FCUM looking strong in back-to-back pre-season friendlies
- Playing in a Saturday, Tuesday format, FC United have faced Bootle FC and Bury AFC at home in two pre-season friendlies
- The Reds are now four unbeaten in their pre-season
- They will be looking to build on this as they head for the Channel Islands for a mini tournament, where they face Jersey Bulls, Cray Wanderers and Hashtag United
FC United continued in their gruelling pre-season schedule with a 0-0 draw against Bootle. The Reds had more of the ball and had the better of the chances throughout, but weren't able to convert them into goals.
For many FC fans, as the afternoon sun was beating down on Broadhurst Park, it was a chance to see some of Neil Reynolds' new recruits. It was an impressive home debut for new man Eddy Maico, with his drive and skill on the ball was something that the opposition seemed to struggle to deal with.
There were also impressive performances from Willan in the FC goal, who denied the team from Merseyside a winner at the death.
FC struggled to break the offside trap through the game but remained on top, stayed in control and continued to test the Bootle goal in the second period.
This game was later described as a ‘difficult training session’ by Chaz Ennis, and you get the feeling that although on paper a 0-0 draw would suggest something of a damp squib, the men in red have taken a lot away from the game in terms of their tactical set-up and fitness.
FC United faced two local sides at Broadhurst Park in the past week: Bootle FC on Saturday Bury AFC on Tuesday. FC were kept to a scoreless draw against Bootle and played out an excellent and comprehensive 4-2 win against Bury on Tuesday night.
For the Bury fixture, FC manager Neil Reynolds prefaced it with the suggestion that he was going to rest some legs for this fixture with the upcoming trip to Jersey in mind.
This was far from what the fans saw from the sun-drenched terraces, with United putting in a comprehensive display at the top and bottom of the pitch to see out a 4-2 win.
The game saw the return of a couple more first team players absent from the Bootle fixture, including Dan Lavercombe, and Chris Taylor.
The Reds went 1-0 down through some confusing circumstances, as the referee had seemed to have blown for the foul, changed his mind and while the FC defence were at sixes and sevens,.
Bury squirmed the ball into the back of the net after just three minutes. FC levelled in the 16th minute with Edy Maieco flicking the ball across the face of goal, teasing the fans watching in the SMRE, only for Alex Wollerton to follow in and clatter the ball home.
It would be another 15 minutes until FC broke the 1-1 deadlock and took the lead, with Chris Taylor slamming the ball home from close range as a deep corner eluded the Bury goalkeeper, and all of his defenders.
An element of this fixture that seems to be different from the Bootle game is the defensive organisation, with FC battling hard for every ball and sliding in at every opportunity to retrieve it.
This defensive bravery somewhat backfired for FC as the visitors were given an extremely soft penalty, but no matter. Dan Lavercombe got down excellently to his right to deny the Shakers a leveller.
FC began to stretch their legs a little more in front of the home crowd, and in doing grabbed a third goal, with Wollerton smashing the ball at the Bury keeper.
FC came out for the second half with the same hunger and desire as they had in the first. They made a raft of changes and this showed when Bury pulled one back from the tightest of angles into the back post.
FC didn't seem to be flustered though, as Edy Maieco would step up to grab his second of the game. This one would be one for the highlights reel as he stepped in from the left hand side, dummied a tackle and slotted the ball neatly into the far corner away from the ‘Keepers grasp.
As the FC social media team called it on Twitter - saucy!
Next up for FC is a trip to the Channel Islands as they take on the Jersey Bulls, Cray Wanderers and Hashtag United in a two day tournament.
We’re looking to be less passive in our games this season
Here is what FC manager Neil Reynolds had to say after both fixtures:
“We’re looking to be less passive in our games this season. I feel that there were points last term where we paid too much respect to teams and we were punished for it, so we’re building a strong spine for this year.
“We’re looking to play a little bit more defensive this year, a little more expansive. I know fans love to see goals, we all do, but I think that goals can come from anywhere, thats what we’re looking to build on.
“I’ve heard people saying that we need a striker, a recognised man up top, but what we’re trying to get across to the players is that we want the goals we score to come from all over the park, not just one man up top.”