FC United Women comfortably navigated their way to consecutive 2-0 wins in pre-season, after overcoming Liverpool Feds Reserves by the respective scoreline, on Sunday afternoon. Goals either side of half time from Abbie Carrington and Jess Battle were enough for Luke Podmore’s side to record their fifth win from eight pre-season games.
The game got underway, in United’s first home outing since July 22nd, with the drizzling Moston rain a clear contrast to the sunny skies that had greeted the Reds in their other two home pre-season fixtures, earlier this summer.
Different weather, but the same positive attacking intent to that of their previous pre-season fixtures, was on show in the early exchanges at Broadhurst Park (3G). A trio of early attempts on goal courtesy of Corie Mather, Sarah Chadwick and Hannah Dale were all denied as United went in search of an early opener.
The forward-thinking impetus continued to be on show from FC, with Hannah Dale central to the home side’s proceedings. The summer signing’s low strike was well saved by the goalkeeper after a smart interchange with Sarah Chadwick, just before Dale’s powerful effort moments later was palmed behind for a corner that eventually came to nothing.
That corner came to nothing, as did Dale’s ball in from the left despite Jess McCarrick’s best attempts just after, but the latest in the string of corners was rewarded on 29 minutes. Rebecca Foster’s perfectly flighted cross found the head of an unmarked Abbie Carrington who found the top corner to give United a well deserved lead just before the half-hour mark.
Having found the opening goal, there was no stutter or halting the Reds’ dominant start. Cara Fields went close to quickly doubling United’s lead, prodding a shot wide from close range having been found by Sarah Chadwick on the right. Jess Battle then turned provider, crossing for Hannah Dale who headed on target to force the visiting keeper into a good save. Corie Mather did the same moments later after a good driving run into the box.
FC went into the break ahead and came back out with a changed look to the side; Podmore making three subs as Ainsworth, Malpus and Chambers replaced Jackson, Chadwick and Mather.
It was captain Kirsty Chambers who again made the instant impact off the bench, as she did in Cardiff last weekend, having two well hit strikes turned behind by the goalkeeper before her corner from the right cannoned back off the post.
Jess Battle had been in fine form throughout pre-season and looked in good touch again leading the line for FC, her shot after cutting inside was just wide of the far post after she was well found by Olivia Greenhalgh. Shaunna Jein then replaced Jess McCarrick off the bench moments before the substitute crossed for Battle, the striker’s shot needed a last ditch block to stop it finding the net.
Battle, having been denied on the two previous occasions, made it third time lucky as she connected with Kirsty Chambers’ low cross from the left and prod home to double United’s lead on 64 minutes.
The second half changes then began to flow as Chadwick and Mather returned in place of Carrington and Dale before McCarrick returned for Fields, minutes after the midfielder struck the bar with a long range effort.
The woodwork was found again by FC on 80 minutes after Kirsty Chambers’ sliced shot found the left post. On 84 minutes Rebecca Foster was replaced by Cara Fields before returning to the action just three minutes later for Olivia Greenhalgh.
Shaunna Jein provided the Reds’ last opportunity of the afternoon in-front of the 62 in attendance, she found Sarah Chadwick over-the-top but the latter unfortunately couldn’t find the target with her lifted strike.
That was to be the last bit of action, in the game, as the ref blew time on a close encounter with FC finishing their pre-season campaign with another win. Next up for United is a First Qualifying Round tie in the SSE Women’s FA Cup, at home to Didsbury FC Ladies. The date/venue is still unconfirmed for this fixture with the men’s team playing at Broadhurst Park on Sunday (2nd September). Stay tuned to our official social media channels, which will be the first place to find confirmed matchday details.
FCUMW Player of the Match - Hannah Dale: The midfielder continued a string of top quality pre-season performances to play a dominant and influential role for FC, from the middle of the pitch. The summer signing played with creativity, freedom and energy to help the Reds put in the perfect pre-season performance ahead of next weekend’s scheduled season opener.
FC United of Manchester Women: 2 (1)
1. Gemma Jackson
17. Jess McCarrick
2. Fran Davies (c)
3. Abbie Carrington (Goal 28 mins)
16. Sarah Chadwick
8. Rebecca Foster
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
7. Corie Mather
6. Cara Fields
10. Hannah Dale
9. Jess Battle (Goal 64 mins)
19. Chloe Ainsworth (GK)
14. Nicole Malpus (for No16 46 mins)
12. Shaunna Jein (for No17 60 mins)
11. Kirsty Chambers (for No7 46 mins)
Roll on, roll off:
No16 for No3 (66 mins)
No7 for No10 (66 mins)
No17 for No6 (78 mins)
No6 for No8 (84 mins)
No8 for No4 (87 mins)
Venue: Broadhurst Park (3G), Lightbowne Road, Moston, M40 0FJ
Report by Mikey Partington