AFC Didsbury: Leighton, L Darlington, Rogers, Battersby (C), Wedl (Kennedy), Bishop, Peat (Kilgour), Lee, Menghini, Vasko (Corbett), M Darlington (Smith).
Goals : Menghini Assists: Lee MOM: Battersby
Didsbury Slow Out Of The Blocks In Opener
It’s all about the 6 P’s I was once told; perfect preparation prevents piss poor performance. Well that resonated with me until the Sunday just gone and now I think it holds the same weight as the myth we dispelled by beating Moss side.
Excitement was running high (the type of excitement that gets the ladies heart race’s pumping when Leighton takes his top off at the XMAS do) in the AFCD camp and every detail had been thoroughly thought through, from the pre match music selection, the half time oranges, people arriving an hour and a half before kick off, new match balls, a beautiful new kit (pictured), even the donation of AFCD gear to Gambia including a donation from our very own Wayne Rogers, who wanted to take care of his female fans over there. He donated a signed, unwashed ladies thong still warm from the victory of his Saturday night conquest!
Adam Musson had been busy in the summer transfer window and it was nice to see some new faces grace the first team squad and we were all very positive about a successful season and excited with our new objectives. If you haven’t seen the objectives, it is likely to be in one of the 1,000 emails Musson sent over the summer.
We digress... The lads were in high spirits, we had a full strength squad and the anticipation of chalking up our first three points of the season was high on everyone’s agenda.
The game started a little frantic for Didsbury and although Cringlewood didn’t create anything of note, Didsbury were slow out of the blocks and put themselves under pressure on a few occasions. I am sure this was down to pre game music selection which, as our captain described “was like playing a tune Natwest put on when they put you on hold followed by a JLS number”.
Didsbury started to get a foot hold, got the ball wide and started to put some pressure on the Cringlewood back line. This pressure resulted in the first corner of the game. Didsbury wasted the corner, lost possession and had committed too many into the attack, which resulted in Cringlewood breaking at lightening pace. Their forwards knocked it about; the first shot was blocked by captain Battersby only to land at the feet of their winger who shinned it into the top corner. 1-0 Cringlewood.
This resulted in a positive tactical substitution for the home side after 20 minutes with Bishop dropping into the back four, Rogers going to right back and Lloyd Darlington moving into midfield. The goal sparked Didsbury into life and Gareth Lee, who was a real threat all day, took on his man at left back, found a decisive pass inside to our newly engaged centre forward Ross Menghini (who is definitely punching!), shimmied the ball onto his right foot and blasted into the top right corner. 1-1 and a great response from the boys in orange.
The game then became slightly scrappy with neither team creating much in terms of goal mouth action until Cringlewood won a corner on the left side. They whipped in a decent ball and unmarked, their centre half had a free header which he put in at the near post. A poor goal to concede and the score was 2-1. Didsbury also had a Matt Darlington goal disallowed and I am sure the referee would have listened to his appeal hadn’t he screamed him down for every single decision for 30 minutes.
Half time came and the lads needed a lift. Now this may be a little dramatic but what happened at half time was really awkward. Lloyd had prepared oranges for the team and didn’t practice the 6 P’s. Now don’t get me wrong I am sure Lloyd set out with great intentions and if he had still been playing over in Frodsham, I am sure nobody would have raised an eyebrow about eating an Orange halved (and have been thankful for the vitamin C) but not this sophisticated, intelligent Didsbury outfit. Some of the lads planted the orange into their face, others tried turning it inside out, some licked the juice out and some had no idea and simply threw it back in the pile. It wasn’t a success and deservedly earned Lloyd his ‘Thanks for coming’ award. Quarters next time please mate.
The second half was much the same as the first. Not many chances created for either side in the first 25 minutes and despite Didsbury ringing the changes, we couldn’t create anything concrete. The Didsbury defence looked very solid and even though John Battersby’s (MOM) waste line had expanded over the summer and his repertoire of banter was still as outdated as his haircut, he didn’t miss a header all game and kept their centre forward very quiet.
Didsbury kept pressing and finally managed to carve out a couple of guilt edged 1 on 1 chances falling to the feet of Mike Corbett and newboy Kieran Smith. Now on another day these chances would have sailed into the back of the net but they were both thwarted by excellent saves from the Cringlewood keeper and summed up a frustrating day for the boys.
The game ended 1-2 and whilst we didn’t pick up the three points, there were some positives to take from the game and some improvement to put into the next game against St Johns Greens.
Onto the next... #smilesonfaces
Words by James Leighton
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