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Old 02-23-2014, 11:09 AM   #232
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Wed. February 9, 2022

FA Cup - 4th Round Replay
Manchester United vs. Dover
Old Trafford, Manchester, UK

Betting Odds: Manchester United: 4-7 (Favourites) Draw: N/A Dover: 4-1
Past Meetings: 1W 1D 8L

This is the third meeting of the year between us and United and we will face them one more time in only three days. The winner of today's match moves to the fifth round to face Fulham. As usual with United, if we can stop Yaya Sanogo, we have a chance. We have a win and a draw against them this year in home matches but we've never gotten a positive result at Old Trafford.

We'll play tight today, going with a counter attacking mentality. Youssouf Sylla will play in net and Giorgos Gesios, back from a three game suspension, will take over a striker position from in-form Paul Moses, who is ineligible today because he's a United player on loan with us. Zoltan Bardi will be on the bench and Wayne Rooney will start against his lifelong club.

Dover: 4-4-2 Counter
GK - Y. Sylla
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios, W. Rooney
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, Mancini, E. Harvey, C. Murray, A. Zubizarreta, Z. Bardi

Whoa! Sanogo ISN'T starting for United today! They go with Tom Bull and Marco Tebaldi up front and Sanogo isn't even on the bench! Liviu Dragomir is also in net again in place of regular starter Emiliano Viviano so United is not taking this game as seriously as we are. Still, these are all good players and we'll have to be at our best to get a result. My assistant wants to say that we can win tonight and I go with that assessment. I tell Gesios I expect him to pick up where he left off with his form before the suspension and also tell Sylla and Cairney I have faith in their abilities (their morale is middle of the road right now).

3' - We have complete control early but United work a bit of a counter. It's an innocent looking play as Omar Hernandez works toward the area but Salim Loucif is there and kicks the ball away from him. Unfortunately, it hits Andrea Rocca and bounces back into the danger area and Tom Bull gets it and quickly sends it by Youssouf Sylla and we're behind early. Terrible bounce and simply bad luck. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 0-1

8' - We seem stunned by the United goal and now they are carrying play. They move up field with precision and it's Bull sending in strike partner Marco Tebaldi. He beats Sylla with a shot but NOT the cross bar and the ball bounces to safety.

10' - Gesios chases the ball down the left side and wins the race. He sends a quick pass back to Arsene Bamba, who is just approaching the left corner of the area and he immediately feeds Andrea Rocca in the middle. Rocca sends a left footed curling shot into the left hand corner of the net and just like that, Rocca redeems himself and we're tied! DOVER GOAL 1-1

15' - United work a quick counter attack after a botched corner and Salim Loucif is forced to take down a player from behind. Easy yellow there.

17' - United cross into the box and midfielder Brett Adams sends a header toward goal but Sylla is there for the save.

29' - Rooney gets a glorious chance on a Gesios cross into the area but Dragomir knocks it away just as the veteran was about to strike it in.

32' - Our old friend Cristian Rodriguez, the young defender who was snapped up from us by United last year, fouls Bamba and we get a free kick from midfield. Cairney gets the ball to Bamba who then feeds a through ball into the area. Gesios wins the race and shoots - it's going wide but it hits central defender Bruno Ecuele Manga and goes IN TO THE NET! That's officially an own goal and we're AHEAD! DOVER GOAL 2-1

35' - Now it's United that seems stunned. Rooney works a counter down the right flank and sends a low cross into the area. Gesios finds it and shoots hard but JUST wide!

41' - HOLY CRAP! We work another counter and again it's Bamba sending it up to Giorgos Gesios. Rodriguez has him covered but from the byline, Gesios sends in a lovely little left footed cross and Wayne ROONEY heads it into the net past a diving Dragomir! Rooney has been drinking from the fountain of youth! His fourth goal in four games and we're up TWO!!! DOVER GOAL 3-1

HALFTIME - Well, United have good control of the ball as we're content to sit back and counter today, as they hold 56% of possession and shots are 5-5 (3-2 on target) for United as well. It seems like there's been more action than that but I'm delighted, even with United starting mostly a B squad. I tell the team I'm pleased and make no real changes - I eliminate a couple of "opposition instructions" I had on their strikers, as it seems to push our central defence out of position. We'll just sit back and counter the rest of the game and hopefully close them out.

51' - This is unbelievable. We work a throw in down the left side and we pass the ball beautifully, from Bamba, to Gesios, to Rocca and then to Rooney in the middle. He's five yards outside the area and sends a lovely ball through the defence that GIanluca Bolis latches onto and calmly deposits past Dragomir and into the net. Even I'm stunned at this development! DOVER GOAL 4-1

55' - Rooney has the ball in midfield and sends a great ball up to Gesios. He's in on goal and he's fouled in the area by Antoine Jong. THAT'S A PENALTY!!! Neil Cairney steps up confidently but picks the wrong corner, as Dragomir makes a brilliant diving save to keep the score 4-1. Damn Cairney!

59' - Time to start thinking about the next game against United. We take off Rocca and bring in Mancini.

60' - Gesios feeds Cairney just outside the area and his hard, low shot is saved by Dragomir.

65' - Aitor Zubizarreta is on for Gianluca Bolis.

69' - Marco Tebaldi runs down field and beats Claudio Contreras to the ball. From a poor angle he rips a shot that gets past Sylla but hits the goal post! Whew!

73' - We make our last substitution, taking out Arsene Bamba and bringing in Cameron Murray.

76' - Gesios deserves a goal today - he's been brilliant. He storms down the left side, makes a great move back inside and delivers another glorious cross but Rooney's header is saved by Dragomir.

82' - Tebaldi gets a great cross into Bull but from the penalty spot, his shot is right at Sylla and it's an easy save.

86' - United work the ball up field nicely and substitute striker Ishak Belfodil gets through our defence and shoots low into the far corner of the net. United strikes but too little, too late. MANCHESTER UNITED GOAL 4-2

87' - Off the ensuing kick off, Gesios storms up field down the right side, feeds Rooney in the box and his piledriver is saved by Dragomir!

We beat United at Old Trafford!

Manchester United 2 - 4 Dover
Goals - Andrea Rocca (8.1), Wayne Rooney (8.6), Gianluca Bolis (8.1), Bruno Ecuele Manga OG
Assists - Giorgos Gesios 2 (7.9), Arsene Bamba (7.9), Wayne Rooney
Man of the Match - Wayne Rooney
Other Dover Notables - Youssouf Sylla (7.1), Salim Loucif (7.3)
Attendance - 57,299

Sensational! United hold 54% of the ball today but we outshoot them 14-13 (7-5 on target). Another milestone victory for our club as we knock off a Premier League powerhouse in their stadium. Rooney is incredible right now.

-- We get 92,000 for moving on to the next round, where we'll face Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Next Up

-- Yet another game against Manchester United and again it's at Old Trafford as we face each other in a key Premier League matchup.
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