AFC Didsbury: Rogers, Hadfield, McDonald (C), Jaffray, Lee (Johnson), Darlington, Vasko, Kilgour (Mackie), Walker (New), García García, Kennedy.
Goals: Vasko, Kennedy, Kilgour Assists: Kennedy, Lee, McDonald Man of the Match: McDonald
Dogged Didsbury Do The Business
AFC Didsbury continued their winning start to the season with a hard fought 3-2 victory over the newly promoted Albert 1874.
Manager Adam Musson had a busy summer in the transfer market and has added some real quality in all areas of the pitch. Musson started with 5 of his new summer signings and it seems that he could teach Brendan Rodgers a thing or two about integrating new players into the team.
Didsbury started the game brightly and striker Matt Kennedy was unlucky to have an early penalty claim waved away by a referee that appeared to have forgotten his whistle for large parts of the game.
Albert slowly began to find their footing in the game and created the first clear chance as their striker forced a good save from defender turned goalkeeper Wayne Rogers. Rogers has enjoyed a solid start to the season and any questions about whether he could translate his pre-season form into the big leagues have been met with a resounding ‘Yes mate’.
It was Didsbury who opened the scoring midway through the first half with a superb 25 yard strike from the ever impressive Pavol Vasko. The little Slovakian received a knock down from Matt Kennedy and with very little back lift was able to strike the ball on the half volley into the top corner. For those bemoaning the influx of overseas talent into the English game, here was the perfect response. They just don’t teach that on these shores.
Didsbury then began to go through the motions for the remainder of the first half. Never really being troubled at the back but also failing to offer much of a threat going forward. This lethargic approach was punished with an Albert equaliser on the stroke of half time when a quick counter attack ruthlessly exposed Musson’s new beloved 3-5-2 formation.
A rousing half time speech from the Didsbury manager seemed to wake Didsbury from their first half slumber as both sides began to up the tempo. Unfortunately, it was Albert who got their noses in front as keeper Wayne Rogers spilled a cross from the left flank which presented the Albert right winger with a simple finish from 2 yards. You’re still a legend, mate.
Undeterred by this setback, Didsbury began pressing for an equaliser and the home fans did not have to wait long. Left back Jaffray found himself in unfamiliar territory in the centre midfield area and when closed down by the portly Albert midfielder, calmly lifted the ball over his head with a Gascoigne inspired piece of trickery before finding Gaz Lee on the right wing. The dangerous Lee ran at his marker and was bundled over in the box; the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Matt Kennedy coolly converted his spot kick to add to his growing reputation as the Matt Le Tissier of the MASFL.
Albert sensing that the game was getting away from them began to employ some classic Sunday League rough house tactics. Winger Pavol Vasko was on the receiving end of some heavy tackles and at one point was punched by the imposing centre half which the referee inexplicably missed - #whyalwaysPav
New midfield signing Dr Pete Kilgour then went close for Didbsury with a long range left footed strike, which whistled past the post following a surgeon run!
Albert almost had an equaliser when a last ditch tackle from terrier like new signing Liam Hadfield was required to prevent a certain goal. The desperate away supporters claimed a penalty but this would have been ruff on Didsbury.
With less than 10 minutes of the game remaining, Man of the Match, Colin McDonald delivered a dangerous set piece from his own half which seemed to deceive the onrushing Albert goalkeeper and fell into the path of Kilgour to finish with scalpel like precision.
Albert’s chances of getting something out of the game were effectively ended when their striker was sent off for directing expletives at the referee who clearly had no intention of accepting the invite to see him next Tuesday.
The final whistle came as a relief as the tiring home side were grateful to take all 3 points in an evenly matched contest.
AFC Didsbury: Rogers, Jaffray (Hadfield), Battersby (C), McDonald, Lee (Bermingham), Kilgour (Walker), García García, Vasko (Wallace), Menghini, Corbett (Kennedy).
Goals: Harrison, Menghini, Kennedy (2) Assists: Vasko (2), García García, Kilgour Man of the Match: Vasko
Didsbury Too Four-Midable For Nello
It was a lovely Sunday morning, the birds were chirping and hung-over men all over Manchester woke up with morning glory, as the highly anticipated first league fixtures of the MASFL 2014/15 season began. Didsbury were to open their campaign against a competitive Nello James side that had previously pipped them to 3rd place only two seasons ago.
Everything about the day was new, much to the excitement of the young Slovakian hunk Pavol Vasko; new training gear was worn, new boots were aired, new players arrived, all ready to test their wits on the freshly cut... Oh! It seemed that despite nine meetings a week someone had forgotten to organise the cutting of the pitches at Hough End, meaning both teams had to play the best football they could in conditions fit for a game of hide and seek.
Despite the conditions, the Didsbury men didn’t hide from the task in hand and they came out of the traps quicker than Gaz New to a lonely girl in a dingy night club. The newly introduced 3-5-2 system, allowed Ben Jaffray, Colin McDonald and club captain, John Battersby, to begin play from the back and Didsbury dictated the opening moments of the game. Particular success was found on the wings. Cumbrian midfield maestro, Marra Harrison, was given plenty of the ball and regularly fed new supply teaching Spanish waiter, Jorge García García, who was given the time and space to spray the ball left and right to the threatening Gaz Lee and Pavol Vasko.
The opening goal came from a corner, Vasko whipping in a cross for Harrison to rise and direct his header into the far right of the net. Didsbury were 1-0 up after 10 minutes, controlling the game. Then with their first real attack of the game, Nello cut the ball in from the left wing to the unmarked advancing midfielder, who then drew the defence before releasing the ball into the box for the racehorse paced Nello attacker to slot the ball past the advancing Didsbury keeper, Wayne “yes mate” Rodgers.
Didsbury reacted by simply playing the game the only way they know how. Harrison, Pete Kilgour and García García sending the Nello midfield dizzy, before feeding the very lively Ross Menghini and dangerous running Dalek, Mike Corbett. The goal came when the ball was played down the Nello right, only to be cut out by McDonald and fed to the feet of Shakira Shakira – García García. He chipped a delightful ball over the top before Menghini brought it down with delightful ease causing the Nello defender to flap about like Vanessa Feltz on a rubber dingy. He then turned his man inside out before slotting the ball past a helpless keeper.
The home side were starting to get an appetite for the game and the challenges started to get tastier than a lamb kebab to a pisshead. Vasko on the receiving end of some particular rough treatment but the harshest challenge being reserved for the leafy bush at the side of the pitch who dared to grow where a ball might fall. Mother Nature will always win that battle but stay tuned for a pay-per-view event coming soon at a venue near you.
Then with 10 mins left in the half, the ball found its way to McDonald who stupidly tried to bring the ball back and play it to one of his hombres in the back three. The Nello striker took advantage of the sh*t f****n pitch, disposed of the Boothstown Beauty and kept his cool to advance into the box and slot home to make it 2-2 at half time.
After half time Didsbury made the most of the rolling subs to give action to the always reliable, Liam Hadfield, man about town, Matt Kennedy, and talk to frank’s mate, Jack Wallace, who much is his love for the beautiful city of Manchester, decided to embark on a mini tour and turned up at a completely different ground hours earlier. This led to a more direct approach by Didsbury but to their credit they continued to apply pressure all over the pitch. This eventually resulted in the breakthrough goal as Killer Kilgour intercepted and Kenners pounced onto his man with bear type aggression, to muscle him out and rip the ball past the keeper to nudge Didsbury in front.
The challenges then got heavier still, as Nello started to lose their cool, Didsbury’s normally country gentleman, Guy Walker, flew into a tackle which resulted in the first yellow card of the game, dished out by the referee, who clearly enjoys an Irish coffee or two with his breakfast! Moments later the curly haired 80’s throwback from Nello suffered the same treatment and surely now the tenner that he will have to pay for his yellow, will mean one less can of soul glow in next week’s Asda big shop.
With 5 minutes left on the clock, Vasko skipped past his defender only to be brought down for a penalty, which was then calmly converted by Kenners. The final whistle went and Didsbury walked off the pitch with the victory they deserved. They will take real satisfaction knowing that not only did they play the better football but the strength and depth that they now have in the squad, could and should see them push for that 2nd place finish, which they know they are capable of. They will also be hoping that after the heartbreak in the cup final last year, they can get their hands on their first piece of silverware this time around.