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FC United stumble through in thrilling cup semi-final against Irlam

FC United of manchester manager Neil Reynolds

In the semi-final of the Manchester FA Frank Hannah Premier Cup, FC United of Manchester entertained Irlam FC.

Irlam FC from the North West Counties Premier League, in the opening 20 minutes had the better chances of the 2 sides. As they looked to cause an upset at Boundary Park.

Irlam’s compact display while looking to hit FC United on the counter-attack game plan, had the home side struggling in the early exchanges.

FC United manager Neil Reynolds instructed to his forward line to press on the compact defence, and start to play in the wide pockets with the advancing full-backs.

FC United started to open the game up through the wide spaces, creating problems down either flank through full-backs Donohue and Dodd.

A great dummy by Owolabi left Dodd bursting into the 18-yard box, to cut it across goal for Sinclair-Smith to tap into the net. With FC United 1-0 up, Reynolds side smelt blood and soon added a second through Ennis.

Going into half time the game looked a formality.

Irlam pushed on

Irlam came out of the traps in the second half. A stray pass by goalkeeper Belford seen the ball land at half time substitute Southworth’s feet inside the box, as he calmly slotted it home to make it 2-1.

Irlam pushed on, as the tie opened up into a real end to end cup match.

Substitute’s Linney and Hawley brought a freshness to FC United’s play as they aimed to calm the oncoming waves of attacks from Irlam.

Irlam’s second-half display should have earned them to go past the 90 minutes. As they pushed the home side to earn every inch of their victory and were rightly clapped off at the end.

FC United go through to the Cup final and will face Trafford FC, who defeated Droylsden 3-2 in the other semi-final.