West Didsbury & Chorlton Women
0 - 3
Victory to either side on a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon in Chorlton would see the pendulum swing in favour of the winners in the run in for the Division One South title. After a goal less first half during which the home side created more and exposed FC’s lingering rustiness following a five week layoff from competitive football, the visitors were transformed in the second period. Superior in all departments the Reds took the game to ‘West’ scoring three without reply from the boots of Jess Battle, Yvette Loukes and Nicole Hatcliffe.
United kicked off and worked the ball through midfield with Jess McCarrick feeding Rebecca Foster who swept a ball wide left for Kirsty Chambers to skew the game’s first effort wide within 20 seconds. The opening few minutes saw the reds keep ‘West’ penned in their own half winning the game’s first corner ultimately headed wide by Abbie Carrington.
Chaneece Reeves persisted against Fran Davies on the bye line and managed to drive a low cross towards the penalty spot where Chambers was back covering to clear the danger. Ten minutes in, Fran Sullivan released Chambers who found room to deliver an excellent cross that only narrowly evaded the attempted header by Battle at the near post as the home side gratefully cleared the danger.
The game ebbed and flowed with the home side forcing Gemma Jackson to dive low and parry a speculative shot around the post for ‘West’s’ first corner on 19 minutes. A good delivery under the bar was nudged away by Jackson as Loukes completed the clearance beyond the back post.
On the half hour Jackson held another speculative effort and quickly released Loukes down the right; the winger’s advancement abruptly halted by a well timed challenge from Elizabeth Livesey.
United were caught napping on the edge of their area as Shauna Edmondson nipped in to fire just over Jackson’s bar. A minute later, Reeves drifted a shot just wide of the post and in the last meaningful action of a half arguably edged by the hosts Livesey once again timed her tackle well denying Battle a shooting opportunity after good approach play by Loukes.
The home side resumed the contest after the break but United looked a different side with more controlled urgency, neat interchanges of play and accurate passing that resulted in an early breakthrough on 50 minutes. The pacey Beth Tattersall surged to the bye line delivering a superb cross that Claire Jefferson fumbled above her head at the near post as Battle closed in behind her poking the loose ball home between two covering defenders.
The goal seemed to flick a switch within the red ranks that allowed them to play with greater expression and freedom for the remainder of the game to the palpable relief of the coaches and the many travelling supporters. The second and crucial goal followed just past the hour after a scintillating passage of play through midfield saw Battle provide the perfect pass into the path of Loukes who broke beyond the West Didsbury back line to stroke the ball low across the advancing Jefferson into the bottom corner from 15yards.
The home side, who knew anything less than a win would provide a sizeable dent to their own title aspirations, poured forward and from a corner saw a header end comfortably in the arms of Jackson who launched United forward once more. The red’s wove a series of passes along the width of West’s 18 yard area and ultimately Hatcliffe received the ball in the ‘D’, made herself half a yard and curled a deft shot over Jefferson and into the top corner for the game’s best goal; effectively ending the thrilling encounter as a contest.
Fran Davies almost made it four without reply in the closing moments heading a Fran Sullivan corner goalwards forcing Jefferson into an acrobatic save; ‘ it’s only a matter of time Fran :) ‘.
The victory sees FC United extend their unbeaten league run to 10 games racking up 9 victories and 1 draw whilst putting clear daylight between themselves and the chasing pack. Next weekend, FC’s Women travel the short distance into Salford to face Beechfield United FC resuming their defence of the Manchester FA women’s Cup. The following week they round off January with a trip to the Wirral to face Cammel Laird 1907 as their defence of the Argyle (League) Cup continues with League Football resuming at Broadhurst Park on 4th February with the visit of Crewe. Thanks for your support and get yourselves to those football grounds remembering to keep an eye on the website for potential weather enforced fixture changes.
Report by Rob Fullen
C Player of the game: Beth Tattersall – superb impact when joining the fray from 34 minutes and a great cross that led to the crucial opening goal five minutes after the break.
Teams 14th August 2018: Attendance: 152
FC United of Manchester: 3 (0)
1. Gemma Jackson
2. Fran Davies
3. Abbie Carrington
17. Jess McCarrick
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
18. Cara Fields
7. Fran Sullivan
8. Rebecca Foster (Cautioned 57 mins)
16. Yvette Loukes (Goal 62 mins)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt)
9. Jess Battle (Goal 50 mins)
10. Beth Tattersall (for No11 34 mins)
12. Amy Vyas (for No8 73 mins)
13. Chloe Ainsworth (GK)
14. Jennifer Lomax (for No9 80 mins) (Debut)
15. Nicole Hatcliffe (for No7 55 mins) (Goal 71 mins)
Roll on Roll Off:
On No11 off No16 65 mins
On No7 off No 18 67 mins
West Didsbury & Chorlton FC: 0 (0)
1. Claire Jefferson
10. Ellie Caddick
3. Joanna Turner
4. Lyndsey Turner (Capt)
6. Elizabeth Livesey
7. Lauren O’Neill
8. Chaneece Reeves (Cautioned 57 mins)
15. Sophie Bracegirdle
17. Shauna Edmondson
21. Vicky Kerr
9. Leigh McFadyen
2. Debbie Price (for No4 50 mins)
5. Natalie Callaghan (for No3 82 mins)
11. Amy Friel (for No10 44 mins)
12. Emily Croasdale (for No19 73 mins)
19. Hanifa Douglas (for No9 29 mins)
Referee: Kat McEvoy
Asst Referee: Dan Adelman (Yellow)
Asst Referee: N/K (Yellow & Orange)
Venue: Recreation Ground, Brookburn Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 8FF
Official FC photography by Mark Lee & 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: 6...........2
Shots off target: 5...........3
Completed Passes: 423.......287