|Venue||Abbey Hey Lane, Abbey Hey, Manchester, M18 8RL, Wright Robinson Sports College|
|Competition||North West Youth Alliance Open Cup|
|With St Bride’s closed for the season, FC Youth found themselves at Wright Robinson Sports College to play their third semi final. This time the NWYA Open Cup, against Mossley; they came away with a 4-2 win and face a final against New Mills to be played on May 13that Burscough FC.|
The conditions could , at their calmest have been called blustery as a strong wind blew the length of the pitch. The reds played with the wind in the first half and concentrated on keeping Mossley pushed back. Clearance kicks got caught in the wind and frequently went less than thirty yards, indeed one Mossley header started in the right direction but went out for a corner. Curtis Hackman in the Mossley goal was tested twice in the first five minutes as Theo Kidd and Matthew Hassall fired in shots and from a sixth minute corner Kial Callacher was unlucky not to add to his collection of poachers finishes.
The first goal came in the eighth minute as Theo and Jonathan Poizer looked to get shots away, but were able to get the ball to Matthew Boland who fired into the corner. Knowing that they would have to face the wind in the second half the lads looked for more goals and were unlucky to see a Poizer effort saved and a Theo Kidd drive come back off the post. Unfortunately the next goal was a Mossley equaliser as Adam Bezzina made no mistake when awarded a penalty on 32 minutes. Conversely, fortune favoured FC a minute later when Hackman misjudged a ball forward and allowed it to bounce over his head. Sam Howell was on hand to hit the ball into the empty net.
With no further score before half time the reds took a breather an prepared for Mossley to take advantage of the wind. Instead Mossley possessed only a minimum threat as a near faultless FC performance saw them concentrate on trying to keep the ball on the floor and make short incisive passes. They were rewarded with the third goal in the fiftieth minute as Sam finished off a move that started with a throw and involved Theo and Matty Boland amongst others.
From then on FC looked the likelier scorers and it was perhaps surprising that it took so long for a fourth goal to be scored. Defenders and midfield all combined well as the forwards, including substitute Josh Matthew gave the Mossley defence a hard time. Apart from taking the throw in the goal when it came, in the 87th minute was Theo’s own creation, cutting inside and shooting low past the keeper at the near post.
Mossley did have the last word in injury time when Saul Henderson scored from a free kick on the edge of the box, but apart from drawing a save from Farrimond in the 83rd minute did nothing to threaten FC’s progress to the final.
FC United of Manchester: Andrew Farrimond, Matthew Hassall, Josh Smethurst (Josh Matthew), Richard Smith, Kial Callacher, James Brooks, Sam Howell, Connor Naughton, Theo Kidd, Matthew Boland, Jonathan Poizer. Subs not used: Luke Walker, Andy Lee, Greg Heywood, Jonathan Beisty.
Goals: Matthew Boland, Sam Howell (2), Theo Kidd.
Cautioned: Richard Smith, Josh Smethurst.