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Reds Women remain unbeaten in League and Cup...

Reds Women remain unbeaten in League and Cup...Captain’s wonder strike nicks it for Reds.

FC United Women’s captain Kirsty Chambers pulled a rabbit from the hat to win a close and at times frustrating encounter for her team against old friends and rivals West Didsbury & Chorlton. On an afternoon when the Reds often found themselves outplayed and looking distinctly uncomfortable, particularly after Hannah Mitchell cancelled out Jade Parker’s first half goal that gave FC the half time lead, Chambers found the net direct from a corner kick to snatch the points with just three minutes remaining.

The game was originally scheduled to be at Wests’ Brookburn Road home but, after the torrential rain that fell throughout the previous afternoon during the men’s FA Cup encounter with Guiseley, a late switch saw the game take place on the 3G pitch at Broadhurst Park, making it FC women’s first home league appearance of the season.

The visitors, urged on as always by their ebullient coach Paul Caddick, opened brightly with Mitchell firing a shot over from outside the area. Shortly afterwards Frisby was put through on the right side of the box and lifted a shot over FC keeper Elsie Baxter - standing in for the unavailable Chloe Ainsworth - but wide of the far post. Edmundson managed to prise the ball from opposing captain Chambers in the FC United half and fed Livesey who, in turn, put Gunn through on goal but Wests’ no. 9 pulled her shot wide of the near left hand post.

FC United cashed in on their opponents’ profligacy to take the lead on 18 minutes when Jordon Bailey touched on a corner from the left into the goalmouth finding Parker on the spot to tuck the ball into the net from close range.

There was a stoppage in play when Bailey appeared to graze her head as she fell following a 50/50 challenge for the ball on the edge of the visitors’ area. Fortunately FC’s no. 10 was able to resume after receiving attention for the knock.

Both sides struggled to create any chances for a lengthy period until FC no. 7 Corie Mather latched onto a mis-placed pass but her low cross, whipped in from the right, sped across the area untouched. Bailey made a run forward and was forced wide to the right but managed to cut a low ball across the area, Fields deceived the defence by stepping over the ball, leaving it for Parker who fired just wide.

Chambers fired a free kick into the area for FC. An attempted defensive header sent the ball upwards. Bailey moved in, looking to take advantage, but was unable to get a powerful enough shot on the ball as it dropped to trouble the Wests’ keeper.

The Reds suffered a blow late in the first half as Maxine Smith, having attempted to play on after taking a whack to the ankle, had to admit defeat and was replaced by Cunliffe. Almost on the stroke of half time, Wests had a chance to level the score as Livesey swung over a corner from the right from which Wilman powered a header just over.

Chances were sparse in the opening period of the second half. Edmundson tried her luck from distance but Baxter was able to get comfortably behind the ball. Wilman then went for goal with a free kick but lofted her shot over the bar.

FC could have doubled the lead when Allisha Marsh fed Parker inside the area for a shot on the spin which flew wide across goal. And only a minute later Wests levelled the scores when the FC United defence were slow to see the danger allowing Mitchell to get clear on goal and roll the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net past a wrong-footed Baxter.

Having earlier sent on Natalie Richardson for Mather, Kamran Hussain replaced Wilson with Caitlin Clancy looking to step things up in search of a winner. Richardson fired over a shot-cum-cross from the left which keeper Jefferson pawed away but needed the help of Wilman to clear as Bailey closed in. However the ball still fell handily for FC with Cunliffe on the right firing just wide of the near post. Wests had a chance to take the lead from a right wing corner but Mason thumped a header just over the bar.

With time running out, the hard working Bailey laid a ball back for Parker to fire in a shot to which Jefferson, diving to her right, produced the best save of the match to turn it away. However the resultant corner saw Chambers produce a winning goal from out the blue, from the left side with her left foot, somehow managed to produce a flighted corner kick that appeared to deceive everyone as it looped straight into the net high inside the far post.

The visitors went in search of a late equaliser but the Reds managed to keep possession of the ball long enough to run the clock down and clinch a second narrow league win of the season following on from the late drama of the opener at Crewe two weeks ago. It must have made the result hard to take for the visitors and indeed Chambers seemed as astonished as anyone with the manner of the winning goal. But, to paraphrase a modern football maxim, she bought a ticket ... and won the raffle!

The Reds resume their FA Women’s Cup run on Sunday November 1st with Chorley Women of the FA Women’s National League Division One North visiting Broadhurst Park in the 3rd Qualifying Round. Kick off will be at the earlier time of 1pm.

Report by Phil Bradbury

FC Player of the game: Jordon Bailey - the FC player who caused Wests’ defence the most problems. Recovered well from a first half injury and barely stopped running in the second.

North West Women’s Regional League at Broadhurst Park 3G.
Teams Sunday 25th October 2020:

FC United of Manchester Women: 2 (1)
1. Elsie Baxter
2. Hanna Wilson
3. Allisha Marsh
14. Rebecca Cork
5. Chelsea Patient
20. Cara Fields
7. Corie Mather
8. Maxine Smith
17. Jade Parker (Goal 18 minutes)
10. Jordon Bailey
11. Kirsty Chambers (C) (Goal 87 minutes)
Subs (RORO):
9. Kaylea Cunliffe (for no8, 44 minutes)
16. Natalie Richardson (for no7, 58 minutes)
4. Caitlin Clancy (for no2, 63 minutes)
18. Laura Hart (for no3, 87 minutes)
12. Beth Hayes (not used)

West Didsbury & Chorlton: 1 (0)
1. Claire Jefferson
10. Ellie Caddick
20. Katy Wilman
14. Vicky Frisby
5. Rachel Mason
6. Elizabeth Livesey
17. Shauna Edmundson (C)
8. Anna Bara Masdottir
9. Taylor Gunn
18. Jamila Hodges
23. Hannah Mitchell (Goal 62 minutes)
Subs (RORO):
2. Leah Dolan
15. Isha Mundell
(for no9 & no 10, 40 minutes)
4. Summer Breed
19. Claire Young
(for no6 & no14, half time)
21. Vicky Kerr (not used)
No10 for no8, 78 minutes
No6 for no18, 82 minutes

Stats (courtesy of Paul Hinson)
FC United totals first:
Shots on target: 5-5
Shots off target: 8-12
Free kicks: 17-11
Corners: 9-6
Offside: 6-1
Cards (Red & Yellow): 0-0
Passes: 311-159
Possession: 66%-34%

Attendance: 95
Referee: Tim Eagles
Match day photographs by Mark Lee

First Posted ~ 00:18 Thu 29 Oct 2020
News ID ~ 8831
Last Updated ~ 17:00 Fri 19 Feb 2021