Bailey provides the boost for FC women’s cup success.
Jordon Bailey, with a goal and two assists, proved to be the one with the key to unlocking a stubborn visiting defence as FC United Women progressed through to the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Women’s Cup.
Having recently met at Broadhurst in pre-season, FC United would have known that Trinity were a side capable of causing them problems. The scoring was opened by Kate O’Gara with a 6th minute tap-in but, despite conceding the bulk of possession, the visitors forced their way back into the game with a strike from Amelia Hunt on 35 minutes. However it was two goals in four minutes just before half time that proved to be the game breaker for FC as Bailey first set up Emily Marsh for the goal that regained the lead and then cheekily stole the ball before taking it round the keeper to make it 3-1 at the break.
FC produced a similarly dominant 45 minutes after the break but it was only with minutes remaining that the Trinity defence yielded again when Maxine Smith made the final score 4-1.
Prior to kick off, Reds midfielder Cara Fields - captain for the day in the absence of Kirsty Chambers - took the mic to give an inspiring and well-articulated speech to mark the beginning of Black History Month and highlighting the need to continue the fight to combat racism in football and society in general.
Once the action got underway, the Reds soon established the upper hand. A looping shot from Smith was well saved by visiting keeper Gresswell. From the resultant corner though, Gresswell didn’t make the desired connection with a one-handed punch and the ball fell invitingly into the goalmouth for O’Gara to open the scoring.
Trinity played their way into the game though and there were chances at both ends. An O’Gara cross from the left was headed for a corner at the far post by defender Parker with Smith lurking threateningly. But the action soon switched to the other end with Sibbard fizzing a cross into the FC box from the right, eluding Lyons to be volleyed over by Pilmer on the far side.
Ainsworth in the FC United goal positioned herself well to take a looping free-kick from Riglin. While her opposite number Gresswell managed to tip a shot from Jordon Bailey to safety off the post.
The scores were levelled on 35 minutes with Hunt firing in a shot on the run from the right side of the area which Ainsworth got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.
However FC’s lead was restored within minutes with Bailey laying the ball off to Emily Marsh to score. Bailey herself made it 3-1 by cheekily stealing the ball in the visitors’ half and taking it round the keeper although the ball seemed to take an age to roll across the line.
A lively start by the Reds to the second half forced the visitors onto the back foot. Smith hit a volley from close range to a dropping ball but straight at Gresswell, who then had to be alert to block a Cara Fields toe-poke set up by Beth Hayes.
Hayes was involved again with a one-touch lay-off from a Mather cross to set up Smith for a shot that was just over the bar. Hesitancy among the FC defence then almost allowed Trinity back into the game with substitute Power getting in a shot that was deflected into the side-netting.
There followed a busy period for Gresswell who found a Mather shot too hot to hold but managed to gather before anyone could pounce. Then Cunliffe marked her arrival into the match with a shot that the keeper tipped over the bar.
Parker lent her keeper a hand by intervening to whip the ball away from Cunliffe from a Bailey pass, injuring herself in the process and needing treatment from the physio. But Gresswell was back on her toes to tip away a shot from Fields headed for the top right hand corner and again shortly afterwards to stop a Richardson free kick that pierced the defensive wall.
The omnipresent Bailey had another chance but, perhaps put off by the presence of Godison, fired over. Moments later though Bailey found Cunliffe with a searching pass to the left side of the area. Gresswell narrowed the angle well to block and Bailey then fired over on the follow up.
There was a scare for the home side when Clancy was caught in possession to leave Walker a clear route to goal only to find her way blocked by Ainsworth who was then fouled as the Trinity player sought to win back the loose ball. Moments later, Walker again got clear only to be foiled a second time by Ainsworth in a one-on-one situation.
Kamran Hussain introduced Hanna Wilson into the action for the last quarter hour and the Reds’ new signing soon made her presence felt with a cross from the right which Cunliffe headed over.
With time ticking away, the result was put beyond any doubt with two minutes remaining as Bailey fed Smith who had time and space to put her shot out of reach of the keeper making the final score 4-1.
The draw for the 2nd Qualifying Round presents FC United Women with an intriguing trip to face Norton & Stockton Ancients, where their run in the FA Women’s Cup ended in a narrow 2-1 defeat four years ago. The game is scheduled to again take place on Sunday October 18th at Norton Sports Complex - the same venue where the men’s team recorded a memorable 5-2 win en route to the FA Cup 2nd Round in season 2010-11.
In the meantime though, the women open their North West Women’s Regional League campaign with a visit to face Crewe Alexandra at the Cumberland Sports Ground on Sunday October 11th, kick off 2pm.
Report by Phil Bradbury
FC Player of the game: Jordon Bailey - stepped up well to cover for the absent attacking threat of Chambers, producing a goal and two assists.
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round at Broadhurst Park
Teams Sunday 4th October 2020: Attendance: 89
FC United of Manchester Women: 4 (3)
1. Chloe Ainsworth
16. Natalie Richardson
3. Emily Marsh (Goal 38 minutes)
4. Caitlin Clancy
5. Chelsea Patient
6. Cara Fields (C)
7. Corie Mather
8. Maxine Smith (Goal 88 minutes)
20. Kate O’Gara (Goal 6 minutes)
10. Jordon Bailey (Goal 42 minutes)
14. Beth Hayes
9. Kaylea Cunliffe (for no14, 64 minutes)
12. Allisha Marsh (for no3, 70 minutes)
2. Hanna Wilson (for no16, 72 minutes)
Wakefield Trinity Ladies: 1 (1)
13. Rosie Gresswell
12. Dee Parker
14. Rebecca Furey
4. Demi Godison
5. Jean Sseninde
6. Tiffany Lyons
7. Amelia Hunt (Goal 35 minutes)
17. Isobelle Sibbard
18. Rachel Stuart
23. Chelsea Pilmer
11. Danielle Riglin
20. Danielle Walker (for no17, half time)
8. Chloe Harrison
& 16. Kennedy Power
(for No5 & No6, 57 minutes)
29 Megan Oliver (74 minutes)
Match stats (Courtesy of Paul Hinson)
FC United figures first
Shots on target: 15-4
Shots off target: 19-4
Free kicks: 6-12
Yellow cards: 0-0
Red cards: 0-0
Referee: Lucy MacCabe Assistants: Jack Austin & Caitlin Morrissey
Match day photographs by Mark Lee
Video highlights by Neil Boothman.