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Victory for the youth...

It was a bright sunny afternoon at Hopwood Hall College as FC United’s Youth Team waited to take on Middleton Colts. The game kicked off around half an hour late, but FC were eager to show the delay had no adverse effects. Toby Iloba leapt into action with little more than a minute gone to head home a cross from Shaun Williams to make it 1-0.

A fierce start from Middleton had been expected and as such despite the high score in their previous game there was little expectation that such an early strike would go unanswered. Indeed some of the Middleton tackling could be described as robust as they went in search of an equaliser. Sadly for them it was not to be as FC Captain Jamie Mack scored the first of what would be a sizeable personal haul, breaking clear of the defence on the left corner of the penalty area and coolly slotting past the Middleton Keeper.

The game settled down somewhat as Middleton regained their composure and despite some crisp FC United passing, kept them at bay until the 26th minute. A slide rule pass beat the Middleton defence and Jamie Mack collected the ball before making it 3-0.

In the very next attack, barely a minute later the ball dropped to John Buckley outside the penalty area, with nobody quite sure what he was trying to do the ball ended up in the top corner of the net for 4-0 and suddenly calculators were starting to emerge in an attempt to keep score.

Two minutes later it should have been five as Toby Iloba found himself with a clear run at goal, sadly instead of shooting he passed to Jamie Mack who despite putting the ball in the net was clearly offside and the effort was ruled out.

FC united continued to press forward, playing some excellent football and creating numerous chances. However it took until the 39th minute for FC to make it 5-0 when a cross from the left reached Toby Iloba outside the far post. He coolly slotted back a cross goal and into the bottom corner. Jamie Mack completed the first half scoring a minute later when he was put through one on one against the keeper although there was still time for Shaun Williams to have an effort cleared off the line as half time was reached with the score at 6-0.

Whatever was said by the Middleton coaching team at half time had some effect, for although there was time for an FC free kick to result in a Nick Swirad shot over the bar; Ryan Young took advantage of a rare lapse by the FC defence to shoot past an otherwise faultless Robert Froggatt to make it 6-1.

This was sadly as good as it got for Middleton with FC United continuing to press forward at every opportunity. The Jamie Mack/Toby Iloba combination caused havoc as the latter shot narrowly wide in the 52nd minute. Four minutes later, John Buckley took a free kick from just inside the Middleton half and floated it towards the penalty spot. Jamie Mack took advantage of the confusion it caused to lift the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net (7-1).

In the 57th minute Jamie broke clear down the left and drilled a low hard cross into the box and the crowd held their breath wondering which of the three waiting FC attackers would score, unfortunately none did and Middleton cleared the danger.

FC continued to attack at will and in the 63rd minute came possibly the move of the game as substitute Barry Davies picked up the ball in the centre circle, passed to Jamie Mack and in the blink of an eye he had crossed for Toby Iloba to power a header into the net. (8-1)

A ten minute quiet spell followed as the crowd debated how many goals had been scored when Toby powered towards the edge of the penalty area before being fouled. Although many believed it was inside, the referee gave FC a free kick on the edge. It made little difference as Tim Marshall looped a quick kick over the wall and into the goal (9-1).

The double figure tally was reached two minutes later when Jamie Mack scored his fifth. He completed the scoring three minutes later when found by another ball through the Middleton defence; play seemed to enter a slow motion mode as everyone on the touch line waited for an offside decision. Jamie however did what all good forwards should do and put the ball into the net and wait for a whistle that never came.

Further chances came and went as FC continued to press forward but none with the ultimate reward and the game ended 11-1 to FC United of Manchester. It was a splendid display of controlled attacking football, enjoyed by all, including Karl Marginson and Daz Lyons; casting an eye on first team potential, although hopefully with sterner tests to come starting at Prescot Cables next week.

FC United Team
1. Robert Froggatt,
2. Andre Holder
3. Josh Parkinson
4. Shaun Connor
5. Nick Swirad
6. John Buckley (Goal, 27 minutes)
7. Ashley Reece
8. Tim Marshall (Goal, 73 minutes)
9. Tony Iloba (Goals, 2, 39 & 68 minutes)
10. Jamie Mack (Goals 9, 26, 40, 56, 75 & 78 minutes)
11. Shaun Williams

12. Barry Davies (for 3, 51 minutes)
13. Jake Edwards
14. Matt Wilkinson (for 7, 68 minutes)
15. Jack Lyons (for 4, 59 minutes)
16. Alex Sutcliffe

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First Posted ~ 15:13 Mon 13 Oct 2008
News ID ~ 1869
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013