FC United of Manchester U21s, UCFB’s Undergraduate Academy Manchester side, maintained their lead at the top of the North West U21 Development League with a hard fought 2-0 win at St Helens Town.

From the off, FC United looked to establish their way of playing and early into the game created chances which forced the St Helens goalkeeper into making a number of saves. As the first half developed, chances were limited and it was the home side that scored against the run of play via a direct free kick that was assisted by a strong wind.

Into the second half and assisted by the conditions, FC United began to dominate the game. After wasting numerous chances United finally found an equaliser – a counter attack quickly enabled Salou Jallou to run at the St Helens defence before calmly turning back and finishing with a neat attempt. The winning goal came soon after following a clever cross from Joel Mills which was headed in at the far post by Will Ozono.

After the game, head coach Kevin Braybrook said: “Today was difficult, with the conditions and against a well organised and hardworking St Helens. We showed some really good play from deep and through the thirds initially, but couldn’t quite produce an end product. We began to dominate as the game went on and after introducing some subs and adjusting the shape we were able to create further opportunities. The two goals were very good and showed our ability to counter attack and play quickly in the final third. Overall it was a difficult game but full credit to the squad and their performance with a pleasing result.”