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FC United of Manchester
FC United lost 1-0 in a pre-season friendly at Prestwich Heys on Tuesday night but the FC United faithful had an enjoyable night at a very accommodating club.
The woodwork was rattled three times in the first half, twice by the hosts and once by the visitors. Heys did get on the scoresheet but United could not respond.
A resurgent Prestwich Heys with big ambition and an application pending to the North West Counties League, depending on floodlight installation, were the opponents for this pre-season friendly at Adie Moran Park on Tuesday night.
Heys certainly know how to put on a game with two beer tents and a sausage barbeque adorning the pitch side. A £5 entrance fee and friendly stewards added to a jovial atmosphere.
With a few minutes to go to kick-off, it looked as though the bus stop stand may get some use as dark clouds gathered in Prestwich and there was some worry that the game would be completed in darkness.
There was hope for a few goals from Margy’s men before kick-off as the team lined up with some familiar and unfamiliar names. It was a bright start from FC United as the team in the all blue change kit used the flanks to good effect to get behind the organised defence and pegged Heys back for the first 25 minutes.
Good work from Cory Williams, Steven Boothman and Greg Daniels meant FC United were in the ascendency without being able to find that killer pass or shot that would break the deadlock.
In fact, it took until 28 minutes for Prestwich to have a meaningful attack of their own when a nice touch from Heys’ ‘Brucey’ and a measured through ball that split the FC defence was, probably incorrectly, ruled offside.
The visitors from Moston responded immediately and a good cross from the right saw Mike Norton jump with the Heys keeper who spilled it to Williams on the left edge of the area. It looked for all the world a goal as Williams struck a fierce effort which fizzed back across the face but ultimately smashed against the bottom of the post and away to safety.
As halftime approached, Heys started to come forward more and cause FC United some problems at the back, the pick of the efforts came when Heys’ Dalton McLaughlin took a ball, turned and curled a cracking 25 yard effort onto the post with FC United custodian King well beaten.
Buoyed by this, Prestwich pressed for a goal that would give them a halftime lead. Just before the break, a scramble in the box ensued and when the ball fell to former FC United midfielder Jamie Baguley on the corner of the six yard box a goal looked inevitable. Baguley put his full weight behind the volley but only succeeded in nearly breaking the crossbar.
After the excitement at the end of the first half the second period began at a more pedestrian pace with Margy making three substitutes on the hour. Heys perhaps looked the more dangerous in the second half although neither team were really dominant as the players searched for match fitness before the competitive season starts.
Williams was again closest to breaking the deadlock just before the hour, following a good cross from the left he could only lift his volleyed effort over the bar. Substitute Frank Van Gils looked skilful and dangerous down the left hand side and was the focal point of the FC attack once he came on as FC pushed for a goal.
Heys were organised though and as the darkness descended they broke away and nicked the spoils with a scrambled goal on 90 minutes.
All-in-all, this will have been a decent run out for FC and a decent test from a motivated Heys side. The management team will have seen a couple of decent options for the upcoming season and the FC faithful had a good experience at a friendly club who understand supporters’ needs and expectations.
Website FC United man of the match: Cory Williams – Confident on the ball and got into good positions to support the attack.
Website Heys man of the match: George Powell – Solid at full back and caused FC some issues with his forward runs and insightful passing.
Honourable mention: Sausage tent – Manned by an injured Heys player who commented he’d never worked that hard on the football pitch.
Report by Gary Peace