6 - 0
Icy rain provided the back drop to United’s bounce back performance after last week’s disappointing draw against Altrincham. The rain failed to dampen the red’s resolve and they produced a thoroughly professional and, despite the conditions, entertaining performance scoring three in each half without conceding.
Jess Battle scored a first half hatrick, added one more after the break with Fran Sullivan and Yvette Loukes scoring the 4th and 6th respectively.
Two years ago, United lost this very fixture 1-0 and were in no mood to see a repeat on this wintery afternoon, starting the game on the front foot. With regular Captain Kirsty Chambers out for several weeks with an ankle injury sustained last week, Vice Captain Chelsea Patient stepped up and launched the afternoon’s first attack sliding a pass into the feet of Battle who released Loukes down the right. The winger did well and recycled the ball back into midfield with Rebecca Foster slipping a pass through to Nicole Hatcliffe who did her best to prevent a goal kick as the ball just out paced her on the slick surface.
Five minutes in and Warrington’s Lilly Correy saw her attempted through ball well intercepted by Fran Davies and soon after Wendy Booth tried her luck from range with her effort drifting well wide of Gemma Jackson’s goal. The breakthrough came on the quarter hour after a concerted spell of United pressure. Foster picked out Loukes wide right and the winger crossed superbly for Battle to connect superbly to fire beyond Helen Dobson in the Warrington goal.
Rachel Dickenson spurned a good chance presented to the Wolverines by a rare defensive lapse firing across the dive of Jackson but just wide of the upright. As the half neared its midpoint, Jess McCarrick, released by the vision of Sullivan surged goalwards forcing a good save by Dobson at the expense of a corner. Sullivan centred the set piece, Dobson’s flapped clearance lacked distance and Battle fired hard and low through a crowd from 12 yards to double United’s lead.
Warrington enjoyed a spell of pressure later in the half; Dickenson and Emma Ayrton both having efforts on goal. Jackson held Ayrton’s lofted effort to launch United forward through Sullivan who played in Loukes. The winger rode three challenges and drove into the area where a defender nicked the ball but her unconvincing clearance only served to set up Battle to clip home her and FC’s third of the afternoon on 41 minutes. Foster and Hatcliffe both had chances to stretch the lead before the break but on the stroke of half time it was the visitors who almost closed the deficit with Nic Chatterley firing a hard low free kick from the edge of the area that whistled just past Jackson’s right hand post and the half ended with a comfortable 3-0 cushion for the reds.
United threatened from the restart with Patient to Sullivan who slotted through to Loukes with only a good last ditch challenge preventing another goal scoring opportunity. At the other end Chatterley tried her luck from range followed by Hatcliffe for United who through on goal was fouled on the edge of the area. Sullivan’s free kick forced a fine save from Dobson and a couple of minutes later from a similar position her set piece, following another foul, just cleared the Warrington bar. However, it was to be third time lucky for the United No 7 who beat the high line offside trap tracking onto an Olivia Greenhalgh through ball to curl her shot around the advancing Dobson from 18 yards giving United a 4-0 lead on 55 mins.
Davies defended well at the other end with the resultant corner being headed away by United’s No2 and carried clear by Patient as Luke Podmore used the hour mark to begin a flurry of substitutions eventually giving the entire bench some valuable game time. Beth Tattersall entered the fray during this spell and chased down a lost cause wide right then tricked her way past her marker and decisively drove into the area before clipping the ball back to Battle who took a touch then fired across Dobson and into the bottom corner for her 4th and United’s 5th of the afternoon.
Amy Vyas drifted a delightful pass wide to Foster who chipped a ball into the six yard area where Loukes was on hand to side foot volley beyond Dobson from close range to wrap up the scoring. Warrington, to their credit remained combative and determined to the final whistle and Chloe Ainsworth, making her FC debut coming on for Jackson in the 77th minute, made a couple of important saves late on. United managed the game to a successful conclusion with Jess Battle equalling the record of scoring 4 goals for the fourth time in one season. Defensively, today was the team’s 50th clean sheet and also marked the 50th start for Olivia Greenhalgh.
The result widens the gap at the top of the league to 9 points and +63 goals over second placed Warrington and next week see’s us entertain Liverpool Marshall Feds Reserves at Broadhurst Park in our last home game of 2017 . Your programme will feature a festive quiz, courtesy of Neil Boo, plus a front cover shot of the official 2017/18 squad courtesy of Mark Lee. Get yourselves to our football ground. Thank You.
Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Nicole Hatcliffe – whilst her strike partner Jess Battle quite rightly gets the plaudits for her four goal haul, Nicole worked tirelessly all game displaying a phenomenal work rate and indeed was unfortunate not to bag at least one goal of her own.
Teams 26th November 2017: Attendance: 85
FC United of Manchester: 6 (3)
1. Gemma Jackson
2. Fran Davies
3. Abbie Carrington
5. Chelsea Patient (Capt)
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
7. Fran Sullivan (Goal 55 mins)
8. Rebecca Foster
16. Yvette Loukes (Goal 78 mins)
17. Jess McCarrick
15. Nicole Hatcliffe
9. Jess Battle (Goals 15, 22, 41 & 73 mins)
6. Mia Holden (for No9 75 mins)
10. Beth Tattersall (for No17 65 mins)
12. Amy Vyas (for No 7 68 mins)
13. Chloe Ainsworth (for No1 77 mins [debut])
18. Cara Fields (for No4 59 mins)
Roll on Roll Off:
On No4 Off No8 79 mins
On No17 off No 16 79 mins
Warrington Wolverines: 0 (0)
1. Helen Dobson
2. Cathy Dutton
26. Kate Wild
4. Wendy Booth
19. Lauren Hood
6. Laura Parkinson
20. Gail Wilson
8. Lilly Correy
17. Rachel Dickenson
10. Nic Chatterley
11. Rachel Unsworth
7. Emma Ayrton (for No8 15 mins)
21. Claudia Hutton
22. Jules Crooke
Referee: Kevin Kay
Asst Referee: Dan Adelman (Yellow & Orange)
Asst Referee: N/K (Yellow)
Venue: Broadhurst Park, 3G, Lightbowne Road, Moston, Manchester M40
Official photography by Samantha Coates
Film Footage & Historical Stats from Neil Boo
Social Media Updates from Mikey Partington
FCUM Radio Presenter: Ben Hughes
Match Stats by Paul Hinson from: click here
FC United stats first column:
Shots on target: 13...........2
Shots off target: 5.............7
Completed Passes: 390.........156