Beechfield United Ladies FC
0 - 8
FC United’s dominance of the afternoon against old foes from our early seasons, underlined by the score line and 80% possession, was total, but credit to Beechfield who battled bravely, defended in numbers and at times made it difficult, particularly in the second half for the rampant reds.
Three goals from Jess Battle, a brace from Nicole Hatcliffe and strikes by Kirsty Chambers, Cara Fields and Fran Sullivan saw United smash through the 100 goal barrier for the season in all competitions and book their place in the County Cup Semi Finals.
Heavy snowfall during the morning had blanketed the Littleton Road 3G but persistent icy rain moved in and cleared the surface and didn’t relent all afternoon leading to the match being shortened by 10 second half minutes due to water logging. By then however the game was significantly beyond the home side who came into the quarter final off the back of 5 wins in 5 in the Greater Manchester League where they sit proudly top of the pile on goal difference.
The pattern of play was established from kick off with Chambers going close inside the opening minute and from the game’s first corner Abbie Carrington crashed a header off the crossbar that was cleared away after just three minutes. Rebecca Foster showed her cultured range of passing spraying a superb ball inside the full back for Chambers to race onto and square to Battle who fired wide from 12 yards.
However the red’s top scorer was not to be denied for long and on 8 minutes opened her and FC’s account for the afternoon. Jess McCarrick launched a raid from inside her own half passing into the feet of Fields who turned to slide a sublime pass through to Battle who bore down on Rachel Howarth in the home goal and blasted her shot across the keeper and in off the far post.
A minute later Beth Tattersall combined superbly with Hatcliffe whose shot was cleared to the edge of the area where Foster passed first time to the left where Chamber’s, in space, crashed a shot off the bar and away from imminent danger.
On their first foray into the United half, Beechfield squandered possession with the ball being worked back to keeper Gemma Jackson who launched the next FC attack finding the run of Cara Fields with her clearance. The midfielder once again slid a pass into the path of Battle who struck across Howarth to register her and the game’s second goal on 12 minutes.
Tattersall and Sullivan once again combined well setting up a volley for Foster which flew just wide of the post. From the ensuing goal kick United quickly regained possession and Chambers beat the offside trap and coolly slotted her shot under the advancing keeper with the game 17 minutes old.
The following 20 minutes saw continued FC dominance with a hatful of chances going begging as the home side defended resolutely and just after an enforced Beechfield substitution United added to their goal tally as Chambers released Fields who swept a superb curling shot across the keeper and into the top corner.
Just two minutes later Tattersall surged to the bye line and crossed low into the danger zone with the ball squirting out of the crowd to Hatcliffe who returned it with interest past the despairing dive of Howarth and into the bottom corner on 39 minutes.
Tattersall and Battle exchanged quick passes with the winger firing into the side netting. From the goal kick Battle worked hard to win the ball back as half time ticked closer and the tireless striker turned provider slipping a ball through to Sullivan who stroked an elegant and cultured left foot strike beyond Howarth to wrap up the first half scoring.
After the break, Beechfield certainly seemed to close down the space more effectively and although United continued to dominate possession, it was not going to prove a similar goal fest in the second period. Not through lack of trying however and just six minutes after the break Battle notched her hatrick. Carrington saw off a concerted raid down the Beechfield right by Hannah Susnjara and calmly carried the ball forward passing to Chambers who in turn spotted the clever run of Battle; the striker was suddenly through one on one and made certain of her third.
Luke Podmore took the opportunity to bring on his three named subs; Chelsea Patient, Jennifer Lomax and goal keeper Chloe Ainsworth and all slotted in seamlessly for the remainder of the game.
As the game ticked towards its premature conclusion after a period when Carringtion, Patient, McCarrick and Foster had tested the Beechfield rearguard, Battle hit the post with Howarth smothering well on her goal line as Tattersall looked to pounce.
Hatcliffe wrapped up the scoring with a good finish in the 74th minute as Tattersall found the striker in space to despatch her shot unerringly past Howarth on her near post. Tattersall fired from range with the very last kick of the game and as Howarth fielded the effort, referee Lee Harding blew for full time and all could gratefully seek refuge from the elements and begin looking forward to another semi final. Grateful thanks to Beechfield for getting the game on and best of luck for the rest of their season.
Next weekend, as things stand, the Women have a week off as the Argyle Cup tie away to Cammel Laird has been moved to 4th February with the home league fixture against Crewe, scheduled for 4th awaiting the announcement of a revised date. Keep an eye on the website for further details. Thanks to all the hardy souls who braved the elements and to the ‘Brew Crew’ for keeping half time spirits up in terrible weather conditions.
Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Rebecca Foster– superb range of passing and along with Cara Fields and Fran Sullivan kept the game flowing through midfield in just one direction.
Teams 21st January 2018: Attendance: 57
FC United of Manchester: 8 (6)
1. Gemma Jackson
2. Fran Davies
3. Abbie Carrington
17. Jess McCarrick
18. Cara Fields (Goal 37 mins)
7. Fran Sullivan (Goal 42 mins)
8. Rebecca Foster
10. Beth Tattersall
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt) (Goal 17 mins)
9. Jess Battle (Goals 8, 12, 51 mins)
15. Nicole Hatcliffe (Goals 39, 74 mins)
5. Chelsea Patient (for No10 52 mins)
13. Chloe Ainsworth (GK) (for No1 52 mins)
14. Jennifer Lomax (for No15 52 mins)
Roll on Roll Off:
On No10 off No11 61 mins
On No15 off No9 64 mins
On No9 off No7 69 mins
Beechfield United Ladies FC: 0 (0)
1. Rachel Howarth
2. Gemma Winterburn
6. Sophie Wainwright
9. Debbie Wright
10. Sue Howard (Capt)
11. Faye Cassidy
20. Krystal Hayward
22. Joanna Szafranska
23. Jennifer Mutch
29. Lauren Sharp
30. Elina Parker
16. Natasha Kerity
24. Hannah Susnjara (for No30 37 mins)
26. Shauna Smith
Referee: Lee Harding
Asst Referee: Dan Adelman (Yellow)
Asst Referee: Dave Farrand (Yellow / Orange)
Venue: Salford Sports Village, Littleton Road, Salford, M7 3NQ
Official FC photography by Samantha Coates
Film Footage & Historical Stats from Neil Boo
Social Media Updates from Mikey Partington
Match Stats by Paul Hinson from: click here
FC United stats first column:
Shots on target: 20...........0
Shots off target: 22...........0
Completed Passes: 407........100