Goals from wide men Jack Wallace and Pavol Vasko earned AFC Didsbury all 3 points in a well-deserved 2-1 victory over an ill-disciplined Halton Juniors side. The victory was enough to move the home side up in to 3rd place in the league and well placed going in to the second half of the season.
In a goalless first half, it was Didsbury who looked the far more likely team to open the scoring and created a number of good openings with Tom Whiteley blazing over the bar from close range and Jack Wallace dragging a shot just wide of the post, when presented with a good opportunity. The away side had only one clear sight of goal in the first 45 minutes, when their centre forward got on the end of a long clearance and flashed a shot just wide of the post.
Despite the heavy conditions, Didsbury dominated possession for long spells of the game and played some of their best football of the season. They got their reward when Vasko broke free down the left hand side; his low cross was calmly converted by Didsbury's man of the match, Wallace.
Halton Juniors’ reaction to going a goal down saw them lose their discipline, which resulted in one of their players being dismissed on the hour mark for comments directed towards the referee. Once down to 10 men however, the away side enjoyed their best spell of the game which led to an equalising goal with a header from a corner.
With less than 15 minutes to play, the away side then went down to nine men when their winger was sent off for violent conduct towards Didsbury midfield enforcer Whiteley.
As the minutes ticked away, it seemed that Didsbury were going to be held to a draw as they wasted a number of good chances. The game was won in stoppage time when the ball broke to Wallace down the right hand side. His well struck shot was heading wide of the post only for Vasko to launch himself at the ball, connecting with a diving header, which somehow made its way past the despairing defenders on the line to spark wild celebrations from the Didsbury players and fans.
It was an all-round team performance from Didsbury, however Jack Wallace returning from a long injury lay off was the stand out player with a superb display from the right wing.
Didsbury will hope to pick up where they left off when they face their next opponents (Moss Side) on Sunday 5 January at Seymour Park.