MATCH REPORT | FC United Women 5-0 West Women
West Women suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of league leaders FC United of Manchester Women at Broadhurst Park.
Backed by a swell of travelling support West were without influential captain Shauna Edmondson but were able to hand a full debut to Hanifa Douglas. Defenders Lyndsey and Jo Turner both returned to the starting line-up having missed West’s Argyle Cup Sports win away to Stockport County Blues the previous week.
The home side, averaging more than 10 goals a game in the league were quickest out of the blocks, and almost took the lead inside the opening minute but for a strong save from Claire Jefferson in the West goal. The warning side wasn’t heeded and FC United were ahead after just two minutes when Jess Battle was found unmarked inside the penalty area and she converted from close range.
West responded and two minutes later had the ball in the FC net as Chaneece Reeves turned home Elizabeth Livesey’s knock down from Ellie Caddick’s free kick but the referee adjudged someone to have been offside on 4 minutes. Three minutes later Jefferson was called into action again to push a rising effort from Kirsty Chambers over the bar.
West found their way into the game as Jami Hodges fired a long range effort into the keepers hands on 14 minutes before Sophie Bracegirdle fired over from Caddick’s free kick.
West created further chances as a Vicky Kerr free kick found Reeves inside the six yard box but she could only roll her effort wide on the turn on 20 minutes. Two minutes later Reeves went closer still as her free kick from the edge of the area flew just over the crossbar.
Jefferson was called into action again on 31 minutes to push a hard effort from Chambers round the post but West went into the half a goal down but more than a match for their opponents.
West were dealt a blow early in the second half as again Battle was allowed too much space in the penalty area, turning and firing a shot past Jefferson, despite the West goalkeeper managing to get a hand to it on 49 minutes.
It was 3-0 on 52 minutes when West failed to deal with an in-swinging corner and it was inadvertently turned home by Jo Turner into her own net. The fourth arrived on 64 minutes as Battle found herself unmarked inside the six yard box and completed her hat-trick past Jefferson. Battle made it five a minute later as she was again found unmarked six yards out and tapped home from close range.
From there, both sides rang the changes as West looked for a late consolation with Nat Callaghan firing a free kick just over the bar late on the closest West came in the second half.
Jefferson prevented further expansion of the score-line which was a harsh reflection on West who matched their opponents for long spells of the game.