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Youth march on to semi-final

FC United of Manchester Youth team reached the semi final of the Manchester County FA cup competition, beating Avros 3-1 in a heated encounter that contained two penalties and a lot of physical confrontations.

As a team used to winning in their own league, the Avros side promised a contest in which FC would be denied the right to play football and would not therefore be up for the fight.

With the benefit of a strong wind in the first half, the reds sought to prove them wrong and had much the better of the early exchanges. Sam Freakes had two early chances, firstly with a free kick from 25 yards parried by the Avro’s keeper and scrambled away and shortly afterwards with a one on one situation where a loose touch allowed the keeper to collect the ball on the edge of his area.

With FC trying to play one and two touch pass and move football they were getting the ball wide and behind the back four quite easily. Having first freed Jack Lyons who crossed for Toby Iloba at the far post only to see his header saved comfortably, the next move gave Gage Eme the chance to break in field. He was fouled on the edge of the area, the referee had no doubt that it was inside and pointed to the penalty spot. With regular taker, Jamie Mack as a substitute John Buckley proved up to the task with a fierce drive down the middle, the keeper having dived to his right and out of the way of the pile-driver.

FC continued to dominate the game with Avros first corner not coming until the 27th minute. Indeed the home side failed to trouble the FC defence until the last five minutes of the half, when a mix up saw Grant Shenton come for a ball pumped forward only to be caught out of position when having held up in the wind a scramble for the ball fell to an Avro player to shoot home despite Grant getting a hand to the shot.

FC nearly restored the lead close on half time when a sweeping move saw a ball chested on by Sam Freakes into the path of Gage Eme. His attempt to turn and shoot was thwarted, but the ball broke for Ashley Reece who struck a thunderous blow which was heading for the top corner until turned over by a flying save from the Avros keeper.

Buoyed by the equaliser Avros started the second half much better and, playing with the wind were the more likely to score, their tactics unsettling the FC side. This wasn’t helped by a referee who having booked the Avro number seven failed to spot a deliberate handball for what should have been a second booking. From then on the referee had little chance of controlling the game as the tackles became more fierce and the discussions afterwards equally so.

Fortunately, after around 10 minutes, FC United began to reassert control and as Jamie Mack replaced Jack Lyons, chances came and went with Sam Freakes lashing a shot against the post. Then the Reds won a second penalty with Jamie placing it perfectly in the bottom corner.

Avro only had one real opportunity to get back into the game after that, when Grant saved a goal bound shot and followed it up with a fine instinctive block from the following corner before the ball was cleared up field.

The scoring was completed just before full time when a swift break found Gage free on the right wing. His cross was swept home from ten yards by the ever active Mark Reeves. Just remember where you read this first because if you talk to him tomorrow it will have been from the half way line.

FC United of Manchester
1. Grant Shenton
2. Ashley Reece
3. Josh Parkinson
4. John Buckley
5. Shaun Connor
6. Nick Swirad
7. Mark Reeves
8. Toby Iloba
9. Jack Lyons
10. Gage Eme
11. Sam Freakes

Substitutes
12. Ryan Lyons
13. Shaun Williams
14. Barry Davies
15. Tim Marshall
16. Jamie Mack


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First Posted ~ 16:11 Tue 13 Jan 2009
News ID ~ 2019
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013