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FCUMW continue pre-season preparations with action-packed Broadhurst Cup Sunday

FCUMW continue pre-season preparations with action-packed Broadhurst Cup Sunday

FC United Women continued their pre-season preparations at Broadhurst Park, this afternoon, with participation in the inaugural Broadhurst Cup. The Reds were joined in the tri-team tournament by the Isle of Man Ladies and Stoke City Ladies FC, the latter winning the tournament after beating United on penalties 4-2, in the final.

With the three sides set to contest a round robin style tournament, the top two teams with the most points advancing to the final, United took to the pitch in the first game of the day against the Isle of Man Ladies. With a shortened game length of 20 minutes each way, the Reds were up-and-running from the off, with a handful of chances created early on. Flanagan was first to have an effort on goal after some good work down the right by Corie Mather - the striker’s shot was wide of the target, however.

Flanagan continued to be at the centre of the action after another dangerous run into the box, on 11 minutes, presented her with a chance that she unfortunately couldn’t turn home, after being found from out on the right by Rebecca Foster.

To her relief, Flanagan finally got her goal a minute later. From the resulting goal-kick, the striker picked up the misplaced effort before driving a low strike into the bottom corner from range - the Reds first goal of the day.

From then on, a period of stability and composure. Half-time came and with it Podmore made the first of his substitutions; Jackson, Jein and Dale replacing Ainsworth, Patient and McCarrick.

FC then started the half as they finished the last one, Flanagan going close after a moment of good linkup play with Jess Battle. The linkups and interchanges continued between United’s players as they continue to fine tune combinations ahead of the new season. Carrington and Greenhalgh working well down the left but the eventual cross was to no avail.

On the half-hour mark Donelan and Chadwick were introduced for the first time, replacing Revitt and Mather. This moments before a good burst of energy from Jein, bringing the ball out from the back, but unfortunately her through-ball was just too far for Jess Battle to chase.

As the game came to a close and the ref began to play added time, the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the game. Having fired an effort past Jackson’s near post, they continued to press for the equaliser that was not forthcoming. Jein headed back to Jackson, despite pressure, a crucial interception that wiped out the last bit of hope for the visitors.

After soaking up a fair amount of pressure, the Reds launched their final attack of the opening game. Battle had an effort to round the keeper smothered after being well-found by Anya Donelan down the left channel. That was to be the last chance of the game and the ref finally blew time on a short but eventful encounter - FC taking the first three points of the day and with it more minutes in the legs, ahead of the new season.

Less than an hour after defeat to United, the Isle of Man Ladies suffered their second loss of the afternoon, going down 3-1 to Stoke City in game 2 of the day. Despite leveling the game at 1-1 in the first half with a stunning long range effort, Stoke ended the game as comfortable winners thanks to two goals either side of half-time. It meant that even after two strong performances, the Isle of Man were eliminated from the tournament with Stoke joining the Reds in the day’s final. The two sides were originally due to play the final round robin game of the day, before the final, but instead just decided to play an extended final of 30 minutes each way, having both already reached the final game of the day.

So with the final getting underway, the Reds faced the FA Women’s National League side for the first and only time in the day. Despite the two-tier difference between the sides, the two endured a well-contested opening half-an-hour. Both teams went close to an early opener, the visitors’ chance courtesy of a defensive mixup made by FC. Moments earlier Dale had struck United’s best chance into the wall, having been awarded a free-kick in a promising position.

United continued to try and cease the early momentum but the opponents were proving a tough test to break down. Chadwick went close to tapping in at the far post after a whipped cross by McCarrick out on the left wing. On 18 minutes, Chelsea Patient superbly turned defence into attack intercepting the ball before attempting to set Jess Battle away in-behind, but her lobbed ball just evaded the striker following a defensive error made by Stoke.

As the game drew closer to the half, FC once again went close. Flanagan dragged a low effort wide of the near post from range, a similar angle to her goal earlier in the day, against the Isle of Man. On the stroke of half-time, Stoke fired a well-placed free-kick over and that was to be all the action in the first 30 minutes of the final.

Into the second half and Podmore’s pre-season rotations continued; Dale, Chadwick and Carrington making way for Donelan, Greenhalgh and Mather. It was the visitors who started the half the better of the sides, with a header glanced just wide of Chloe Ainsworth’s goal. Ainsworth was called into action seconds later however, alert to cut out a dangerous Stoke attack on the edge of her box.

Despite a continuously strong showing from the Reds at the back, it was Stoke who made the breakthrough on 40 minutes. Stoke’s Hayes heading home after the visitors’ original effort was blocked. The Potters’ then took advantage of their lead, doubling it in quick succession; McCoy finding the net with a smart finish.

United weren’t to go down without a fight, however. With four minutes left to play, innovative work from Sarah Chadwick to launch a counter attack gifted the Reds with a golden opportunity to get back into the game. Having found Jess Battle on the left, the striker superbly set up Corie Mather, out on the right, who made no mistake as she expertly struck into the far bottom corner - game on.

The Potters’ looked to have crafted a fine victory in Moston, seeing out the final few minutes, but their efforts came caving in after a spilled cross by the Stoke keeper allowed Jess Battle to smash home an equaliser with what turned out to be the last kick of the game in an entertaining encounter between two good sides. The Reds’ showing perfect character to claw the game back and force a penalty shootout to decide the winner of the inaugural Broadhurst Cup.

Stoke stepped up first and were denied by a sensational one-handed effort by Ainsworth, diving to her left to make the stop. The Reds unfortunately couldn’t make the advantage count though, Flanagan and Donelan striking United’s first two penalties against the woodwork whilst Stoke netted their second to go 1-0 up. Greenhalgh and Mather both found the net to keep FC’s hopes alive but after also scoring their next two, it was match point to Stoke. The penalty beat the dive of Ainsworth leaving the visitors as the day’s Broadhurst Cup winners.

That rounded off an action-packed day of pre-season football at Broadhurst Park, with plenty to take away for the Reds as they continue their preparations ahead of the new season. Those preparations continue next week with the first road game of the summer as we head north to take on the Sheffield United Women Development Squad at the Sheffield United Academy, Firshill Cries, Sheffield, S4 7DR. Get yourself to that football ground for another cracking day of pre-season action.

We hope to see you there!

FCUMW Player of the Tournament: Chelsea Patient - Following on from her Player of the Match showing against Everton last weekend, the defender continued her early pre-season form with a strong showing on a physically-testing afternoon for FC. Our no.5 made her presence known as a central part of United’s two characteristic performances on the day.

Game 1: FCUMW 1-0 Isle of Man Ladies

FC United of Manchester Women: 1 (1)

19. Chloe Ainsworth
5. Chelsea Patient
2. Fran Davies (c)
12. Emilie Revitt
7. Corie Mather
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
8. Rebecca Foster
3. Abbie Carrington
17. Jess McCarrick
20. Chelsea Flanagan (Goal 12 mins)
9. Jess Battle
13. Gemma Jackson (for No19 20 mins)
14. Shaunna Jein (for No5 20 mins)
6. Anya Donelan (for No12 30 mins)
10. Hannah Dale (for No17 20 mins)
18. Sarah Chadwick (for No7 30 mins)

Isle of Man Ladies: 0 (0)

Lineup unknown.

Final: FCUMW 2-2 (Pens 2-4) Stoke City Ladies FC

FC United of Manchester Women: 2 (0)

19. Chloe Ainsworth
14. Shaunna Jein
5. Chelsea Patient
2. Fran Davies (c)
17. Jess McCarrick
10. Hannah Dale
8. Rebecca Foster
3. Abbie Carrington
18. Sarah Chadwick
20. Chelsea Flanagan
9. Jess Battle (Goal 60 mins)
13. Gemma Jackson
4. Olivia Greenhalgh (for No18 30 mins) (Scored Pen)
7. Corie Mather (for No3 30 mins) (Goal 56 mins) (Scored Pen)
6. Anya Donelan (for No10 30 mins)

Stoke City Ladies: 2 (0)

Lineup unknown.

Referee: Steve Darlow
Venue: Broadhurst Park, 310 Lightbowne Road, Manchester, M40 0FJ
Official FC photography by Mark Lee
Social Media updates from Mikey Partington
Film footage & historical stats from Neil Boothman

Report by Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 21:53 Sun 22 Jul 2018
News ID ~ 7955
Last Updated ~ 12:19 Tue 24 Jul 2018