A ruthless and rampant FC United ran out 10-0 winners against Polish visitors AKS Z?y in a Fenix Trophy Group B match at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon, but it was a day when the game of football took a backseat in favour of making friends not millionaires.
A Regan Linney hat-trick, a brace from both Joe Duckworth and Ewan Bange, as well as goals from Charlie Ennis, Josh Galloway and Jonathan Smith saw FC win comfortably in front of 1,255 supporters.
It is a win that sees FC remain top of the group on six points from two games and with a goal difference of +15, They will go into their next game in this competition away at Brera FC in Milan at the start of April with their eyes firmly fixed on the prize.
It may not seem like it from the scoreline, but the AKS goalkeeper Diego Sesar was one of the payers of the match. He provided one of the most memorable moments of the afternoon at the midpoint of the first half, as he denied FC three times from point blank range – including one with his face!
At 7-0 down, AKS substituted the keeper off at half time, and he went to join the party between the two sets of fans in the Main Stand.
FC then gave some extra game time to those on the bench, making five changes at the break – and sending Alistair Waddecar, Luke Griffiths, Bange, Smith and academy player Toby Humphries into the fray.
The Reds would remain on top through the second period, but it was nice to see that the squad has some real quality in its depth off the bench.
After the game, while both sides and their fans met under the SMRE, and the drinks were flowing - I spoke to FC Manager Neil Reynolds:
“Today was about two teams coming together in a superb competition, showing what fan owned football is all about. It is always nice to win and score goals, but the occasion was a lot more spectacular than the scoreline suggests.
“We had to be ruthless. It’s always tough when we concede at home, and what I don’t want us to do is get in the habit of conceding sloppy goals which we have this season. We have to eradicate it and I’d have been really disappointed on my side if we’d have conceded today. We enjoyed the goals today but we’re going to welcome AKS into our bar and go and have a good time with them.
“Today was a big step in the celebration of the Fenix Trophy. We have a win, it’s two in two now and we look forward to Milan. We want to go to Brera for three wins out of three and eventually get to Rimini and win the trophy.
“This team can win it. We’re up against great players, great managers, great fans, but this team can do what they want. I’m still convinced this season that our play-off dream isn’t over, so we look forward to Nantwich next week now.”
FC United return to league action at relegation-threatened Nantwich Town next Saturday, 12th March. The Reds travel to Milan to take on Brera FC on Wednesday 6th April in their third Fenix Trophy match, before welcoming them to Manchester on Wednesday 4th May.
Report by Callum Scott