Junior Journo Report: FC United of Manchester (H)

by Archie Brown, Junior Journo

The glamorous weather attracted 802 spectators to the Don Amott arena for this enthralling game in the Northern Premier League between two sides who have mixed runs of form.Mickelover have displayed 2 wins,2 losses and 1 draw in their last 5 games whereas FC United Of Manchester have only 1 win,2 draws and 2 losses so it is the home side going into this that have collected more points in the last 5 games.

The game started with the Sports looking for attacking opportunities via long passes to the attackers but every attempt they made was frustratingly shut down.

FC United Of Manchester then took full advantage of the gifted possession as centre-forward Regan Linney picked up the ball up on the left-hand side and after a wonderful darting run curled an absolute beauty of a shot past a stranded Jonathan Hedge in goal.

Mickelover Sports 0-1 FC United Of Manchester 

In the 6th Minute,Andy Dales had a shot comfortably saved by Dan Lavercombe after a frustrating period for the home side.It became apparent early on that both teams were relying on long passes forward to their attackers early on rather than keeping the ball grounded .

After 13 minutes,the away side won a promising free kick but the resulting kick was deflected wide after a shot weak shot from Adam Dodd.The corner was originally caught by Sports’ keeper Jonathan Hedge but then spilt behind for a second consecutive corner.The following corner was taken short but FC United Of Manchester failed to create anything from it.

Sports were displaying poor positioning in the opening 15 minutes with their midfielders and full-backs being out-run and caught in possession numerous times.The away sides’ Captain Michael Potts was a clear standout in the opening quarter of the half,receiving passes from deep and driving forward to create attacking chances.

A massive chance for the away side in the 26th minute with Michael Donohue shooting wide after a lovely passing move…it was like they were taking notes from the blue side of Manchester with this move!

3 minutes after this brilliant move,down the other end Sports striker Shaquille McDonald had a very inviting cross blocked by FC United Of Manchester Defender,Aaron Morris.

Then in the 32nd minute,an overly ambitious shot from sports defensive midfielder Germaine Augustien sails way over the bar.Then in the 37th minute,after a wonderful driving run from Andy Dales,he wins a penalty for the home side!

Shaquille McDonald to take…And score! Sports are level just before half time,a cool and composed finish in the bottom-left corner sent the keeper the wrong way and restored hope for sports.

Mickelover Sports 1-1 FC United Of Manchester 

A shot by the goalscorer in the 40th minute was charged down after a impressive driving run.Then 2 minutes later,Andy Dales drove from deep and curled and absolutely fantastic shot past Dan Lavercombe and into the left corner to complete the Mickelover comeback before half time!

Mickelover Sports 2-1 FC United Of Manchester 

In the 44th minute,a very inviting run from FC United Of Manchester Right-Back Adam Dodd results in his shot trickling wide after a promising run.Then shortly after a very nasty looking challenge from Luke Griffiths causes the referee to reach to his pocket for the first time in the game to produce the first yellow card.


Mickelover Sports 2-1 FC United Of Manchester 

Play resumes and it was the away side replicating their first half looking to score early into it but after they won a free-kick in the 47th minute,the resulting header was way over the bar with no concern for goalkeeper Jonathan Hedge.

What followed was a lovely bit of play between Stuart Beavon and William Radcliffe with the former lending it to the latter who’s shot was comfortably saved by Dan Lavercombe.

After both sides created strong chances early into the second half it was the away side who won a penalty in the 48th minute after a lazy foul from Germaine Augustien.The penalty is comfortably put away by Paul Ennis who smashed it into the top right corner to lift the confidence of FC United Of Manchester.

Mickelover Sports 2-2 FC United Of Manchester 

The first substitution of the afternoon was made by FC United Of Manchester,with Josh Askew replacing Chris Taylor.

In the 51st minute,a massive chance for the away side saw a header firmly headed onto the crossbar with the assistance of Mickelover goalkeeper Jonathan Hedge.

The well-driven corner resorted in a cheeky back heel attempt from Alistair Waddecar which ultimately span wide.

Oh and what a goal that was for Mickelover! In the 56th minute it was the second of the afternoon for Shaquille McDonald who finishes off a brilliant passing move between himself,Stuart Beavon and then a fantastic assist by William Radcliffe.

Mickelover Sports 3-2 FC United Of Manchester 

The second substitution of the afternoon was made for the away side as Josh Galloway replaced Alistair Waddecar.After a good run from the away side,a fantastic tackle from Rhys Dolan puts an end to the attacking move.

What a game this has been! An great side-footed equaliser from FC United Of Manchester  Centre-Half Curtis Jones in the 61st minute after a fantastic corner delivery from Paul Ennis.

Mickelover Sports 3-3 FC United Of Manchester 

Shaquille McDonald has been a real bright spark in this second half for sports after failing to get off the starting blocks in the opening 15 of the first half.A driving run from Regan Linney in the 67th minute forced a good save from Sports keeper Jonathan Hedge.

A third substitution for the away side took place as Ewan Bange replaces Luke Griffiths.Shortly after in the 70th minute,a short range shot by FC United Of Manchester was saved,spilled and cleared away.

A nasty fall for Shaquille McDonald in the 71st minute drew a stoppage in play.Looks like the fall might have winded the Mickelover striker as well as a possible re-aggravation of his left wrist injury but after a check-up by the physio,he was deemed fit to continue for the time being.

A few minutes after this,Sports manager John McGrath decided to replace the undoubtable Man Of The Match,Shaquille McDonald is taken off for Jahvan Davidson-Miller.

Shortly after,a good run by Josh Askew ended in a shot that fizzes wide.After a run and subsequent tangle of legs resulting in a penalty claim from Regan Linney,the referee decides to go against the claims and award a free-kick to Mickelover for obstruction.

With desperate attempts coming more from the away side,a shot from Josh Galloway in the 80th minute sails way over the bar for a goal kick.

Mickelover pile on the pressure with 3 minutes remaining of normal time and a shot from Jahvan Davidson-Miller was blocked behind for a corner.

The corner comes in and it’s into the net! But the referee ruled the goal out for unapparent reasons.This is getting to the nitty gritty of it now as the away side come agonisingly close to sealing the win.A layoff from Adam Dodd was fizzed into a crowd of bodies but not one of his teammates could force it over the line.It remains 3-3.

Mickelover get a late corner which unfortunately they cannot utilise to their advantage as they can’t create anything from it.A huge chance for the away side as the cross comes in and Elliot Walker stears it onto the post in what nearly was a match winning Own Goal in the favour of FC United Of Manchester.

Into late injury time,Mickelover make their Third substitution as Stuart Beavon is replaced by Callum Niven.*

*George Atwal came on for Mickelover also during the second half but I could unfortunately not make out who he replaced but the youngster looked impressive with his first few chances as he looked to carve out attacking opportunities for Sports.

Callum Niven immediately won a throw-in for sports after coming onto the pitch.The resulting throw-in was disappointing as Mickelover failed to create any late chances.

And the referee blows the whistle for Full-Time.It has been a fantastic game at the Don Amott Arena with both sides sharing the points in a deserved outcome for both.

Mickelover Sports 3-3 FC United Of Manchester 

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