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FC’s Women end league campaign with draw in Warrington
With fluent play compromised by a firm, difficult pitch and strong, swirling breezes, the Division’s 2nd and 3rd placed teams played out a 1-1 draw in the last league game of the season. Coming less than 48 hours after the red’s stunning County Cup triumph on Friday evening this was always going to be a difficult and draining game and credit goes to all those in red who took the field to secure a runners up spot for the second season in a row; Warrington similarly finishing this season and last in third spot.
The home side took the lead with a superb header from Wendy Booth meeting a flighted free kick on 10 minutes. On the half hour Beth Tattersall levelled things after a strong break down the right and persistence in the area to poke the ball home.
Kicking against the strong wind in the first half, FC United got the game underway and 3 minutes in, after good approach play from Jade Boulton, Kirsty Chambers tried her luck from range with keeper Kim Griffiths, judging the awkward bounce well, turning the ball round the post for a corner.
The corner was headed away at the near post but straight back to Chambers who lofted her cross to the back post where Abbie Carrington headed just wide.
On 10 minutes Warrington were awarded a free kick on the left floated towards the back post by Sarah Sheldon with Wendy Booth rising highest and heading back across Amy Gillingham into the top corner to open the scoring.
United responded in typical fashion as Tattersall burst down the right crossing low into the six yard area with Griffiths intercepting well with the unmarked Amy Vyas poised tap home.
Warrington earned a corner on 20 minutes that, wind assisted, was swept in dangerously with Gillingham just able to palm the ball downwards from underneath her cross bar; Carrington being the first to react, clearing the danger. United countered through Vyas releasing Chambers who forced a corner with Carrington heading down for Jess McCarrick to scoop her shot just over the bar.
The ball, played across halfway, was directed into the path of Tattersall by Chelsea Patient and the winger outpaced the defence driving along the bye line towards goal. It seemed the chance was lost as Tattersall was block tackled just yards from the near post but the tenacious winger got the better of her defender and as the ball broke loose she poked the ball past Griffiths before the keeper could react, levelling the scores on the half hour.
The score line remained unchanged but both sides created opportunities to win the game, United’s best coming just before half time after Tattersall released Vyas who played in Chambers; Griffiths saving the first shot and recovering to save Chamber’s second effort with the ball breaking to Allisha Marsh with Griffiths saving once again.
Warrington’s best chance to snatch the three points came early in the second half as another flighted free kick caused problems for the defence with Gillingham saving brilliantly from Nicola Chatterley and on the follow up Sam Hassall hit the bar from a tight angle with Chatterley firing the rebound over the top.
All in all a draw (incredibly only the fifth ever draw for our Women’s Team in 5 seasons) was a fair result and United finished the campaign on 56 points, 5 points behind Champions Merseyrail Bootle and 6 points clear of third placed Warrington Wolverines.
With next weekend’s planned prestigious visit of the Isle of Man Senior Women’s Team, cancelled due to the Islanders struggling with injuries and numbers, the red’s will take a well earned break ahead of the Argyle Cup Final against Bury Ladies with a 4pm KO over in Bootle on 14th May. Get yourself to that football ground to cheer the girls on to a cup double.
>b>Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Beth Tattersall – Scored the red’s only goal and was the one player most likely to add a second, utilising her blistering pace and tenacity all afternoon. Mention too for Fran Davies on her 50th consecutive start for the reds; being once more imperious at the back in very difficult conditions for defenders.
Teams 30th April 2017: Attendance: 63 (2,617 in total for the season so far)
FC United of Manchester Women: 1 (1)
1. Amy Gillingham
2. Fran Davies
3. Abbie Carrington
5. Chelsea Patient
6. Mia Holden
12. Amy Vyas
15. Jade Boulton
17. Jess McCarrick
10. Beth Tattersall (Goal 30 mins)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt)
19. Allisha Marsh
8. Adora Yau (for No3 59mins)
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
16. Leah Dolan (for No5 74mins)
20. Holly Shute (for No11 68mins)
Warrington Wolverines: 1 (1)
1. Kim Griffiths
23. Laura Faux
19. Lauren Hood
4. Wendy Booth (Goal 10 mins)
5. Helen Dobson (Capt)
6. Rhian Heap
7. Emma Ayrton
2. Sarah Sheldon
15. Sam Hassall
10. Nicola Chatterley
11. Rachel Unsworth
12. Becky Lee
Referee: Justin Walton
Asst Referee: Daniel Adelman
Asst Referee: N/K
Match stats courtesy of Paul Hinson from click here
Home Side First:
Goals: 1 1
Shots On Target: 5 6
Shots Off Target: 6 10
Corners: 2 5
Possession: 39% 61%
Completed Passes: 347 429