|Venue||Shrewsbury Street, Old Trafford, M16 9AZ, St Brides Fields|
|Competition||Manchester FA - Manchester Youth Cup Under 18s|
|FC United’s Youth Team commenced their defence of the Manchester FA County Cup against a previously unbeaten Dukinfield Town at St Brides today. They ran out 3-2 winners in a closely fought contest that was in doubt all the way to the final whistle.|
Dukinfield’s youngsters started brightly and tried to take the game to FC. They saw the game as a test of the standard of opposition they would like to be meeting, if they are successful in joining the North West Youth Alliance League next season as hoped. They succeeded in doing so as until very close to half time, the best of several FC half chances was a long range shot from Carl Fitton and Joe Grantham was called into action on numerous occasions to deny the visitors.
As half time approached, Andy Lee, who had been named as a substitute but started as a result of a pregame injury to Adam Berrisford, decided to show his team mates the way to goal. He found himself furthest forward as an FC free kick near the half way line was squeezed beyond the Dukinfield back line. Ignoring claims for offside he coolly slotted home and FC took a 1-0 lead into the interval.
The lead was doubled just after the start of the second half when Gage Eme picked up a ball threaded along the right touch line. He took on and beat the Dukinfield full back and cut in field having reached the goal line, ignoring claims that he had crossed that line, the ball was pulled back for Luke Kolakowski to tap home. By this time Captain Kyle McDonagh had come off the bench to tighten up the FC midfield and the next half hour drifted away with few chances as FC’s place in the next round looked to have been secured.
The last ten minutes made that thought seem rather premature as first Dukinfield pulled a goal back. Two minutes from time the reds restored the two goal lead. Gage collected the ball on the right and swept a long searching ball across the park, seemingly to no-one in particular. Fortunately James Green wide on the left had other ideas. He was able to control the ball, cut inside and shoot. That shot in itself caused little problem for the visitors defence, that is until Dylan Maloney stepped in to apply a finishing touch.
Dukinfield ensured a nervous injury time period as they managed a second goal, right on ninety minutes. They pressed hard for an equaliser but never quite managed to threaten the FC goal seriously and the reds went through to round two.
FC United of Manchester
1 Joe Grantham
2 Andy Graham
3 Carl Fitton
4 Jordan Dainty
12 Andy Lee (Goal 44 Mins)
6 Josh Burke
7 Gage Eme (Cautioned 65 Mins)
8 Luke Kolakowski (Goal 49 Mins)
9 Dylan Maloney (Goal 88 Mins)
10 Lee Hill
11 Jake Haslam
14 Ryan Lyons (For 11, 59 Mins) (Cautioned 75 Mins)
15 Kyle McDonagh (For 12, 45 Mins)
16 Alex Clarke
17 James Green (For 10, 78 Mins)
5 Adam Berrisford