AFC Didsbury: Rogers, Hadfield, Johnson, Battersby (C), Mackie, Lee, Whiteley, Kilgour (Darlington), Peat (New), García García (Stiff), Corbett.
Goals: Kilgour, Darlington, Hadfield Assists: Whiteley, Corbett, New Man of the Match: García García
Feeble Fallowfield Fluke Draw
Didsbury have been going through turbulent times in the past few weeks. No win in 2 games and a growing injury list that is even testing the 25 man strong squad, this game against accustomed league whipping boys Fallowfield FC was an ideal opportunity to get the season back on track.
The match saw pairing Stiff and Wayne reunited for the first time in over a year, asked in the pre match interview whether he thought the break-up of the Stayne contingent had a negative effect on the team and whether their coming back together could spark a revival for Didsbury, Rogers paused, gave the question some thought and perfectly summed up his response with the ever effective combination of the words ‘yes’ and ‘mate’.
Individually there were a number of good points to take away from the first half, Rick Peat enjoyed a lot of early success down the flank and was nearly awarded an assist when he set-up Jorge Garcia-Garcia, The Spaniard met the pull-back with a first time shot only to see his rising effort just evade the crossbar. Man of the match Jorge continued his solid start to the season and again was pivotal in instigating some trade mark tika taka football, made some solid tackles and frequently found himself in promising positions. Credit also for centre back Paul Johnson (overdue a testimonial) who connected well with an expertly crafted corner only to see the Fallowfield keeper save brilliantly at his far post.
Despite occasions of individual brilliance Didsbury lacked the cohesive teamwork that normally comes to them as second nature. This allowed Fallowfield to take a shock lead with an uncharacteristic moment of class that has somewhat eluded this team in previous encounters, the Fallowfield player found himself with time to control the ball on the corner of the box and magnificently curled the ball into the top corner leaving goalkeeper Rogers no chance… Not bad for a side that if analysed by OPTA would generate statistics akin with a flock of headless farmyard based birds.
A former Didsbury trialist was present on the side-lines shouting orders to his team mates. Having been shunned by trigger happy recruiter Adam Musson and then being unable to break into this calamity of a Fallowfield team questions really need to be asked of whether football is the right sport for this man. Unlike Brendan Rodgers our CIMA qualified manager Musson can now justify adding ‘ability to spot a dud’ to his ever expanding repertoire of managerial competencies.
John Battersby inadvertently put the butterfly effect theory to the test at half time. Although he will take credit for a managerial master stroke no one will truly know what might have happened if Lloyd Darlington had realised that he was not resident garage rapper Mennis, actually needed a pair of shin pads to play the game and was introduced to the field at half-time as intended. The 5 minute substitution delay while Darlington ran to pick up his pads allowed dug out destined Pete Kilgour to capitalise on some brilliant build up play and sumptuous through ball by Tom Whiteley to drive in the equaliser. Darlington then proceeded to bring an injection of energy and scored his first club goal moments after his delayed introduction. Mike Corbett unselfishly slotting the ball into his path before Darlington left the keeper rooted as he smashed the ball into the top corner. Unfortunately quantum physics is yet to devise a method for revealing the alternative parallels of Chaos Thoery, therefore, judgement will not be passed on the potential benefits of the preceding sequence of events.
Didsbury were now firmly in the driving seat and Darlington almost became provider when he found fellow substitute New running into space, New’s first touch left the defender for dead and put him clear through on goal against the keeper. New’s strike went through the keepers legs but then somehow using a combination of his heel and complete luck the keeper managed to divert the ball past the post. This is probably the best piece of news Mike Hay will have heard since himself, Andy Murray and his fellow 1,617,989 yes voters were politely told to ‘sit back down and shut the **** up’. Hay missing in recent weeks has apparently been spotted rounding up clansmen in the Glens of Scotland to try and emulate the efforts of William Wallace, one way or another he will get his freedom.
Mike Corbett almost scored a contender for goal of the season when his stand-still chip was denied by the woodwork. The omens were becoming more apparent by the minute that this game was not going to pan out as Didsbury had planned.
The calibre of Fallowfields second goal was much more characteristic of their ability as a footballing side. The Didsbury defence would admit they probably should have done better but not even new-age keeper/sweeper Wayne Rogers or the outstretched 6ft3 chassis of quiche connoisseur John Battersby could prevent this scrappy goal being scored.
New picked up the ball on the left flank and inspired by shouts of ‘take him on’ by midfield marshall Tom Whiteley went past the Fallowfield right back before cutting inside on a mazy run. Considering they had never played together before the communication between Liam Hadfield and New was almost telepathic - allowing the substitute to pick out the right backs marauding, pitch length run with the outside of his left boot. Hadfield showed great composure and out of nowhere arrowed an absolute screamer into the top corner. 3-2 to Didsbury with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Having being trolled on this very website making lewd gestures towards the lack of flaccidity present in Ex-player David Hargreaves underwear, the Fallowfield keeper clearly had a point to prove. This was evident when he made an appearance in the Didsbury 18 yard box for a corner in the dying moments of stoppage time. His 70 yard dash would have been classed as heroic had he made more of the pin-point cross to his head, however, the ball was bundled away to an onrushing Fallowfield player who shinned a feeble effort through the melee of players to equalise. 3-3 full time.
Didsbury players now move onto a cup game this weekend, hopefully there will be no rifts among the ranks following this result and the small fact each player will be breaking tooth and nail in an attempt to win the generous ‘AFCD Xmas Ticket Sales Incentive Scheme’ before November 28th is upon us…