So on an untypically warm summer's afternoon at the Park, City continue their fine pre-season form with a comfortable 3-1 stroll against fellow supporter-owned club FC United of Manchester in front of 1464 supporters, including a particularly well voiced section from the visitors. City lined up: Krysiak; Woodman, Baldwin, Coles, Tully; Gosling, Oakley, Doherty, Chamberlain; Bauza, Nichols.
Despite City being content to let their opponents enjoy the majority of the early possession, it was City who came closest to opening the scoring with the first attack of the game after five minutes. Bauza's drilled square ball found first year pro Jake Gosling wide on the left who scampered forward unafraid to take on his defender. After working space on the outside, Gosling drilled a low ball across the keeper to the far corner where unfortunately it bounced back off the inside of the post behind the keeper before being cleared.
Ten minutes later though City did score, although it was in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. A stumbling defender in front of the players' tunnel was mugged by the quick thinking Elliott Chamberlain who raced towards goal. With Gosling steaming in unshepherded at the far post, triallist Chamberlain fired a low ball that deflected off a defender and through the keeper on the way to the back of the net to make it 1-0 to City.
Two minutes later City doubled their lead in fine fashion from a very quickly taken free kick from Matt Oakley 25 yards out. He flicked the ball forward to Bauza in a ridiculous amount of space on the edge of the box who in turn forwarded the ball to Nichols for a first time shot that was well blocked. Unfortunately for the visitors it fell straight to Bauza who had plenty of time and space to poke the ball home inside the near post from 10 yards out to make it 2-0.
Nichols almost made it three a further two minutes later after some nifty work inside the box chasing a wonderfully weighted Gosling through ball, but with the goal at his mercy had a rush of blood to the head and blasted over. City did get the ball in the net on the half hour after an electric one touch move from Bauza, Gosling and Nichols, but the linesman's flag ruled out Nichols' classy low finish for offside. Somewhat harshly ruled out, too.
Five minutes later Jacob Cane was introduced at Doherty's expense, then ten minutes after that Gosling's effort from range was easily collected by the FCUM keeper. With seconds of the half remaining Cane sent Gosling away down the left where his chip to the far top corner from 15 yards out was acrobatically tipped over for a corner.
At the start of the second half manager Tisdale sent out a whole new team, so for this half City lined up: Evans; Frear, Moore-Taylor, Amankwaah, Dawson; Davies, Bennett, Keohane, Sercombe; O'Flynn, Gow. It didn't take long for the new line-up to find the net with barely sixty seconds on the clock when O'Flynn expertly collected a long ball over the top before teeing up Gow arriving late. Showing the sort of twinkle-toed movement Fred Astaire would be proud of, Gow danced his way into the box before wrong footing the keeper and nonchalantly chipping the ball over him into the net from close range.
FC finally had something to cheer about five minutes later with a well finished goal. The ball was worked down the left and crossed - via an attacker and two City defenders all of whom failed to control the ball properly - to Matt Wolfenden who showed everyone how it was done by bringing the ball down and lashing it past Evans in the City goal to make it 3-1.
O'Flynn had a chance of an immediate reply latching onto another long ball over the top, but after comfortably beating a poorly worked offside trap contrived to guide the ball onto the base of the post from a one on one with the keeper fifteen yards out.
Midway through the half Keohane's smart ball out to the right found Sercombe who again beat a poorly worked offside trap to race through for another one on one with the keeper, but this time the keeper rushed out to smother Sercombe's shot at his feet. Jordan Tillson replaced Dawson with fifteen minutes to go as City saw out the remainder of the game to run out easy winners.
So well done to all for a decent performance against a hard working side. It's been a good pre-season so far with 7-3 and 4-0 away wins, and that was continued with City's 12th, 13th and 14th goals of the season! But it's not all about the goals, although mention must go to Gosling for his first half performance and Gow for his second half efforts, the defence looked pretty assured with Baldwin and new club captain Coles at the helm, and the tenacious Doherty in midfield. Without getting too carried away, at this rate we might be in danger of having a half decent season if we're not careful!