AFC Didsbury: Battersby (C), L Darlington (Walker), Kendrick, Bishop, McDonald, Lee, Harrison, Whiteley (Mackie), Agyeman, Kilgour (Connolly), Smith (Wedl).
GOALS: Bishop, Smith (3), L Darlington, Agyeman, ASSISTS: Kilgour (2), Agyeman, Lee, Connolly, L Darlington MAN OF THE MATCH: Kilgour
Didsbury March on in the Cup
Having posted back-to-back seven nil victories in the two games prior to the heartbreak of a penalty shoot-out defeat to Nello James in the Memorial cup, Didsbury were eager to get back to winning ways.
This week it was the J A Kennedy Cup, Wythenshawe Town the unfortunate challengers to a wounded gladiator.
AFC Didsbury lined up well for kick-off. Captain, John Battersby, unable to take his usual position in the centre of defence due to a dubious toe injury, donned the gloves between the sticks. But overall, a fitter, sleeker, meaner looking machine than ‘Town, who fielded several classic Sunday league physiques.
Only minutes into the game, one of those classic Sunday league players body checked Tom Whiteley, who did well to stay on his feet, until his ankle buckled and his game was cut short. Thankfully, Whiteley spared us last week’s re-enactment of ‘how the Eskimos break the ice to get to the fish’.
There was a brief scare when Wythenshawe’s Michelin Man upfront managed to find himself through on goal, only to fire high, wide and stuck in the tree. Didsbury then began to take control. The first goal came following a corner, the ball finding its way back out to Pete Kilgour who sent in an inviting cross to the back post. Chris Bishop accepted the invite and put it away with a commanding header.
Didsbury’s second followed soon after, some superb build up play culminated in Eugene Agyeman slipping through a delightful reverse pass, into the path of Kieran Smith’s perfectly timed run for a smart finish. This sent the newly assembled AFC Didsbury One Direction supporters club into raptures on the touchline, with some reports suggesting that one member of the group even spilt a drop of Costa Coffee latte on their suede desert boots in the celebrations.
Smith then found himself on the scoresheet again following a ball into the box from Man of the Match, Gaz Lee, delivered with pace and whip, tucked away gratefully at the far post for Smith’s second of the day.
With Wythenshawe desperate for half time and a chance to regroup, Didsbury went on the attack again. A neat interchange on the edge of the box with Kilgour, saw rampaging right back Lloyd Darlington burst into the box and unleash a right footed drive into the top corner. With that, the far too well-dressed AFCD fans had seen enough, departing before half time, back to Costa - celebratory caramel latte’s all round.
Somewhere in between all that, came Wythenshawe’s only other real attempt on goal. A scramble on the edge of the box culminating in a deflected shot, that seemed to have Battersby completely wrong footed. Somehow he found the time to shout “oh bollocks” and then readjust, getting down sharply to save left handed at full stretch, to push the ball wide.
A convincing first half performance, with Didsbury going in 4-0 up at half time. The half time team talk from the ‘beef taco two’ was straight forward, with JB leading proceedings, “Really, really good fellas. Really good.” Gaffer, Adam Musson, sporting contact lenses for the day following the previous match at this ground, rang the changes at half time. On came Walker, Wedl and Connolly for a taste of the action.
It was the latter two that combined to set up the fifth goal, with Connolly flicking on a Wedl cross into the box from the left hand side, which found Agyeman unmarked in the six yard box. He did his best to miss, slicing the ball high, but fortunately with enough back spin to drop under the crossbar and across the line, beyond a helpless Wythenshawe goalkeeper.
Lloyd Darlington, now playing in midfield, was played in down the right hand side. He stood up a cross into the six yard box and it was Smith that rose highest to complete his hat-trick with a towering header. 6-0 Didsbury.
Despite plenty more attacking pressure in the second half, Didsbury couldn’t quite add to the recent run of 7-0 victories and had to settle for six and progression to the quarter final of the cup.
Words by Dan Connolly
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