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FC's women go top after win over Chorltonians + HIGHLIGHTS

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FC United’s women’s team will be top of the table for Christmas after a fine 3-0 home victory over title contenders Chorltonians on Sunday.

For the second week running FC’s women headed into a tough top end of the table clash with just 11 players available for selection due to illness, suspension and work commitments. Amy Battel back from suspension was a real boost along with the signing of Chloe Williams making her debut in goal. The starting 11 was well balanced on paper and started the game a point behind league leaders Chorltonians with the opportunity to leapfrog them with a victory and head the table going into the festive break. The Reds, reduced to 10 players for the final 35 minutes after Adora Yau suffered a hamstring strain, dug in, played with guts, resolve and real character to triumph 3-0 with two goals from Kirsty Chambers and another from Aimee Cooke.

The early exchanges on a very heavy pitch were inconclusive as two evenly matched sides battled for early supremacy. Unusually in the women’s game it wasn’t until the tenth minute before the first clear cut chance was created and it was the visitors who went close; tricky winger Jordana King forged goal wards down the left to square across the 18 yard line where Jamie Lee–Blake blazed just wide of Williams’ left upright.

United responded as Battel surged down the right and her cross was cleared as far as Chambers on the left whose speculative 25-yard effort almost caused a fumble from Alice McNorton in the Chorltonians’ goal. It was the visitors who almost broke the deadlock as respective number 18’s Jamilia Hodges and Leah Hartshorne tussled in midfield with the loose ball breaking to the feet of King who fired goal ward from the edge of the area. The shot fizzed across the unpredictable surface but Williams got behind the ball to hold on well. Looking to launch her team forward swiftly and using the wind advantage the debut custodian cleared deep into the opposition half where Shellby Wolstencroft, United’s lone striker, held the ball superbly on the left edge of the area awaiting support. As her team mates caught up with play, Wolstencroft feinted to pass and instead jinked between two defenders and into the area where she was unceremoniously tackled from behind with referee J J Rigby awarding the penalty without hesitation.

Captain v captain as Chambers stepped up to fire the ball under the dive of McNorton to give the Reds a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute and they held the advantage going into the break.

United kicked off the second half with Yau dropping to left back as the industrious Gemma Doyle moved into an advanced midfield role to support Wolstencroft up front. The tactical switch almost paid dividends as Doyle created her own space deep inside the Chorltonians’ box and unleashed a fierce shot that McNorton did well to hold. However, just 10 minutes into the half Yau suffered a hamstring strain and could take no further part with Doyle resuming her defensive duties as United looked to keep the visitors at bay.

With the game in the balance Doyle, overlapped Chambers down the left and was cynically fouled. Chambers floated the set piece towards the back post where chaos ensued and Cooke bundled the ball home from close range to provide a valuable two-goal cushion just before the hour. The south Mancunians looked for a quick response and not for the last time in the final half hour Williams stood firm on her debut with the pick of her saves coming just after United’s second goal. King burst through the Reds’ backline and shot powerfully forcing the advancing Williams into a flying two-handed save that was further cleared by the excellent Beth Hayes.

Chorltonians increased the pressure and camped high up the pitch looking for a way back against the 10 heroines in Red whose exertions were tiring them by the minute. However, in the 85th minute United put the game beyond doubt as Doyle lofted a ball over the opposite full back and Chambers pounced beyond the high defensive line to float a sublime effort over a stranded McNorton from 25 yards holding on to record a brave, memorable victory and go top of the league.

No game now until Beechfield United visit Broadhurst on 12th January 2014 to set the second half of the season underway. Get this date in your new diaries and all the best from all in and around the women’s team for the coming festive season.

Report by Rob Fullen

Player of the game: So many good performances including debutant Chloe Williams in goal and Chelsea Patient with Beth Hayes cementing a good understanding at the heart of defence. However, this week’s award goes to central midfielder Leah Hartshorne who broke up so many opposition raids showing outstanding commitment and work rate despite taking a boot to the face.

Teams 15 December 2013: Attendance: 31.

FC United of Manchester Women: 3(1)
1. Chloe Williams (goalkeeper)
2. Amy Battel (right back)
4. Gemma Doyle (left back)
5. Chelsea Patient (centre half)
7. Beth Hayes (centre half)
8. Adora Yau (centre midfield)
14. Aimee Cooke (centre midfield and goal 57mins)
18. Leah Hartshorne (centre midfield)
16. Charlie Evans (right midfield)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Captain, left midfield and goals 35[pen] & 85mins)
17. Shellby Wolstencroft (centre forward)

Subs:
None Available

Chorltonians LFC: 0 (0)
1. Alice McNorton (Captain)
3. Joy Windle
4. Jessica McCarrick
6. Georgia Langston
7. Jordana King
9. Charlaj Walton
10. Ellie Caddick
11. Danicha Wellington
18. Jamilia Hodges
20. Jamie Lee-Blake
23. Sarah Leigh-Burgin

Subs:
5. Natalie Callaghan
16. Nina Marsh
22. Leona Kairserola


News ID ~ 5260 First Posted ~ 13:59 Mon 16 Dec 2013 Last Updated ~ 21:59 Mon 16 Dec 2013




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