Great Britain Deaf Team
0 - 5
FC United’s women’s team were invited to play Great Britain’s Deaf Women’s Team as they continued their build up to the 2013 Deaflympics taking place in Bulgaria from 26th July. The venue, Ormskirk’s expansive Edgehill University, was an ideal setting in terms of the excellent playing surface (certainly no Broadhurst) and prevailing good weather and FC United, with several new faces in the squad and some seasoned regulars not available, took control of the game after just five minutes and ended up comfortable 5-0 victors with a hatrick from Shellby Wolstencroft and singles from Kirsty Chambers and an unfortunate GB defender.
Southport based Captain and goal keeper Amy “scary vocals” Gillingham, sadly making her last appearance for the Reds, kept a clean sheet despite some close shaves and earned a split lip as reward for her bravery. We wish Amy every success in her new job which will run alongside her University studies and no doubt she will be keeping in touch with us at FC.
Team GB fly out of Heathrow bound for Sofia on 22nd July following preparations that began in the middle of last year. After success in 2005’s event in Melbourne; where they beat Denmark in the 3rd/4th place playoff to gain a bronze medal, they will be hoping to fly the flag at this year’s IOC sanctioned event. Before then they will be hoping to be at full strength as they had some key defensive players unavailable for this warm up encounter although they still possessed potency through midfield and up front meaning the FC defence and keeper had to be on their game to preserve a clean sheet.
Referee Barry Potter signalled for the start of the game supplementing his whistle by waving a white handkerchief – a protocol that accompanied every decision throughout - and FC United, themselves hungry for success in the forthcoming campaign began positively with Chambers forcing the GB keeper into a good save at her near post inside the first minute.
On 5 minutes, Wolstencroft headed the game’s opener from close range following a Chambers corner. This provoked a response from GB’s women and the game flowed end to end for a period with GB coming close on the quarter hour as their speedy No. 11 broke the offside trap and bore down on FC’s goal. Gillingham was swiftly off her line to narrow down the attacker’s options and the shot narrowly missed the far upright to preserve the Reds’ lead.
Just moments later and GB threatened again after winning a free kick 20 yards from goal. The effort beat the wall forcing Gillingham into an excellent parry which landed at the feet of GB’s No. 14 who seemed caught by surprise and couldn’t convert from close range. Debutant Jade Parker fired a low goal-bound half volley from 20 yards at the other end only to see it blocked by determined GB defending. The end to end theme continued this time towards the FC goal with GB winning a corner which FC cleared well setting up a lightening counter attack with the superb Beth Tattersall, enjoying a tough battle with the GB left back, outstripping her opponent with dazzling pace and centring superbly for Wolstencroft to narrowly miss the flying header opportunity.
At this point the game was very much in the balance but a four minute spell of intense FC pressure just before the half hour effectively ended the game as a contest. On 26 minutes Chambers fired goal wards from a tight angle on the left and her shot was deflected off a defender and flew past the keeper at the near post. GB had no time to recover from the own goal as Chambers made sure of her addition to the score sheet thundering an emphatic drive from 12 yards into the roof of the goal after unselfish work by Wolstencroft. GB were reeling and on the half hour Wolstencroft latched onto a through ball and cleverly sidestepped left of the advancing keeper and finished with aplomb with a flick of her right boot. On the stroke of half time the impressive Gail Pennington, unleashed from her holding role, advanced goal wards and fired from the left angle of the area beating the keeper but seeing her effort crash off the top of the bar as the referee whistled and waved to signify the end of a surprisingly intense and pulsating half that would have graced any stage of the season never mind a first pre-season outing.
FC got the second half underway and Chambers was unlucky not to increase the lead just three minutes in as her powerful shot, following an incisive run into the GB area, cannoned back off the upright and was put behind for a corner which Fran Davies almost converted with a header that went just wide. The game took on a more relaxed and pre-season mantle and FC United were able to introduce debutants Charlie Evans, Hannah O’Sullivan, Tasha Rowe and Leah Hartshorne and the only goal of the half came from the Chambers- Wolstencroft partnership as the latter once again profited from the former’s superb crossing ability to head home her hatrick goal on 75 minutes.
The final 5 minutes of the contest became the Amy Gillingham swan song as the returning Olivia Smith (who had played superbly alongside Davies in central defence) swapped roles with her captain giving Gillingham license to maraud up front for the closing minutes and Smith the chance to preserve the clean sheet. The contest came to an end with no further goals, well almost: Both sides agreed to a penalty shoot out after the final whistle and it was refreshing to see a national side value the concept of practising penalties in advance of a major international tournament!!
‘Liv Smith retained her place in goal and started superbly by saving GBs first effort as Beth Hayes, Amy Gillingham and Fran Davies confidently despatched their spot kicks; Amy getting her goal after all. ‘Liv was unlucky with two other GB efforts, getting her hand to them but being unable to prevent them going in. Up stepped hatrick hero Shellby Wolstencroft whose effort was well saved with GBs number 2 scoring to make it 4-4. Kirsty Chambers despatched her penalty to head into a sudden death situation. Adora Yau spotted and despatched the best penalty of the lot to keep FC in the shoot out and at 6-5 for GB the burden fell to debutant Leah Hartshorne to prolong the shoot out and a superb save saw some consolation for the National side as all parties shook hands to round off a superb afternoon enjoyed in the summer warmth by the travelling 30 from FC United.
We wish Team GB every success in Bulgaria and hope they get themselves on that rostrum.
Report by Rob Fullen
Website players of the match: Kirsty Chambers and Shellby Wolstencroft were superb all afternoon and on the debutant front, Jade Parker looked very accomplished in centre midfield.
Teams 29 June 2013: Attendance: 37 (30 FC)
FC United of Manchester Women: 5 (4)
1. Amy Gillingham (Goalkeeper and Captain)
3. Adora Yau (right back)
8. Maya Germain (left back)
5. Francesca Davies (centre half)
6. Olivia Smith (centre half)
4. Gail Pennington (centre midfield)
7. Beth Hayes (centre midfield)
14. Jade Parker (centre midfield)
10. Beth Tattersall (right midfield)
11. Kirsty Chambers (left midfield and goal 28mins)
9. Shellby Wolstencroft (centre forward and goals 5, 30, 75mins)
15. Charlie Evans (for No10 38mins)
16. Leah Hartshorne (for No14 57mins)
18. Hannah O’Sullivan (for No7 50mins)
19. Tasha Rowe (for No8 69mins)
Roll on Roll off changes:
14. on for No6 73 mins
7. on for No3 75 mins
No6 Olivia Smith changed to No 13 (Keeper) and on for No1 85 mins
No1 Amy Gillingham became No 6 and on for No 9 85 mins
Team GB Deaf Women 0 (0)
No team information available.