The same fixture last autumn was a bad tempered affair ending 2-2 and the first dropped points of FC’s first campaign; dropped points that were ultimately the difference between runners up and champions. This season the fixture served up an excellent game and both teams were a credit to themselves, the league and the wider women’s game. 1-1 at half time with FC striking first through impressive debutante left back Gemma Doyle before Leigh Carnell levelled five minutes before the break.
The Red girls started the second half in the same manner the lads had done 24 hours earlier with two goals inside the first six minutes; Jade Parker and Kirsty Chambers provided the early goals with Chambers adding another from the spot followed by a Lesley English own goal before Parker grabbed her second. Oldham grabbed two quick fire retorts in the last 10 minutes before Lizzie Evans rounded off the 7-3 victory in the last minute with a superb strike.
For the first time in a competitive fixture, FC United’s women went into a game with no substitutes available due to a combination of recent departures -Fran Davies to Dubai & Gail Pennington returning to Blackburn Rovers- suspensions, injuries and work commitments. AFC Oldham were in a similar position and a clichéd 11 v 11 classic ensued.
United kicked off and relished the luxury of a synthetic surface afforded to express their skilful attributes. Parker and Kaya Janny in particular showed excellent touches throughout the half with Parker testing Sam Fraser in the Oldham goal on several occasions. Although United had controlled possession and created the most chances it wasn’t until the 35th minute that the breakthrough came and from an unlikely source. Debutante Doyle had settled and combined well with Chambers down the left and as the pattern of the half established itself, found the ball at her feet 35 yards out. She glanced up before lofting her shot over the impressive Fraser into the top corner to break the deadlock.
AFC Oldham responded quickly to finally breach a new look United defence comprising Beth Hayes and Adora Yau at its heart with striker Shellby Wolstencroft unselfishly accepting the keeper’s jersey as the custodian injury jinx continues. Trapped in the left hand corner, AFC worked the ball out of a tight spot for Katie Priestly to centre finding fellow striker Carnell who half volleyed past Wolstencroft from 8 yards.
As Oldham got the second half underway it was clear that United had been told to turn their superior possession into strikes on target and Chambers had an early chance saved. Moments later Lizzie Evans played in Parker on the edge of the area with the midfielder surging beyond the backline to confidently place her shot beyond the advancing Fraser to restore FC’s lead. Just two minutes later and Chambers had her first and United’s third, driving a left footed shot over the AFC keeper from the edge of the area.
With a two goal cushion United began to dominate proceedings for a long period and on 70 minutes Chambers added a fourth from the penalty spot after Kerry Cummings handled an awkwardly bouncing ball trying to clear the danger on the edge of her own area. Chambers fired in off the underside of the bar in the top corner giving Fraser no chance.
AFC Captain, Lesley English had a brilliant game defending superbly all afternoon with a terrific positional sense and was very unlucky to slice an attempted clearance into her own goal following a dangerous cross from the right by Charlie Evans after good break up player in midfield from Leah Hartshorne.
As the last 10 minutes beckoned, Doyle created a fantastic opening for herself surging down the left from inside her own half to fire goalward from inside the area only for Fraser to save well at her near post. Parker took up the baton for the next surging run, mazing her way from the centre circle out to the right where Charlie Evans provided a decoy run down the wing allowing Parker to cut back inside, burst between two defenders and drive her shot low and hard into the bottom corner of AFC’s goal for a 6-1 lead on 82 minutes.
Oldham weren’t finished and United switched off for a few moments as the game headed for a finish. Priestly broke through the backline to latch onto a free kick and side foot past Wolstencroft on 84 minutes and just a couple of minutes later AFC halved the deficit by adding a third via a cross –cum- shot from the right by Jo Pickering.
A dramatic comeback was halted as the Reds looked to regain control of the ball and settle the game down before scoring their 7th of a magnificent afternoon via a spectacular drive from Lizzie Evans. A good afternoon’s work from the 11 United stalwarts who carried the game to a very good Oldham side. Every department of the team playing their part to the maximum and special credit goes to Shellby in goal and a new look back four of Aimee Cooke, Beth Hayes, Adora Yau and Gemma Doyle.
The final outing of 2013 sees the girls take on title contenders Chorltonians FC at Broadhurst next Sunday, 15th December with a 2pm KO. Get yourselves to Moston and cheer the team onwards and upwards whilst having a peek over the road to see how things are going at the new ground.
Report by Rob Fullen
Player of the game: Hard to choose with good performances all over the pitch but, for her skilful endeavour and two goals, this week’s player of the match goes to Jade Parker.
Teams 8th December 2013: Attendance: 40
AFC Oldham Ladies: 3 (1)
1. Sam Fraser
5. Lesley English (Captain)
2. Kelly Sessman
6. Shirley Boulton
8. Leigh Carnell (Goal 39mins)
14. Katie Priestly (Goal 84mins)
3. Steph Juszczyszyn
7. Jo Pickering (Goal 86mins)
15. Rachael McHugh
17. Rebbecca Jones
11. Kerry Cummings
Subs: None available
FC United of Manchester Women: 7(1)
1. Shellby Wolstencroft (Goal Keeper)
14. Aimee Cooke (right back)
4. Gemma Doyle (left back and goal 35mins)
7. Beth Hayes (centre half)
8. Adora Yau (centre half)
9. Jade Parker (centre midfield and goals 50 & 82mins)
12. Kaya Janny (centre midfield)
18. Leah Hartshorne (centre midfield)
16. Charlie Evans (right midfield)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Captain, left midfield and goals 52 & 70 [pen])
15. Lizzie Evans (centre forward and goal 89mins)
(Own goal Lesley English 75mins)
Subs: None Available
Stats courtesy of Aiden Montgomery: liveteamstats.com
FC United: Shots on target 15, off target 19, corners 8, possession 64% and pass completion 62%
AFC Oldham: Shots on target 5, off target 1, corners 1, possession 36% and pass completion 45%
|News ID ~ 5247||First Posted ~ 16:17 Mon 9 Dec 2013||Last Updated ~ 17:29 Mon 9 Dec 2013|