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Bailey’s double strike books semi-final place for Reds Women

Bailey’s double strike books semi-final place for Reds Women

Despite a weather-enforced three week lay-off, FC United women were quickly back into their stride to win a tough Manchester FA Women’s Premier Cup tie away to Curzon Ashton Women at Failsworth. Curzon’s women, currently lying second in Division One South of the North West Women’s Regional League (one level below FC) were always likely to provide tougher opposition than many of the teams in our own division. And it took two inspirational second half strikes from Jordon Bailey to decide the game after a goalless albeit end-to-end first half.

Jordon Bailey led the line for the Reds in the absence of regular skipper Kirsty Chambers. There was an early indication of the impact Bailey would go on to have on the match as she ran onto a through ball from Jess McCarrick only to go down under challenge from Curzon’s Jessica Cooke with the referee quick to wave away penalty appeals. Shortly afterwards Natalie Richardson curled a shot in from the right that passed just outside the far post.

Bailey got to the edge of the home side’s area but, with her sight of goal blocked, played the ball wide right for Caitlin Clancy to get in a shot that was parried away by Alex Moon in the Curzon goal.

It was then Chloe Ainsworth’s turn to show off her keeping skills. The FC goalie stretching upwards to beat away a long range shot from Nicole Thorpe.

Bailey continued to worry the home defence when put clear by Maxine Smith. The FC striker managed to get in a shot but was denied at point blank range by the outstretched right leg of Moon. But the end-to-end pattern continued with Curzon going close twice in the closing minutes of the first half. Tiffany Lunn flashed in a shot across goal that had Ainsworth scrambling to cover. Then Thorpe managed to get inside Chelsea Patient and fire in a shot but Ainsworth was perfectly positioned to make a clean catch.

The deadlock was broken five minutes after the break. Bailey picked up the ball in midfield and took off on a run down the inside left evading the Curzon defence all the way into the box before cutting inside to beat Moon all ends up with an unstoppable right foot shot high to the keeper’s right.

There was a quick exchange of chances with Curzon looking for a quick equaliser. Amy Smith held off a challenge from Fran Davies to angle in a low shot from the right but Ainsworth got down onto her knees to save. Play then quickly switched to the other end with Bailey laying the ball back for Maxine Smith to fire in a shot. Her first attempt was blocked by experienced defender Olivia Chan. The rebound fell kindly for Smith to have a second bite but this time her shot flew over the bar.

Another chance for FC came about in the shape of a free kick. Richardson took the home defence by surprise by shooting from distance. The shot was parried out by Moon and fell to Clancy, who lifted her shot on the rebound over.

The impressive Moon had something of a flap when she fumbled a high ball and was forced to hurriedly kick clear. The ball fell to Bailey who wasted no time firing in a long range shot but Moon redeemed herself well with a dive to her right to save.

There was no keeping Bailey out though. Lurking around the halfway line, a ball out of defence initially hit her on the back but she recovered well to gather the ball into her stride and race away to score past the advancing keeper to double the lead as well as her own personal tally on the day.

Curzon made a couple of late changes in an effort to rescue the tie but weren’t able to create any real chances. One remaining chance should have fallen to FC as a low cross from Bailey on the left was knocked behind off Chan with the referee mystifyingly awarding a goal kick.

However the Reds held on to book their place in the semi-final. The date, venue and opponents are still to be determined at the time of writing.

There’ll be more cup action for FC United women this Sunday as the Reds make a second attempt to play their previously postponed Argyle Cup tie against West Kirby. The game is at Broadhurst Park with a 2pm kick off.
Report by Phil Bradbury

FC Player of the game: Jordon Bailey - despite another excellent all-round team performance, two well taken goals from solo runs make it a no-brainer!

Manchester FA Women’s Premier Cup quarter-final
Teams Sunday 16th February 2020: Attendance: 55

Curzon Ashton Women 0 (0)
1. Alex Moon
2. Ingvild Tviet
3. Abigail Bleasdale
4. Olivia Chan
17. Jessica Cooke
6. Stephanie Upsall
15. Tiffany Lunn
8. Sophie Rowlands
9. Amy Smith
10. Philippa Wakefield
14. Nicole Thorpe
16. Leoni Harland (for No6, 73 minutes)
14. Paris Welsh (for No8, 81 minutes)

FC United of Manchester Women: 2 (0)
1. Chloe Ainsworth
2. Fran Davies
26. Abbie Carrington
17. Jess McCarrick
5. Chelsea Patient
6. Cara Fields
20. Kate O’Gara
8. Maxine Smith
22. Caitlin Clancy
10. Jordon Bailey (Goal 50 & 71 minutes)
25. Natalie Richardson
15. Aimee O’Keeffe (for No22, 61 minutes)
4. Samantha Ball (for No20, 75 minutes)
23. Beth Hayes (for No10, 83 minutes)

Referee: Michael Brannigan
Venue: Failsworth Sports Centre 3G
Video footage: Neil Boothman

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First Posted ~ 11:21 Mon 24 Feb 2020
News ID ~ 8644
Last Updated ~ 17:26 Wed 26 Feb 2020