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Convincing win over Curzon for the youngsters

FC United Youth versus Curzon Ashton Youth was originally scheduled to be played before Christmas, however with the uncertain weather that game was switched to the Tameside Stadium.

The North West Youth Alliance, who announce fixtures on a month by month basis decided not to wait for the opportunity to stage the game at St Bride’s Field.

An erratic and goalless first half gave way to a much improved second as Youth Team Manager Peter Freakes delicately explained the error of their ways and a 3-1 win for FC United was the final outcome.

Throughout the first half the game moved from end with half chances created, yet neither side forcing the opposition goal keeper into a difficult save. Matt Purcell, the Curzon number 11 was probably the liveliest performer. His runs and crosses lead to several situations in which his team mates failed to hit the target. Many FC efforts directed down the middle of the pitch foundered on the rock that was Centre Half Jake Hardicre.

The clearest opportunity of the half came from a Curzon free kick in the 28th minute when the resulting shot rattled the cross bar, dropped down on to the line and bounced out. Many people thought it had crossed the line, crucially referee Carl Berry was not one of them.

This shocked an otherwise off key FC side into some concerted attacking moves although it took until the 42nd minute for an FC effort to result in a header on target. Indeed half time was reached with a John Buckley free kick striking the wall being the first shot of any power or accuracy.

The second half was a much better performance as FC concentrated on using wide players to get behind the Curzon defence. The first of those in the 52nd minute saw an interchange with Sam Freakes and Jamie Mack in which Jamie cut past a defender on the goal line and crossed for Gary Nolan whose shot was saved. In the 59th minute the ball was delivered from the right with Jamie rising at the far post to head back for Sam Freakes to shoot home and open the scoring.

FC were now in control of the game and doubled the lead in the 72nd minute when a corner from the left by Jamie was returned with a thunderous volley by Shaun Connor into the top corner, hitting the net support and flying out. The Curzon goalkeeper caught the ball and was hoping for a similar play on verdict from the referee to that which had denied their effort in the first half. They were not so fortunate as the referee quickly signalled for a goal.

Curzon were slightly fortunate with the next attack when they were awarded what seemed an extremely generous penalty, however Curzon’s Hardicre had no intention of being equally generous, thumping it hard to Grant Shenton’s left and into the corner of the goal.

Both sides huffed and puffed their way towards the end of the game, until the start of what turned out to be seven minutes of added time; a possible hamstring injury to Shaun Connor being responsible for most of that. Then we saw possibly the best move of the match. A free kick for Curzon in their own half which had seemed needlessly conceded by Gary Nolan, was played straight to FC substitute Tim Marshall. He controlled the ball and strode purposefully toward the half way line. There was an easy pass available for Jamie Mack to have a clear run on goal, but Hardicre chose to step forward and leave Jamie clearly off side. Tim chose to wait a few seconds longer before playing the ball forward to meet a run from the pack by Gage Eme, which left him clear to run towards the Curzon keeper. As he approached the box he struck an exquisite lobbed shot over the keeper and into the net to seal the game.

FC United of Manchester

1. Grant Shenton
2. Ashley Reece
3. Barry Davies
4. John Buckley
5. Nick Swirad
6. Shaun Connor (Goal 72 Minutes)
7. Shaun Williams
8. Gage Eme (Goal 90 Minutes)
9. Gary Nolan
10. Jamie Mack
11. Sam Freakes (Goal 59 Minutes)

Substitutes
12. Stephen Carson
14.Tim Marshall (For 7, 61 minutes)
15. Mark Reeves (For 6, 83 minutes)
16. Josh Parkinson
17. Alex Sutcliffe


Curzon Ashton
1. Jon McIlwainne
2. Tom Dos Santos
3. Richard Williams
4. Jon Makin
5. Jake Hardicre (Goal 74 minutes (pen))
6. Connor Hampson
7. Adam Kay
8. Kyle Vanzuylen
9. Richard Bennett
10. Tyrone Hermitt
11. Matt Purcell

Substitutes
12. James Horan
14. Scott Verigotta
15. Connor Brotherton
16. Paul Brown
17. Zak Steedman


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First Posted ~ 11:29 Mon 19 Jan 2009
News ID ~ 2028
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013