AFC Didsbury: Leighton, L Darlington, Kendrick, Battersby (C), Mackie (Bermo), Vasko (Connolly), Bishop, Harrison, New (Tauro), Menghini (Smith), M Darlington (Agyeman).
GOALS: Menghini, Harrison, M Darlington ASSISTS: Bishop, L Darlington MAN OF THE MATCH: Bishop
Didsbury march onto the 3rd round of the Memorial Cup
Even in some very poor conditions Didsbury showed enough class to get past a bare 11 MVFC side. The muddy wet pitch made it very difficult for Didsbury to play their normal flowing passing game, but a few moments of genius were enough to see off MVFC. The first goal was a passing move, started from the back, which released man of the match, Chris Bishop, in the wide left position to skip past their full back and whip a cross across the box for Ross Menghini to tap in.
Didsbury had all the possession in the first half but MVFC managed to pull one back through a spot kick. A lucky ball over the top wasn’t dealt with and that let their centre forward through into the penalty area. Seeing the danger birthday boy, James Leighton, came rushing off his line but clearly a weekend of Bellendini’s and beer pong had stolen a yard of pace from the Didsbury shot stopper. He wasn’t quick enough to get to the ball first and ended up wiping the centre forward out. 10 minutes later Leighton pulled off a save to stop Didsbury going 2-1 down. From inside the 6 yard box the ball was smashed into the top corner but Leighton got a big hand to it to keep it out. The 30 year old then showed he the beer hadn’t effected his reflexes as he got down sharply to save from the rebound.
Didsbury had two opportunities that were just saved on the MVFC line, but it was Matt Harrison’s effort from 3 yards out that sticks in the memory. With what should have been a simple tap in Harrison, somehow, managed to hit the ball off the cross bar and the MVFC keeper tidied up – definite contender for TFC. Considering he was having no joy from 3 yards, Harrison decided to try his luck from 30 yards. He picked the ball up in the middle of the park and quickly broke into the MVFC half, with no obvious passes on Harrison tried a very speculative effort that somehow managed to lob the keeper and nestle the ball in the bottom corner of the net.
The first part of the second half was largely a non-event as Didsbury continued to press, but struggled to create clear cut chances. After awarding the penalty in the first half, the ref had no interest in giving any more in this game. Twice Kieran Smith was cut down in the MVFC box, but the ref was having none of it.
One moment of comedy came from Eugene Agyeman. Didsbury had a free kick in a dangerous area about 15 yards outside the MVFC box. Man of the match contender, Matt Kendrick, swung in a decent free kick to Agyeman, but the Didsbury forward must have seen something interesting in the trees because he was looking completely the wrong direction. The ball hit his back and was cleared by the MVFC defence. If Agyeman wants to build on his tally of 3 goals for the season, step one will have to be to actually look at the ball!
Didsbury’s third was by far the best move of the game. It started as man of the match Chris Bishop switched the play from the left hand side of the pitch. Lloyd Darlington picked it up and ran at the MVFC defence. Using a move straight out of the Cobra’s play book, Darlington picked out Pavol Vasko. Vakso then cleverly back heeled the ball back into Darlington’s path and he skipped past their full back and squared to brother Matt Darlington to finish neatly.
In the last 10 minutes there was just enough time for Gaz New, back on for his second stint in the game, to try and repeat Harrison’s earlier trick and lob the keeper from 30 yards. Unfortunately, the effort would have been more at home at the six nations and ended up well over the bar.
Didsbury go marching on and will meet lower league opposition in the next round.
Words by Ciarán Bermingham
AFC Didsbury accepts no liability for the content of this match report, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, unless that information is subsequently confirmed in writing. If you are not the intended audience you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.