AFC Didsbury: Rogers, Hadfield, Johnson, McDonald (C), Jaffray, García García (Wallace), Darlington, Whiteley, Kilgour (New), Menghini, Corbett (Ighofose).
GOALS: Whiteley, Corbett, New ASSISTS: Menghini, Whiteley MAN OF THE MATCH: McDonald
Didsbury Sail Past Brooks
With much of the pre-match talk centred around whether Ross Menghini would score against his own club, @mattyhazza's provocative chants drew a reply of "who?" from @jbgcmanchester seeming to suggest they have forgotten him already. But while veteran defender John Cullen may have had the best of Ross in this match, sadly for John the same could not be said for the rest of on the on-pitch battles. Didsbury were in cruise control and Joshua Brooks barely troubled them at any stage during the game.
Didsbury scored in the 21st minute, with their first real attack of the match. Some neat interplay led Menghini to cross low for Tom Whiteley to drive the ball home from 12 yards.
The home side were playing the pressing game on the visitors, winning the ball back high up the pitch and then feeding the ball into Menghini and Mike Corbett quickly, allowing them to break into space.
Corbett and Menghini were linking up well and when Corbett flicked a ball onto Menghini, the return ball looked to have put Corbett clean through only for a JBs defender to intercept.
What happened next was most succinctly described as Didsbury's manager in the immediate aftermath; "Get in Corbs, you have absolutely f*****g mugged him of there". And he did, robbing the defender of possession inside his own 6 yard box to curl the ball into the far corner.
Late in the half Joshua Brooks had one of their few chances of the match as one of their forwards ran onto a long through ball to fire a volley towards the top corner. Although he was later shown to be offside, Wayne Rogers did well to hold onto the shot as the goal would most likely have stood.
Didsbury went in 2-0 up at half time.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with Didsbury controlling the game with their pressing and short passing. They made several presentable chances before further adding to the score, including a glaring miss from Lloyd Darlington. After good work from Whiteley on the right corner of the box, Darlington managed to meet his low cross but sent the ball rocketing over the bar from just 3 yards out. Quite possible one of the misses of the season.
After the game, Paul Johnson complimented Whiteley's Ronaldinho-style flick, which set up this chance. Whiteley's modest character really came through with his response; "clearly he's forgetting all the wonder goals, MOM performances, Stevie G Hollywood 50 yard passes, inspirational team talks and the odd rabona".
Didsbury left it late to finally add a third goal to make the scoreline reflect their dominance in the match but what a strike it was from Gareth New. New described to reporters how he "powered the ball into the net" and "now has the highest goal to minute ratio", although this statement was later retracted with "except maybe Ross... and I guess Pav as well".
When picking up his man of the match award, Colin McDonald saw the goal slightly differently, describing it as "shinned in a volley looking one way only for the ball to go the opposite direction off the underside of the bar and into the net". Whichever version you believe, the only thing that really matters is the fact that it went in and Didsbury march on with a comfortable 3-0 victory. Words by Paul Johnson
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