St Johns Reserves 3
AFC Didsbury 1
Man of the Match: Mackie
Dismal Didsbury Dumped out of the Cup
Didsbury were knocked out of the J A Kennedy Cup after a miserable performance in their quarter-final against a spirited St John's Reserves side.
Looking to qualify for two semi-finals in as many weeks, Didsbury started well passing the ball with patience and composure, whilst looking dangerous at set pieces. It was through this route that Didsbury took the lead. After Jack Wallace was fouled, following a break down the right flank, Colin McDonald played a delightful ball to the front post where Tom Whiteley sneaked ahead of the advancing keeper to nod in his 6th of the season.
From a position of dominance, Didsbury conspired to let their opponents back into the game when Paul Johnson was judged to foul the St Johns striker in the box. The penalty was dispatched and Didsbury had to up their game. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Their patient build up (that has served them well so far in 2014) appeared to have deserted them and there was a real lack of quality in the final ball. In fact, it was left to goalkeeper, James Leighton, to keep Didsbury level before the break, as he scrambled across his line and saved at the back post from an effort that seem destined for the back of the net.
At half time, 3 changes were made with Guy Walker, Matt Harrison and Wayne Rogers introduced, and despite their best efforts Didsbury remained disjointed and failed to keep possession. To give St Johns' credit, they looked the more likely to score as the game moved towards the final stages and the possibility of extra time. However, as with the first goal, Didsbury were the makers of their own downfall, as a speculative cross came in between keeper and right back, and under little pressure Adam Musson misjudged the cross and nestled a header past his own keeper and into the far corner of the goal.
With 10 minutes plus stoppage time to play Didsbury began to play with greater urgency and desire, but still struggled to make anything happen in the final third. Yet again, they gifted the opportunity for their opponents to kill off the game when Leighton miscued a clearance to the feet of the opposing striker who chipped home and looked to settle the game.
Didsbury were to be given the chance to half the deficit from the penalty spot when number 9, Mike Corbett, was brought down as the keeper came rushing off his line. To sum up the game and performance overall, Corbett's penalty was saved and St Johns managed to clear their lines. The final whistle blew and St Johns Reserves came away as the rightful winners.
The lads will accept that this was a shocking performance, which comes off the back of an excellent run of victories over the last 3 months. However, they still have hopes of a 3rd place finish and the semi-final of the John Old Cup to play in two weeks’ time. Didsbury must pick themselves up and produce the sort of display that they have become far more accustomed to, when they face Joshua Brooks in the league on Wednesday.
Words by Mike Corbett