AFC Didsbury 3
Albert 1874 2
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.
Words by Ben Jaffray