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Victory on Merseyside against a depleted City of Liverpool keeps FC’s Women top of the league

Victory on Merseyside against a depleted City of Liverpool keeps FC’s Women top of the league

At the request of the home side and with referee consent, FC’s management agreed to a shortened game as City of Liverpool only had nine players available. Our hosts deserve every credit for playing the game and for a gutsy rearguard action against a rampant FC United.

Just two days after lifting the Manchester Women’s Cup, the resilient reds scored 8 without reply in the allotted hour; uniquely, United’s back three of Chelsea Patient, Fran Davies and Abbie Carrington each registered a goal supplementing two superb strikes by Cara Fields with goals for Olivia Greenhalgh, Fran Sullivan and Nicole Hatcliffe also.

Being the 29th Anniversary of the devastating Hillsborough tragedy, referee Tommy Murphy orchestrated a minute’s act of remembrance that was impeccably observed by all present – all the more poignant being in the City of Liverpool.

From the outset the home side looked to contain the red’s, understandably without any attacking intent of their own given their depleted ranks, leaving United able to probe at will and dominate possession. From a Kirsty Chambers cross, Fields saw a close range effort well smothered followed almost straight away by a 12 yard shot well saved by Sarah Barr in the Liverpool goal, inside the first 5 minutes.

Resistance was finally broken on 7 minutes when Patient rose highest to head a Sullivan corner beyond the dive of Barr to register her first of the season. United saw a couple of chances clear the bar but doubled their lead on 11 minutes. Fliss Winters combined well with Hatcliffe with the latter blasting a shot across Barr and into the top corner. Despite several more chances the Liverpool keeper played superbly saving from Sullivan, Winters, Patient and Carrington; the lead staying at two as the referee drew a shortened half to a close.

United poured forward relentlessly in the second half and added a further six goals in a concerted 19 minute spell. Five minutes into the half , Fields clipped the top of the cross bar and a minute later as a loose ball broke to the edge of the area the midfielder rifled a cultured drive into the top corner for FC’s third of the afternoon.
The fourth followed four minutes later from FC’s dependable No4 Olivia Greenhalgh, who rode a couple of challenges on the edge of the area and fired into the bottom corner from 16 yards. Just a minute later and Sullivan made it five driving a low shot past an unsighted keeper from 18 yards.

Rebecca Foster played a short corner to Sullivan who drove towards the unguarded near post area unleashing a fierce shot which crashed off the angle of bar and post. United pressure continued unabated and Fran Davies, by now wearing the Captain’s armband and not to be outdone by fellow defender Chelsea Patient, scored her first goal of the season bursting to the near post and squeezing her close range, tight angled shot underneath Sarah Barr as it bobbled over the line.

Sullivan crashed a free kick into the Liverpool wall with Catlyn Myers blocking superbly and not for the first or last time during the game. However, no one in any game could do anything to deny Fields her second of the afternoon and arguably the goal of the season for FC United’s Women. A cross towards the edge of the home side’s area was met by a cushioned header from Sullivan guided back into the path of Fields who caressed a fantastic first touch half volley from 25 yards, right into the top corner of Barr’s goal; a truly stunning strike.

The eighth goal came in the final minute; Carrington making it a goal each for the regular back three of recent weeks firing a venomous 30 yard daisy cutter through a crowded area and into the back of the net and from the restart referee Murphy called time on the contest and credit due to both sides for competing in unusual circumstances.

With spirits high the red’s punishing schedule continues with a trip to face Stockport County Blues this coming Wednesday, 18th in the league before entertaining CMB in our main stadium in the Argyle Cup semi final next Sunday when the bar will be open and food available also. Get yourself to those football grounds and cheer the Manchester Cup holders on in their pursuit of further silverware on both remaining fronts. Thank You.

Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Cara Fields – in a surreal encounter for both sets of players, Cara showed excellent first touch and consistent control and composure, scoring two fantastic goals with her second being a goal of the season contender.

Teams 15th April 2018: Attendance: 33

FC United of Manchester: 8 (2)
1. Gemma Jackson
2. Fran Davies (Goal 48 mins)
3. Abbie Carrington (Goal 60 mins)
5. Chelsea Patient (Goal 7 mins)
7. Fran Sullivan (Goal 46 mins)
14. Jennifer Lomax
8. Rebecca Foster
18. Cara Fields (Goals 41 & 58 mins)
12. Fliss Winter
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt)
15. Nicole Hatcliffe (Goal 11 mins)
1/13. Chloe Ainsworth (for No1 31 mins)
4. Olivia Greenhalgh (for No5 21 mins) (Goal 45 mins)
9. Jess Battle (not used)
17. Jess McCarrick (for No 11 35 mins)

City of Liverpool: 0 (0)
1. Sarah Barr
2. Kiersten Jones
3. Shannon Robinson
5. Maia Robinson
7. Gemma Burns
8. Vickii O’Neill
9. Catlyn Myers
12. Hayley Doran
18. Jacquie Daniels
None available

Referee: Tommy Murphy
Asst Referee: Jordan Dennett
Asst Referee: N/K
Venue: Admiral Park, Liverpool, L8 8JN
Official FC photography by Mark Lee & 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: 8.............0
Shots on target: 17...........0
Shots off target: 16...........1
Corners: 12...........0
Completed Passes: 333.......20
Possession: 94%.......6%

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First Posted ~ 20:35 Mon 16 Apr 2018
News ID ~ 7856
Last Updated ~ 11:50 Wed 18 Apr 2018