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3 players stand out as FC United suffer second defeat to Hyde

FC United suffered their second defeat in the Northern Premier League in a 2-1 defeat at home to Hyde United. Today, The Football Manc Cave will take a look at the key events of the game and what players to keep an eye on for the rest of the season…

A home defeat would leave you thinking that manager Neil Reynolds would be giving the players the hairdryer treatment in the dressing room post-match. However, I was fortunate enough to see a high-quality performance from FC Utd which proved that this side has the potential to challenge in this division.

First Half

The beginning of the game saw FC Utd take total control. The Reds were pinging passes from left to right. James Joyce had acres of space out on the left, where the likes of Tom Dean and Luke Griffiths were picking him out for fun. But FC Utd was unable to capitalise despite dominance.

A mistaken pass in their own half saw Hyde take advantage and Danny O’Brien scores a tap in from a yard out.

In a baffling event, Hyde was awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, until the referee changed his mind and awarded a penalty. Imminently, the referee became the most disliked man in the stadium. However, goalkeeper Patrick Wharton pulled off a fantastic double save to stop the penalty as well as the rebound. It was one of the most fantastic things I have ever seen in live football.

Despite FC Utd’s control of the game, Hyde was vicious on the odd occasion they had a counter-attack. On one of the very rare occasions that Hyde played some good football was down the left, where they completely undid the FC Utd defence. Liam Tongue slotted it away nicely leaving Hyde Utd 2-0 ahead.

Second half

Hyde Utd started the second half the way FC Utd started the first. Hyde was holding possession and switching play until FC Utd found their groove again.

Niall Rodney and Regan Linney looked to be the two most threatening players for the Reds. Linney regularly cutting inside from the left for the shot or Rodney playing off the last man and attempting to get on the end of some fairly wayward long balls.

FC Utd gained more and more momentum as the clock ticked down. The introduction of Chris Sharp gave the Reds more threat and options, adding to the attack v defence display.

Regan Linney’s favoured technique of cutting inside and shooting finally paid off, as a slight deflection sent the keeper the opposite way.

The remainder of the game saw FC Utd try to prod and pick away at the sturdy and compact Hyde. By the way, Hyde was hoofing the ball up and taking time on dead-ball situations, it was clear the side was holding out for the result they had.

It worked. Despite piling on the pressure in the final stages of the game, FC Utd undeservedly missed the mark on several goal-scoring opportunities.

The game had some fantastic moments and displays of good football. But the highlight has to be manager Neil Reynolds’ yellow card for descent towards the assistant referee over a throw-in awarded to Hyde where the ball hadn’t completely crossed the line. From my position, Reynolds was correct, but he must remain composed and focused in order to set a good example for his team.

Scout report: Who stood out?

Luke Griffiths

Griffiths played in the centre of the park and made everything tick for the Reds. Without him, it’s hard to see how they could dominate possession. His ball control, passing accuracy and footballing IQ set him apart from every other player on the pitch.

Craig Carney

Carney is a joy to watch. Finding acres of space on the right side of the field allowed him to be one of FC Utd’s most dangerous players. His ability to storm down the wing, whether defenders are there to stop him or not, makes him one of the best full-backs to watch live. He found himself in both crossing and shooting opportunities and was unfortunate to not come away with more. For myself, he was Man of the Match.

Patrick Wharton

The FC Utd goalkeeper deserves a special mention for his double save after the Reds conceded a very suspect penalty. He also pulled off the odd good save in a game where he wasn’t entirely busy.


In my opinion, FC Utd deserved to win this game. They played some amazing football, looked good as a squad and challenged Hyde Utd throughout the 90 minutes. It looks as though they need an imposing striker who can be an aerial threat and well as a hold-up player to slide the ball into the wingers.

Two Stand Out Players For FC United next season

Even though Neil Reynolds’ FC United side were relegated at the end of last season, they still remain hopeful. Today the Football Manc Cave picks out two players you should look out for in the upcoming season.

FC United have been busy recruiting this summer, not only for their first team but their women’s team too. This suggests that the club is determined and motivated to do well as a whole. The first team have managed to put on a good display of football in their pre-season campaign.

Throughout pre-season, they’ve managed to create some good football and goals from set-pieces, showing their training pays off. We’ve picked out to stand out players that should play a big part in FC United’s season.

Charlie Ennis

Also known as, Paul Charlie Ennis. He’s played for Buxton, Stalybridge and Celtic previous to joining FC United. The 29-year-old rose from youth to senior level at Stockport County before he decided to move on. He recently signed for his new club in May from Ashton United and has already made his mark. In the pre-season friendly against Chester, he managed to bag two goals. If pre-season is anything to go by, he should impress in the league.

Jack Lenehan

Another player who joined FC United in May. The midfielder has joined the club with Brian Richardson who is now the clubs assistant manager. He’s joined the club from Prescot Cables and is excited to get started. The comfortable centre midfielder was a part of the squad that beat Chester and will be out to drive the club to wins over the course of the season.

Two Things Brian Richardson Can Bring to FC United Next Season

This last season has been a rollercoaster of a season for FC United of Manchester, through having three managers and 57 players, it has been a season of constant change for the team in red.

In not having a stable squad throughout last season managed to contribute to the Red’s first relegation in their 14-year history. However, Neil Reynold will be hoping to put last season behind him and is already set up for the 2019/2020 season in the Evo-Stik North Premier, as the club announced on Friday that they have brought in a new Assistant Manager, ex-Prescot Cables manager Brian Richardson.

Richardson managed Prescot Cables for two and a half years, in that time he has brought great success to the club as Cables were just avoiding relegation before he took over. Since then, he got the Merseyside team into the playoffs where they just missed out after a late goal by Reynold’s former club, Bamber Bridge. Also under Richardson’s reign, he took them to three consecutive Liverpool Senior Cup Finals, in which they won the first two back to back but lost out to the last one to a penalty shootout. He managed Prescot for 137 matches, of those he won 68, which gives an incredible win percentage of 49.64!

Brian Richardson will be a great addition to Neil Reynold’s management team as he has much experience at this level, as he also worked at Skelmersdale United for ten years and was Assistant Manager. In FC United’s statement, Reynold’s stated “His knowledge at this level is exceptional and has a proven track record of recruiting and developing players” which is bound to get many FC United fans excited for the upcoming season after having such an unsettled squad for the majority of last season. The United faithful will be looking forward to seeing new faces enter Broadhurst Park, as well as seeing some familiar ones hopefully returning for another season at the club.

Since Richardson’s arrival, many FC fans are now looking forward to the season ahead. With having an experienced management team at this level will be a great asset for the club to have in trying to jump straight back up into the National League North, as well as attracting many players to potentially come and play for the team in red!

We Look Back at FC United’s First Relegation Season But What Have They Learnt To Bounce Straight Back.

This season has been a rollercoaster for FC United of Manchester, having three different managers and making unwanted history by getting relegated for the first time ever in their 14 year history.

The start of their season seemed to suggest how their fourth season in the National League North might go after losing 5-1 to local rivals Stockport County in their opening fixture. They also threw away a 3-1 lead to a newly promoted Ashton United, who went on to beat the Moston outfit 4-3. This campaign has seen FC win just one home league match, which was against Curzon Ashton.

If the Red’s had any chance of staying up, they would be relying on their away record which saw them win nine games on the road, to strong teams such as Altrincham, Blyth, Bradford Park Avenue and Telford to name a few. With such a poor home record, United had spent the majority of the season in the bottom three, which lead fan’s to believe throughout the season that relegation was on the cards.

The 2018/19 season also saw United have three managers. Player/Manager Tom Greaves took charge for what was set-up to be his first whole season managing the club, however, just a month into the season saw Greaves step down from his position to make way for the caretaker manager and ex-FC player, Dave Chadwick. Chaddy managed the Red’s for just over a month with ex-Bamber Bridge manager, Neil Reynolds, coming to the club in October to manage United.

In a season that has seen a lot of changes for the Mancunian side with the management, their has also been a lot of changes on the field. With United playing 57 different players throughout the season, which has impacted the performances on the field with their not being a stable set of 11 players to play week in, week out.

Overall, this campaign has been a big learning curve for FC and Neil Reynolds will be looking back at areas he will want to change and improve on for next season in the Northern Premier League. The main one I would suggest would to be having a set squad and line up, to build up a strong squad and by not bringing in new players every week it won’t disturb the flow. Neil Reynold’s will be able to build his own squad this season, which will benefit him as he won’t be inheriting any players that he may not want in his team.

FC United Hope Ashton Can Help Them Close the Gap to Guiseley

This Saturday FC United of Manchester welcome playoff contenders, Kidderminster Harriers, to Broadhurst Park in the Red’s second to last home match of the season. United have lost their form as of late with only one win in five. Kiddy have also dropped the form they will be looking for, if they are looking to finish the season in the playoffs as they have only won two games in their last five but still currently sit in 9th place, 4 points from the playoffs.

United will be looking to see if they can end this poor season on a high and claim all three points in both remaining home fixtures. This campaign has seen only win at home in the league once against local rivals Curzon Ashton in early December, giving them the second poorest home record in the league, first being Nuneaton Borough who have now been officially relegated.

The Red’s away record has seen them win six games on the road, one of which was against Harriers at the Aggborough in what was club legend, Dave Chadwick’s last match as the caretaker manager before Neil Reynolds came to the club. United come from 1-0 down in the reverse fixture, to win 2-1 after Jack Bannister made a statement with two goals to give United all three points.

Tomorrow also sees a huge fixture in the relegation battle as Ashton United travel to Nethermoor Park to face AFC Guiseley. The outcome of this match could impact where FC United will be playing their football next season, as a win for Guiseley would put them nine points clear of FC and with only three matches left to play of the season, this would almost certainly confirm relegation. However, Ashton United now also sit above FC in the table meaning a win for Ashton would put them five points ahead.

It is certainly a big day of football for the Reds tomorrow as it may determine which league United will be in next season. Neil Reynold’s will be looking to make amend on last week’s 2-0 defeat against Darlington, however, many United fans will also have their eye on the Guiseley match in able to prepare for the remaining few fixtures.

FC United Will Look For a Vital 3 Points Against Bottom of The League Nuneaton

FC United welcome Nuneaton Borough to Broadhurst Park this Saturday in the National League North. This will be the Red’s second home fixture within a week as they faced York City on Tuesday night which resulted in a 3-3.

Nuneaton currently sit rock bottom of the table with just 16 points from their 35 matches this season and are currently 20 points from safety. This season has been one that the Boro will want to forget, as there has been many problems the club has faced off the football pitch. The Warwickshire side racked themselves a debt of £32,000 that many believed was too much to pay back and, after their chairman quit in mid February the club was very much in danger of going bust.

The last time these two clubs met was Saturday 29th September which looked to be resulting in a 0-0 draw, however, five minutes from time Enoch Andoh scored a scrappy goal which gave the Boro all three points and put United rock bottom of the table. Therefore, six months on, FC will be hoping to be the ones taking all three points this time around as they are now currently five points adrift of safety.

The Red’s ended up throwing away a 3-1 lead on Tuesday night which resulted in a 3-3 draw against a 10 man York City. To make matters worse, Guiseley also beat Curzon Ashton on that night which extended their lead above FC in the table.

This weekend’s match is a must win for Nuneaton as anything other than a victory will delay the almost inevitable relegation. However, the three points are also crucial for the men in red, as they could potentially give them hope that they will continue to play their football at this level for another season.

United go into this game with the better form with Nuneaton losing their last 6 matches. However, with both teams fighting for the points Saturday’s match is set up to be a thrilling encounter and, definitely not one to be missed. With only six matches left in the Red Rebel’s current campaign, it is all to play for!

FC United Need a Huge Win Against York To Edge Closer To Safety

Tonight, FC United of Manchester host York City at Broadhurst Park in the National League North in a rearranged fixture. The match was originally planned for March 16th, however, referee Amy Fearn postponed the game an hour before kick off due to a waterlogged pitch.

The Red’s looked to be hitting top form at the right time as they had gone 4 matches unbeaten and, had broke the curse of the New Buck’s Head after taking all 3 points back to Manchester in a 3-1 win. However, the unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday as the Red Rebel’s lost 3-1 to local rivals Curzon Ashton, with the game finishing with 10 men after vice captain Harry Winter was sent off with an instant red.

York City are currently sat in 14th and currently sit 4th in the form table, after collecting 13 points from their last six matches. The Minstermen hosted Boston United on Saturday at Bootham Crescent where City went 2-0 up, however in the 78th minute United were level and the match resulted in a 2-2 draw.

FC United will be looking to continue their recent top form in the hope of spending another season in the National League North and will hope that Saturday’s defeat was just a blip. The last time these two met was December 1st which resulted in a 2-0 win for York, after Alex Harris took the lead in the 35th minute. The win was confirmed in the 86th minute after captain Jordan Burrow scored a penalty.

Neil Reynolds will be hoping that the clubs top goal scorer, on 16 league goals, Kurt Willoughby will be able to keep up his magnificent goal scoring record. He scored the opening goal for the reds on Saturday, as well as scoring for England C at Moor Lane last Tuesday in a 2-2 draw against Wales.

With United still hoping to secure their place in the National League North next season and being only three points off Guiseley, who host Curzon Ashton tonight. This match looks set up to be a thrilling match with York hoping to carry on their unbeaten record, and FC United will be hoping to put things right after last weekend’s defeat.

Can FC United’s Win Be The Kickstart They Need to Ensure Safety

This weekend saw FC United finally break the curse of the New Buck’s Head, as the Red’s left Telford United with all 3 points in what was their 6th away win of the season. After being unbeaten in 4 games, it looks as if Neil Reynolds side are hitting top form at the most crucial time of the season.

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The men from Broadhurst Park have travelled down to the New Buck’s Head four times in their 14 year history, and have lost every time and never even taken the lead in these previous encounters. However, after drawing their last 3 matches by playing some fantastic football, many red’s were feeling hopeful going into last weekend’s match.

On Saturday morning FC United announced their new signing, Dominic McHale, who would become their 54th player of their season when he was selected in the starting 11. The midfielder who was at Manchester City’s Academy has previously played for many clubs local to FC United, including Salford, Trafford, Hyde and Ramsbottom. The experienced player opened the scoring on the 33rd minute, after winger Jack Bannister made a run into the box where he passed to McHale who slotted it home from the penalty spot.

Just eight minutes into the second half, Kurt Willoughby doubled FC’s advantage after Jack Bannister once again assisted for the goal, as he broke away at pace and passed to his striking partner inside the box who’s shot hit the back of the net. It took just seven minutes for FC to once again extend their lead, after Jack Bannister got his third assist of the afternoon as he passed it to Tom Peers. Who had been on the pitch for just four minutes after replacing McHale, slotted home to allow the men in red to go 3-0 up as his shot from inside the box flew past the Telford keeper.

The away side looked to be comfortable with a 3-0 advantage however, in the 91st minute the Buck’s narrowed the lead to just two goals after Ellis Deeney, brother of Watford’s striker and Captain Troy Deeney, stepped up to score a consolation penalty.

Neil Reynold’s team have massively improved their play over the past few matches, which has been evident in the fact they are now four games unbeaten. On Monday, Reynolds was also announced as the National League North’s manager of the weekend, with Kurt Willoughby and Jack Bannister also being included in the team of the week.

This weekend the Red’s host an inform York City side at Broadhurst Park, and with both teams hitting top form at a crucial time of the season, this match looks like one that should not be missed.

Photo Credit: @SamCoates94new

Three Draws in a Row, FC United making Steps in The Right Direction Going Into The Final Hurdle

Saturday saw FC United of Manchester host Hereford at Broadhurst Park. The match resulted in a thrilling 2-2 draw that saw the Red’s edge closer to safety, after 19th placed Guiseley dropped points to Southport losing 1-0. Which allowed United to ever-so-slightly close the gap to six points and, hope with only 9 games left of the current campaign, they would be able to escape relegation.

It was the men in red who took the lead against The Bull’s with an early goal from Chris Sharp, however, after the early pressure from the hosts they seemed to sit back after having the advantage which allowed the visitors to get on top. United’s keeper, on loan from Blackburn Rovers, Andy Fisher made a sublime save to keep FC in the lead, however this didn’t last long, as just 5 minutes after going ahead, the scoreline was now level as Mike Symons took advantage of the Red Rebel’s poor defending. The goal coming from 2 simple passes direct from the right back position

United started the second half looking like the team more likely to secure all three points with a very clear match plan to attack. However, it was the Herefordshire side who took the lead 10 minutes after the restart with a world class strike from outside the box from Eliot Richards. Regardless of the set back this didn’t affect United’s team effort as they still kept pushing for a long awaited win. Reynold’s made his game plan evident with his attacking substitutes Jack Bannister and Mike Donohue.

As the game was coming up to the 90th minute it was looking as if it would be another one of those days for the Red’s, which was a feeling many of the United faithful have been far too familiar with this season. In the first of five minutes of stoppage time FC won a free kick just outside of the penalty area, where the club’s top scorer Kurt Willoughby stepped up to score his 14th league goal of the season via a deflection from the Bull’s defensive wall to earn the Red Rebels a hard fought point.

Although United have had to settle for just a point for the last three fixtures, their recent positive team performances, battling up until the final whistle and Guiseley recent slump in form have all set up for an exciting end to the 2018/19 season. Many of United’s fans have now got new hope in being able to spend another season in the National League North. This Saturday’s away match to 7th placed AFC Telford seems to have a put a buzz around the place, as the men in red are now hoping for a long awaited 3 points!, and with their away record being better than their home, they will believe a win is possible.

Photo Credit: Sam Coates – https://www.flickr.com/people/145584098@N02/

FC United Face a Huge Clash With Hereford, How Can Reynolds Mastermind a Potential Season-Saving Win

FC United of manchester manager Neil Reynolds

This Saturday will see FC United of Manchester play partially fan owned Hereford F.C in the National League North, in what fans are describing as just one of many cup finals for the Manchester club. With them currently setting their sights on potential safety for next season as they are presently sat within the dropzone.

Although The Red’s are still positioned in relegation, their last two matches have given both the fans and manager Neil Reynolds a sense of hope about where they will be playing their football next season, an interview with FCUM Radio after the stalemate against North West rivals Southport, Reynolds stated that he believes United will not be relegated come the end of the season, which has given many Red’s the hope that they have not had throughout this season.

Reynolds will also be hoping that his key attacking players will be able to step up to the task of keeping them in the National League North, for what will be their fifth consecutive season playing their football at this level. Clubs top scorer Kurt Willoughby, with 13 league goals so far this campaign, has proven in previous matches that he is able to keep his composure in tough matches that the men in red have faced this season, by scoring crucial goals against Guiseley in United’s last home match to clinch the Red’s a well-deserved point after being 3-1 down at one point in the match.

FC’s visitors on Saturday, The Bull’s, are currently sat in 18th place in The National League North table and are 5 points clear of safety, they will also be hoping for the three points in an attempt to ensure that they will be playing their football at this level, after being promoted last season when they were crowned Champions of the Southern League Premier Division. The Bull’s weaknesses occur upfront as they have the second lowest goals total in the league, with just five more than Nuneaton who currently sit bottom of the table having scored only 28 league goals.

However, a problem that Neil Reynold’s men may occur is getting past their oppositions back line as the Herefordshire side have the 8th best defensive record in the league, with six of the teams within that eight being those challenging for the playoffs.

Reynold’s confidence over these last two matches has quite clearly given the United faithful new hope for the remainder of the season, which sets Saturday’s match to be a thrilling encounter and could potentially lead to FC getting what will be only their second home win of the season.

This match is definitely not one to be missed!

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