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FCUMW pick up well-fought three points after comeback win at Accrington

FCUMW pick up well-fought three points after comeback win at Accrington

FC United Women picked up a third consecutive league win on Sunday, after winning 4-2 at Accrington Girls & Ladies.

The Reds had to come from behind twice but second half goals from Cara Fields, Jess Battle and Aimee O’Keeffe added to Jess McCarrick’s first half equaliser to earn FC a well-fought three points.

The game was United’s second successive league game on the road, following the 3-1 win at Wigan Athletic, last weekend. Luke Podmore made four changes from the side that started the trip to Orrell, with Chloe Ainsworth, Shaunna Jein, Jess McCarrick and Kirsty Chambers all returning to the starting XI.

Unlike last week’s perfect start, FC were made to work hard for a potential early opening. The hosts pressed well but some alert attacking play from captain Kirsty Chambers presented a one-on-one opportunity that the skipper prodded just wide of the target. Moments later, Jess McCarrick’s attempt was goal-bound but collected by the goalkeeper.

An early front-foot attacking intent from United was then capitalised on at the other end, as Becky McEwan rounded Chloe Ainsworth on the break before finding the net to put Accrington in to an early lead.

United’s fightback mentality was again on show, however, as Jess McCarrick quickly levelled the scores back up at 1-1. The midfielder had time to shift the ball out of her feet on the edge of the area before firing in to the top corner.

The equaliser was to be nothing more than momentary respite for FC, as the hosts took the lead for the second time in the game, on 19 minutes. A well-struck long range effort from Helen Lynskey found the corner of the net to put the Reds on the back foot once again.

Luke Podmore’s side attempted to display an instant response again, but this time were denied as both Jess McCarrick and Jess Battle had efforts that went close but had no impact on the scoreline; the first, a shot finessed over the bar before the goalkeeper got to Battle’s one-on-one effort, just a few minutes later.

That was the best of the chances for United in the first 45, but an instant response saw Podmore’s side draw level less than two minutes after the restart. The ball broke to Cara Fields around 20 yards out who powered home a trademark strike to give United the early second half momentum. The goal was the 800th scored by FCUMW since the team’s formation back in 2012.

The Reds may have gathered a large deal of momentum from the equaliser but it was the hosts who had the opportunity to go ahead on the hour after Shaunna Jein tripped up an Accrington attacker, inside the penalty area.

With the penalty given, Chloe Ainsworth stood firm, guessing the right way before springing off her line to block the rebound, completing a superb double save. The goalkeeper kept the scores level in what turned out to be a game-changing moment at the Crown Ground.

On 66 minutes, Sarah Chadwick made her return from injury by replacing Nicole Malpus, having spent nearly two months on the sideline.

Five minutes later, FC took a well-deserved lead for the first time in the game. Skipper Kirsty Chambers showed great determination to stay on her feet despite a challenge inside the box, before squaring to Jess Battle who found the corner with a composed strike under pressure.

The Reds then had the chance to double the lead in quick time, but the goalkeeper was equal to Shaunna Jein’s strike, the latter’s last involvement before being replaced by Corie Mather with Aimee O’Keeffe also introduced for Kirsty Chambers.

With her early penalty save still in mind, Chloe Ainsworth kept United ahead with an acrobatic diving save, with just over ten minutes left to play. The goalkeeper was again called in to action in the closing minutes, pushing away a goal-bound strike that looked to be heading for the bottom corner of the FCUMW goal.

That save resulted in an Accrington corner that United were able to capitalise on, to put the game out of sight in the 88th minute. A clearance fell to Jess Battle who was able to link up with her strike partner Aimee O’Keeffe, as she put the latter through on goal before O’Keeffe rounded the goalkeeper and found the net to seal the win for FCUMW. The goal came just over ten minutes after O’Keeffe had been introduced as it capped off a well-fought win for FCUMW, on the road.

The Reds return to Broadhurst Park next weekend with the league visit of Mossley Hill Athletic LFC on Sunday, 2pm KO. Stay tuned to our social media platforms (@FCUnitedWomen) for game details throughout the week.

FCUMW Player of the Match: Chloe Ainsworth - The goalkeeper deservedly takes the award after a match-winning performance in goal. Ainsworth was alert to Accrington’s attacking danger throughout the afternoon, making a number of key saves with the highlight her double save from the penalty - a game-changing moment that spurred the Reds’ on to a third successive win in the NWWRL Premier.

Accrington Girls & Ladies 2 (2): Mallen, Winning, Demaine, Duckworth (c), McDonald, Darcy, McEwan (Goal 13 mins), McCormack, Lynskey (Goal 19 mins), Venus, Stubbs

Subs: Moorhouse, Liversedge, Bland, Taylor

FC United of Manchester Women: 4 (1): Ainsworth, Malpus, Davies, Marsh, Jein, Greenhalgh, McCarrick (Goal 16 mins), Fields (Goal 47 mins), O’Gara, Battle (Goal 71 mins), Chambers (c)

Subs: Carrington, Mather (On for Jein 80 mins), Chadwick (On for Malpus 66 mins), O’Keeffe (On for Chambers 76 mins) (Goal 88 mins)

Match stats from Paul Hinson (FC second column):

Goals: 2.....4
Shots on target: 10.....8
Shots off target: 1.....9
Completed passes: 173.....341
Possession: 34%.....66%

Venue: Livingstone Road, Accrington, BB5 5BX
Competition: NWWRL Premier Division
Attendance: 72

Report by Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 16:02 Tue 27 Nov 2018
News ID ~ 8169
Last Updated ~ 09:00 Tue 4 Dec 2018