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FC United Women kick-off pre-season with hard-fought win over Everton Dev

FC United Women kick-off pre-season with hard-fought win over Everton Dev

FC United Women kicked-off pre-season, earlier this afternoon, with a well-earned 2-0 win over Everton Ladies Development Squad. In-front of the 136 in attendance at a sunny Broadhurst Park, second half goals from forwards Jess Battle and Sarah Chadwick ensured that the Reds started pre-season with a victory, over the FA WSL Development League side.

The Reds got the game underway, kicking from left to right, to the chants of ’bring on the Champions’, ringing out from the main stand. Starting like Champions, it was United who exerted the early pressure on the visiting side. Having forced the first corner of the game after some neat footwork from midfielder Cara Fields, inside the box, captain Kirsty Chambers’ eventual ball in was just out of reach of the open Corie Mather at the back post.

Despite showing the attacking prowess that rewarded the Reds with success on many occasions last season, it was early defensive work that kept the scoreline goalless. Chelsea Patient’s strong aerial ability on not one but two occasions allowed United to continue dictating the game’s early tempo, combating Everton’s sharp-looking start.

New signing Corie Mather was the only starting addition from the team that won the Argyle Cup Final eight weeks ago. Mather’s place in the eleven was nearly rewarded on both 21 and 26 minutes as the former Blackburn Rovers wide player fired wide of the goal from the edge of the box, twice.

As FC continued to search for the opening, the attempts began to add up on the visitors goal. Skipper Kirsty Chambers skied a shot after cutting in from the right before Jess Battle forced Everton goalkeeper Lizzie Craven into her first save of the game, after some good buildup play between Rebecca Foster and Cara Fields.

The half was quickly coming to a close but both sides insisted on taking a lead into the break. The Toffees flicked wide of Ainsworth’s near post before Chelsea Patient’s solid defensive work saw another chance powerfully charged down. Fellow defender Abbie Carrington was then forced into a superb last ditch tackle to avert a dangerous looking Everton attack. It was the Reds that combined for the chance of the game so far on 44 minutes, however. A neat interchange between Jess McCarrick and Cara Fields nearly set Jess Battle away but an awkward bounce denied the striker from capitalising on a fruitful opening for United with the two sides therefore going into the break deadlocked.

It was at half-time that manager Luke Podmore made the first of his pre-season substitutions; new faces Emilie Revitt and Hannah Dale replaced Corie Mather and Olivia Greenhalgh. A change of formation and emphasis didn’t take away the Reds control of the game however, with the hosts starting the second half as the better side. Jess McCarrick well closed down after an incisive through-ball by midfielder Rebecca Foster.

On 55 minutes, United signaled their intent with Dale intricately finding McCarrick out on the right, the latter’s cross coming to Chambers at the back post who powered inches wide of the near post after beating her marker with a quality piece of skill.

It wasn’t to be as sweet for the Toffees, four minutes later, however. A United corner from out on the right pinballed around the area before landing at the feet of Jess Battle who was composed enough to flick it past the goalkeeper from close range. With it came the lead and a huge swing of momentum in the game for United.

That momentum saw Battle again go close less than a minute later, flashing a shot wide of the near post having been found, from the edge of the box, by another top quality Cara Fields through-ball. That was to be the midfielder’s last action of the day however as she and Abbie Carrington were part of a double substitution that saw both Shauna Jein and Chelsea Flanagan introduced.

Despite the Reds possessing the majority of the game’s control, it didn’t go without the odd pre-season mistake. A misplaced clearance fell to an alerted Everton striker from a tight angle, but she could only find Chloe Ainsworth’s side-netting from the left side of the box.

From then on, the Reds seemingly appeared to dominate proceedings. Dale went close with a speculative effort from range as Davies kept things tight at the other end with an immaculate sliding interception to cut out an Everton attack, as the visitors looked to force their way back into the game.

Amongst the action, Podmore’s substitutions were in full flow by the 69th minute mark. Foster and McCarrick replaced by Greenhalgh and Chadwick, Battle and Chambers then taken off in place of Sullivan and Mather, minutes later.

With the seconds slowly ticking down on United’s opening pre-season fixture of the summer, the Reds took the initiative and doubled their lead against an Everton side that slowly opened up defensively, in search of an equaliser. Determined work from Olivia Greenhalgh set the Reds away on the counter attack, the midfielder finding Sarah Chadwick who was able to emphatically lift her sweeping shot over Craven and into the far top corner, from the right side of the box.

It was just a matter of time from there, but the Reds still pushed for a third. Flanagan had her close-range attempt cleared off the line at the Saint Mary’s Road End before the referee blew time on an entertaining pre-season encounter between two good quality sides. The Reds edging the game to go one-from-one in their 2018/19 pre-season campaign.

Next up in FCUMW’s pre-season preparations is the tri-team tournament at Broadhurst Park (3G), on Sunday 22nd July. We look forward to welcoming both Stoke City Ladies and the Isle of Man Ladies to Broadhurst Park for a tri-team tournament that will see all three sides face eachother once before a final between the top two, all in the same day. Get yourself down to that football ground for an exciting day of pre-season football.

FCUMW Player of the Match - Chelsea Patient. Special mentions to both Cara Fields and Fran Davies on sharp performances to kick-off pre-season but Chelsea Patient edges the first award of the season. As part of a strong defensive performance from the Reds, Patient showed power, determination and composure to clear any impending danger, from start to finish, a key role played in a well-fought win for United.

FC United of Manchester Women: 2 (0)

19. Chloe Ainsworth
5. Chelsea Patient
2. Fran Davies
3. Abbie Carrington
7. Corie Mather
4. Olivia Greenhalgh
8. Rebecca Foster
11. Kirsty Chambers (c)
17. Jess McCarrick
6. Cara Fields
9. Jess Battle (Goal 59 mins)
14. Shauna Jein (for No3 60 mins)
12. Emilie Revitt (for No7 45 mins)
10. Hannah Dale (for No4 45 mins)
16. Fran Sullivan (for No9 75 mins)
18. Sarah Chadwick (for No17 69 mins) (Goal 88 mins)
20. Chelsea Flanagan (for No6 60 mins)

Roll on, roll off:

No8 for No4 (69 mins)
No11 for No7 (79 mins)

Everton Ladies Development Squad: 0 (0)

1. Lizzie Craven
3. Shannon Dukes
5. Olivia Wilson
6. Isobel Dean
2. Sadie Mitchell
4. Emma Doyle
12. Olivia Hoban
14. Sophie Slater
10. Amy Kelly
11. Ash Longworth
7. Emily Jones
17. Ella Dixon
19. Hannah Cohen
18. Katy Thomas
16. Josie Smith

Referee: Jack Carr
Asst Ref: Leoni Harland
Asst Ref: Megan Shandley
Venue: Broadhurst Park, 310 Lightbowne Road, Manchester, M40 0FJ
Official FC photography by Mark Lee
Social media updates from Mikey Partington
Film footage & historical stats from Neil Boothman
Match stats by Paul Hinson from www.liveteamstats.com

FCUMW stats in the first column:

Goals: 2.....0
Shots on target: 4.....2
Shots off targget: 9.....4
Corners: 5.....3
Completed passes: 435 (73%).....379 (67%)
Possession: 56%.....44%

Report by Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 21:34 Sun 15 Jul 2018
News ID ~ 7948
Last Updated ~ 09:53 Sat 21 Jul 2018