AFC Didsbury 0
Stretford Victoria 4
Man of the Match: Harrison
Lacklustre Didsbury no match for Stretford Vics
On a miserable May evening Didsbury failed to brighten up their loyal fans with their usual scintillating football and were outplayed by a good Stretford Vics side.
Manager Adam Musson was forced to make a number of changes due to unavailability and niggling injuries, the latter of great importance with the upcoming cup final a few days later. With 3rd place already secured in the previous match Didsbury were playing for pride against a side they were yet to beat on 3 previous occasions.
The first 15 minutes saw Didsbury start well and they were, for the most part, controlling play and created a few chances from the edge of the area and with balls into the box without really testing the travelling keeper. However, as it took 15 minutes for Stretford’s 11th man to turn up without Didsbury taking advantage the signs for the rest of the game were already there.
To be honest I wouldn't read any further, essentially Didsbury failed to turn up, and lost to the better side. I am only writing the rest as it is technically a match report so shouldn't stop just yet. But trust me; I will be saving you a few minutes of your life, which would be better spent doing basically anything
Anyway, once Stretford had a full complement their presence in the game grew and they began to put more and more pressure on the Didsbury defence. Around the half hour mark a long ball forward caught Didsbury short at the back and their lively if very scroty forward managed to get on the end of it and knock it past the onrushing James Leighton and in to the back of the net. There was no response from Didsbury and it was 1-0 at the break.
Musson tried to en still some passion into his players at the break, which was certainly lacking in the first half and for the first 10 minutes things were much better. Didsbury were getting on the ball and keeping possession and created a few chances, noticeably when a through ball from Mike Hay was latched onto by Jack Wallace, whose shot under pressure was too close to the keeper and he parried it past the post. However, it wasn't too long before Stretford started to get a foothold back in the match.
Unlike Didsbury, Stretford made their pressure pay and some neat football around the edge of the Didsbury area, found the Stretford left winger free inside the box and he calmly placed it into the far corner.
Didsbury heads noticeably fell and what was a poor display got worse. Stretford continued to put pressure on and after missing a few chances finally put the game to bed with a third. A pin point long ball forward was well controlled by the still scroty centre forward who then went on an amazing run, turning Didsbury defender, Jonathan Mackie, inside out before squaring to a teammate to lash the ball into the roof of the net.
3 became 4 movements later. A loose pass shortly after kick off gave Stretford the opportunity to play another through ball, which was easily dispatched by the fatter but no less scroty other Stretford striker.
Didsbury did finally wake up and substitute John Corcoran forced the surprisingly agile Stretford keeper into two fine saves. The first came from a glancing header from a cross from the left, which the keeper tipped around the post, and the second, another header, from a Gaz Lee corner which only the keeper will know how he got his hand to.
However, it was too little too late and all in all it was a poor performance. With a slight injury concern to Didsbury centre half and vice-captain, Colin McDonald, it was definitely a match to forget and quickly with the cup final only a couple of days away.
Come along and show your support when Didsbury face Hulme in the John Old Cup Final at Simon Field (Ford Lane, Didsbury) on Sunday 11 May, KO 11.00.
Words by Jack Wallace