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FC’s Women nine goal salvo derails Crewe Alex development squad

FC’s Women nine goal salvo derails Crewe Alex development squad

The home side took the lead midway through the first half before Jess Battle equalised for the reds three minutes later. Level at the break United roared into an unassailable lead in the second half with Battle adding a further 4, Alice Forshaw 3 on her first full 90 minutes for the reds with Fran Sullivan netting also. Crewe managed to double their account from the penalty spot; the final score ending 9-2 in favour of the visitors.

United got the game underway on a pleasant spring afternoon in the railway town of Crewe kicking off on a brand new 3G surface adjacent to the busy West Coast main line. The pitch was relatively narrow and despite good early possession, United struggled to breakdown the Crewe defence early on. Olivia Greenhalgh lofted a ball over the top and a combination of Chambers and Battle were thwarted by Charlotte Badderley in the home goal.

Just before the quarter hour a quickly taken free kick almost paid off but defender Amy Colledge and her keeper again effectively saw off any immediate threat. Badderley smothered well just ahead of the onrushing Battle a minute later and FC earned two corners in quick succession. From the second, Sullivan delivered beyond the back post and Jess McCarrick lofted the ball back into the danger area with Badderley catching comfortably under pressure. A third corner saw Abbie Carrington head high and wide beyond the back post as Crewe launched themselves forward with their first attack of meaningful intent. Shanice Finbow clipped in a clever pass that saw striker Beth Coppin in space 12 yards from goal, watching the ball over her shoulder and without breaking stride superbly guiding her volley past Gemma Jackson into the bottom corner on 23 minutes.

United responded swiftly and three minutes later Jess Battle brought them level as she collected a Jennifer Lomax pass in the area, rounded the keeper and fired past the covering defenders from a tightening angle.

From a corner Chelsea Patient rose highest and headed back across goal where Forshaw almost scored with Badderley gratefully gathering the loose ball.
Crewe threatened once more before half time with Jo Case firing over the FC bar from a 30 yard free kick and it was United who looked the most likely to add to their tally but no further goals were added as referee Mike Hargrove blew for half time.

Crewe were straight on the attack from the restart sending a speculative ball forward that went harmlessly out of play for a goal kick. Jackson launched United forward as the reds built with intent; Lomax and McCarrick setting Battle free inside the box with Badderley being the equal of her strike.

However, on 49 minutes FC took a deserved lead as Chambers beat her full back and slid the ball beyond the far post where Battle squeezed her shot home from a tight angle. United fashioned another positive chance from a Sullivan free kick with the ball once again being worked wide to Chambers following a melee in the crowded Crewe area. The Captain’s cross was once more met by Battle who made it 3-1 from close range on 53 minutes.

Crewe responded well with substitute Becky Garner lofting a cross cum shot over Jackson and off the FC bar with no team mate close enough to take advantage of the rebound as FC comfortably cleared the danger.

Just before the hour United were awarded a free kick out on the left wing which Sullivan curled superbly into the top corner at the back post and on 63 minutes Forshaw had bagged her first FC goal as Sullivan swung a corner to the back post where Chambers controlled well driving the ball into the six yard area for Forshaw to smash home from close range.

Forshaw only had a couple of minutes to wait for her second FC goal and United’s sixth of the afternoon curling home a superb effort from the edge of the area. Crewe ventured forward from the restart and Lomax clipped Garner’s heels inside the area with referee Hargrove pointing to the spot. Finbow calmly slotted her spot kick beyond Jackson in the 68th minute and in the same 60 seconds United surged forward from the restart with Chambers once more picking out Battle to score her fourth. With 20 minutes remaining and in a copy cat of her 4th goal, Battle bagged her 5th, again profiting from a Chambers cross.

Heading into the last ten minutes and mindful of the glut of fixtures in the next 10 days, Manager Luke Podmore introduced Gemma Jackson into an outfield role having replaced her in goal with Chloe Ainsworth some minutes earlier. The keeper cum midfielder showed some deft touches throughout the latter stages of the game and is clearly an option if required in the closing stages of the season.

United enjoyed a prolonged and effective period of possession culminating in Nicole Hatcliffe chasing down and cutting back a superb ball from the bye line for Battle to tussle with Badderley and squeeze the ball square to Forshaw to fire home her hatrick goal past the covering defenders; The goal being FC’s 9th and final one to round off a devastating second half.

The win sees United smash through the 700 competitive goal mark in just short of 6 seasons and keeps them four points clear of West Didsbury & Chorlton at the top of the league with six games left. Continuing a hectic run-in schedule, this coming Wednesday 11th April United travel to Altrincham, the only team to take league points off the reds so far this season, with the game kicking off at 6.30pm. Friday 11th sees the defending cup holders take on Manchester Stingers in the Manchester Women’s Cup Final at West Didsbury & Chorlton’s ground (7.30pm KO) and two days later, Sunday 15th, they travel to play City of Liverpool (2pm KO) in the league. Get yourselves to those football grounds as all your support is very much appreciated.

Report by Rob Fullen

FC Player of the game: 1st half Chelsea Patient – in a frustrating half Chelsea showed discipline and resolute play on the right side of FC’s defence to help keep play flowing towards the Crewe goal with special mention also for the probing, driving runs at the heart of the Crewe defence from Jess McCarrick. 2nd Half – Kirsty Chambers and Jess Battle, a great understanding between the two saw the Captain assist in all four of Jess’s second half strikes whilst also assisting in Alice’s first and winning the free kick that Fran scored from - technically 6 out of 9 assists.

Teams 8th April 2018: Attendance: 63

FC United of Manchester: 9 (1)
1. Gemma Jackson
2. Fran Davies
3. Abbie Carrington
5. Chelsea Patient
17. Jess McCarrick
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
14. Jennifer Lomax
7. Fran Sullivan (Goal 58 mins)
10. Alice Forshaw (Goals 63, 66, 88 mins)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt)
9. Jess Battle (Goals 26, 49, 53, 68, 70 mins)
8. Nicole Hatcliffe (for No14 59 mins)
13. Chloe Ainsworth (GK) (For No1 70 mins)
18. Cara Fields (not used)
Roll on Roll Off:
On No14 for No5 64 mins
On No16 (Gemma Jackson) for No11 79 mins

Crewe Alexandra Development Squad: 2 (1)
1. Charlotte Badderley
2. Chloe Brown
3. Amy Colledge
4. Hollie Durkin
5. Abbey Whittingham (Capt)
6. Jo Case
7. Gemma Brough
8. Lyd Hooley
9. Beth Coppin (Goal 23 mins)
10. Shanice Finbow (Goal 68 mins [Pen])
11. Keane Harrison
12. Beth Graham (for No6 69 mins)
14. Sara Gill (for No4 53 mins)
16. Alex Heron (not used)
17. Becky Garner (for No7 33 mins)
Roll on Roll Off:
On No7 for No11 41 mins
On No11 for No7 57 mins
On No4 for No9 80 mins

Referee: Mike Hargrove
Asst Referee: Dan Adelman
Asst Referee: Seb Richardson
Venue: Cumberland Sports Ground, Crewe, CW1 2BD
Official FC photography by Samantha Coates
Social Media Updates from Mikey Partington
Film Footage & Historical Stats from Neil Boo
Match Stats by Paul Hinson from: www.liveteamstats.com
FC United stats first column:
Goals: 9.............2
Shots on target: 16...........4
Shots off target: 18...........1
Corners: 10...........0
Completed Passes: 509........135
Possession: 79%.......21%

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First Posted ~ 18:33 Mon 9 Apr 2018
News ID ~ 7840
Last Updated ~ 09:05 Wed 11 Apr 2018