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Youth Team tumble out of the cup

The second half of the weekend United, Liverpool double header sadly was as unsuccessful for Mancunians as the Premier League showdown the day before. AFC Liverpool progressed to the next round of the North West Youth Alliance Open Cup with a 4-1 win at St Brides Field.

The early promise borne out of a shot from Jamie Mack that went just wide in the first minute evaporated as some poor passing from FC allowed the Liverpool midfield to control possession. This meant they had far more of the first half and went into the half time break with a deserved 2-0 lead as Jordan Gerrard twice punished sloppy defending, breaking through the defence to stab past Jake Edwards in the 21st minute and beating him to a free kick in the 30th minute and heading home.

Whilst a refereeing performance that can at best be described as quirky had no real impact on the game the first of seven FC bookings for Sam Freakes should have given the seventy odd crowd an idea of what they were in for. The period between the goals saw Shaun Williams booked as an FC defensive wall which seemed more than 10 yards back asked how much further the referee wanted them to go plus Tim Marshall and Andre Holder booked for a seemingly innocuous tackles.

The best chance for the Home Team came close to half time when a Jamie Mack break brought a fine save from AFC keeper Chris Brinksman although nothing came of the resulting corner.

FC started the second half in a much more positive mood as second half substitute Mark Reeves, on for Tim Marshall brought some order into midfield. However as a number of chances came and went FC were punished for more sloppy defending as Gerrard completed his hat trick in the 58th minute.

Hope blossomed in the 63rd minute when Sam Freakes cut in from the right wing and shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner to make it 3-1. Sadly that was extinguished when another defensive error gave Dean Williamson the chance to dribble round Jake Edwards and tap in to an empty net.

This was the end of the scoring but sadly not the end of the refereeing contribution to the game. With five minutes to go Andre Holder, having been receiving treatment behind the goal line for several minutes sought permission to come back on from the position where he had been prone. The referee refused saying Liverpool were about to take a corner. When this was cleared for another corner a second request was met only with a yellow and red card for the bemused player and equally puzzled spectators. There was still time for Jamie Mack and Nick Swirad to receive cautions for mysterious reasons.

AFC Liverpool had a number of players booked for similarly strange reasons although did fully deserve their victory.

FC United of Manchester
1. Jake Edwards
2. Alex Sutcliffe
3. Andre Holder
4. Tim Marshall
5. Nick Swirad
6. Shaun Connor
7. Shaun Williams
8. Matthew Wilkinson
9. Jack Lyons
10. Jamie Mack (capt)
11. Sam Freakes (Goal63)
12. Stephen Carson
13. Robert Froggatt
14. Josh Parkinson
15. Mark Reeves
16. Barry Davies

AFC Liverpool
1. Chris Brinksman
2. Nathan Stanton
3. Keiron Long
4. Kevin McElin
5. Connor Murphy
6. Jordan Gerrard (Goals 21,30 & 58)
7. Paul Stafford
8. Joe Evans
9. Dean Williamson (Goal 78)
10. Billy Sutton
11. Thomas Halligan
Manish Gambhir
Daniel Stokes
Matty McDermott

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First Posted ~ 11:36 Mon 15 Sep 2008
News ID ~ 1819
Last Updated ~ 11:36 Mon 15 Sep 2008