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FC United through to Manchester Premier Cup Final after beating Irlam

FC United through to Manchester Premier Cup Final after beating Irlam

FC United are through to the Frank Hannah Manchester Premier Cup to face Trafford after beating Irlam 2-1 in a closely fought contest on Tuesday at Broadhurst Park.

First half goals from Finlay Sinclair-Smith and Charlie Ennis were enough to see the Reds through to the final of the competition that the club won in 2017 and 2018.

The early stages of the game was end to end but with little end product. Former FC United youth player Connor Martin tested Cameron Belford with a shot and Ennis shot over after beating the offside trap.

Sinclair-Smith was looking dangerous and he shot wide just before the half hour mark. Tunde Owolabi looked to take advantage of a through ball but he was beaten to the ball by the fingertips of Lee White.

On 32 minutes, the Reds took the lead when Owolabi played in Adam Dodd who crossed for Sinclair-Smith to sidefoot home. Two minutes later, Belford was called upon again as a free-kick found another ex FC’er in Callum Nicholas but the keeper saved well. On 37 minutes the lead was doubled when the ball was played to Ennis who took a touch and finished well.

There was still time for drama when Dodd was tripped in the box, the ref refusing the appeals of the home players.

Inside the first minute of the second half Ennis came close but White saved. From that point Irlam gained the upper hand and pulled a goal back on 48 minutes. Belford hit a clearance straight to Nicholas who finished well. Just before the hour, Belford saved from Marcus Perry, the same player rolling the ball wide a few minutes later.

FC were creating chances but they were finished poorly, though Jack Lenehan fired just wide. Substitute Kyle Hawley created a chance for himself but he fired weakly at White when through on goal.

As time ran out Irlam took the upper hand and came close to equalising when a free kick caused panic in the FC box, Perry miskicked and the ball rolled to Belford. Deep into injury time Karl Cassell headed wide and the referee blew for the end of the game to relief of FC.

The date and venue for the final of the competition will be confirmed by the Manchester FA in the next few weeks.

Report by Steven Wood

Man of the Match: Michael Donohue. Playing in an unfamiliar position, he did well defensively and was dangerous going forward.

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First Posted ~ 11:05 Wed 5 Feb 2020
News ID ~ 8630
Last Updated ~ 17:00 Sat 8 Feb 2020