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Match Details      

2.00pm Sunday 2nd November 2014

Greater Manchester Women's Football League Division 1

Abraham Moss High School, Crescent road, Crumpsall, Manchester, M8 5UF

FC United of Manchester 5 - 1 Beechfield United Ladies FC

Attendance: N/K

Match Report

FC’s women played their first ‘home from home’ game of the season at their Crumpsall training base, the Abraham Moss Centre. In arguably the most important game of the season so far, the Reds hosted league leaders Beechfield United and after an even first half where the visitors’ Debbie Wright’s 35th minute penalty cancelled out Kirsty Chamber’s 18th minute strike, FC stepped things up after the break. As Beechfield tired, the hosts ruthlessly drove home the victory scoring another four goals without reply. The 5-1 scoreline moves the Reds to within a point of top spot with two games in hand and courtesy of Chambers, Feiruz Abdullahi, Charlie Evans and Shellby Wolstencroft’s brace, they now enjoy a superior goal difference over the leaders.

Referee Graham Warner, called the players to a minute’s silence in memory of Manchester FA President Frank Hannah MBE who passed away last Thursday after a short illness, aged 90.

United kicked off in unseasonable warmth and sunshine akin to early September rather than the start of November and it was the visitors who closed down well from the off resulting in a wayward strike from Theresa Prendergast in the opening riposte. Inside the first two minutes, Lindsey Turner rampaged down the visitors left and squared to Debbie Wright who fired goal wards from six yards with Chloe Williams performing heroics to keep the shot out as Jess Tonge cleared the loose ball up field.

Ainsley Strickland tried her luck from range but her effort was comfortable for Beechfield custodian Dawn Parkes and Beechfield countered to the opposite end and Williams was the equal of Keeley Bulger’s long range strike. The early exchanges were end to end and an FC corner floated in by Chambers saw Strickland’s header flash wide of Parkes’ upright on seven minutes. Williams performed heroics once again as she slid in to clear the danger on the edge of her area as Prendergast bore down on goal.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 18th minute from a free kick wide on the left which Chambers, who’d been fouled by Bulger, lofted over Parkes and into the top corner at her far post. Just a minute later as the game entered a heated spell. United had an excellent opportunity to double their lead from the penalty spot as Abdullahi was scythed down in the area. The felled striker took responsibility and Parkes was equal to her spot kick bravely smothering the rebound as Abdullahi went for the loose ball. Beechfield responded well and just after the half hour floated a free kick into the danger zone which Prendergast stabbed just wide. The visitors didn’t have long to wait for their chance to level things as Prendergast was fouled in the area and the impressive Debbie Wright stepped up to smash her penalty low and hard to Williams’ right giving the reds’ keeper no chance on 35 minutes.

United responded well seeing out the half with several chances for Chambers, Wolstencroft and marauding full back Amy Battel with no addition to the score line as referee Warner signalled the break.

United’s strong end to the opening 45 minutes saw them begin the second period on the front foot as the clouds gathered and the temperature dropped markedly. The impressive Shauna Ward floated a free kick into the Beechfield box which Abdullahi almost converted as the floodlights winked into life on 50 minutes and just a minute later United took the lead as Wolstencroft headed home at the far post following a superb cross from Beth Hayes.

Beechfield were still well in the game until the 76th minute when Abdullahi latched onto a strong header forward by Strickland and slotted coolly past Parkes giving the hosts some valuable breathing space. Far from giving up, the visitors battled on valiantly without end product and as they tired United scored two late goals as first, substitute Charlie Evans drove an effort through the hands of the diving Parkes and Wolstencroft wrapped things up in the 84th minute as she and Abdullahi interchanged well from midfield right into the Beechfield area where she fired emphatically beyond the keeper.

A Strickland half volley forced Parkes into a fantastic save in the dying moments and the resultant corner was delayed by the ref’s dog Mitzi who was subsequently red carded much to everyone’s amusement except Mr Warner’s and shortly after he called time on a game that was a credit to both teams and the league.

Report by Rob Fullen

Player of the game: Chloe Williams – the toughest test for an FC United keeper of the season so far and Chloe rose to the challenge superbly; doubling up as a sweeper and pulling off some excellent saves throughout.

Teams 2nd November 2014: Attendance: 25

FC United of Manchester Women: 5(1)
1. Chloe Williams (Goalkeeper)
2. Amy Battel (right back)
12. Jess Tonge (left back)
17. Jess McCarrick (centre half)
8. Adora Yau (centre half)
7. Beth Hayes (right midfield)
9. Shellby Wolstencroft (centre midfield and goals 51 & 84 mins)
15. Ainsley Strickland (centre midfield)
6. Shauna Ward (centre midfield)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Captain, left midfield & goal 18 mins)
14. Feiruz Abdullahi (centre forward and goal 76 mins)
5. Chelsea Patient (for No2 82 mins)
16. Charlie Evans (for No7 75 mins and goal 82 mins)
GK. Mary Priestner (not used)
GK. Megan Kenyon (not used)

Beechfield United: 1 (1)
21. Dawn Parkes
2. Gemma Winterburn
10. Sue Howard (Captain)
4. Rebecca Watkins
5. Lindsey Turner
8. Gemma Ottiwell
9. Debra Wright
37. Keeley Bulger
15. Jo Malcolmson
19. Debbie Wright (goal 35 min [Pen])
23. Theresa Prendergast
7. Gillian Wallis (for No4 66 mins)
69. Rebecca Allan (for No2 37 mins)
22. Sophie Wainwright (for No 37 46mins)

Referee: Graham Warner
Venue: The Abraham Moss Centre.
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