FC United of Manchester Reserves returned to action at Broadhurst Park for the first time in three months. RIASA South were the visitors who left on the end of a footballing lesson with the reds winning 5-1. Contrary to inaccurate website recording Rhodri Giggs took charge of a side which in the first half at least gave a display as good as anything seen at youth or reserve level. Goals from Robson Brown, Chris Hill and Kisimba Kisimba accompanied two strikes from Harry Pratt.
Contrary to what happened later it was the visitors who could have taken an early lead in the third minute, Tristan Knudsen found himself clear but hit a tame shot at Sulaiman Sajjad in the home goal. For the rest of the half it was all FC United as the visitors whilst always trying to play football were harried out of possession constantly.
FC United triallist Arslane Guediora was a constant thorn in the visitors side showing a promise that can truly bear fruit for the club if he is given the chance to get used to playing the way he is asked, He created one good chance for himself on 11 minutes and linked with Will Shawcross to force a corner two minutes later.
The reds had thye ball in the RIASA net as Kisimba applied a finish to a diagonal pass from Brown only to be ruled offside. That only delayed the inevitable for two minutes . A Brown free kick on the edge of the box cleared the wall and without ever going above crossbar height went in via the underside of the bar.
On 25 minutes Pratt was just wide with a deft flick from a Mike Jones free kick. He did score two minutes later, excellent play by Chris Hill, first closing down Di Martino in the RIASA goal then taking the ball from the resulting short pass to Ashton Bell before freeing Pratt. His first touch in the box looked to be too heavy but was in truth anything but as his second was a shot that went in off the post.
Things did settle down a little for around ten minutes until Sam Ogayemi launched a lung busting run out of defence. An FC move appeared to have broken down until Pratt intercepted a pass back to the keeper and squared the ball to Ogayemi. His effort only denied the goal by an excellent clearance by Bell.
In the closing minutes before half timeFC doubled their lead as first Pratt closes down the keeper and the ball breaks for Guediora, his cross gave Hill a simple finish. A minute later an attack was launched from the FC half by Mike Jones. His pass was helped on by Pratt to Kisimba who lobbed the keeper from thirty yards into the top corner.
Dressing room praise was fulsome at half time and more of the same was requested. Unfortunately as often happens when a team dominates a first half so much, the opposition coaches make the necessary changes and the second half is a much closer affair. FC United had most of the possession but in truth the two goals scored were the only highlights.
On 51 minutes RIASA hit possibly their only long ball attack of the game. A clearance from Di Martino was defended by Hill on half way but the next touch was from a RIASA player who played Colin Clarke in beyond the back line, finishing smartly. Harry Pratt got his second and United’s fifth on 87 minutes when played in by another triallist; Elliot Soares who had come off the bench and showed a similar level of promise to Guediora.
It was an excellent all round performance by FC United but if there is a man of the match award it goes to Pratt, who with an excellent standard of play, receiving the ball with his back to goal gave others so much more time to play.
That is not to say RIASA should not go without praise. A Yorkshire based football academy they offer coaching to American players and state that what ever the score they will always ask their players to be comfortable on the ball at pass on the floor to a nearby team mate. They record the games for their own purposes and stream the games live via YouTube. This footage can still be found through the following links:
First half https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlIYxWTwzdE
Second half https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugUZYpg68es
Although sadly, they did miss the fifth goal at the end of the game.
FC UNITED OF MANCHESTER:
1. Sulaiman Sajjad
2. Robson Brown
3. Jack O’Leary
4. Chris Hill
5. Sam Ogayemi
6. Sam Baird
7. Will Shawcross
8. Mike Jones
9. Harry Pratt
10. Kisimba Kisimba
11. Arslane Guediora
12. Babel Malcolm (for 5, 45 mins)
14. Elliot Simoes (for 11, 67 mins)
15. Jacobe Anderson (for 10, 78 mins)
16. Sam O’Donnell (for 2, 83 mins)
1. Joe DiMartino
10. Bo Day
24. Carlos Rodriguez
16. Adam Kmiec
39. Paul McFarlane
62. Bailey Walton
40. Cameron Jones
7. Dylan Gardner
64. Leonard Pauer
37. Tristan Knudsen
99. Tyler Williams
44. Ashton Bell
50. Malik Mohammed
81 Colin Clarke