FC United of Manchester FC United of Manchester FC United of Manchester

FC United of ManchesterSmaller TextLarger Text

Match Report

    

2.00pm Sunday 19th January 2014

Greater Manchester Women's Football League Division 1

Mayfields Sports Centre, Keswick Street, Castleton, Lancs, OL11 3AG


Middleton Athletic Ladies

3 - 2

FCUM Women

 

Attendance: 215

Middleton Athletic Ladies 3

FCUM Women 2



Attendance: 215
Match Report

The first game of 2013 was to prove decisive in the outcome of last season’s title with defeat by City ultimately condemning United to runners up spot.

Unfortunately, the first game of the new-year could well result in the same scenario. After Middleton’s smash and grab 2-1 victory at Broadhurst back in October and with United sitting top on a far superior goal difference, victory for the Reds would go a long way to securing the title at the second time of asking. Middleton knew that a win for them or even a draw, with respect to the remaining teams in Division 1, was likely to secure them the title and so the scene was set, the destiny of the title finely poised and both sides determined and ready for action after a 5 week festive break.

Three clinical, unanswered strikes by Middleton’s player of the game Joanna O’Connell, backed by superior defensive organisation, kept FC United at arm’s length until a final frantic last 10 minutes when debutant Molly Wood and Captain Kirsty Chambers reduced the deficit. Crucially a perfectly good goal by Kaya Janny, sandwiched between the two accredited FC strikes, was ruled out and Middleton held on to take the spoils, becoming the first team to complete a league double over the Reds.

The best crowd of the season gathered at Middleton’s Mayfield Sports Centre with United providing the majority of the 215 supporters who used the low stand roof to create a fantastic atmosphere throughout. Former players Amy Vyas, Broghan Matthews and Jade Challender leant their support to the occasion as many others forwarded their best wishes via social media; such was the hype and perceived importance of the game.

Middleton got the game underway as a low winter sun hindered FC’s returning keeper Mary Priestner and her defence intermittently throughout the first half with the home side looking to take advantage of the slight downward slope and better surface at their attacking end of the ground; enjoying the better of the opening exchanges. On five minutes a hopeful punt forward caused problems for the FC backline and Shevaughn Hurndall had the game’s first effort on goal.

With the home side looking to strike early at every opportunity, the FC defence was stretched and on 8 minutes Amy Battel landed awkwardly following a challenge down the right edge of her own area and had to be carried from the pitch to take no further part in the game; despite the very best efforts of Sue the physio.

United reorganised and whilst still settling into revised positions, Middleton took full advantage as Belinda Carter powered in a superb deep centre from the right hand corner flag that evaded all red shirts as O’Connell grabbed the game’s opener with an unstoppable volley from beyond the back post 8 yards out. Middleton, far from sitting back, pressed their advantage and had two headed efforts from corners, first from Chelsea Cook whose effort just cleared the bar and moments later from Carter whose header went wide of the post.

On 20 minutes Jade Parker combined well with Lizzie Evans who shot from the edge of the area forcing a low diving one handed save from Claire Jefferson with Chambers being adjudged offside as she latched onto the loose ball. After an innocuous passage of play and seemingly when there appeared no danger, O’Connell crafted her second as she lofted a 35 yard strike into the sun which cleared an unsighted Priestner to double Middleton’s advantage on the half hour.

The positive introduction of Shellby Wolstencroft at this point seemed to spur United into a response and she won a free kick on the edge of the area which was dealt with effectively by the Middleton wall. On 39 minutes Wolstencroft came close herself as she shot under pressure from 12 yards, narrowly evading the post. Middleton ended the half the stronger leaving United with much to ponder at the break.

The Reds, with conditions now in their favour, went straight on the attack from the kick off with Charlie Evans doing well down the right only for her cross to be cut out. Moments later Chambers crossed from the left for substitute striker Wood to almost beat Jefferson to the ball at her near post. As United pressed for a quick return in the game Middleton underlined their counter attacking credentials as O’Connell struck the bar from range with Priestner a bye-stander and moments later Cook cleared the bar with a header following an excellent cross from the right.

The hosts were not to be denied for long as FC seemed to lose their way in the game and a poor clearance from defence was charged down by the lively O’Connell who surged into the United area, wrong footed Chelsea Patient creating space to fire unerringly beyond the despairing dive of the FC keeper to claim her hatrick.

Lizzie Evans carved out an opening for the visitors lofting a cheeky shot towards the top corner of Middleton’s goal where the excellent Jefferson rose to pluck the ball out of the air with nonchalant ease. Just inside the final quarter hour O’Connell, having scored three and crashed an earlier effort against the bar, looked set to grab her 4th of the afternoon as she rounded Priestner and faced with an empty goal, blasted her shot off the post and out of harm’s way as United rode their luck.

Parker, who for much of the game had been FC’s best performer, drove a speculative 35 yarder goal wards and was frustrated to see it beat Jefferson but crash to safety off the cross bar. Parker was again the target of a long free kick down the left and wriggled past her marker and into the area crossing for Wood to slot home from 3 yards on her debut with seven minutes of normal time remaining. The fight back was on and Middleton’s composure threatened as just a minute later a Chambers corner found Kaya Janny unmarked in the six yard box where she bundled the ball home sparking renewed hope only for referee Talbot to rule the effort out for apparent dubious impediment of the keeper.

Undaunted, FC’s late surge continued and deep into stoppage time an excellent cross from the right from Lizzie Evans found Captain Chambers sliding in at the far post to reduce the deficit to just one goal. Despite frantic efforts to force an equaliser time ran out and the final whistle brought summersaults and wild celebrations from the Middleton players, their coaches and fans as United’s travelling support sang the praises of the valiant Reds in an effort to lift their spirits and let them know our support remains undiminished.

Report by Rob Fullen

Player of the game: In a tough encounter the one player who looked like she could haul United into contention was Jade Parker; setting up Molly Wood’s debut strike and coming close herself as a 35 yard strike cannoned off the bar.

Teams 19th January 2014: Attendance: 215

Middleton Athletic: 3 (2)
1. Claire Jefferson
2. Shauna Hurndal (Captain)
3. Cassie Tahiraj
19. Emma Thetford
5. Rachel Jefferson
6. Joanna O’Connell (goals 12,30 & 60mins)
7. Chelsea Cook
8. Chantelle Henshall
9. Shevaughn Hurndal
10. Belinda Carter
15. Amelia Garlick

Subs:
4. Jessica Wynne
11. Gemma Booth
12. Paris Welsh
14. Megan Norton
16. Charlotte Lancaster

FC United of Manchester Women: 2(0)
1. Mary Priestner (Goal Keeper)
2. Amy Battel (right back)
4. Jemma Doyle (left back)
5. Chelsea Patient (centre half)
7. Beth Hayes (centre half)
14. Aimee Cooke (centre midfield)
18. Leah Hartshorne (centre midfield)
9. Jade Parker (centre midfield)
16. Charlie Evans (right midfield)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Captain, left midfield and goal 94mins)
15. Lizzie Evans (centre forward)
Subs:
6. Molly Wood (for 4 46mins and goal 83mins)
8. Adora Yau (for 14 46 mins)

Match Report

The first game of 2013 was to prove decisive in the outcome of last season’s title with defeat by City ultimately condemning United to runners up spot.

Unfortunately, the first game of the new-year could well result in the same scenario. After Middleton’s smash and grab 2-1 victory at Broadhurst back in October and with United sitting top on a far superior goal difference, victory for the Reds would go a long way to securing the title at the second time of asking. Middleton knew that a win for them or even a draw, with respect to the remaining teams in Division 1, was likely to secure them the title and so the scene was set, the destiny of the title finely poised and both sides determined and ready for action after a 5 week festive break.

Three clinical, unanswered strikes by Middleton’s player of the game Joanna O’Connell, backed by superior defensive organisation, kept FC United at arm’s length until a final frantic last 10 minutes when debutant Molly Wood and Captain Kirsty Chambers reduced the deficit. Crucially a perfectly good goal by Kaya Janny, sandwiched between the two accredited FC strikes, was ruled out and Middleton held on to take the spoils, becoming the first team to complete a league double over the Reds.

The best crowd of the season gathered at Middleton’s Mayfield Sports Centre with United providing the majority of the 215 supporters who used the low stand roof to create a fantastic atmosphere throughout. Former players Amy Vyas, Broghan Matthews and Jade Challender leant their support to the occasion as many others forwarded their best wishes via social media; such was the hype and perceived importance of the game.

Middleton got the game underway as a low winter sun hindered FC’s returning keeper Mary Priestner and her defence intermittently throughout the first half with the home side looking to take advantage of the slight downward slope and better surface at their attacking end of the ground; enjoying the better of the opening exchanges. On five minutes a hopeful punt forward caused problems for the FC backline and Shevaughn Hurndall had the game’s first effort on goal.

With the home side looking to strike early at every opportunity, the FC defence was stretched and on 8 minutes Amy Battel landed awkwardly following a challenge down the right edge of her own area and had to be carried from the pitch to take no further part in the game; despite the very best efforts of Sue the physio.

United reorganised and whilst still settling into revised positions, Middleton took full advantage as Belinda Carter powered in a superb deep centre from the right hand corner flag that evaded all red shirts as O’Connell grabbed the game’s opener with an unstoppable volley from beyond the back post 8 yards out. Middleton, far from sitting back, pressed their advantage and had two headed efforts from corners, first from Chelsea Cook whose effort just cleared the bar and moments later from Carter whose header went wide of the post.

On 20 minutes Jade Parker combined well with Lizzie Evans who shot from the edge of the area forcing a low diving one handed save from Claire Jefferson with Chambers being adjudged offside as she latched onto the loose ball. After an innocuous passage of play and seemingly when there appeared no danger, O’Connell crafted her second as she lofted a 35 yard strike into the sun which cleared an unsighted Priestner to double Middleton’s advantage on the half hour.

The positive introduction of Shellby Wolstencroft at this point seemed to spur United into a response and she won a free kick on the edge of the area which was dealt with effectively by the Middleton wall. On 39 minutes Wolstencroft came close herself as she shot under pressure from 12 yards, narrowly evading the post. Middleton ended the half the stronger leaving United with much to ponder at the break.

The Reds, with conditions now in their favour, went straight on the attack from the kick off with Charlie Evans doing well down the right only for her cross to be cut out. Moments later Chambers crossed from the left for substitute striker Wood to almost beat Jefferson to the ball at her near post. As United pressed for a quick return in the game Middleton underlined their counter attacking credentials as O’Connell struck the bar from range with Priestner a bye-stander and moments later Cook cleared the bar with a header following an excellent cross from the right.

The hosts were not to be denied for long as FC seemed to lose their way in the game and a poor clearance from defence was charged down by the lively O’Connell who surged into the United area, wrong footed Chelsea Patient creating space to fire unerringly beyond the despairing dive of the FC keeper to claim her hatrick.

Lizzie Evans carved out an opening for the visitors lofting a cheeky shot towards the top corner of Middleton’s goal where the excellent Jefferson rose to pluck the ball out of the air with nonchalant ease. Just inside the final quarter hour O’Connell, having scored three and crashed an earlier effort against the bar, looked set to grab her 4th of the afternoon as she rounded Priestner and faced with an empty goal, blasted her shot off the post and out of harm’s way as United rode their luck.

Parker, who for much of the game had been FC’s best performer, drove a speculative 35 yarder goal wards and was frustrated to see it beat Jefferson but crash to safety off the cross bar. Parker was again the target of a long free kick down the left and wriggled past her marker and into the area crossing for Wood to slot home from 3 yards on her debut with seven minutes of normal time remaining. The fight back was on and Middleton’s composure threatened as just a minute later a Chambers corner found Kaya Janny unmarked in the six yard box where she bundled the ball home sparking renewed hope only for referee Talbot to rule the effort out for apparent dubious impediment of the keeper.

Undaunted, FC’s late surge continued and deep into stoppage time an excellent cross from the right from Lizzie Evans found Captain Chambers sliding in at the far post to reduce the deficit to just one goal. Despite frantic efforts to force an equaliser time ran out and the final whistle brought summersaults and wild celebrations from the Middleton players, their coaches and fans as United’s travelling support sang the praises of the valiant Reds in an effort to lift their spirits and let them know our support remains undiminished.

Report by Rob Fullen

Player of the game: In a tough encounter the one player who looked like she could haul United into contention was Jade Parker; setting up Molly Wood’s debut strike and coming close herself as a 35 yard strike cannoned off the bar.

Teams 19th January 2014: Attendance: 215

Middleton Athletic: 3 (2)
1. Claire Jefferson
2. Shauna Hurndal (Captain)
3. Cassie Tahiraj
19. Emma Thetford
5. Rachel Jefferson
6. Joanna O’Connell (goals 12,30 & 60mins)
7. Chelsea Cook
8. Chantelle Henshall
9. Shevaughn Hurndal
10. Belinda Carter
15. Amelia Garlick

Subs:
4. Jessica Wynne
11. Gemma Booth
12. Paris Welsh
14. Megan Norton
16. Charlotte Lancaster

FC United of Manchester Women: 2(0)
1. Mary Priestner (Goal Keeper)
2. Amy Battel (right back)
4. Jemma Doyle (left back)
5. Chelsea Patient (centre half)
7. Beth Hayes (centre half)
14. Aimee Cooke (centre midfield)
18. Leah Hartshorne (centre midfield)
9. Jade Parker (centre midfield)
16. Charlie Evans (right midfield)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Captain, left midfield and goal 94mins)
15. Lizzie Evans (centre forward)
Subs:
6. Molly Wood (for 4 46mins and goal 83mins)
8. Adora Yau (for 14 46 mins)