1 - 0
Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC
In the warmth of a late summer Sunday afternoon at Broadhurst Park in front of almost 100 spectators, FC’s women battled through a tough examination against WPL side Doncaster Belles’ development squad with a Kirsty Chambers first half strike being the only difference between the sides.
United kicked off but it was the visitors who pressed highest from the off forcing the first half chance just two minutes into the contest. The game settled into a cagey affair with both sides guilty of ceding possession under pressure as the space was well compressed all over the pitch.
As the midpoint of the half approached, FC’s custodian Gemma Jackson was forced into a couple of brave saves at the feet of Doncaster’s’ strikers in quick succession before Kirsty Chambers tried a couple of speculative efforts that didn’t trouble Emily Batty at the opposite end.
Doncaster countered through Nadia Khan whose scuffed shot was comfortably gathered by Jackson who wasted no time getting the ball forward. Rebecca Foster clipped a delightful pass over the full back for Chambers to fire over once again under pressure.
A free kick to the Belles, midway inside United’s half drifted harmlessly wide of Jackson’s left upright from Izzy Whittle’s strike and FC found some impetus themselves from the goal kick with Olivia Greenhalgh and Fliss Winters combining well down the right. The United pressure ultimately led to Beth Tattersall earning a free kick 35 yards from goal; Greenhalgh played short to Chambers who drove forward exploiting a gap in the Doncaster defence exchanging a neat one – two with Foster before firing a half volley from 16 yards over Batty to open the scoring just past the half hour.
Fran Davies put in another fantastically timed tackle on the edge of the United area as the dangerous Manik Watson threatened to break through for the visitors and the reds held firm going into half time with a slender 1-0 advantage.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with the visitors being held at bay by determined defence and tenacious midfield whilst the reds always looked to break behind Doncaster with the tireless work rate of Jess Battle. United weathered a tough 45 minute examination and held on superbly in the end for a deserved and rewarding victory.
Recording nine out of nine pre season victories was always going to prove a tough test in the final game of a successful campaign against Doncaster’s well coached and organised side which included some fringe first teamers from their Women’s Premier League Squad. Luke and his squad can take huge encouragement from the victory and wider pre season campaign ahead of the big kick off next Sunday when we welcome Altrincham FC Ladies to Broadhurst Park in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.
On the 10th anniversary weekend of FC’s first involvement in the FA Cup (A 5-2 victory over Trafford at Altrincham’s Moss Lane) the women will be looking to add another chapter to the club’s Cup exploits so why not get yourselves to our football ground for a 2pm kick off and cheer them into the next round.
Summary Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Fran Davies, a superb defensive performance against tough opponents that helped maintain a clean sheet and bring the best out of defensive unit colleagues Chelsea Patient, Abbie Carrington and keeper Gemma Jackson.
Team 27th August 2017: Attendance: 97
FC United of Manchester Women: 1 (1)
1. Gemma Jackson
2. Fran Davies
5. Chelsea Patient
3. Abbie Carrington
14. Olivia Greenhalgh
7. Fran Sullivan
15. Rebecca Foster
17. Jess McCarrick
10. Beth Tattersall
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt )(Goal 31 mins)
9. Jess Battle
6. Mia Holden (for No17 77 mins)
12. Amy Vyas (for No10 56 mins)
20. Fliss Winters (for No7 17 mins)
Roll on Roll Off:
On No17 for No11 85 mins
Doncaster Belles (Dev Squad): 0 (0)
1. Emily Batty
3. Zoe Belding
15. Emily Smith
6. Izzy Whittle (Capt)
8. Eleanor Ciesielski
14. Olivia Auker
24. Liv Cook
16. Nadia Khan
10. Abby Watkinson
11. Manik Watson
12. Lou McCreadie
4. Olivia Leslie (for No6 32 mins)
5. Ashleigh Edwards (for No10 10 mins)
7. Emily Cahill (for No24 84 mins)
16. Ella Thompson-Mowding (for No5 56 mins)
23. Robin Harris
Referee: Daniel Woodhead
Asst 1: Daniel Adelman (Yellow & Orange)
Asst 2: Ella Thompson-Mowding (Yellow)
Photography by Samantha Coates
Twitter Feed by Mikey Partington
Match Stats by Paul Hinson from: www.liveteamstats.com
FC United stats first column:
Shots on target: 2...........6
Shots off target: 3...........6
Completed Passes: 404.........200