AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Owen, Mackie, Rogers (Musson), Bermingham, Lee (Hay), Creasey, McDonald (C), New, Vasko, Corbett (Whiteley).
Goals: Corbett (2), Creasey, New, McDonald Assists: Lee (2), Corbett, Vasko, Creasey Man of the Match: Creasey
Old Ashburn feel the heat of a five star Didsbury performance...
In a weekend where the take over of another Manchester non-league club dominated the back packages, AFC Didsbury decided to make headlines of their own by continuing their march to greatness with another assured cup performance.
With Didsbury putting in a solid mid-week training session in preparation for this much anticipated cup-tie, Manager Adam Musson’s elaborate game-plan very nearly left in tatters after a freak injury to Captain, John Battersby, during the warm up ruled him out of the starting line-up. With a chink in the armour of this MASFL giant, was there a major cup upset peaking it’s head over the horizon?
No. Manager Musson, using all of the tactical nouse of a hobbit Jose Mourinho, shifted the defence around to accomodate Wayne Rogers and Jonathan Mackie in a centre-back partnership that even Sauron would have feared.
Once the game was underway, the midfield three of Neil Creasey, Colin McDonald, and Pavol Vasko were quick to exert their dominance, showing a clear gulf in class in the middle of the park and setting the tone for the rest of this ‘contest’. With the game being played almost exclusively in the Old Ashburnian’s half, it didn’t take Didsbury long to take advantage of their superiority. The lively winger Gareth Lee, making his first start for Didsbury, was expertly found by Man of the Match, Creasey, with a raking ball into the channel. He turned his man inside out, then decided to turn someone elses man inside out, before flashing a ball across the six yard box, which was duely despatched by Didsbury’s top goal scorer Michael Corbett with a neat finish. 1 – 0 to the Disbury.
The goal did little to change the complexion of the game, however on the rare occasion the defence was called into action, full-backs Jonny Owen and Ciaran Bermingham were composed, Mackie showed why Battersby isn’t guaranteed first team football upon his return with a commanding performance, and even Rogers showed a glimmer of culture beneath his Grockney veneer, with some tidy touches and a calmness on the ball reminiscent of a retired Marcel Desailly.
Didsbury were quick to add to their advantage, with a fantastic tika-taka interchange between Corbett and Creasey on the edge of the Old Ashburnian box, ending in Creasey slotting the ball past the flailing opposition Goalkeeper. This kind of Schexy football would even have had Ruud Gullit salivating with perverse footballing pleasure. 2 – 0 Disbury.
As with most MASFL matches this year, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Didsbury, and mid-way through the second half, Colin McDonald had opposition fans Googling a number for the RSPCA after he metaphorically assaulted a puppy dog, and then offered out the rest of the litter. While the Didsbury fans may have appreciated his desire to win, and the rallying cry of, “HOW MANY OF YOUZ THEN?!”, the Referee took a far less lenient view of the incident and booked the Didsbury warrior. Put your phones away lads.
On the stroke of half time, Didsbury put the game out of reach, with a rare collectors item of a goal from Gareth New. The Didsbury midfield once again worked the ball well into the Old Ashburnian area, where Pavol Vasko found himself with acres of space to punish the opposing team for their sloppy defending. After his recent press outburst slamming his loyal team mates, most of the crowd expected Vasko to practice what he preaches, and put Ashburn to the sword. Karma reared her beautiful head, however, and after dallying on the ball, and then taking a terrible touch in an attempt to round the keeper, Vasko fluffed his lines. Luckily, New was on hand to clinically dispatch the ball into a gaping open goal, showing us all why #GazBrags always end in a converted opportunity.
Didsbury went into the break 3-0 up and cruising. Musson decided to make changes and bring on some ‘big-guns’ from the bench to really put Ashburn to the sword. While some reports may refer to the match from here on in as ‘the Whiteley show’ after coming on as a substitute for his first appearance in nearly a month, it was really a team effort which propelled the home side forward and saw them extend their lead early on. Gaz Lee again showing real class on the wing and putting the ball on a plate for Corbett to grab his second. The service was so good, Lee was found hanging around the changing rooms after the game waiting for his tip.
Didsbury went on to make it a ‘five star’performance towards the end of the second half, with McDonald managing to get his name up in lights. A quick short corner saw Creasey in space and waltzing so gracefully into the area, that Brucey would have had a sweat on admiring the quality on display (sevennnnnn). Making his first memorable mistake of the game, he chose to ignore a team-mate who had smartly taken up a free position on the back post, instead playing the safe ball into McDonald, who did exceptionally well to make the most of a bad decision. 5-0 and cruising.
The rest of the game passed without any major incident, as Didsbury saw out an excellent clean sheet, and marched one step closer to their dream of an open top bus ride through Manchester city centre. If Didsbury continue to perform to this quality, surely the class of ’92 will be asking themselves the question – “Did we buy the wrong club?”.