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FC United Women defeat the Manchester Stingers to lift Manchester Cup once again

FC United Women defeat the Manchester Stingers to lift Manchester Cup once again

In front of a healthy crowd of 338 on a damp, drizzly Friday 13th on a heavy, neutral West Didsbury & Chorlton FC pitch, defending cup holders, FC United of Manchester defeated the 2015/16 winners Manchester Stingers by 2 first half set piece goals to 0.

Fran Sullivan curled home a cultured free kick inside the first 10 minutes and Captain Kirsty Chambers doubled the lead from the spot less than 10 minutes from the break.

FC United got the final underway and despite excellent early possession the heavy conditions were proving not conducive to the end product that might have been forthcoming on a better surface. After FC’s early dominance, Stingers showed some attacking intent of their own with good tracking back by Olivia Greenhalgh proving enough to cause Nicola Armstrong to put her cross into the side netting.

The game came to life on 9 minutes when Sullivan was fouled on the edge of the ‘D’ and she curled a sublime right foot free kick over the wall and beyond the dive of Sian Payne to hit the top corner and send the majority FC United crowd into raptures.
The Stingers responded well through the skilful Bet Longford who gave Jess McCarrick the slip wide left and delivered a cross onto the head of the unmarked Nadine Ruddock who glanced her effort just wide of Gemma Jackson’s goal from 10 yards.

United upped their intensity with some excellent possession and build up play with the keeper saving well twice in quick succession at her near post from Chambers. A 30 yard free kick sailed over FC’s bar from Shelly James and moments later Chambers headed a corner clear from her own near post as United launched an effective counter attack resulting in Cara Fields being fouled on the edge of the Stingers box. This time Sullivan curled her free kick over Payne but also very narrowly over the bar.

Approaching the 40 minute mark yet another excellent, low delivery by Chambers evaded the back peddling defenders but met with the timely arrival of Fields 12 yards out. The midfielder was heavily impeded in trying to stay on her feet and get a shot away and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot much to the annoyance of the Stingers bench.

Chambers waited patiently and for a considerable period whilst the referee engaged with the Stingers dugout and finally when her moment came the FC captain calmly fired her spot kick into the bottom corner to Payne’s right to deservedly double the lead.

The second half was one of FC containment, excellent concentration and defending by the back three and dominance of possession once again. Chambers had a goal disallowed for offside, Nicole Hatcliffe showed immense integrity, endeavour and threat time and again, Jess Battle was denied on several occasions by the excellent performance of Sian Payne (later officially recognised player of the game) in the Stingers goal.

Whilst FC could not extend their lead, equally Manchester Stingers offered little in terms of goal threat and the red’s saw out the game comfortably in the end as the first hurdle in a possible treble hunting campaign was successfully negotiated.

The cold, damp and mud could not detract from the joyous scenes of champagne celebration as the red’s repeated last season’s feat and raised the trophy once more to the strains of ‘We Love United’ from the massed FC faithful.

It’s back down to earth and into league action once again for the red’s on Sunday as they travel to Merseyside to face City of Liverpool Ladies (2pm KO) to play their 4th game in 7 days and they follow this up with a visit to Stockport County Blues next Wednesday, 18th before entertaining CMB in our main stadium in the Argyle Cup semi final a week on Sunday. The fantastic support shown tonight, if replicated in the remaining games, could see the reds over the line in the league and possibly Argyle Cup too and your presence at games is always really appreciated by the staff and players. Thank You.

Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Kirsty Chambers – praise right across the team for a thoroughly professional display in very difficult conditions; epitomised by a Captain’s performance from Kirsty who delivered quality crosses all evening, had a goal disallowed and showed great composure to score the decisive second, from the penalty spot. Special mention to Nicole Hatcliffe for a fantastic second half display also.

Teams 13th April 2018: Attendance: 338

FC United of Manchester: 2 (2)
1. Gemma Jackson
2. Fran Davies
3. Abbie Carrington
5. Chelsea Patient
17. Jess McCarrick
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
7. Fran Sullivan (Goal 9 mins)
8. Rebecca Foster
18. Cara Fields
9. Jess Battle
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt) (Goal 39 mins [Pen])
Subs:
1/13. Chloe Ainsworth
12. Fliss Winters (for No8 72 mins)
14. Jennifer Lomax (for No9 81 mins)
15. Chelsea Flanagan (for No 18 64 mins)
16. Nicole Hatcliffe (for No3 46 mins)
Roll on Roll Off:
On No4 for No8 84 mins
On No3 for No7 87 mins

Manchester Stingers: 0 (0)
1. Sian Payne
12. Chloe Spencer
3. Fran Hall
4. Shelley James
5. Rachel Pearse
14. Nadine Ruddock
7. Bet Longford
8. Angie Ashioti
9. Aly Hastie
10. Nicola Armstrong
11. Lucy Connell
Subs:
2. Charlotte Walsh (for No11 64 mins)
6. Ellie Yates
15. Vicky Dillon (for No8 81 mins)
16. Kerry Jackson (for No4 65 mins)

Referee: Joel Buckle
Asst Referee: Megan Lord
Asst Referee: Jamal Martins
4th Official: Jahangir Hussain
Venue: West Didsbury & Chorlton FC, Brookburn Road, Chorlton, Manchester
Official FC photography by Mark Lee & Samantha Coates
Social Media Updates from Mikey Partington
Film Footage & Historical Stats from Neil Boo
Match Stats by Paul Hinson from: www.liveteamstats.com
FC United stats first column:
Goals: 2.............0
Shots on target: 9.............0
Shots off target: 7.............3
Corners: 4.............3
Completed Passes: 309........137
Possession: 69%.......31%







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First Posted ~ 00:59 Sun 15 Apr 2018
News ID ~ 7852
Last Updated ~ 16:05 Sat 21 Apr 2018