Moss Side 3 - 1 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Musson, Stiff, Bishop (C), McDonald, Schmidt (Trecarichi), Saxon, Creasey, Harrison, Berté, MacHugh (Connolly).
Man of the Match: Bishop
Rolling Stones Gather No Moss
With Premiership survival now guaranteed, AFC Didsbury were looking to upset the balance of the MASFL pyramid by beating the dominant force of Moss Side Old House in a league fixture - a feat reported to be last achieved by another MASFL team over 10 seasons ago.
Early possession was used well by Didbsury, who carved openings
on a couple of occasions but failed to really test the Moss Side
A swirling north-westerly wind meant headaches for defensive lines, and makeshift Didsbury centre-back duo, Mike Stiff and Chris Bishop, were kept on their toes by their pacey opponents. Didsbury looked to be weathering the worst of it, with the gangly playmaker Luke Berté providing the outlet more often than not.
The pressure told after 25 minutes however, with the Moss Side front pair combining with a neat flick-on and diagonal run. The no.10 was bearing down on goal when a last-ditch lunge brought him crashing to the ground. The referee had no choice but to point to the spot, murmurings in the crowd rightly questioning the decision to allow the centre back to continue his endeavours un-carded.
A decisive penalty ensued, and Didsbury's confidence took a visible knock as they contemplated trying to get back in the tie.
As the first half wore-on, Moss Side began turning the screw, with attackers down both wings starting to smell blood. A second Moss Side penalty was awarded when left-back Colin McDonald appeared to handle the ball as he tussled with his opponent in the area. Visibly aggrieved at the decision, McDonald promptly removed his shirt and stormed toward the changing rooms before being dissuaded of leaving by his team mates. He returned to the pitch just in time to see the second penalty despatched as confidently as the first;
2-0 at the break.
The wind was literally in Moss Side's sails in a second half, which saw Didsbury struggle to hold possession and the home side bagged a third goal from a lofted ball in behind the Didsbury back-line. The Moss Side captain and no. 9 finding room to set-up his colleague for a precise header. Although Didsbury keeper James Leighton pulled-off a string of fine saves throughout the game, he could only watch as this effort nestled inside his right-hand post.
The Didsbury forwards, particularly Berté and Kieran MacHugh, continued to work tirelessly, and on another day may have been luckier with some tight offside decisions. With 15 minutes left on the clock, a perfectly-timed run and deftly-lobbed finish from substitute Paul Trecarichi, gave the the away side a glimmer of hope; although you always felt Moss Side had another gear they could use if needs be.
3-1 the result and Moss Side’s reign continues. AFC Didsbury do get another bite at the cherry before the season's end; they'll need to improve on this performance if they hope for a sunnier Sunday morning.
Words by Matt Harrison
Lass O Gowrie 0 - 3 AFC Didbsury
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Mackie (Musson), Johnson, Battersby (C) (Rogers), Jaffray, Rushton (Stiff), Bishop, Creasey, McDonald, Harrison, Corbett.
Goals: Harrison (2), Bishop
Assists: Corbett, Stiff, Creasey
Man of the Match: Harrison
Didsbury Dip Not 'Furlong'
AFC Didsbury finally chalked three points on the MASFL Premier Division board after a second half of the season they'd rather forget. Results in recent weeks have been telling after some below-par displays but a measured performance against long-running rivals Lass O Gowrie should give the Didsbury confidence going into a tough run-in to the close of the season.
The omens always looked good for the south-Manchester outfit. They ominated early possession and when no. 9, Mike Corbett, cushioned a lofted through ball back to strike partner Matt Harrison, stood forty yards from goal, the striker didn't hesitate in unleashing a measured out-swinging half-volley, which looped over the helpless Lass' 'keeper into the top-left corner of the goal.
As the first half progressed Lass' probed the AFCD defence with numerous through-balls and long-throws, but centre halves Paul Johnson and John Battersby were in dominant form, limiting Lass' to a pair of chances outside the box; both being weakly executed and gratefully received by Didsbury’s 'keeper, James Leighton.
The second half saw further chances for Didsbury, with the Lass O Gowrie goalie pulling off a string of fine saves. However, the pressure soon told and, as substitute Mike Stiff rose above the back post crowd to nod the ball across goal, Harrison was on hand to secure his brace with a tap-in.
Didsbury secured the points four minutes later when midfield general, Chris Bishop, rifled low and hard into the right side of the net.
The only sour point to the game was the loss of Colin McDonald to a knee injury which has nagged him all season. It didn't look too serious and hopefully for him the substitution was just a precaution as he shows great promise when fit and playing in his pomp.
Didsbury now have three games remaining as their inaugural MASFL Premier League season reaches its climax on 7th May.
Words by Matt Harrison
Davyhulme Park 2 - 2 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didbsury: Leighton, Musson, Johnson, Battersby (C), Jaffray, Mackie, Richardson, Berté, MacHugh (Trecarichi), McDonald, Corbett (Eaves).
Goals: MacHugh, McDonald
Man of the Match: Richardson
Didsbury denied by Davyhulme
Windy conditions and a heavy pitch provided the ingredients for a true Sunday League encounter, which was certainly not a game for the spectators.
After a recent run of bad form, it was the away side, Didsbury, who seemed most up for the fight and enjoyed the territorial advantage for the majority of the first half. However, it was not until the 40th minute that this pressure was converted into goals and this arrived courtesy of a well struck, Kieran MacHugh free kick, which seemed to wrong foot the Davyhulme goalkeeper and sailed into the net.
After the break Didsbury continued to dominate and soon added a second goal. A quick counter attack resulted in a low cross from the right wing; the cross was only partially cleared into the path of the onrushing Colin McDonald, whose low strike found the bottom corner. McDonald will be thrilled to be on the score sheet again, after injury has significantly restricted his game time this
At 2-0, Didsbury continued to dominate the game and created further chances. Davyhulme had their goal keeper to thank for 2 excellent saves, one following an ambitious run from full back, Adam Musson, and the other from goal hungry
The turning point came in the last 10 minutes of the match when a hopeful Davyhulme cross held up in the wind and deceived the Didsbury defence, this allowed their forward to score with a well taken header.
The equaliser came deep into stoppage time, when poor marking at the back post from a long throw in allowed Davyhulme to score with a brave
Davyhulme celebrated the 2-2 draw like they had won the game and ultimately Didsbury were left rueing the unconverted chances which would have sealed the victory.
With only 4 league games remaining, Didsbury must work hard to
ensure they end the season in a similar style to how they started it.
Words by Ben Jaffray
Moss Side 6 - 4 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Mackie, Johnson, Battersby (C), Jaffray, MacHugh (Quaye), Bishop, Creasey, Harrison, Berté, Corbett.
Goals: Corbett (2), Creasey, Harrison
Assists: Creasey, Berte, Corbett
Man of the Match: Corbett
A goal-laden encounter between the unbeaten favourites and newly
promoted Didsbury ended up in a ten-goal blockbuster.
A huge build-up to the game came from the fact that Didsbury were pitted against a Moss Side outfit who have gone nearly ten years without losing a competitive league fixture, something Didsbury were desperate to remedy.
Pre-match nerves were soon soothed when man-of-the-match, Mike Corbett, capitalised on a sloppy back pass, rounded the keeper and slotted home to put Didsbury into a deserved lead. Didsbury did not hold onto the lead for long though, as a routine set-piece from Moss Side was not dealt with and the scores were level.
Shortly after, came the goal of the game. Neat one-touch football between Neil Creasey and Matt Harrison set Creasy loose in the box, and he took the ball in his stride to back heel it into the path of Corbett, who finished emphatically into the far corner.
Then, came drama. The impressive Luke Berté was set free and bearing down on goal, when the Moss Side keeper callously tripped him up. An obvious penalty, and despite denying a clear goal scoring opportunity, the referee decided to keep his cards in his pocket. Unperturbed by the controversy, Creasy stepped up to despatch the penalty and Didsbury were 3-1 up. Dreamland.
However, nightmares followed, and mistakes led to two goals being conceded before half-time, and it was 3-3 at the break.
The myth of Moss Side gone, Didsbury started the second half strongly, and Harrison got on the score sheet when he was found by Corbett at the near post, and he calmly put Didsbury back in the lead.
The threat of set pieces from Moss Side however remained and from then, two finishes of the highest quality, put them in the lead for the first time in the game. With no option left but attack, Didsbury stuck free-scoring centre back and captain, John Battersby, up front. The plan almost work, but Battersby’s footwork did not match his positive positioning or movement and two chances went begging.
Moss side scored a sixth, and the score could have been worse but a penalty given away by Mackie was skied.
In the end, a gallant defeat, one that will go down as a glorious failure but ultimately one that will be a disappointment for the travelling side.
Words by Ollie Quaye
MUSC 3 - 2 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Musson, Rogers, Battersby (C), Jaffray, Stiff, Mackie, Bishop, MacHugh (Quaye), Corbett, Harrison.
Goals: Corbett, Battersby
Assists: Harrison, MacHugh
Man of the Match: Harrison
Didsbury come unstuck against Manchester United Supporters
A diligent tactical performance was marred by a second half horror show that saw Didsbury surrender a 2 goal lead.
The away side began with a clear game plan, allowing MUSC to keep possession in deep areas and looking to spring the counter attack and exploit spaces on the flanks. The strategy worked well and early in the game, AFC Didsbury winger and man of the match, Matt Harrison beat his full-back and delivered a pinpoint cross to Mike Corbett who made no mistake with a cool, side-footed finish.
After carving out numerous chances that went begging, captain and centre back, John Battersby added a second after good work down the right flank by Kieran MacHugh.
Shortly after this, a defensive mix-up gave MUSC a penalty after Adam Musson was adjudged to have brought down a player inside the box. Thankfully for Didsbury the penalty hit the outside of James Leighton’s post and went
The second half brought a reversal of fortunes and MUSC got back into the game by clawing back a goal. The goal deflated Didsbury and they were not able to see as much of the ball as they had in the opening 45.
With only 10 minutes left on the clock, Didsbury goalkeeper, James Leighton misjudged a deflected effort from range, which snuck inside his near post. Throughout the second half it appeared that numerous decisions weren’t going Didbsury’s way, putting them under more pressure than was deserved. This pressure drastically took its toll and during the dying breaths of the game, Mike Stiff’s backwards header was seized upon and led to a cool finish from an MUSC
Dejected and angry Didsbury traipsed off wondering what might have been. The referee’s performance was certainly below par but the away side will still be wondering how they managed to throw away a two goal lead.
Didsbury’s next fixture is in the J A Kennedy Cup, where they face last year’s winners, Moss Side Old House. This will be the first time that the two sides have met and is sure to be an exciting encounter.
Sunday 3 March, KO 11am, Seymour Park.
Words by Ollie Quaye
Stretford Victoria 3 - 1 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Rogers, Johnson, Battersby (C), Jaffray, Quaye, Stiff, Bishop, McDonald, Berté, Harrison, (Bermingham, Trecarichi)
Man of the Match: N/A
AFC Didsbury continued their woeful run of recent form after slumping to a 3-1 defeat to an impressive Stretford Victoria side.
The two sides met earlier in the season and largely cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw. This time around Stretford Victoria started the game very brightly and constantly caused problems for a besieged AFC Didsbury defence.
The hosts took a well-deserved lead on the twenty minute mark with a towering header from a corner which punished some poor Didsbury marking.
The goal seemed to spark some life into a lethargic Didsbury side and they began to mount some good pressure. Matthew Harrison, playing as a lone striker linked up well with the midfield on a several occasions but the away side was largely restricted to long range attempts.
Didsbury levelled the scores on the half hour mark when an Ollie Quaye corner was not dealt with and Colin McDonald was able to capitalise with a superbly improvised overhead kick.
Stretford Vics restored their advantage immediately prior to half time when Didsbury’s failure to clear their defensive lines was punished by some good
The home side was then able to easily contain a poor Didsbury side in the second half and on several occasions were unlucky not to extend their lead. With 10 minutes to go Stretford Vics killed the game off by breaking quickly from a Didsbury set piece and the centre forward was able to round the goalkeeper and finish smartly from a tight angle.
The game finished at 3-1 and gave the home side a well-deserved victory on the day.
Words by Ben Jaffray
Nello James 2 - 2 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Westhall, Mackie, Rogers, Battersby (C), McDonald, Stiff, Bishop (Bermingham), Creasey, Wallace (MacHugh), Corbett, Harrison.
Goals: Corbett, Wallace
Man of the Match: Harrison
AFC Didsbury are still looking for their first win in 2013 as two late Nello James goals ensured that the spoils were shared.
Nello James have enjoyed a good run of recent results and will have entered this game feeling confident after winning each of their last four
Instead it was the visitors, AFC Didsbury, who started the game brightest and quickly raced in to an early two goal lead thanks to goals from Mike Corbett and Jack Wallace. The away side played some of their best football of the season in the first half and created several clear cut chances. Didsbury failed to capitalise on this pressure with several good chances being spurned which meant that Nello James were able to stay in the game.
The second half was a much scrappier affair as both teams struggled with the heavy pitch. The score remained at 2-0 up until the last 5 minutes of the game when the home side scored with their first clear cut chance of the
Deep in to stoppage time Didsbury then had a very good penalty claim turned down which allowed Nello James to launch a last gasp counter attack, some hesitant defending from Didsbury resulted in a headed own goal which was to be the final act of the game.
The late goals may prove costly for Didbsury as this leaves them two points behind league leaders Moss Side despite having played two extra games.
Words by Ben Jaffray
Halton Juniors 2 - 1 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Musson (Bermingham), Rogers (Wallace), Johnson, Jaffray, Mackie, Stiff (McDonald), Bishop (C), Quaye (MacHugh), Harrison, Corbett.
Man of the Match: Jaffray
Didsbury progress halted by Juniors
2013 started with a whimper as AFC Didsbury slumped to defeat after a limp display that won’t live long in the memory.
A first half of little footballing ability from either side ended goalless with few highlights, with Didsbury unable to test the Halton goalkeeper.
Half time brought a change in personnel and formation, and soon after the restart this brought dividends when half-time sub MacHugh picked up the ball on the edge of the area, shifted onto his right and beat the Halton keeper after a slight deflection. The goal failed to stoke Didsbury into a better performance however, and slack defending led to Adam Musson giving away a penalty which was despatched with venom despite keeper Leightons best efforts. Leighton was in the wars soon after as the Halton forward bared his studs dangerously but the referee took no action. Eventually, one of the careless set pieces given away led to Haltons winner when a ball to the far post found a Halton forward unmarked.
A shocked and dejected Didsbury must make sure they can put this abject performance behind them and return to their pre-christmas form.
Words by Ollie Quaye
Inter Mancs 1 - 5 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Jaffray, Rogers, Mackie, Bermingham, Stiff, Bishop, Berté, Wallace, Trecarichi, Quaye.
Goals: Own Goal (Inter Mancs), Bishop (3), Trecarichi
Assists: Trecarichi (2), Wallace (2), Berté
Man of the Match: Trecarichi
Didsbury serve up a 5 star performance
Didsbury produced a fine display to see off a capable Inter Mancs team and ensure they kept pace with the league leaders.
The game started brightly with both sides looking to get the ball down and play some decent football. Chances were few and far between, though, as both defences stayed on top for the majority of the opening exchanges.
It took until the twenty fifth minute for the game to open up with Didsbury’s James Leighton twice producing fine stops to deny the Inter Mancs forwards. These chances only seemed to spur Didsbury on, as a chipped through ball from right back, Ben Jaffray, found striker Paul Trecarichi unmarked in the opposition box. His attempt on goal was then inadvertently converted by the covering Inter Mancs defender.
Deep into first half stoppage time Didsbury grabbed their second with more good work by Wallace down the right. He produced a pin point cross into the 6 yard box and Chris Bishop supplied the finish.
The second half started with Didsbury in control, only for a mistake by Jonny Mackie to allow Inter Mancs in to make it to 2-1.
This was to be the only scare for Didsbury as a goal from man of the match, Trecarichi and two more from Bishop, capped off a dominant second half display and secured 3 points for the travelling side.
Words by John Battersby
Sierra Stars 2 - 3 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Westhall, Rushton, Johnson, Bishop (C), Jaffray, Stiff (Mackie), Creasey, Harrison, MacHugh (Berté), Corbett, Quaye (New).
Goals: Corbett, Bishop, Harrison
Assists: MacHugh, Creasey, Quaye
Man of the Match: Corbett
Sierra Stars eclipsed by below par Didsbury
Didsbury responded to their first dropped points of the season with a hard fought but faltering display against a talented Sierra stars side.
Sierra boast an abudandance of speed that put Didsbury on the back foot at times but without troubling stand-in goalkeeper William Westhall. However, there was one heart in mouth moment when Ben Jaffray did well to clear a corner off the line.
The opener came from good Didsbury pressure, Kieran MacHugh pouncing on a short clearance and playing in Mike Corbett, who showed icy cool composure to lift the ball over the advancing keeper.
Still unable to get a foothold in the game, Didsbury’s lead didn't last long as Sierra equalised from close range. Didsbury failed to improve after the restart but a well delivered corner from Neil Creasey was headed in at the far post by Chris Bishop to put Didsbury back in the lead. The pace of the Sierra forwards however, brought them level once again as they sprung the offside trap.
The Didsbury winner came from more pressure on the Sierra defence, when Quaye blocked a clearance on halfway, sprinted to the by line and clipped the ball into Matt Harrison who had made up significant yards to thunder home a header.
Didsbury put in a good defensive shift to hold on, Westhall making one impressive stop to preserve the lead. In the end the final whistle brought relief and three more points vital points.
Words by Ollie Quaye