The showpiece final of the Greater Manchester Women’s Football League between League Champions Middleton Athletic and runners up FC United held at Salford City’s Moor lane was abandoned after a horrendous 52nd minute foul tackle left FC’s Beth Tattersall with a broken leg as her shocked team mates shouted for urgent assistance. Beth was treated in situ and it was half an hour before paramedics were able to carry her to a waiting ambulance. Referee, Kevin Moore consulted with fellow officials and reduced Middleton to 10 players sending off the Blues’ No. 9 for the foul before ultimately abandoning the fixture.
All our thoughts and best wishes go to Beth for a complete and speedy recovery and thoughts are also with her team mates, team officials, friends and family.
The league will make an announcement in the coming days as to what arrangements will be put in place to settle the tie.
The first half was an open affair with both sides having reasonable chances to break the deadlock. Middleton threatened inside the first two minutes as Rachel Jefferson hooked her shot from 8 yards through the legs of an FC defender but Mary Priestner gathered in well. A scrappy midfield battle ensued before Shellby Wolstencroft, playing at the point of a midfield three, cleverly threaded a ball through to Kirsty Chambers whose shot from the edge of the area went high and wide.
Just minutes later and the first of several raids down the right by Beth Tattersall resulted in her being brought down a few yards short of the area and Chambers swung her set piece to the far post where Jade parker had peeled away from her markers only to find the side netting with her volley.
United visibly grew in confidence after the near miss and once again Chambers beat the offside trap before laying the ball back to Wolstencroft who was fouled on the edge of the ‘D’ as she was about to shoot. Chambers’ ferocious free kick was bravely blocked by the wall of blue and black stripes prompting a passage of end to end activity with Priestner becoming the busier keeper by the minute but along with her defence kept the blues at bay.
At the opposite end Tattersall and Aimee Cooke almost took advantage of the stranded Middleton Custodian, Claire Jefferson, after the former had chased down the ball winning a one on one with the keeper on the edge of her area with the ball skewing agonisingly away from goal where Tattersall retrieved and set up Cooke but the opening was snuffed out as Jefferson recovered well.
As the half ebbed and flowed once again it was the swash-buckling Tattersall who burst down the right outstripping two defenders before crossing at pace to find Lizzie Evans in space on the ‘D’: defenders were quick to close her down and Evan’s rushed shot was lofted over Jefferson’s cross bar. Middleton came into the ascendancy and had three good efforts but FC held firm and ended the half the stronger team attacking with purpose; just lacking end product. All in all a very even half as referee Kevin Moore brought the first 45 minutes of an absorbing contest to an end.
Middleton were on the front foot in the second half and Chelsea Cook looked to foul Adora Yau as the defender was shepherding the ball back to Priestner; the push causing Yau to inadvertently put the ball out for a corner leaving her flattened in the area and requiring treatment. Middleton took the corner with Yau off the pitch and FC could only clear to the edge of their area where Amelia Garlick powered the ball hard and low back into the danger area. Cook was the first to react, swivelling to loft the ball over Priestner and into the roof of the net from 8 yards on 48 minutes.
United responded superbly with purpose and Tattersall was at the heart of the fight back shooting from range for Jefferson to retrieve well just under her bar. Middleton couldn’t clear their lines and Tattersall once again picked up the ball centrally midway inside opposition territory when Shevaughn Hurndall tacking back lunged over the ball taking Tattersall to ground crumpled in obvious distress.
It became instantly apparent the injury was serious and within a few seconds Beth was being attended to by Physio Sue O’Brien and other medical experts. Seconds soon became minutes and ultimately referee Moore had little option but to abandon the game in light of the seriousness of the incident and the obvious distress Beth’s team mates were experiencing.
Once again, all in around FC United wish Beth the most complete and speediest of recoveries.
Report by Rob Fullen
Player of the game: Beth Tattersall – used her electrifying pace to good effect carving out openings down FC’s right flank and constantly unsettling a solid Middleton defence until her injury ultimately led to the game being abandoned.
PLAY STOPPED 52 MINUTES & MATCH ABONDENED:
Teams 4th May 2014: Attendance: 203
FC United of Manchester Women: 0(0)
1. Mary Priestner (Goal Keeper)
2. Amy Battel (right back)
5. Chelsea Patient (centre half)
7. Beth Hayes (centre half)
8. Adora Yau (left back)
9. Jade Parker (centre midfield)
14. Aimee Cooke (centre midfield)
3. Shellby Wolstencroft (centre midfield)
10. Beth Tattersall (right midfield)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Captain, left midfield)
15. Lizzie Evans (centre forward)
6. Molly Wood
12. Jess Tonge
16. Charlie Evans
17. Leah Hartshorne
GK. Chloe Williams
Middleton Athletic FC: 1 (0)
(Middleton’s line up based on our last meeting
as no team sheet provided)
1. Claire Jefferson
2. Shauna Hurndal (Captain)
3. Cassie Tahiraj
19. Emma Thetford
5. Rachel Jefferson
6. Joanna O’Connell
7. Chelsea Cook (goal 49 mins)
8. Chantelle Henshall
9. Shevaughn Hurndal (Red Card 52mins)
10. Belinda Carter
15. Amelia Garlick
4. Jessica Wynne
11. Gemma Booth
12. Paris Welsh
14. Megan Norton
16. Charlotte Lancaster
Referee: Kevin Moore
Other Officials: Steve Jones, James Sharples & Lewis Walters
Venue: Salford City FC, Moor Lane, Salford.