In his last game in charge, after being there from the formation of the Women’s team in 2012, Lee Sutton presided over a fine performance as his side defeated Warrington Wolverines 5-1 in the first round of this season’s Argyle (League) Cup.
Three different competitions in the last fortnight saw FC’s Women return to winning ways on a cold, dry, blustery Sunday afternoon in front of 94 of the Broadhurst faithful courtesy of a Kirsty Chambers hatrick with further goals from Beth Tattersall and Jade Parker.
In a very close fought opening few minutes it was the visitors who crafted the first real opportunity and as Sam Hassall looked to shoot from the ‘D’ Abbie Carrington timed her tackle to perfection to deny a clean strike at goal.
United spear headed two swift attacks firstly through Tattersall, making a welcome return to action, down the right then Chambers on the opposite flank with both deliveries finding no end product. The reds tried an attack through the centre and Parker released Tattersall whose shot brought a fine save from Kim Griffith in the Warrington goal.
The break through arrived soon after following calm defending from Jess McCarrick who found Chambers and the captain produced a stunning through ball for Parker who raced through on goal slotting her low shot across and under Griffiths and in at the far post with the game 12 minutes old.
United maintained their momentum as Mia Holden played in Tattersall who shot just wide as Warrington looked to counter themselves through Hassall who broke behind FC’s defence forcing Chloe Williams into a fine smothering save. The visitors kept up the pressure and a fine intercepting challenge from Morgan McWhirter denied Nicole Chatterley the chance of an equaliser on 27 minutes. United relived the pressure in the best way possible as Parker and Chambers combined well once again and the Captain slotted home her first of the afternoon from close range to double the lead just before the half hour.
With confidence spreading throughout the team, Tattersall chased down a seemingly lost cause and produced a looping shot from a tight angle that bounced twice along the crossbar before dropping harmlessly behind.
Chatterley lead the line for the visitors and had two wayward efforts on United’s goal in quick succession before tracking back and fouling Tattersall 30 yards from goal. Chambers cleverly judged the strong breeze and whipped her free kick over the wall and keeper and into the top corner to give the half time score line a healthy look.
United turned over possession at the start of the second period and attacked down the left winning a throw in deep in Warrington territory. The ball was worked to the back post and Tattersall stole in to fire the ball into the roof of the net from close range with the half just 2 minutes old.
Warrington pulled a goal back five minutes later through Hassall as the striker latched onto a good ball from Sophie Cowie, beat the offside trap and slotted past the advancing Williams to give the blues a glimmer of hope which they looked to build on. A Warrington free kick delivered into the area was cleared by the imperious Fran Davies but the ball came straight back at United’s defence and Chatterley forced Williams into another superb save.
United progressed up field and a cross to the far post by Chambers was headed just over the bar by Parker and just after the hour a poor goal kick was pounced on by Chambers who had time to drive an unerring shot beyond Griffiths to complete her hatrick, restoring the four goal cushion.
The remainder of the game was extremely competitive with both sides creating chances but no further goals were added and the game ended to the strains of ‘Lee Sutton’s Red & White Army’ from the gathered supporters who then congregated in the bar to show their appreciation to Lee followed by Captain Kirsty and Vice Captain Chelsea making presentations to Lee and Bayleigh on behalf of the squad. A good send off for Lee who leaves on excellent terms to concentrate on his new job and family but will be helping in the back ground to ease the transition in the coming weeks.
Next Sunday FC’s Women welcome travel to Knutsford for a first encounter with Egerton FC as they return to league action with the team looking for a return to winning ways in the league. Get yourself to that football ground.
Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Kirsty Chambers – Very difficult pick this week as the whole team from Chloe to Jade and everyone in between including subs, contributed to a satisfying all round performance. Kirsty notched a fine hatrick and contributed one assist to leave her out going Manager well pleased.
Teams 23rd October 2016: Attendance: 94
FC United of Manchester Women: 5 (3)
1. Chloe Williams
17. Jess McCarrick
2. Fran Davies
15. Morgan McWhirter
3. Abbie Carrington
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
6. Mia Holden
8. Adora Yau
10. Beth Tattersall (Goal 47 mins)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt) (Goals 28, 38, 62 mins)
15. Jade Parker (Goal 12 mins)
5. Chelsea Patient (for No 17 46 mins)
9. Shellby Wolstencroft (for No8 60 mins)
12. Amy Vyas (not used)
16. Charlie Evans (for No10 79 mins)
19. Allisha Marsh (not used)
Warrington Wolverines: 1 (0)
1. Kim Griffiths
11. Sophie Cowie
19. Lauren Hood
4. Wendy Booth
2. Sarah Sheldon
5. Helen Dobson
7. Emma Ayrton
8. Tessa Littler
15. Sam Hassall (Goal 52 mins)
17. Rachel Dickinson
10. Nicole Chatterley
12. Melissa Kenny (for No11 79 mins)
14. Jules Crook (not used)
23. Laura Faux (for No17 64 mins)
26. Hayley Dyas (for No7 60 mins)
Referee: Jordan Dennett
Asst Referee: John Hampson (Yellow Flag)
Asst Referee: Mark Lee (Yellow & Orange Flag)
Venue: Broadhurst Park 3G, Lightbowne Road, Moston, M40