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Salford Next Step overcome Inter-Mancunia

An 11-a-side match took place between the Salford Next Step project and Inter-Mancunia this Saturday at Goshen Sports Centre in Bury. Salford Next step is a project for care leavers, while Inter Mancunia is a football club which caters for refugees and asylum seekers in Manchester. This game was refereed by Community Volunteer Andrew Serraillier, who also doubled as match reporter, here is Andrew’s match report:-

‘The teams kicked off under the unseasonably warm midday sun on a bone dry bobbly pitch that was to provide the sternest test for both teams. But it was clear from the outset there were players in both sides who could boast a decent football pedigree. They led by example, keeping the ball on the deck and passing to feet.

INTER showed their intent with three up front from the outset and this attacking gambit paid off immediately. A series of blasting shots towards the NEXT STEP goal sailed high and wide before INTER found the target with a screaming 35 yarder which was expertly tipped over by the NEXT STEP goalie. The INTER goalie was equally splendid at the other end, first plucking out a dangerous high cross and moments later making a spectacular diving catch to his right. When both midfields started to assert themselves by cutting out the supply it was down to the individual talents of the two teams’ highly contrasting centre forwards to finish off the half with sheer quality. First, the muscular INTER striker shrugged off some close attention on the edge of the box to set himself up with a one on one with the advancing keeper. The no.1 had no answer to the thundering volley from close range. 1-0 to INTER.

At the other end, NEXT STEP’s centre forward was the smallest man on the pitch. His mazy runs – Carlos Roca style – were causing a few scares but a well marshalled INTER defence was doubling up on the diminutive striker and twice the NEXT STEP man was left on his backside after finding his path blocked. His third run was exquisite: two step-overs, a burst of acceleration, a leg outstretched… penalty! He took it himself. The INTER goalie may have been twice as tall but this was no contest. Bottom left and out of reach. 1-1 as the whistle blew for half time.

As the second half got underway there was a real derby atmosphere at the Goshen. The stakes were rising by the minute, every tackle was enthusiastically applauded and the system of rolling subs agreed beforehand was adding to the tension as everyone wanted their crack at the opposition.
A goal at last, INTER again, to take a 2-1 lead thanks to their captain and right back who was now coming up for every corner. It was a scrappy affair, the ball bundled over the line after several failed attempts to clear. But ugly as that one was (they all count), NEXT STEP’s reply was a goal of the month contender, screaming into the top right corner to make it 2-2. NEXT STEP’s winner was against the run of play. From midfield this time, a break down the left flank, a drop of the left shoulder, a cut inside and a stroke into the far corner. 3-2 to NEXT STEP and INTER were left dumbstruck.

The final ten minutes were brutal, an unremitting, full-frontal assault on the NEXT STEP goal – a breathless, exhilarating display of attacking football by the whole INTER team whose tally of shots on-and-off target just kept on rising. But it wasn’t to be. This was NEXT STEP’s day, 3-2 to the Salford lads and a hard won victory against the best, that takes them into next season on a high. The final whistle was greeted with sporting handshakes all round and the warmest congratulations from FC UNITED to both teams for putting on a show of skill, courage and top class entertainment.’



First Posted ~ 14:01 Fri 30 Apr 2010
News ID ~ 8908
Last Updated ~ 01:56 Wed 17 Feb 2021