FC United win inaugural Bulls Cup in Jersey

FC United win inaugural Bulls Cup in Jersey

FC United won their second trophy in five weeks with a comfortable 6-1 victory over Jersey Bulls in St Helier on Sunday afternoon.

Harry McGee bagged a hat-trick after Charlie Ennis, Max McCarthy and Regan Linney had put the Reds in total control. 

Neil Reynolds’ side beat London club Cray Wanderers 3-0 just 22 hours earlier in their semi-final to set up a showpiece final with the tournament hosts. 

It was a match the Reds won at a canter in the sweltering 30 degree heat to add to the Fenix Trophy, which they won last month in Rimini. 

McGee, a 19 year-old loanee from Wigan Athletic, will rightly get the plaudits for his three-goal man of the match haul, but there were some fantastic performances across the team. Not least from captain Ennis, who pulled the strings for United in central midfield throughout the afternoon.

The Reds were so dominant it didn’t even matter that Ennis had a penalty well saved by goalkeeper Euan Van der Vliet in the opening couple of minutes. 

He redeemed himself a little over 10 minutes later when the visitors were awarded another penalty. Ennis didn’t shirk his responsibility and confidently scored from the spot at the second time of asking to make it 1-0.

United doubled their lead six minutes later. Ennis played a superb through ball down the right wing for Linney, who sprang the offside trap just inside the Bulls half. United’s talisman carried the ball into the box, drew Van der Vliet off his line and unselfishly squared for the unmarked McCarthy to make it 2-0. The Stoke City loanee scoring his third goal in two days, after bagging a brace against Cray Wanderers.

Ten minutes later it was 3-0. Linney seemed to be everywhere and this time he broke free down the left wing before dribbling into the six yard box and once again squaring for a team mate to score. McGee was the beneficiary on this occasion as he bagged his first goal of the day. 

The Bulls barely had a minute to regroup before United carved them open again. Linney got his third assist of the game when he sent McGee through one-on-one. The youngster made it look easy as he rounded Van der Vliet on the edge box before slotting the ball into the empty net for 4-0.

Every credit to Jersey, despite being overwhelmed at the back, they didn’t stop pressing forward and trying to play attractive, passing football. 

Ten minutes before half-time, they were given an unlikely route back into the match from the penalty spot when Josh Askew shoved striker Lorne Bickley to the ground from behind. 

Ruben Mendes gave Dan Lavercombe no chance with a well-struck penalty into the bottom left corner to make it 4-1. 

It proved to be a mere consolation as United added two more goals without reply in the second half. 

Around the hour mark, Ennis played a sublime diagonal ball from the right back area of his own half to Linney on the left wing. Linney showed expert skill to take the ball down with one touch, dribble into the box and curl a shot around the keeper for 5-1.

The rout was completed 15 minutes later. Linney saw his fierce shot saved by Van Der Vliet but the rebound fell to the unmarked McGee, who slammed the ball home for his hat-trick and FC United’s sixth.  

The Reds know much tougher tests will be in store this season, but they can be delighted with two wins in two days, nine goals scored, just one conceded, and a second trophy of the summer. 

Website man of the match: Harry McGee. Difficult not to give the award to a hat-trick hero. However, it was a terrific team performance and in particular the stalwarts of Ennis, Linney, Lavercombe and Curtis Jones all deserve a mention for exceptional displays. 

Report by Matthew Haley 

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