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FC United put 12 past CDC Mesallistes

A bitterly cold night was to greet the Valencian visitors under the lights at Broadhurst Park. FC chose once again to utilise the young side of their squad in this game, and with ‘Keeper Dan Lavercombe suspended for this fixture, Matthew Rose made the step up from the academy to make his debut.


It was all FC in the opening exchanges with Cuenca looking to hit on the counter-attack whenever possible. FC played some excellent pieces down the wings early on, with Hartley looking to link up and find the head of Faz Sangare.


Sangare would find the net in strange circumstances inside 11 minutes, as the ball was bundled over the line. The assistant referee initially signalled for offside and a Cuencia free kick, but the goal was awarded retrospectively minutes later.


The pressure would ramp up on the Spanish side just moments later as Charlie Ennis fizzed a shot right into the palms of ‘Keeper Robert Fernandez. The resulting corner would put FC two to the good however as a floating ball was guided into the middle of the net by Luke Griffiths on 14 minutes.


Cuenca found themselves mobbed by the relentless press of FC, who weren’t giving them a second. It was becoming a formality for the Reds at this point, as Keane Barugh took hold of a nifty knockdown to guide the ball into the bottom corner for the Rebel's third inside just 18 minutes of the first half.


The ball had only left the FC half for all of one minute up to this point, such was the home side's dominance, and it was invoking memories of last year’s Fenix Trophy, where FC put ten past Polish side AKS Zly.


Thankfully for the away side, the game settled for a spell as Cuenca seemed keen to play out from the back. Cuenca would have a shot at goal but would then suffer immediate FC pressure as Keane Barugh broke with pace down the left-hand side. The resulting shot would be well dealt with, but the move would show just how relentless the Reds were not to take their foot off the gas despite the scoreline.


A frantic game of football ping-pong would follow as neither side could get a meaningful grip on moves towards goal, but it would be FC that would add a fourth through Dontai Gabidon as the ball was swept into the box and he volleyed the ball home with aplomb.


It was the turn of the Spanish side to put pressure on FC now as Pepe Rodriguez managed to get the ball past the staunch FC defensive areas and gain his side a corner. A good ball was driven into the box, only to be dealt with by an equally good header clear for another corner.


Another good FC defensive header would lead to their next move. The ball wouldn’t fall for them however as they notched up the corner count in the game to a fifth. ‘Keeper Fernandez would gather smartly, however, and the Reds would take a four-goal lead into the half-time break.


FC would start the second half in a similar vein to the way they ended the first, with wing play bringing out the best of the acrobatics from the front line, as half-time sub Da Costa rose well but was unable to connect with the loose ball.


It would be Da Costa that would step up and add FC’s fifth moments later however as he drove the ball at the ‘keeper who spilled, and he smartly gathered up the rebound.


He’d get his brace in the 58th minute as he gathered the ball on the edge of the area and drove a low shot into the bottom corner.


FC would add a seventh a minute later as Guy Hall’s cross-cum-shot would ricochet in off the inside of the post, leaving the visiting ‘keeper with no chance.


FC were finding their rhythm now as chance after chance went begging. A mix of poor finishing and good goalkeeping kept the Reds out if only for a few minutes.


FC would have their eighth in the 64th minute as Ethen Vaughan liberated the ball from a goalmouth scramble to poke it into the far corner. There were glimmers of good stuff from the Spanish side that had been utterly suffocated by FC’s dominance at this point in proceedings.


Alex Wollerton would add a ninth as FC looked to chase down their best goal haul in this competition. The ball would fall kindly to Wollerton after a simple pass across the face of goal to be prodded in.


Such was the FC dominance of the affair that the away side opted for a tactic of keeping three defensive players in the box at any given time, allowing the Reds to keep the ball on the periphery of the box.

FC showed their ability to turn attack into defence late in the second half, turning over possession from a counter attack and building a comprehensive attack in just thirty seconds. It would be Griffiths that would add the tenth in goal in the 81st minute – with Ennis adding an 11th just a minute later.


The final kick of the game would be a 12th goal for FC, as Woolerton added another to the scoresheet from close range.


In a game that was over before half time, this game was more about what two sets of fans can do when they pull together. Two clubs are being run at the behest of themselves, rather than money-hungry conglomerates or city-states.


 A comprehensive win under the lights ensured that FC United could stake their claim to win the Fenix Trophy for a second time.

First Posted ~ 19:32 Thu 9 Mar 2023
News ID ~ 9533
Last Updated ~ 17:40 Wed 15 Mar 2023