AFC Didsbury 1
Halton Juniors 6
Man of the Match: Whiteley
Didsbury hearts are broken after Halton score six.
“Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...
And... always look on the bright side
A lackadaisical display from Didsbury saw them succumb to their first defeat of the season at the hands of Halton Juniors.
The opening exchanges were dominated by the visiting side who managed to carve open the Didsbury defence on a number of occasions. It came as no surprise to see them take the lead and quickly double their advantage within the first 30 minutes of proceedings. Halton were certainly the better side, playing with intensity and pace, managing to exploit the defensive frailties that unusually characterised the Didsbury side. Notable chances continued to present themselves to Halton as they struck the post when it was easier to score, missed an open goal from 6-yards and only a stellar block from part-time goalkeeper, full-time mariner Wayne Rogers, kept the score respectable before half-time.
Going forward, and to the surprise of absolutely no-one in either the replica shirt of AFC Didsbury (proudly sponsored by Fosters Fish and Chips*) or the stylish leisurewear range which can be purchased from the club shop**, Pete Kilgour attempted a left footed shot from range, which threatened the Halton goal. Very briefly. But I’m trying to keep this as positive as I can so bear with me. Barrels and scraping come to mind, I agree, but it did succeed in raising a smile or two. And it’s the tiny moments like that which matter.
Other than that small glimmer of hope, nothing seemed to fall for the team in grey as an attacking force but if I was forced to I could mention Jonny Mackie’s attempt to kick the ball as high as he could in the general direction of the goal, which under this post-modern criteria, seemed successful.
Unfortunately, at this point the game was curtailed for over an hour after a serious injury sustained to Jordan King from Halton Juniors. All at AFC Didsbury wish him a speedy recovery and hope he is back playing soon.
Before the ambulance could even leave the pitch the referee had restarted proceedings and Didsbury offered more in the attacking third, looking to play much shorter and keep possession. Half-time came and passed as Didsbury continued to press, in the hope of getting themselves back in the game. Pavol Vasko nearly converted a good move down the left, whilst Ross Menghini found a yard of space in the box but even they couldn’t quite make Didsbury dominance pay before further defensive lapses put the game beyond doubt.
First from a corner, Halton were able to bring the ball down within 2 yards of goal and fire comprehensively passed the hapless Rogers. They followed this soon after with a goal scored either by walking it through a static backline or from a rebound after a free kick 25 yards out which highlighted a static backline. At this point, whether this was the fourth or in fact the fifth goal conceded is meaningless. You will have literally moved further, and quicker, by reading this than the defence did in either episode.
The game started to meander from this point and many were surprised the ref didn’t blow for full time 20 minutes early, just because he could. Although given his contempt for all things middle-class why would he do that? He loved the sight of Didsbury losing as per. 20 minutes later and relief was granted by the Lee Mason lookalike (that’s as far as any resemblance goes) with the game eagerly poised at 6-1. Ross maintained his excellent start to the season with a header from close range after good work from Rick Peat on the right flank, defying his own resemblance to a certain German, world cup winning centre half. At the other end Halton rubbed further salt into the gaping wounds that were the back four by trying to outdo each other with their own miss of the season competition before even that got boring and some lad decided to smartly pick out the top bag for their sixth.
On any other occasion the day could be described as a success: it didn’t rain, I saw a couple of squirrels and Lewis Hamilton won the grand prix. But ultimately, like any song covered by James Leighton, Didsbury were slaughtered.
“Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true
You'll see it’s all a show, keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you”
(Monty Python, Life of Brian).
* if you wish to sponsor Didsbury’s premier Sunday League side and benefit from shameless plugs such as this, please contact Adam Musson (we have over 337 followers on twitter!)
** Free postage on all orders over £50
Words by Mike Corbett