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FC United Women into the last four of Argyle Cup after win against Penrith

FC United Women into the last four of Argyle Cup after win against Penrith

FC United Women continued their defence of the Argyle Cup with a 3-0 quarter-final win against Penrith AFC Ladies.

First-half goals from Kate O’Gara, Emily Marsh and Jess Battle were enough to send United comfortably in to the last four of this season’s competition.

The Reds went in to the game off-the-back of a County Cup semi-final win last weekend and were looking to get to the same stage in the League Cup with a win on a breezy Spring afternoon on Broadhurst’s 3G.

With that in mind, Aimee O’Keeffe went close to striking early. United’s number 15 saw her flick deflected behind, moments before the visitors launched an unsuccessful attack that saw them register a first shot on target of the afternoon.

Less than a minute later, Jess Battle was also denied by Lawson in the Penrith goal, with the ‘keeper then stopping O’Keeffe with a strong save after Mather had brilliantly found the Reds’ attacker in the box.

Jess Battle then went even closer, heading over Abbie Carrington’s well-whipped cross from the left on 15 minutes, but it was Kate O’Gara who broke the deadlock impressively less than two minutes later.

The midfielder’s long-range effort found the top right corner of the net having clipped the inside of the post on the way through – a goal worthy of opening any game!

FC were then well in control and had two shortly after the half-hour mark. After her dramatic late winner last weekend, Emily Marsh made it back-to-back goalscoring weeks after her low shot struck the post and rolled over the line to double the lead.

On the stroke of half-time, two turned in to three as Jess Battle got her 100th competitive goal for FCUMW. The striker was unmarked and able to nod home Aimee O’Keeffe’s lobbed ball to the back post.

United continued to create chances in the second half and nearly had the perfect start to the 45, with Aimee O’Keeffe finding herself in space inside the box but was unable to keep her effort on target.

Emily Marsh then headed Carrington’s corner wide, just minutes before Kate O’Gara became the latest to just miss out on a second goal of the afternoon, with her shot on the stretch evading the goal.

The only change Luke Podmore made was on 67 minutes as Yvette Loukes was introduced in place of the goalscoring Marsh. Loukes nearly had one herself just after coming on, firing Corie Mather’s pass over the bar on the run.

Having not had much to do all afternoon, Reds’ goalkeeper Chloe Ainsworth was alert to make a brave stop to preserve the clean sheet.

The momentum of the strike saw the Penrith attacker clash with Ainsworth, leaving the visitors’ player on the ground needing treatment. After a lengthy stoppage in play, the referee brought an end to proceedings with United easing their way in to the last four of this season’s Argyle Cup.

Once again, everyone at FCUMW would like to offer their best wishes to the injured Penrith player and hope that it’s nothing too serious. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery!

The win now means that FCUMW will face Merseyrail Ladies in the semi-finals of the Argyle Cup, next Sunday (7th April), at Broadhurst Park. Keep an eye out for the full game details being confirmed on our social media platforms in the coming days (@FCUnitedWomen).

FCUMW Player of the Match: Kate O’Gara – The midfielder was ever-present in attempting to break down a defensively-resilient Penrith. O’Gara opened the scoring with a superb strike in to the top corner and was the Reds’ central creative threat throughout the afternoon as FC booked their place in the Argyle Cup semi-finals.

FC United of Manchester Women: Ainswoth, Marsh (Goal 35 mins), Davies (c), McCarrick, Mather, Greenhalgh, Foster, Carrington, O’Gara (Goal 17 mins), O’Keeffe, Battle (Goal 45 mins)

Subs: Jein, Loukes (On for Marsh 67 mins)

Penrith AFC Ladies: Lawson, Alderson, Jackson, English, McCormick (c), Johnston, Ullyart, Coulthard, Buchanan, Hopton, Scott

Match stats from Paul Hinson (FC first column):
Goals: 3…..0
Shots: 28…..4
Shots on target: 13…..2
Completed passes: 480…..118
Possession: 80%.....20%

Venue: Broadhurst Park, Lightbowne Road, Moston, Manchester, M40 0FJ
Competition: Argyle Cup quarter-final
Referee: Dan Hamlin
Attendance: 78

Report by Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 20:23 Sun 31 Mar 2019
News ID ~ 8331
Last Updated ~ 10:45 Tue 9 Apr 2019