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Women in football weekend rounds off with win for FC

FC United’s women’s team battled the elements and tough opponents Uppermill, to prevail 5-1 on a bitter, blustery afternoon at Broadhurst. This was a home game for Uppermill in a hastily arranged fixture reversal due to overnight snow rendering their pitch unplayable. An opener by Uppermill’s Ellie Stanford shocked FC into action and Amy Battel equalised just before half time. Playing with the easterly wind second half, United added a further four without reply as Amy Vyas bagged a brace whilst Hayley O’Hara and Adora Yau notched one each.

On a disappointing weekend for the men’s teams it was FC’s women who rounded off a superb celebration of ‘women in football’ in the reverse of the season opening 10-0 league victory over Uppermill on Broadhurst last September. The weekend’s celebration had begun at the Miners Small Cinema on Friday evening with the world premiere of “A Woman’s Place is on the Pitch’; carried on at Gigg Lane on Saturday where the squad were awarded the Metrolink Team of the month and answered questions in the Social Club and CYCM pre-match before rounding things off on Broadhurst Fields Sunday afternoon. A busy weekend for the players, staff and all who contributed to the displays, films and general publicity over the three days - a weekend to be very proud of as a club.

FC United started brightly enough as Kirsty Chambers enjoyed a few forays down the left leading to a spate of corners. The conditions favoured the defence first half and Uppermill were able to deal with anything the Reds had to offer and it wasn’t until past the quarter hour mark when Vyas almost gave United the lead as she burst through the centre of Uppermill’s defence only for keeper Jo Curran to smother the danger.

The strong wind meant that anything in the air became a lottery and coupled with the unpredictable surface, committed collisions were inevitable and on 20 minutes Chambers came off worse following a clash of heads and required treatment for a severe nose bleed that was to see her sidelined until deep into the second half.

Uppermill took advantage of the conditions with the wind at their backs and stunned the FC faithful becoming the only team so far this season to score first against United, in a league game. A long ball over the top from the right touch line carried on the wind beyond the defence and was well anticipated by Ellie Stanford charging in at the far post to slot home from close range on 31 minutes. Despite half chances for Fran Davies and debutant Hannah White, FC had little to show for their endeavours as the half wore on.

United tried to contain the game keeping the ball down as much as possible and eventually the breakthrough came as Vyas spotted the run of full-back Battel down the right as she surged into the area, turned inside and fired past Curran on the stretch for 1-1 on 40 minutes. Stanford hurled herself into the fray in a committed, costly attempt to block Battel’s shot and both needed treatment following the collision. The FC defender recovered first, but sadly Stanford required the attentions of both physios and was ultimately carried from the pitch with a suspected broken ankle. An ambulance was called to whisk her to Oldham Royal for treatment and everyone at FC United wishes Ellie a speedy recovery.

The second half, with conditions favouring the Reds, saw limited chances for Uppermill. Ash Jackson, arguably their best player, had the only one of note just after Yau had scored the goal of the game to give FC the lead on 51 minutes, the United player sending a volley into the top corner of Curran’s goal from 15 yards out.

Two more goals interspersed with good chances for Vyas and Yau followed within 10 minutes as O’Hara made it 3-1 on 57 minutes - Jackson sliced a clearance that blew back towards her own goal and was well anticipated by O’Hara who headed beyond Curran from five yards. Just past the hour and the score was 4-1 following good work between Jade Challender and Beth Hayes through midfield, releasing Vyas to cut through Uppermill’s centre halves slotting the ball beyond the onrushing Curran. Ten minutes later and the afternoon’s goal action was wrapped up as Vyas bagged her brace, smashing home from close range on 71 minutes following an excellent cross from the reintroduced Chambers.

All in all a good result for the Reds, displaying qualities of collective determination in overcoming a poor surface, difficult weather conditions and tough opponents in grinding out a rewarding victory.

Report by Rob Fullen

Website player of the match: Right back Amy Battel epitomised the determination of the squad and showed tremendous endeavour in defence and attack scoring the all-important equaliser.

Teams 10 March 2013: Attendance: 26

FC United of Manchester Women: 5 (1)
1. Amy Gillingham (Goalkeeper and Captain)
2. Amy Battel (right back)
3. Adora Yau (left back and goal 51mins)
4. Francesca Davies (centre half)
6. Jade Challender (centre half)
10. Beth Tattersall (centre midfield)
19. Olivia Greenhalgh (centre midfield)
7. Beth Hayes (centre midfield)
14. Hannah White (right midfield)
11. Kirsty Chambers (left midfield)
9. Amy Vyas (centre forward and goals 61 & 71mins)

12. Hayley O’Hara (for No14 44mins and goal 57mins)
16. Sophie Cummings (for No6 76mins)
18. Claire O’Reilly (for No11 24mins)
Roll on Roll Off substitutions:
On No 11 for No18 66mins
On No 14 for No 7 80mins

Uppermill Ladies: 1 (1)
Jo Curran (No 1)
Holly Johnson
Rio Simic
Gemma Adderley
Laura Dearden
Kim Buckley
Rachael Cummins
Ash Jackson (No7)
Caroline Pinches (No 9 and Captain)
Alicia Bedford
Ellie Stanford (No 4 and goal 31mins)

Marie Booth (No12 for No4 40mins)
Bec Radcliffe
Nat Radcliffe
Vicky Hodgekess

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First Posted ~ 00:46 Tue 12 Mar 2013
News ID ~ 4786
Last Updated ~ 00:46 Tue 12 Mar 2013