AFC Didsbury: Clucas, Musson (Owen), Battersby (C), Turner, Jaffray (Bermingham), Vasko, McDonald, Whiteley, Harrison (New), Berté (Hay), Corbett.
Goals: Corbett (3), Vasko Assists: Vasko, Whiteley, Harrison, Corbett Man of the Match: Corbett
Dominant Didsbury Dismantle Fallowfield
AFC Didsbury entertained fellow Premiership opposition, Fallowfield, in the preliminary round for the John Old Cup, in what many have dubbed the middle-class derby.
Being their first game in three weeks and their first at Simon Fields since December, Didsbury were understandably slow out the blocks, failing to keep hold of possession, perhaps trying to be too ambitious in their attempts to play the ‘beautiful’ game. However, the defence held firm, Fallowfield not having the cutting edge to punish South Manchester’s finest.
They were made to rue their missed half chances; first Colin McDonald rampaged down the left flank flashing a shot across goal, only to be denied by the right-hand post. Pavol Vasko then found space down the opposite flank and squared to Mike Corbett, who scuffed his first attempt before reacting quickly to bury the rebound. Semi-clinical.
Didsbury sniffed blood as they streamed forward and within minutes they had made it 2-0; patient build up across the defence and midfield dragged the opponents out of position allowing midfield general, Tom Whiteley, to find himself ‘between the lines’. Anyone who watches MOTD knows that’s how to beat teams. He duly capitalised by fizzing a ball to Corbett whose cushioned first touch took him through on goal, before he then beat the retreating centre half and wrong-footed the keeper from 18 yards. Tesco bags and Greyhounds arses all round again.
Delicately delivered crosses from everyone’s third-favourite right-back (potentially fourth), Adam Musson, and another unlikely source, left-back Ben Jaffray, caused temporary mayhem in the Fallowfield penalty area. Didsbury started to punish their opponents who began to submit, metaphorically apeaking of course.
They played their part in their next downfall as they failed in attempts to clear their lines allowing Matty ‘Garry Goals’ Harrison to bring the ball down with the elegance and grace of a lone swan parading the Cumbrian Lakes. He proceeded to jink his way past the opposing full back, who was left with no option other than to drag him down for a stonewall penalty. Corbett stepped up, giving the keeper ‘the eyes’ to send him the wrong way and completed a first half hat-trick, making it 3-0 at HT. Demoralising.
What the first half lacked was Fallowfield scoring. They rectified that to their credit after the interval, pressurising Didsbury possession and after missing a good chance within a minute they scored their opening goal soon after when the ball was worked to the far stick for their striker to slot home. Before that, they hadn’t really tested Didsbury debutant Gary Clucas, in the Didsbury goal but the home side needed to be wary of an unlikely fight-back, maintain focus and probe away in attack. What they needed was to restore their 3 goal advantage and afford themselves breathing space.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. A free-kick was launched into the Fallowfield box from deep, the ball dropped to Corbett, approximately 5.5 yards out who, with the goal gaping and under no pressure whatsoever, blazed over the bar. T**t
Despite the glaring miss, Didsbury continued to press high up the pitch limiting their opponents to long balls forward which were dealt with well by the centre-back pairing of Jon Turner, in his final game, and captain, John Battersby, both making mesmerising meandering runs forwards on occasion as the Fallowfield midfield and defence parted.
Further half chances fell to Mike Hay whose shot was well saved by the opposing keeper and Corbett unselfishly tried to tee up Gaz New up in the box however it was left to the Anglo-Slovak, Vasko, to kill the tie off.
Corbett laid the ball off to Vasko who nodded the ball into his stride and slotted home despite the amateur attempts of the Fallowfield full-backs to put him off. Ice cool.
The visitors continued to chip away and added a further consolation, making it 4-2, following a ricochet on the edge of the box, however Didsbury were, at this stage playing in first gear – noted by the number of pirouettes from the classy Luke Berté – controlling the game to the close.
A good team performance, given the soft underfoot conditions and rustiness following recent postponements, ensuring Didsbury remain on the road to Flixton. Incentive enough.
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Musson (Bermingham), Battersby (C), McDonald, Jaffray, Harrison, Creasey, Whiteley, New (Hay), Corcoran, Corbett.
Goals: Corcoran, Battersby, Corbett Assists: Corbett (2), Harrison Man of the Match: Corcoran
Didsbury look the more Athletic against Woodsend
Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it’s the ball that’s been hoofed in the air and...OMG, now it’s on the floor and it didn't even bounce.
Didsbury ran out deserved winners in a hard fought MASFL Premier Division league game at the weekend after a stop-start affair that reached boiling point on a couple of occasions.
Didsbury took the lead after some early pressure, with Neil Creasey and Tom Whiteley dominating the early stages, creating space and playing some neat soccer in the oppositions defensive quarter. It took 15 minutes of probing for Man of the Match, John Corcoran, to latch onto a Mike Corbett through-pass and execute a decisive shot into the inside-side-netting of the Woodsend goalmouth.
Continued pressure and some hard-fought midfield battles saw tempers start to flair, as Didsbury struck again through a rare John Battersby kicked-goal. The tall chap at the back is deadly with his Marv-like bonce but this time his right foot did the talking, and it said "I'll have some of that thank you very much squire", as the ball dropped to him just outside the 6-yard area.
The game then took an ugly turn, as a couple of incidents involving the Woodsend sweeper and the AFCD midfield led to some anger being vented in the direction of the referee. To his credit the referee maintained a firm grip on proceedings, and strongly suggested that the Woodsend gaffer consider a substitution. This opportunity was eventually taken after a series of breaks in proceedings more akin to the Superbowl than the MASFL.
Didsbury were visibly shaken by the confrontation, and were on the back foot for a spell. Woodsend capitalised, testing the Didsbury goalmouth on a couple of occasions. Athletic eventually found the net with a wickedly deflected shot, which left the Didsbury keeper James Leighton flapping like a Tesco bag caught in a greyhounds arse.
Before halftime there was time for more handbags, with the Woodsend No.7 reacting to a strong but fair challenge from Whiteley. The Didsbury man has a reputation for getting under the opponent’s skin and this game gave no reason to disprove the hypothesis. Luckily for Whiteley, his hero Adam Musson came to the rescue and diffused the situation by getting launched on his arse and bringing a humorous end to the melee'.
Halftime came around with the game delicately poised at 2-1.
The second half was a decidedly one-sided affair, with a switch of wingers for Didsbury and an injury to Athletic’s key-man.
The turning point came half-way through the second half. Didsbury's utility man Matt Harrison caught a ball from a launched clearance on the inside of his left foot and despatched Corbett for an attack down the left wing in one fluid motion. Literally, poetry in motion. This single act destroyed Woodsend's dreams and had the effect of a selfie with Usain Bolt on the Didsbury collective, who raised their game 2-fold and finished the scoring with a delightful counter-attack down the right-hand side, with Hay squaring to Harrison who drew three men before squaring to Corbett. The Darleck slotted first-time into the Woodsend goal, as if he was turning a key in a beautifully oiled lock.
The weather was perfection, the pitch was playable, and Didsbury were at it again. 3 points, 4 pints, and home for bed #smilesonfaces