Luke Podmore’s first home game in charge was rewarded with a hard fought, narrow 1-0 victory over Altrincham FC Ladies; Jess McCarrick scoring the only goal of the game midway through the second half.
As early as the first minute when Beth Tattersall delivered excellent consecutive crosses with no end product, the general pattern of the game was established; United would strive forward in persistent red waves looking for the elusive, decisive strike whilst Altrincham would absorb the pressure, stifle their hosts and look to hit on the break.
On ten minutes overlapping fullback Morgan McWhirter, received a pass from Tattersall and whipped in a superb centre that narrowly eluded Jade Parker at full stretch as the ball was recycled on the left by Kirsty Chambers who forced a fine save from Lizzie Brereton at the expense of a corner. From the set piece the ball broke to the edge of Altrincham’s area where McCarrick crafted a shot above the crowded area towards the top corner of Brereton’s goal but at the last the ball faded harmlessly wide.
Five minutes later and Parker crossed low through the six yard area and the unimpeded ball was returned from the left by Abbie Carrington for Shellby Wolstencroft to flick beyond Brereton at her near post as a defender cleared the danger off the goal line.
As United again looked to build from the back a sloppy pass was intercepted by Megan Wright who shot early forcing Amy Gillingham into a fine save at the expense of the visitor’s first corner which Parker cleared well at the near post.
With ten minutes of the half remaining FC made positive progress down the left as Chambers found Parker who picked out Wolstencroft to strike but clear the Altrincham bar. Five minutes remained of a frustrating half as Chambers floated a free kick into the danger zone causing panic in the Altrincham defence as Fran Davies fired the loose ball back in for Parker to beat Brereton who was saved by the woodwork as the ball cannoned harmlessly away. Tattersall fired in the last strike of a fruitless half which Brereton held well beneath her bar.
The second half continued in much the same vein with United on the front foot from the restart as Carrington released Chambers whose cross to the feet of Wolstencroft was well defended and cleared. Tattersall burst down the right and whipped the ball back from the bye line with Parker just missing out on the stretch.
On 55 minutes first Wolstencroft, surging beyond Altrincham’s back line, struck the post from 20 yards with Parker doing the same within a minute.
With FC pressure and momentum building by the minute the breakthrough finally came midway through the half. McCarrick anticipated a forward pass from Altrincham’s defence to midfield and her well timed interception was played short and forward to Mia Holden who helped the ball through to McCarrick who had continued her run. Suddenly the defender-cum-midfielder was beyond the Altrincham rearguard one on one with Brereton and her abundance of calm, typical of her all round play, saw McCarrick stroke the ball past the excellent keeper to an outpouring of congratulations matched by relief on and off the pitch.
Further chances were spurned and as the game neared its end United protected their precious lead, nervously at times, giving away a dangerous free kick from which Laura Dodds drew a fine save from Gillingham. The United keeper, a spectator for large intervals, was injured with a couple of minutes to go as she bravely cleared from the edge of her area under pressure from Jessica Hartopp but United held the visitors’ late charge at bay as referee Steve Darlow sounded the final whistle.
The team are on the road for the remainder of January; next week at Chorlton & West Didsbury’s ground to renew our acquaintance with Chorltonians, the week after away to higher league opponents Blackpool in the Argyle Cup and back in league action on 29th away to Stockport County Blues. We are next at Broadhurst Park on 5th February when we welcome Egerton Ladies. Attendances are growing and your support of our Women’s Team is always very much appreciated. Thank You.
Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Jess McCarrick
– asked to perform a different role in centre midfield, Jess adapted superbly and scored the game’s only goal to cap a fine performance and deliver 3 more valuable points.
Teams 8th January 2017: Attendance: 92
FC United of Manchester Women: 1
1. Amy Gillingham
18. Morgan McWhirter
2. Fran Davies
5. Chelsea Patient
3. Abbie Carrington
17. Jess McCarrick (Goal 68 mins)
6. Mia Holden
15. Jade Parker
10. Beth Tattersall
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt)
9. Shellby Wolstencroft
4. Olivia Greenhalgh (for No5 60mins)
8. Adora Yau
14. Leah Dolan (for No6 81mins)
16. Charlie Evans
19. Allisha Marsh (for No10 60mins)
Altrincham FC Ladies: 0
1. Lizzie Brereton
4. Kyesha Brown
3. Heather Scott
14. Megan Wright
5. Louise Edleston
6. Letitia Collins
15. Jade Hesketh
8. Gail Simpson
16. Bliss Molyneux (Captain)
10. Laura Dodds
11. Georgia Plalk
7. Jessica Hartopp (for No14 46mins)
9. Laura Kelly (for15 52mins)
18. Lucy Smith (for No3 71mins)
21. Marcia Sacharewicz
23. Brogan Walsh
Referee: Steve Darlow
Asst Referee: Daniel Adelman (Yellow & Orange Flag)
Asst Referee: Ian Langford (Yellow Flag)
Venue: Broadhurst Park, Lightbowne Road, Moston, Manchester, M40