AFC DIDSBURY: Westall, Bermingham, Walker (Owen), Hield, Birtwistle, New (Rohman), Quaye (Higginson), Benson-May, Mackie (Kelly), English, Kennedy (Adcock).
GOALS: Rohman ASSISTS: Kelly MAN OF THE MATCH: Benson-May
DIDSBURY TONKED BY TORKINGTON
Didsbury 2s started this day 3 points behind Torkington so a win would bring us back in line mid table. It transpired that a minor miracle had happened on Sunday morning – Claude Birtwistle made it to the pitch on time despite having been out the night before, he was phoneless and the gaffer having to bounce a message off his missus (who is currently in France) to get him up and down to the pitch! The same couldn’t be said of a few other stragglers. Ciaran Bermingham’s all too familiar tones set the scene in the pre-match get together, which filled Didsbury with a sense of purpose – this was a must win game.
As the whistle went to start the game, all that purpose seemed to have been forgotten and Didsbury seemed half asleep from the off – it almost looked like we were wading through soft sand as we were losing the 50:50 challenges and then too slow to pick up on the loose balls. There was no doubt that Torkington were the livelier of the 2 teams. The opposing team was piling on the pressure with what seemed like an endless string of corners. I remember 5 on the bounce with another 7 or 8 to come in the half. All of this pressure finally paid dividends with a goal – a free kick outside the box and whilst many thought it would be floated in, the brazen little fella fired it low and hard towards the inside post which made its way into the back of the net. 0-1.
Didsbury set about trying to even up the score – some good hold up play by Matt Kennedy trying to release Joel English through on goal but we couldn’t quite break through with any clean strikes on goal. Unfortunately, this didn’t deter Torkington and it wasn’t too long before they doubled their lead when they latched onto a bounding ball in our box with the smallest lad on the pitch able to nod it in the corner. 0-2. Quite frankly, the half time whistle couldn’t come soon enough. We needed to refocus.
Bermingham delivered a rousing team talk – not quite with the same anger that Neil Warnock subjected his players to but you could tell that he really meant it because unknowingly, a slight bit of spit started to accumulate in the corners of his mouth like a thirsty dog after a long walk.
The 2nd half started a lot brighter for Didsbury. We actually started to resemble a good footballing side which is something we know we’re capable of. With the introduction of Sham Rohman & Chris Kelly and with Rob Benson-May in the centre of the park holding play and involving the centre forwards more, we started to carve out some solid chances. Against the run of play however, Torkington broke and with a “shot come cross” which was unfortunately parried into the path of their oncoming striker; he’ll not score an easier tap in. 0-3.
Didsbury continued their pressure from earlier on in the half with a few chances going begging - Mark Hield outjumped his man from a corner and headed just over; if only his head had the same celebrity status as his body, maybe it would have hit the back of the net? Jack Adcock got underneath on a curling effort and English blazed over but it was Rohaman who provided Didsbury with some hope of a comeback when he calmly side footed a good through ball by Kelly into the back of the net. 1-3.
Guy Walker and Rob Higginson continued to have some luck down the right hand side of the pitch creating a few more chances going forward but Didsbury again got caught on the break. Even The Body’s flirting with a few members of their team couldn’t stop a bullet volley from one of their players on the edge of their box which sparked celebrations reminiscent of the Liverpool’s triumph in 2005. Fair play to the lad though. Decent strike. 1-4 which is how the game finished. After the game there was an overwhelming feeling that if we’d have started the game with the same vigour as we played in the 2nd half, the match would have been a lot closer.
Words by Guy Walker
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