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Match Report

16th April 2022

BetVictor Northern Premier

Broadhurst Park, 310 Lightbowne Road, Moston, Manchester, M40 0FJ


FC United of Manchester

0 - 1

South Shields

 
Attendance: 2,198

FC United of Manchester 0

South Shields 1

Attendance: 2,198



FC United's play-off hopes are over after late South Shields defeat

FC United's slim hopes of making the play-off are over after the Reds slipped to an 89th minute 0-1 defeat to title-chasing South Shields at Broadhurst Park on Easter Saturday, during an action-packed encounter in front of 2,198 supporters.

Despite an excellent performance for the home side, the goal from Shields substitute JJ Hooper was enough to earn his team three vital points and keep The Mariners' hopes of clinching this season's Pitched In Northern Premier League title alive and kicking. 

South Shields have now moved level on points with league leaders Buxton Town, with just two games remaining in the season.

It had been a battling performance for the Reds, who looked every inch the equal of their fulltime opponents. The home team dominated possession with 67% and produced 21 shots during the game, but were unable to find the goal which would have earned them a deserved win on the afternoon.

Before the game, FC United players, staff and supporters paid tribute to Sam Harding, our former academy graduate who tragically passed away las week, aged just 20. As FC United's starting eleven took to the field in shirts carrying an image of Sam in his England Schoolboy's shirt, chants of “One Sam Harding” emanated from the FC support, with his family also in attendance to lay flowers and shirts on the centre circle. 

In a post-match interview Reds' boss Neil Reynolds paid tribute to his former charge, saying: “It was tough today before the game. He was a special player. He'll never be forgotten, especially around here.”

The game began to a backdrop of loud support from both sets of fans in attendance. It was FC United who enjoyed the brighter start of the two teams, pressing their opponents from kick-off, and playing the ball around at a high tempo. 

Some vibrant attacking play led to them going close to opening the scoring through opportunities for Regan Linney, who was unlucky to drag a shot wide of the post, and Charlie Ennis who found himself in a number of good goal-scoring positions but was unable to send a killer shot goal-wards.

As the half wore on, the game became a noticeably more open affair as South Shields grew into the tie. Some last ditch defending from FC United was required to thwart Mariners' defender Blair Adams on the half an hour mark. 

The South Shields' left-back looked the most likely player to grab an opening goal for his side during the half, as he sent a dipping shot just over the bar from distance in the 45th minute. This was quickly followed up with arguably the best chance of the first half for either team, as he latched on to a cross from the right wing and headed a spiralling ball towards the top-corner, only for it to be palmed away by an outstretched Dan Lavercombe in the FC goal, the home keeper drawing a round of applause from the crowd in the process. 

FC United emerged for the second half looking determined to gain three points from this fixture. They went close early on when a brilliant diagonal ball from Aaron Morris was brought down with a touch of flair by Linney on the left wing. 

FC's number nine darted down the line before sending a cross into the penalty area for Harry McGee to head his effort directly at the goal, only for it to bounce agonisingly off the under-side of the cross bar before being quickly ushered to safety by the South Shields' defence.

The chances kept coming thick and fast for FC, as they pressed hard for a goal. Firstly, after some lovely fluid play, Linney played McGee in unopposed down the left-hand side of the penalty area, only for the midfielder to send his shot inches wide of the right-hand post. Soon after, Linney had a goal-bound effort blocked on the edge of the six-yard box by Jack Bodenham. 

While the home side wondered if things weren't going to go their way, South Shields made a trio of changes to try and influence the game. With former United old-boy Cedric Main, Mitch Rose and forward JJ Hooper coming onto the field, it was a move that was to pay dividends for the away side. 

In the 89th minute, Main wrestled the ball away from Aaron Morris on the left wing before tearing at goal. FC defender Adam Dodd was able to block Main's initial shot, only for the ball to bounce to the feet of Hooper, who calmly swept the ball home to seal three points for his side. The forward gleefully wheeled off to celebrate with the away fans at the Lightbowne Road End.

After the final whistle Neil Reynolds praised his team's overall performance, but once again rued their ability to see a game out in its closing stages: 

He said: “We're scratching around in midtable, and the reason is we've got to man the trenches and dig deep. We conceded when we should have probably won and been out of sight.” 

Meanwhile, South Shields' assistant manager Jon Shaw was very complimentary about the Reds. He said: “Credit to FC United, they gave us a real game and were the better side. Things just went our way.”

Man of the Match – Dan Lavercombe: Kept the Reds in the game with a fantastic save and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

Report by Sam Turner

FC United's play-off hopes are over after late South Shields defeat

FC United's slim hopes of making the play-off are over after the Reds slipped to an 89th minute 0-1 defeat to title-chasing South Shields at Broadhurst Park on Easter Saturday, during an action-packed encounter in front of 2,198 supporters.

Despite an excellent performance for the home side, the goal from Shields substitute JJ Hooper was enough to earn his team three vital points and keep The Mariners' hopes of clinching this season's Pitched In Northern Premier League title alive and kicking. 

South Shields have now moved level on points with league leaders Buxton Town, with just two games remaining in the season.

It had been a battling performance for the Reds, who looked every inch the equal of their fulltime opponents. The home team dominated possession with 67% and produced 21 shots during the game, but were unable to find the goal which would have earned them a deserved win on the afternoon.

Before the game, FC United players, staff and supporters paid tribute to Sam Harding, our former academy graduate who tragically passed away las week, aged just 20. As FC United's starting eleven took to the field in shirts carrying an image of Sam in his England Schoolboy's shirt, chants of “One Sam Harding” emanated from the FC support, with his family also in attendance to lay flowers and shirts on the centre circle. 

In a post-match interview Reds' boss Neil Reynolds paid tribute to his former charge, saying: “It was tough today before the game. He was a special player. He'll never be forgotten, especially around here.”

The game began to a backdrop of loud support from both sets of fans in attendance. It was FC United who enjoyed the brighter start of the two teams, pressing their opponents from kick-off, and playing the ball around at a high tempo. 

Some vibrant attacking play led to them going close to opening the scoring through opportunities for Regan Linney, who was unlucky to drag a shot wide of the post, and Charlie Ennis who found himself in a number of good goal-scoring positions but was unable to send a killer shot goal-wards.

As the half wore on, the game became a noticeably more open affair as South Shields grew into the tie. Some last ditch defending from FC United was required to thwart Mariners' defender Blair Adams on the half an hour mark. 

The South Shields' left-back looked the most likely player to grab an opening goal for his side during the half, as he sent a dipping shot just over the bar from distance in the 45th minute. This was quickly followed up with arguably the best chance of the first half for either team, as he latched on to a cross from the right wing and headed a spiralling ball towards the top-corner, only for it to be palmed away by an outstretched Dan Lavercombe in the FC goal, the home keeper drawing a round of applause from the crowd in the process. 

FC United emerged for the second half looking determined to gain three points from this fixture. They went close early on when a brilliant diagonal ball from Aaron Morris was brought down with a touch of flair by Linney on the left wing. 

FC's number nine darted down the line before sending a cross into the penalty area for Harry McGee to head his effort directly at the goal, only for it to bounce agonisingly off the under-side of the cross bar before being quickly ushered to safety by the South Shields' defence.

The chances kept coming thick and fast for FC, as they pressed hard for a goal. Firstly, after some lovely fluid play, Linney played McGee in unopposed down the left-hand side of the penalty area, only for the midfielder to send his shot inches wide of the right-hand post. Soon after, Linney had a goal-bound effort blocked on the edge of the six-yard box by Jack Bodenham. 

While the home side wondered if things weren't going to go their way, South Shields made a trio of changes to try and influence the game. With former United old-boy Cedric Main, Mitch Rose and forward JJ Hooper coming onto the field, it was a move that was to pay dividends for the away side. 

In the 89th minute, Main wrestled the ball away from Aaron Morris on the left wing before tearing at goal. FC defender Adam Dodd was able to block Main's initial shot, only for the ball to bounce to the feet of Hooper, who calmly swept the ball home to seal three points for his side. The forward gleefully wheeled off to celebrate with the away fans at the Lightbowne Road End.

After the final whistle Neil Reynolds praised his team's overall performance, but once again rued their ability to see a game out in its closing stages: 

He said: “We're scratching around in midtable, and the reason is we've got to man the trenches and dig deep. We conceded when we should have probably won and been out of sight.” 

Meanwhile, South Shields' assistant manager Jon Shaw was very complimentary about the Reds. He said: “Credit to FC United, they gave us a real game and were the better side. Things just went our way.”

Man of the Match – Dan Lavercombe: Kept the Reds in the game with a fantastic save and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

Report by Sam Turner


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