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
Inter Mancs 2 - 0 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Hargreaves, Musson (C), Rogers, Battersby, Jaffray (Wallace), Robins, Creasey, Stiff, McDonald, Harrison (Richardson), Corbett.
Man of the Match: Richardson
AFC Didsbury bow out to two late strikes from Inter Mancs
Two late goals saw Inter Mancs progress to the final of the JA Kennedy Cup at the expense of AFC Didsbury.
Perfect conditions at Turn Moss made a change from the washout which saw the previously attempted fixture abandoned. Didsbury looked composed and decisive on the ball in the early phases of the game, despite an early injury forcing Matt Harrison off.
Didsbury were dominant and retaining possession with poise and making their opponents chase the game and Sam Richardson nearly punished Inter but for a great stop from the ‘keeper. Before the break Inter nearly capitalised on a poor kick from Hargreaves and crashed a lob against the bar from 45 yards but the Didsbury defence recovered and scrambled the ball clear to keep it level at the break. Didsbury had the post to thank again from the following corner when the ball ricocheted clear across the goalmouth from a fine strike by the Inter right-winger.
The second half exchanges were controlled by Didsbury once more with Mike Stiff winning header after header and the composed build up allowed Colin McDonald room on several occasions to fashion crosses and strikes from the left. Sam Richardson hit the post with a low strike from just inside the area. Leigh Robins was causing all manner of trouble and broke clear beating the offside trap but placed his finish just wide of the post. Corbett worked another opening when he robbed possession from the Inter right-back but couldn’t get his strike away. John Battersby flicked on a long throw-in but Robins could only guide his header agonisingly wide of the far post.
Didsbury were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal when Inter found space in a crowded penalty area and stabbed home to take the lead with 10 minutes remaining. Didsbury poured forward in hope of an equaliser but were left exposed once more when a superb technical volley from close range finished off Didsbury and sealed Inter’s passage to the final.
Words by David Hargreaves
Sierra Stars 0 - 7 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Hargreaves, Musson (C), Johnson (Rogers), Battersby, Jaffray (Mackie), Wallace, Creasey, McDonald, MacHugh, Harrison, Corbett (Richardson).
Goals: Corbett (2), Creasey (3), Wallace, Jaffray
Assists: Wallace (2), Corbett, MacHugh, Harrison, Richardson
Man of the Match: Creasey
Didsbury cruise into the semi-finals of JA Kennedy Cup after dismissing Sierra Stars
Three goals in the opening 15 minutes from Didsbury and a foolish dismissal for Sierra Stars early on saw Didsbury ease into the draw for the semi-final of the Cup.
Mike Corbett opened the scoring finding the net after just 5 minutes with a tap in at the back post with Jack Wallace providing the assist. The lead was soon doubled when Neil Creasey was played in to drill a low shot past the Stars goalkeeper, Corbett turning provider.
Didsbury made it three goals to the good when a passback was awarded and Neil Creasey slammed home the third courtesy of a wicked deflection. Ill discipline was to cost Sierra Stars as they were reduced to 10 men when their striker received a yellow card for persistent fouling and after overly remonstrating with the referee was sent off for threatening behaviour towards the official.
Sierra Stars appeared galvanised by the dismissal and launched several attacks from set pieces and low throw-in’s and Didsbury goalkeeper David Hargreaves was forced into tipping a low drive on to the inside of the post which was scrambled clear by Paul Johnson.
The game was over in the opening minutes of the second half when Jack Wallace was at the back post to tap in from a Matt Harrison pass. By this time Didsbury were content to sit back and play on the counter-attack and Ben Jaffray rounded off a fine breakaway to make it 5-0. Mike Corbett made it 6-0 and the rout was complete when Neil Creasey sealed his hat-trick slamming home after a brilliant move from defence to attack.
Words by David Hargreaves
AFC Didsbury 4 - 3 Motown
AFC Didsbury: Hargreaves, Jaffray, Rogers, Battersby (C), Bermingham (Wallace), Robins (Trecarichi), Creasey, McDonald (Stiff), MacHugh, Harrison, Corbett.
Goals: Corbett (2), Creasey (2)
Assists: Creasey, Corbett (2), Jaffray
Man of the Match: Corbett
Didsbury survive late scare to progress into the quarter-finals of the JA Kennedy Cup.
After scraping through in the previous round against MUSC lower league opposition Motown coming off the back of 8 straight victories were to prove a worthy adversary.
The first half was scrappy with Motown edging the opening exchanges and caused trouble from set-pieces and deliveries from their right flank. Didsbury central midfielder Colin McDonald was forced off what looked like a dislocated shoulder providing further disruption to the flow of the game. Didsbury opened the scoring when Neil Creasey played the perfect through ball to Mike Corbett who finished expertly.
Didsbury doubled their lead with Corbett turned provider for Creasey who ghosted past two defenders before drilling a low shot past the goalkeeper. Before the break Motown grabbed a goal back when a long ball beat the Didsbury defence and David Hargreaves too hastily rushed out from his line to be beaten by a fine lobbed finish.
Immediately after the break Corbett was sent clear in the area only to be felled by the Motown goalkeeper and Creasey dispatched the penalty to restore the two goal cushion. This was later extended when Corbett finished off Ben Jaffray’s run down the right to make it 4-1.
Didsbury should have seen the game off but overcommitted from an attacking corner and were caught out on the break, Motown narrowing the lead to 4-2. Didsbury centre half, John Battersby will be very disappointed not to have scored, after he found himself unmarked at the back post but still failed to hit the target with a weak headed attempt. The away side then showed him how it was done, as moments later, they bundled the ball in at the back post for 4-3. Motown then proceeded to throw everything at Didsbury and were nearly rewarded with an equaliser when Hargreaves spilled a high ball in the area but redeemed himself with a spectacular stop at full stretch 6 yards out.
Didsbury clung on despite the late scare and will now face Sierra Stars in the quarter finals.
Words by David Hargreaves
Picture by Luke Rose
AFC Didsbury 2 - 2 MUSC
(AET: AFCD progress to the next round after penalties)
AFC Didsbury: Hargreaves, Mackie, Rogers, Battersby (C), Jaffray, Robins, Creasey, Stiff, McDonald (Wallace), Harrison (Quaye), MacHugh (Trecarichi).
Goals: MacHugh, Harrison
Assists: Robins, Stiff
Man of the Match: Battersby
Classy Didsbury show strong spirit in controversial Cup Tie
Perfect conditions at Turn Moss this Sunday as AFC Didsbury embarked on their cup campaign against Premiership side MUSC. Didsbury were not fazed by the challenge and dominated the early exchanges and their pressure was rewarded when Kieran MacHugh picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and drove a shot in-off the post to give Didsbury the lead.
Didsbury were relatively untroubled throughout the first half due to having an extra man for the first half hour but a string of bad challenges from both sides culminated in a booking for Colin McDonald and scrappy interchanges up until the break.
The second half was a far more even affair with MUSC using their physical advantage to gain a foothold in the match but the equaliser came from a bizarre incident. Mike Stiff left the field with a blood injury and a drop ball was intended to be uncontested with MUSC giving back possession to Didsbury goalkeeper Hargreaves. However, the MUSC centre forward disgraced himself with a display of unsportsmanlike behaviour when he picked up the ball and proceeded to round the goalkeeper and slot home. Protests were waved away and the equalising goal stood.
Didsbury kept their cool and a free-kick from Mike Stiff was saved well but the loose ball dropped to Matt Harrison who restored the lead. MUSC pulled level once more when a long ball wasn’t dealt with and slotted home making it 2-2.
The game went into extra-time and with both teams flagging there was little chances for either side and it headed to penalties. AFC Didsbury showed commendable character when they shook the hands of the opposition players, after such a controversial battle that lasted over 120 minutes. Justice was served in the end and Didsbury now look forward to the next round.
Words by David Hargreaves