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Young Reds in 'FA Cup' shock

Many of our supporters will have fond memories of Nelson Football Club and will be surprised to learn that financial pressures have forced them out of existence. On Saturday they were due to play Atherton Laburnum Rovers in the Extra Preliminary Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. Their withdrawal from this competition and indeed the Vodkat League, left the Atherton outfit without a game.

The FC United youth team were similarly placed, as a North West Youth Alliance league game against Mossley was postponed. Teams at this level often face conflicting demands for the pitch they use; FC United are unable to stage a home game until September due to use of St Brides as a cricket pitch.

With the temporary addition of Grant Shenton to the squad the young reds travelled to Atherton and took on their first team squad in an entirely friendly encounter and left with a 3-2 win.

Atherton started but the reds were not overawed and were soon creating chances of their own with three good efforts in the first ten minutes. It was in the 24th minute that FC took the lead. A free kick was swept to Matthew Tierney who passed to Josh Burke on the edge of the area and he chipped the ball over the keeper and into the net.

This stung Atherton into action and they began to create chances themselves. They were level five minutes later when a corner was headed home by their number 9 and seemed to be making their extra experience count when they reached half time 2-1 in front after a cross cum shot from their number 7 crept in at the far post.

Half time words of encouragement from manager Chuks Akuneto were heeded as FC levelled shortly after the restart. A centrally placed free kick just outside the box was taken by Carl Fitton around a wall which seemed badly placed. His shot went low into the middle of the goal with the Atherton keeper unable to get down quickly enough. A lead was restored just before the hour when Carl Fitton attempted a Ronaldinho like cross /shot from the left wing which struck the far post and rebounded back across the face of goal and nestled in the bottom corner. Carl will no doubt say he meant it although your correspondent will buy him a pint if he can do it again by his 18th Birthday.

The remainder of the game saw both sides making regular substitutions in order to give all the squad players’ time on the pitch. FC continued to cause problems and Luke Kolakowski was particularly unlucky not to get his name on the score sheet; however Atherton looked the more likely scorers as the extra strength and fitness became a factor. Andrew Farrimond, the likely choice for goalkeeper once the season gets under way, had replaced Grant and made his own contributions with three fine saves. When he was beaten and Atherton looked to be staging their own version of Carl’s winner, Obeid Elghreaw was on hand to clear the rebound from the post.

The game ended with a 3-2 win and all had made a positive contribution, the prospects for the season ahead look good. All are invited to St Brides for the start of that season on September 1st with a 6:30pm kick off against Nantwich.

A fantastic performance by the youth team has led to youth team player Harrison Reeve going out on loan to Atherton LR.

FC United of Manchester

1. Grant Shenton
2. Davison Banda
3. Jake Haslem
4. Matthew Tierney
5. Jordan Dainty
6. Harrison Reeve
7. Josh Burke (Goal 24 Minutes)
8. Scott Cheetham
9. Lee Hill
10. Dylan Moloney
11. Carl Fitton (Goals 48 and 57 Minutes)


12. Daniel McLoughlin (For 7, 72 Minutes)
13. Andrew Farrimond (For 1, 54 Minutes)
14. Mike Stockdale (For 10, 83 Minutes)
16. Darius Furniss (For 9, 65 Minutes)
17. Obeid Elghreaw (For 5, 54 Minutes)
18. Luke Kolakowski (For 8, 45 Minutes)

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First Posted ~ 10:42 Tue 17 Aug 2010
News ID ~ 3027
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013