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FC's women defeat Burnage Metro 3-0 in opening County Cup fixture

Putting last week’s disappointing start to the league campaign behind them, United’s women overcame their resilient south Manchester hosts 3-0 in the first group game of the revamped County Cup. Group games against foes from campaigns past, Beechfield United and Middleton Athletic, follow in the weeks ahead but today was all about a trip to Burnage Sports Ground, Didsbury to meet the recently formed Burnage Metro FC.

United, 1-0 up at the break courtesy of an early Beth Hayes penalty, added two second half strikes from Shellby Wolstencroft to seal a first victory of the season in front of 56 spectators.

Burnage kicked off and were straight on the attack repelled by the FC backline who turned defence into an attack of their own as Charlie Evans fed the ball into the feet of Lucy Bonner whose cross, destined for Leah Hartshorne, was blocked by a defender’s arm in the area and up stepped Beth Hayes, captaining the side for the first time, to confidently despatch her spot kick to the keeper’s left on three minutes.

Inside the first 10 minutes, United had chances to double their lead as an Evans’ strike narrowly cleared the bar and a last-ditch tackle denied Bonner on the edge of the six-yard area. The tone was set as wave after wave of United attacks were thwarted by resilient defending, well marshalled by Rachel Campbell, in front of a competent keeper in Hayley Langridge. Hayes, Bonner and Wolstencroft all had several chances throughout the half without further addition to the score whilst meanwhile, the Reds’ defence thwarted the rare forays of the home side with keeper Chloe Williams proving effective as a sweeper, efficiently clearing any danger.

After making four changes at the break, United got the second half underway with renewed purpose with Bonner bringing a good save from Langridge before Wolstencroft was denied by a superb tackle from the impressive Campbell. A trademark surging run from the returning Beth Tattersall, seeing her first competitive action since breaking her leg at Salford’s Moor Lane back in May 2014, ended with Adora Yau finding Wolstencroft who forced Langridge into a fine one-handed save.

The home side grew in belief as their slender deficit remained intact. Campbell floated in a corner that was well cleared by Fran Davies and Tattersall carried the ball forward at pace as United’s best interchange of passes of the afternoon, involving Shauna Ward, Tattersall, Yau and Hayes, resulted in Wolstencroft going desperately close with Langridge well beaten.

A minute later, on the hour mark, a piece of individual brilliance by Wolstencroft fashioned her own space to calmly stroke her shot beyond the despairing dive of Langridge and into the bottom corner to double United’s lead. Second half keeper Mary Priestner, made two late saves as Burnage threatened through Katie Salisbury and Susan Hackett but it was United who ended the stronger with Wolstencroft putting the game beyond doubt on 85 minutes.

Georgie Tindell played a deep ball to the far post and good pressure by Tattersall prompted a rare defensive error as the stray ball fell to Wolstencroft who took a touch before firing unerringly into the top corner from 18 yards. Thankfully a last minute injury scare to Tattersall proved to be just that and United saw the game out to pick up a valuable cup win and confidence boost ahead of a return to league action next week when they travel once more to Manchester’s south side, this time to face Altrincham Ladies.

Get yourself to that football ground.

Report by Rob Fullen

FC player of the game: Shellby Wolstencroft – deputising on the left for much of the game after spending most of last weekend as a stand-in keeper, Shellby’s versatility, shear persistence and spontaneous brilliance was rewarded with two superb strikes to see United over the line.

Teams 20 September 2015: Attendance: 56

FC United of Manchester Women: 3 (1)
1. Chloe Williams (Goalkeeper)
3. Georgie Tindell (right back)
17. Jess McCarrick (centre half)
2. Fran Davies (centre half)
12. Jess Tonge (left back)
18. Leah Hartshorne (centre midfield)
4. Beth Scholey (centre midfield)
7. Beth Hayes (captain - centre midfield) (Goal 3mins [Pen])
9. Shellby Wolstencroft (left midfield) (Goals 59 & 85mins)
15. Lucy Bonner (centre forward)
16. Charlie Evans (right midfield)
1. Mary Priestner (for No1 46mins)
6. Shauna Ward (for No4 46mins)
8. Adora Yau (for No18 46mins)
10. Beth Tattersall (for No16 46mins)
14. Feiruz Abdullahi (not used)
Roll on Roll off:
On No16, Off No15 74mins
On No4, Off No10 89mins

Burnage Metro FC: 0 (0)
1. Hayley Langridge
8. Rachel Campbell
3. Eve Lowry
16. Charlene Bell
4. Susan Hackett
38. Charlotte Fox
7. Stacey Burton
14. Charlotte Johnson
10. Hannah Parsons
23. Jordan O’Connor
99. Katie Salisbury
9. Beth Gilbert (for No10 44mins)
Roll on Roll off:
On No10 off No23 53mins
On No23 off No9 60mins
On No9 off No7 85mins

Match stats courtesy of Paul Hinson. FC United first.
Goals: 3 to 0
Shots on target: 9 to 1
Shots off target: 18 to 1
Corners: 10 to 3
Free kicks: 11 to 6
Possession: 72% to 28%
Pass completion: 276 to 105

Referee: Steve Cundall
Venue: Burnage Sports Ground, Didsbury, Manchester

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First Posted ~ 14:54 Mon 21 Sep 2015
News ID ~ 6393
Last Updated ~ 14:55 Mon 21 Sep 2015