13 - 1
Altrincham FC Ladies
Season six for FC’s Women kicked off in some style on Sunday as Luke Podmore’s side announced their clear intentions for the coming campaign with an emphatic 13-1 victory in front of 128 supporters who braved the autumnal elements to cheer the team into the next round of the FA Cup.
United led 6-0 at the break with Jess Battle and Fliss Winters scoring two each; Kirsty Chambers and Fran Sullivan each grabbing one. The second half saw Battle and Chambers notch two more a piece; Jess McCarrick and Nichol Forster scoring one each also. Georgia Plant scored Altrincham’s consolation just past the hour.
The game’s opening ten minutes, whilst largely dominated by FC United were equally frustrating with Chambers being denied what looked a perfectly good goal by the off side flag. Altrincham were very organised defensively but their high line was at last breached on 13 minutes as Battle timed her run superbly to race onto a clipped ball over the top by Olivia Greenhalgh. The striker, under pressure, slotted the ball across Lucy O’Dwyer and into the bottom corner to open the scoring.Quarter of an hour later and Chambers, onside, broke beyond the Altrincham defensive line, latched onto a Greenhalgh through ball and fired unerringly across O’Dwyer to double the lead settling United into a dominant pattern of play that would extend to the final whistle.
Two corners in quick succession saw Sullivan collect the ball on the left wing sweeping an effort goalwards that fooled everyone as it sailed into the net for her debut goal and FC’s third on 36 minutes. Not to be outdone two minutes later, fellow debutant Fliss Winters scored her first and United’s 4th taking advantage of chaos in the area from a corner and poking her shot into the roof of the net from three yards out.
Winters had her second, United’s 5th, three minutes later from an equally disconcerting corner (as far as the visitors defence was concerned) and was once more in the right place at the right time to tap home from two yards this time.
On the stroke of half time Battle, who’d started the scoring spree, was played in by Sullivan keeping her cool under pressure to fire under O’Dwyer in the last action of the first period.
The second half started with Altrincham retaining better possession forcing neat inter change between the FC back three to play their way out of trouble allowing Greenhalgh to once again pierce the defensive line with an accurate ball through to Battle who notched her 6th FC hatrick on 49 minutes
As the hour mark approached a spell of five goals in six minutes was to follow and it all began when Laura Dodds was dismissed for the visitors after fouling then striking Chambers as she tried to regain her feet in the 58th minute. Chambers exacted revenge in the best way possible by firing the free kick over O’Dwyer but back off the cross bar where Battle, slotted home the rebound.
In the 60th minute Chambers, seemingly displaying no ill effects, did score her second, latching onto a Greenhalgh pass and guiding her strike beyond the keeper into the bottom corner for United’s 9th of the game.
Two minutes later with United playing from the back once more, a wayward pass was picked up by Georgia Plant who couldn’t believe her fortune and fired past an exposed Gemma Jackson to register a goal for the visitors.
However, just a minute later and Chambers had her 13th FC Hatrick as United countered superbly with the captain angling her shot superbly beyond O’Dwyer from inside the ‘D’. The intense scoring spell came to a close as Battle once again timed her run brilliantly and as she bore down on goal squared unselfishly for McCarrick, as the calmest player on the pitch coolly slotted home FC’s 11th from 8 yards on 65 minutes prompting Podmore to make his third and final change of the afternoon introducing Nichol Forster to the action for her debut. The experienced former Blackburn Rovers striker wasted no time getting involved and just minutes after coming on she had her first FC United goal benefiting from another Greenhalgh assist before poking the ball past the advancing keeper.
Chambers matched Battle, grabbing her fourth goal of the game in the 84th minute; after seeing her first of two late corners headed behind by a defender at the near post she felt emboldened with the second set piece and curled it through a crowded area and in at the far post directly from the corner.
United saw the game to a conclusion and will now surely face a sterner test in a fortnight’s time when they travel to Wigan Athletic of the division above and who despatched Accrington Ladies 7-0 in their 1st qualifying round tie.
Before all that however, the women face newly formed City of Liverpool Ladies FC at Broadhurst Park next Sunday in their first league game of the season with a 2pm KO. Why not get yourself to our football ground next Sunday and after watching the Manchester v Liverpool clash on the 3G head inside the stadium for a special Charity Match (£10 pay on the gate) where FC United’s triumphant first season (2005/06) Northwest Counties title winners will take on a Jet2 Holidays All Star team (4pm KO) in aid of funding additional cancer treatment for Natalie, the partner of former FC United coach and first season veteran Dave Brown. A very worthy cause and a chance for FC fans of a certain vintage to head down memory lane to where it all began back in 2005.
Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Olivia Greenhalgh, a superb central midfield performance and whilst not on the score sheet herself Liv contributed superbly with 7 assists. Special mention to Captain Kirsty Chambers who moves level with Shellby Wolstencroft on 99 appearances (joint highest) for the reds and who scored 4 goals today encompassing her 13th competitive hatrick for FC United.
Team 3rd September 2017: Attendance: 128
FC United of Manchester Women: 13 (6)
1. Gemma Jackson
2. Fran Davies
3. Abbie Carrington
17. Jess McCarrick (Goal 65 mins)
6. Olivia Greenhalgh
7. Fran Sullivan (Goal 36 mins)
15. Rebecca Foster
14. Anya Donelan
20. Fliss Winters (Goals 38, 41 mins)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt )(Goals 28, 60, 63, 84 mins)
9. Jess Battle (Goals: 13, 45, 49, 59 mins)
5. Chelsea Patient (for No7 59 mins)
10. Beth Tattersall (for No20 59 mins)
12. Amy Vyas
16. Nichol Forster (for No15 65 mins) (Goal 72 mins)
19. Ella Schickhoff
Altrincham FC Ladies: 1 (0)
22. Lucy O’Dwyer
2. Kyeshia Brown
16. Bliss Molyneaux (Capt)
5. Louise Edleston
6. Aimee Hopkinson
21. Hannah Shufflebotham
10. Laura Dodds (Red Card 58 mins)
7. Jessica Hartopp
11. Georgia Plant (Goal 62 mins)
18. Laura Kelly
8. Gail Simpson
12. Megan Rowley (for No16 50mins)
14. Megan Wright
Referee: Ben Cotton
Asst 1: Oran Howard (Yellow & Orange)
Asst 2: Stephen Rayner (Yellow)
Photography by Mark Lee & Samantha Coates
Motion Pictures by Neil Boo
Twitter Feed by Mikey Partington
Match Stats by Paul Hinson from: click here
FC United stats first column:
Shots on target: 18...........2
Shots off target: 13...........1
Completed Passes: 432.........135
Historical Stats from Neil Boo:
Jess Battle completed the women’s team 50th hatrick today followed by Kirsty Chambers notching the 51st their 6th and 13th personal hatricks for the reds.
Three debutants scored today, Fran Sullivan, Fliss Winters and Nichol Forster making it 19 FC Women who have scored on their competitive debut.