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FC women's team continue good start with 4-0 away win

FC United’s women’s team kept up their 100 percent start to the new season with a convincing 4-0 away win over league newcomers Beechfield United Ladies FC at Salford Sports Village.

Charlie Evans, Beth Hayes and Kirsty Chambers were on target first half and Captain Chambers completed her brace with a stunning strike late in the game as Beechfield defended superbly second half.

A selection of the 33 brave souls who endured a near two hour soaking on the banks of the River Irwell, had come from the ‘members meeting’ in Openshaw; leaving as ground plans were being reviewed – a ground that will hopefully afford more protection from the elements than the Sports Village pitches.

The weather however was never going to put the match in doubt but a couple of local ‘pranksters’ nearly did as they made off with one set of goal nets, stripping them from the uprights as the sides were back in the changing rooms getting ready to come out. The netting, dumped in nearby woods, was eventually retrieved and restored to its rightful place so proceedings could get underway.

FC kicked off and within a minute Beth Tattersall was rampaging down the right wing, cutting inside and finding Lizzie Evans deep inside the area. Lizzie scuffed her shot and Tattersall seized on the loose ball putting her effort wide of Mel Clive’s left hand post. FC’s attacking intent continued and Chambers, after a good interchange with Jade Parker, crossed from the left with a defender nicking the ball away from Lizzie Evans poised at the back post.

A dominant FC searched for the all important breakthrough and came very close on eight minutes as Parker surged into the area and fired across the box; brilliant defending this time denied a certain goal for Charlie Evans at the back post as the ball squirmed away for a corner. Chambers and Parker worked a short routine with the latter firing goal ward into a crowded area where Charlie Evans was quickest to react to the loose ball lofting high into the net to give FC the lead on ten minutes.

Charlie Evans almost doubled the lead a minute later hitting the foot of Clive’s right hand upright with a deft shot that had the keeper beaten. On the quarter hour, Beth Hayes, influential in the middle of the park released Tattersall who squared to Lizzie Evans who in turn laid it into the path of namesake Charlie who fired high and handsome from the edge of the area. Hayes powered in a similar effort a few minutes later, Amy Battel came close and Lizzie Evans spurned an opportunity as wave after wave of FC pressure was thwarted by tenacious defending and the excellent handling of the Beechfield custodian.

Beechfield had a rare chance on twenty minutes as Gemma Ottiwell tested Mary Priestner from range with Gillian Wallace following up on the loose ball under pressure from Davies; Priestner blocked the effort with her knee before Rebecca Watkins shot just wide.

However, a couple of minutes later FC deservedly doubled their lead as Hayes shot from the edge of the area; her dipping effort, skimming off the slick surface, deceived the keeper before nestling in the back of the net. Beechfield were spurred forward but Gail Pennington dealt comfortably with Gillian Wallace’s cross from the left.

Moments later and FC looked to have the ball in the net as the keeper palmed a Chambers drive suspiciously over the line falling back into her own goal and Tattersall’s follow up shot cannoned off Clive and back out again when she was clearly behind the line but no one (other than liner Emily Ramsey) appealed and the referee played on.

Chambers then fired in a free kick from 35 yards that the keeper unconventionally cleared with her feet and Fran Davies then Charlie Evans had chances from the ensuing chaos with the latter putting her effort just wide. Pennington, venturing forward was the next to try her luck as her 40 yard drive cleared the keeper but cannoned harmlessly behind off the cross bar.

As the half lengthened Shellby Wolstencroft and Leah Hartshorne came on for Evans’ Lizzie and Charlie, reaping almost instant reward. Following a brief spell of Beechfield pressure that ended with an offside decision on the edge of the FC box; Pennington lofted the free kick deep into the opposition’s half where it was flicked on instinctively by Wolstencroft into the path of Chambers who cut in from the left and fired into the far top corner giving FC a three goal lead just before half time.

With changing rooms at least 500 yards away and no pitch side shelter or respite from the driving rain, both sides did their best to keep warm during the break and FC United were quickest into their stride as Beechfield got the 2nd half underway. In a crowded area, Pennington poked a close range effort narrowly wide within a minute of the restart. The worsening conditions undoubtedly had an influential effect as the game wore on and credit to both sides for continuing to battle skilfully as Beechfield repelled everything FC could throw at them; Mel Clive making several superb saves in the home goal whilst for long spells, her opposite number Mary Priestner was an interested spectator.

Brief forays of attacking ambition by the home side were comfortably contained by the centre half pairing of Davies and Adora Yau allowing Battel and Pennington to join the attack down each flank almost at will.

The scoring was wrapped up around 20 minutes from time as Chambers controlled a Pennington corner just inside the area, turned and fired into the top corner of Clive’s goal with the keeper almost pulling off another exceptional save. Such was the placement of the shot it was probably the only part of the goal that Clive couldn’t quite cover.

The pattern of the game continued in a similar vein with Clive pulling off an excellent double save to deny Wolstencroft late on and the referee finally called time much to everyone’s undoubted relief.

Next up for FC is a home tie versus Curzon Ashton next Sunday; 2pm KO. Come along and support the girls as they look to keep their perfect start to the season on track.

Report by Rob Fullen

Players of the game: Beechfield awarded Kirsty Chambers as their choice of FC player of the match and we reciprocated by awarding the same accolade to their keeper Mel Clive.

Writer’s player of the game: closely pressed by excellent performances from Adora Yau in an unfamiliar centre half role and skilful prompting from midfield and goal by Beth Hayes this week’s award goes to Kirsty Chambers for her constant threat, tireless endeavour and two goals.

Teams 15th September 2013: Attendance: 33

FC United of Manchester Women: 4(3)
1. Mary Priestner (Goalkeeper)
2. Amy Battel (right back)
8. Adora Yau (centre half)
5. Fran Davies (centre half)
4. Gail Pennington (centre left back)
7. Beth Hayes (centre midfield and goal 22mins)
9. Jade Parker (centre midfield)
16. Charlie Evans (centre midfield and goal 10mins)
10. Beth Tattersall (right midfield)
11. Kirsty Chambers (left midfield, Captain and goals 42 & 69mins)
15. Lizzie Evans (centre forward)

6. Tasha Rowe (for No8 78mins)
12. Andi Bagshaw (for No10 65mins)
14. Hannah White (for No7 65mins)
17. Shellby Wolstencroft (for No15 39mins)
18. Leah Hartshorne (for No16 39mins)

Beechfield United LFC: 0 (0)
1. Mel Clive
8. Gemma Ottiwell
3. Stacey Qualters
5. Lindsey Turner
7. Gillian Wallace
9. Debra Wright
10. Sue Howard
11. Faye Cassidy
4. Rebecca Watkins
17. Nicola George
15. Joanne Malcolmson

None available

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First Posted ~ 17:44 Sun 15 Sep 2013
News ID ~ 5088
Last Updated ~ 00:50 Mon 16 Sep 2013