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FC's Women superbly win both league title and FA People's Cup on same day

FC's Women superbly win both league title and FA People's Cup on same day

League game report: At the third time of asking, after finishing runners up in the past two seasons, FC United’s Women win the title and gain promotion to the NWWRFL Premier Division with two games to spare after an emphatic 10 – 0 victory over Crewe Alexandra’s Development Squad at Broadhurst Park on Sunday.

The win confirmed the second leg of a historic treble attempt with the Manchester FA Challenge Cup and now League Title in the cabinet and an Argyle League Cup Final to look forward to against Stockport County on 13th May.

Despite four regular outfield starters and keeper Chloe Ainsworth representing FC United’s Women down at FA HQ, St George’s Park in the finals of the 5 a-side Peoples Cup, kicking off simultaneously in the Midlands, a powerful display from the remainder of the FC’s Women was comfortably sufficient to secure the title brightening a cold overcast afternoon in Moston.

Intensity from first to last at Broadhurst Park saw Captain Kirsty Chambers lead by example bagging four goals with fellow forwards Nicole Hatcliffe and Chelsea Flanagan grabbing a hatrick each to spark a joyous afternoon of champagne celebration in front of another 3 figure crowd.

The intensity in United’s performance was evident from the kick off with Chambers surging onto an Alice Forshaw through ball to test Charlotte Badderley inside the first minute with the breakthrough following a third successive corner on 7 minutes. Chambers played short and took the return pass from Jess McCarrick, worked herself an angle cutting into the penalty area and fired low through the crowd and across the unsighted Badderley into the bottom corner. Kirsty and the team raced over to the touchline to celebrate with Luke and Mark sensing that this was a vital step to securing the title.

Far from sitting back, United remained on the front foot limiting Crewe to a long range effort from Beth Coppin which was comfortable for Gemma Jackson and seeing away a dangerous cross from Shanice Finbow before seeing the game safe with a four goal salvo in a blistering nine minute spell.

Chelsea Flanagan doubled the lead on 21 minutes with a close range tap in after the keeper fumbled a speculative effort from Fliss Winters. The third goal of the afternoon on 23 minutes was absolutely classic Chambers as she sped down the left leaving defenders in her wake and with only one thing on her mind, fired an unstoppable thunderbolt past Badderley whilst at full tilt from the left edge of the area.

On 28 minutes an ‘on fire’ Chambers registered her hatrick after a clever turn past her defender on the edge of the area followed by another net busting strike giving Badderley no chance in the Crewe goal. On the half hour Chambers surged to the bye line and turning provider, cut the ball back to the arriving Hatcliffe to slot home from 8 yards. Hatcliffe grabbed her second and FC’s 6th unanswered goal a minute before half time as she raced between centre halves onto an Olivia Greenhalgh through ball to drive her shot through the advancing Badderley to spark chants of ‘We’re gonna win the league’ from the FC faithful.

The second half followed in a similar vein as United went straight on the attack; Hatcliffe squaring to Rebecca Foster who placed her shot just wide. FC recycled the ball from a corner and as Crewe pushed out, Foster played a perfect pass through the defence in to the path of Hatcliffe’s well timed run; the striker coolly curling the ball into the back of the net.

Crewe fashioned a few half chances with Abbie Carrington clearing a Keane Harrison header and Becky Garner being guilty of blazing wide on two occasions when through with just Jackson to beat.
Amy Vyas made her return following a lengthy spell of injury and showed some vintage Vyas touches clipping a lovely ball into the Crewe area where Flanagan turned her defender and drifted her shot into the bottom corner for goal number 8 without reply.

Chambers completed her personal four goal salvo in the 67th minute receiving the ball with her back to goal on the edge of the area and flicking over her shoulder completely deceiving her attendant defender as she spun to race onto her own flick to blast home from 10 yards.

United reached double figures and wrapped up the scoring courtesy of Flanagan’s hatrick goal. Jennifer Lomax, receiving the ball on the edge of her own area drove forward sliding a pass into Foster who played a delightful through ball to Flanagan who in turn outpaced the defence and dinked the ball over and across Badderley on 78 minutes. United fashioned another few half chances before referee Stephen Watson blew time to spark celebrations from fans, coaches and players alike as the champagne bubbles burst forth.

With the title in the bag, attention now turns to the remaining two league fixtures, Northwich Vixens this Wednesday followed by Curzon Ashton on Wednesday 9th May both away from home. The Argyle Sports League Cup Final will conclude 2017/18’s campaign when we travel to the neutral venue of Runcorn Linnets FC to face Stockport County on Sunday 13th May. Get yourselves to those football grounds and shower our Women’s team in the plaudits they so richly deserve. Thank you.

Report by Rob Fullen
FC Player of the game: Kirsty Chambers – 4 goals from the Captain to crown a title winning team performance in vintage fashion. All Kirsty’s goals were spectacular and she is also credited with an assist for Nicole Hatcliffe’s first of three, on the half hour. Kirsty was also recognised as our player of the game by the Crewe Manager.

Teams 29th April 2018: Attendance: 119

FC United of Manchester: 10 (6)
1. Gemma Jackson
12. Fliss Winters
3. Abbie Carrington
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
5. Chelsea Patient
6. Alice Forshaw
17. Jess McCarrick
8. Rebecca Foster
16. Chelsea Flanagan (Goals 21, 62, 78 mins)
10. Nicole Hatcliffe (Goals 30, 44, 52 mins)
11. Kirsty Chambers (Capt) (Goals 7, 23, 28, 67 mins)
14. Jennifer Lomax (for No4 46 mins)
15. Amy Vyas (for No 16 46 mins)
Roll on Roll Off:
On No4 for No10 57 mins
On No16 for No12 57 mins
On No10 for No11 68 mins
On No12 for No5 68 mins
On No5 for No3 75 mins
On No3 for No6 82 mins
On No6 for No17 87 mins

Crewe Alexandra Development Squad: 0 (0)
1. Charlotte Badderley
2. Amy Colledge
3. Kate Evans
4. Chloe Brown
5. Abbey Whittingham (Capt)
6. Jo Case
7. Becky Garner
8. Lydia Hooley
9. Hollie Durkin
10. Shanice Finbow
11. Beth Coppin
12. Gemma Brough (for no 8 25 mins)
13. Alex Heron
14. Keane Harrison (for No4 46 mins)
15. Sarah Gill (for No3 46 mins)
Roll on Roll Off:
On No4 for No2 53 mins
On No3 for No6 53 mins
On No9 for No7 60 mins
On No7 for No14 69 mins

Referee: Stephen Watson
Asst Referee: Dan Adelman
Asst Referee: N/K
Venue: Broadhurst Park, (3G), Lightbowne Road, Moston, M40
Official FC photography by Mark Lee & Samantha Coates
Social Media Updates from Mikey Partington
Film Footage & Historical Stats from Neil Boo:
Today’s victory is a record 15th consecutive win and 23rd consecutive game unbeaten. With two games league still to play FC’s record currently reads – Played 16, Won 15, Drawn 1, Lost 0. Goals For: 110, Goals Against: 6, Goal Difference: +104, Points: 46 out of possible 48. Average goals per game scored: 6.87 and Average goals conceded per game: 0.38.
Match Stats by Paul Hinson from: www.liveteamstats.com
FC United stats first column:
Goals: 10...........0
Shots on target: 22...........3
Shots off target: 17...........3
Corners: 10...........0
Completed Passes: 459......110
Possession: 81%......19%

FA People’s Cup final report: As FC’s Women kicked off at Broadhurst Park to wrap up the title with an emphatic display and 10-0 victory, five of their number were representing the club at the prestigious national People’s Cup Finals event at St George’s Park (FA HQ) eventually winning through to the final which kicked off at 7pm – the last final of a day semi finals and finals across many categories.

FC’s Women were in the adult female category and won through to face Meridian FC in the 10 minute final and with the score goal less at full time stepped up to win the trophy 3-1 on penalties securing a third trophy of the season for FC United’s Women and a fourth so far for United’s senior teams.

The game, just 10 minutes one way, was frenetic, fast and furious from start to finish with United kicking off in their all black FC training kit against the red shirted Meridian. Meridian had the clearest early opening that was well saved by Chloe Ainsworth.
FC broke at pace with Cara Fields playing into the feet of Jess Battle who turned her defender and fired on goal, with the 43 goal supporter’s player of the year, denied by the upright. In the 3rd minute Meridian fired wide and from a near side corner swept the ball across the semi circle area but evading all players to drift out of play on the far side for an FC ‘Kick In’. Good FC possession at the mid-point of the game with Fran Sullivan knitting the slick passing and interplay together but Meridian proved resolute and disciplined in their marking and defending.

Sullivan forced an excellent parried save from the Meridian keeper and in the next phase Fran Davies ventured forward and drifted a shot just past the angle of bar and post. Ainsworth was called into action and produced a great block on the edge of her area with Battle back to help clear the danger. Into the final minute and United earned a corner with Fields and Battle combining well resulting in Fields crashing a shot against the bar as the referee blew for full time just seconds later.

And so for the drama and lottery of penalties as up stepped Fran Sullivan to unerringly fire home the first spot kick. Meridian’s No14 took responsibility and drove a fierce shot which Chloe Ainsworth deflected onto the bar and away from danger.

United looked to pile on the pressure and Cara Fields made no mistake as No4 then stepped up for Meridian to halve the deficit. The pressure switched to Jess Battle and she made no mistake to score FC’s 3rd and final spot kick to spark jubilant celebrations and a group jig to the refrains of ‘Champions’ with coverage unfortunately ending before the trophy presentation.
29th April 2018 goes down as a fantastic and historic day in the history of FC United of Manchester.
Report by Rob Fullen
Team News 29th April 2018:

FC United of Manchester: 0 (FC win 3-1 on penalties)
1. Chloe Ainsworth (Saved 1st Meridian Pen)
2. Fran Davies
7. Fran Sullivan (Scorer Pen 1)
18. Cara Fields (Scorer Pen 2)
9. Jess Battle (Scorer Pen 3)

Meridian FC: 0
Team Not Known

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First Posted ~ 19:27 Mon 30 Apr 2018
News ID ~ 7882
Last Updated ~ 14:46 Wed 2 May 2018