AFC Didsbury 4
Nello James 0
Goals: Harrison (2), Peat, Vasko
Assists: Vasko, Whiteley, Creasey
Man of the Match: McDonald
Didsbury Dispatch Nello James
Typical January boggy Sunday football conditions didn’t deter AFC Didsbury as they produced an excellent all round team performance to see off a stubborn Nello James.
Didsbury opted for a 4-4-2 formation with James Leighton in goal, Wayne Rogers left back, Adam Musson right back, Colin McDonald (C) and Paul Johnson at centre half, Tom Whiteley and Neil Creasey in centre midfield, Rick Peat on the left wing, Pavol Vasko on the right and Mike Corbett and Matt Harrison up top.
Didsbury started brightly looking to ensure the Moss Side battering became a distant memory. Their attitude paid off with everyone pressing, talking and looking for the ball at all times. Didsbury produced, for large parts of the game, football that they have always been capable of; 5, 10 yard passing, retaining possession, switching the play and taking advantage of the flanks at every given opportunity.
It was Didsbury’s very own white Les Ferdinand that produced the goods in the first half as Harrison the hammer latched onto a tidy through ball from our official foreign import 'Pav the Pulse' – Harrison’s shot hitting the post and creeping over the line. For the second it was David Batty (Whiteley) who yet again found himself in another box scuffing a shot that hit the post only for Harrison to mop up for his second goal of the game.
Didsbury went into the break pleased with their first half showing but knew they needed a couple more to make certain. The home side were first back out onto the park and it took 10 minutes for Peat –(Crouch’s little brother) to have a shot saved and to then slot away the rebound. Didsbury wanted more and were conscious of their goal difference in Manchester’s most elite Sunday league. Didsbury continued to play some attractive football and chose to rest their two ‘pacey’ full backs (Rogers and Musson) giving way to Ciaran Bermingham and Jonny Owen. Didsbury managed to get another when Creasey delivered a Beckham like ball over the top for Vasko, who brought the ball down and calmly slotted past the keeper.
Didsbury were determined to keep a clean sheet and brought on more fresh legs, with Gareth New and Kieran MacHugh entering the field of play. Nello James came close and it was Gaz labouring back who managed to get in a last ditch tackle, Jonno using his experience putting in a John Terry like block, a Nello James head butt into the post and Leighton being his agile self that prevented Nello breaching the Didsbury back line.
Didsbury can be proud of this performance and be safe in the knowledge that they have another centre back cover in Col (Kolcienlny) who marshalled the defence impeccably throughout.
Words by Wayne Rogers