchester Saturday Football League. In 1980 they moved to their current home of Brantingham Road, Chorlton, and between 1984 and and 1987 won four successive league titles.

In 1990 they won promotion to the North West Counties League Division One (now the Vodkat League) and had by then won five County Cup competitions. They stayed in that division for twelve seasons before being relegated for the first time in their history in 2002, regaining promotion two seasons later. Under the guidance of Chris Simms and then Ian Walker the club achieved four consecutive top half finishes and won the Vodkat League Cup.

They've also won seven of eleven Umbro Cups, and last season finished 13th with a very young side under the leadership of club stalwart Derek Barber. This summer former manager Ian Walker has returned along with several experienced players, and the club hope for a credible league finish.

With average home attendances of around 65, 'Road might not be the best-supported side in the area, even the division, and certainly in relation to City, that other lot, and others in the local Premier and Football Leagues, but they're a club with great history, and a close-knit and loyal following.

The last game they played against FC United drew a crowd of over 3,000, admittedly swelled by the support of the Rebels, and there's a good chance that a fair few might come along and watch this friendly. The two clubs, unlike their more illustrious rivals, sound like they've formed a great relationship, and a healthy number of attendees could really make the difference to Maine Road over the coming season.

Going to City now, well, any club, not just those in the Premier League, can cost an arm and a leg, we all know. A season ticket can cost the best part of £600 top end, or one-off games might set you back £25-£30 a person just for your ticket. At Maine Road you can get entrance to the ground, a programme, brew, pie, and if you're lucky, a tinny, all for a tenner. Give it a whirl. It might be a far stretch from Robinho, billionaire owners and a 47,000 capacity, but you'll see decent footballing sides, have a great and affordable night out, and support a good local club with big City links.

The game does clash with the reserve team's match at Stalybridge, but i'd encourage those not making that trip to try and get down if they can.

Maine Road vs FC United
Tuesday 4th August, 7:30pm

Brantingham Road, Chorlton, M21 0TT

Admission: adults £5, seniors £2, kids in free

1 comment:

  1. Great plug for our club. Thanks.I'm pleased to confirm that the posts and railings featured in the photograph have been painted (along with the dug-outs and turnstile(s), We also put up the goalposts this morning in readiness for tuesday.

    My only worry is that you are probably very well known to us/me at Maine Road and are quietly having a chuckle, but either way, this sort of publicity is vital to us and we hope to be doing and getting alot more of it this season.