FC Isle of Man crest

MATCH REPORT: Chadderton FC 0 – 1 FC Isle of Man

Under the floodlights of The Falcon Fire Stadium, FC Isle of Man clashed with Chadderton for the second time in just eight days on Tuesday evening, during a gritty encounter. Despite the ominous weather threatening to derail proceedings, the relentless efforts of the Chadderton ground staff ensured the game kicked off on schedule after multiple pitch inspections throughout the day.

The match erupted into life within twenty-two seconds of the first whistle. Charlie Higgins firstly pounced on a defencive error, he drove into the box and let go of a ferocious effort, keeper Morgan Bacon could only parry it away, where it fell perfectly into the path of Dan Hattersley, who made no mistakes, firing the ball into the net. The early goal set the tone for a pulsating encounter as the Ravens drew first blood in stunning fashion.

As the game settled into a rhythm, Chadderton sought to assert themselves, enjoying prolonged spells of possession. However, the centre-back partnership of Callum Sherry and Phil Kelly proved unyielding, snuffing out any potential threats. Despite their territorial dominance, Chadderton failed to breach the resolute FC IOM defence. Matthew Crothers coming closest 3 minutes before the break when he rattled the post with a wicked free kick, FC IOM took a solitary goal lead into halftime.

The second half witnessed a surge in intensity, with both teams exchanging blows in a bid to seize control. Chadderton launched a barrage of attacks, testing the resolve of the FC IOM rearguard with a flurry of shots and set-pieces. Adam Killey once again emerged as a formidable obstacle, showcasing impeccable reflexes to keep Chadderton at bay with a number of crucial saves from set pieces and one-on-one’s.

Subsequent substitutions from both sides injected fresh impetus into the contest, with FC IOM displaying commendable resilience in maintaining their slender advantage. Ste Whitley and Frank Jones then both had half chances comfortably saved.

The closing stages saw frantic end-to-end football, and as we entered added time, the home side were reduced to 10 men when Joseph Richards was sent off for a second bookable offence. Despite the numerical disadvantage, they continued to throw everything, including their goalkeeper, forward in search of an elusive equaliser. However, the Ravens expertly executed their game management plan and held firm, repelling wave after wave of Chadderton assaults.

As the final whistle blew, FC IOM clung on to their early lead to secure a hard-fought victory away from home. With three precious points in the bag, FC IOM now turn their attention to a gruelling double-header weekend, facing Colne on Friday evening before locking horns with Barnoldswick Town on Saturday afternoon. As they march forward in pursuit of a play-off place.