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Youth win play-off semi final

North West Youth Alliance, Premiership play-off semi-final:
Marine A (Champions Premiership A) 1 - 2 FC United (Runners up Premiership B)

Stalybridge (Champions Premiership B) beat Nantwich (Runners up Premiership A) 3-0 in the other play-off semi-final, so we will meet our old foes in the play-off final:

10th May 2009, NWYA Premiership play-off final
Stalybridge Celtic ’A’ v FC United

To be played at Ashton Athletic, Brockstedes Park, Downall Green, Ashton-in-Makerfield. Kick off 2pm.

Admission is £2 adults and £1 concessions

Match Report

But they hadn’t played us yet

A trip to College Road, Crosby the home of Marine FC for the NWYA Premiership play-off semi-final seemed like a daunting task for the FC United Youth Team. After all, their hosts had not only sealed the Premiership Group A title with 14 wins from 14 games, they had won the Merseyside County FA Cup and were looking forward to the final of the NWYA Open cup which had seen FC bow out early in the season to AFC Liverpool.

The reds had the best of the early exchanges with Jack Lyons heading narrowly wide from a Josh Burke free kick in the fourth minute and Josh himself just off target five minutes later. Unfortunately for the rest of the first half Marine showed precisely why they had achieved what they have as suddenly FC were second to too many loose balls.

In the 13th minute, Liam Rushton had a clear chance which was saved by Grant Shenton. Midway through the first half John Connolly was the better judge of a bouncing ball on the edge of the FC area and was perhaps unfortunate to be off target. Frankie Smith worked himself an opening wide on the right with a cross cum shot that drifted across the goal and the dead ball line after half an hour and Dean Astbury bore down on the FC goal five minutes later only to find Grant as solid as ever in saving with his legs.

As half time approached and the FC bench were looking for the opportunity to make a few minor adjustments with the scores level Marine pounced in a manner not unfamiliar to Youth Watchers. An FC corner was efficiently dealt with and Marine swept straight up the other end and Rushton made it 1-0.

After a few well chosen words of encouragement from Manager Peter Freakes FC came out for the second half with Jake Haslam replacing Shaun Williams, determined to put things right. They were much more competitive and nearly equalised after 55 minutes when Josh Burke fed Jake Haslam from a free kick. His cross from near the corner flag, picked out the head of Toby Iloba but went wide.

Marine though, were not about to let their record go lightly and had good chances of their own, as Rushton wriggled his way in from the right wing only to see his shot saved by Grant.

The two teams continued to battle toe to toe in the best Manchester versus Merseyside traditions throughout the second half, as an excellent no nonsense referee allowed the game to flow but missed nothing. Then came the last ten all action minutes.

In the 82nd minute FC had a corner on the left which caused mayhem as it bounced around the Marine area, keeper Dean Pye tried to grab the ball through the mass of bodies and failed, then somehow Andy Lee proved he can finish as he somehow prodded the ball over the line for 1-1.

Two minutes later it all looked to be in vain as Marine substitute Paul Colbeck powered his way through the FC defence and fired a shot that looked goalbound. Fortunately it hit the post and back into Grant’s grateful clutch. As extra time started to loom large FC continued to attack and Jack Lyons emerged from a pack of celebratory reds shirts having somehow fired home to make it 2-1. That we hoped would be that, but a number of injury breaks meant the referee decided to keep playing, for a nerve jangling seven minutes, during which time both sides could easily have scored again. Fortunately the full-time whistle did blow and was the cue for more celebration.

Marine AFC

1. Dean Pye
2. Dean Wong
3. Alex Clarke
4. Jake Freeman
5. Ricky Ager (Caution 80 Minutes)
6. Frankie Smith
7. Sean Callagher
8. John Connolly
9. Dean Astbury (Caution 50 Minutes)
10. Liam Rushton (Goal 45 Minutes)
11. Michael Brown


12. Kalumbu
14. Paul Colbeck
15. Will Lamb
16. Liam Duff
17. Tony Fanning

FC United of Manchester

1. Grant Shenton
2. Ashley Reece
3. Barry Davies
4. Josh Burke
5. Nick Swirad (Caution 86 Minutes)
6. Andy Lee (Goal 82 Minutes)
7. Mark Reeves
8. Jack Lyons (Goal 89Minutes)
9. Toby Iloba
10. Jamie Mack
11. Shaun Williams


12. Ryan Lyons
14.Tim Marshall (For 9, 68 Minutes)
15. Kyle McDonagh (For 10, 90 Minutes)
16. Jake Haslam (For 11, 45 Minutes)
17. Lee Worswick

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First Posted ~ 13:21 Tue 5 May 2009
News ID ~ 2233
Last Updated ~ 12:25 Mon 21 May 2018