Cheadle Hulme Albion 3 AFC Didsbury 3 *** Cheadle won 5-3 on pens ***
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Hadfield (Vasko), Benson-May, Bishop (C), Jaffray, Lee (Ighofose), L Darlington, Menghini, Wedl, Kennedy (Smith), M Darlington.
GOALS: Menghini, Kennedy, M Darlington ASSISTS: Jaffray, Lee MAN OF THE MATCH: L Darlington
Didsbury fall short on penalties
In a game which was expected to be a comfortable win, Didsbury fell short. Cheadle Hulme albion currently play in division 1 of the Manchester amateur Sunday league, and so Didsbury we’re clearly the favourites entering the match.
Immediately after kick off Didsbury took control, having the majority of possession, and creating several chances. However, a loose pass across the centere of the pitch saw Cheadle counter, and score the first goal. Shortly after, Ross Menghini levelled the score with a wonderful curling free kick that bent around the wall.
More possession saw Didsbury generate chance after chance but with no avail. Most notably was Gareth Lee’s stunning volley attempt from outside the box, which rocked the crossbar severely. Didsbury however were countered upon once again, and a superb control and volley by Cheadle’s talented striker left Didsbury in shock. Cheadle swiftly capitalised, with a ball over the top beating Didsbury’s offside trap, and scoring yet another.
It was fast becoming an uphill battle for Didsbury but they responded yet again, with Matt Kennedy running accoss the first defender on a free kick, and heading past the keeper. This saw Didsbury enter half time a goal down.
The second half was a very one sided story. Didsbury controlled possession almost completely, and won the ball back swiftly and this sustained pressure resulted in a goal by Matt Darlington.
For the rest of the second half, Didsbury enjoyed possession almost uniformly. However, Cheadle put up a solid defence and boys in orange couldn't find a way through - aside from a disallowed goal.
The result of the match was therefore to be resolved by penalty shoot-out and it was Cheadle who were the eventual winners of the tie.
Words by Rob Benson-May
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St Johns Greens 2 AFC Didsbury 2 *** St Johns progress after winning 6-5 on penalties ***
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Hadfield, Mackie (Peat), Battersby (C), Jaffray, Lee (Wallace), Harrison, Whiteley (Kilgour), Vasko (New), Corbett, Menghini.
Goals: Menghini, Harrison Assists: Vasko Man of the Match: Harrison Sloppy Didsbury Dumped out of Cup…Again
Kilgour and Wallace can expect the phone call from the Pizza Hut ad team as once again Didsbury succumbed to some abject finishing and suicidal defending to crash out of a cup against far inferior opposition on penalties.
The game started brightly with Didsbury’s passing game in full flow and St Johns chasing shadows for the first 10minutes.What seems to look like a copy and paste from almost every match report over the past 2 years:
“Didsbury’s pressure didn’t actually result in the opposition keeper making a save”
Meant Didsbury’s opening dominance evaporated and allowed St Johns to grow into the game.
Nothing could have made them grow into it more than the worst back pass this club has seen from captain Battersby.He managed to pull off a 1 in 20 through ball from wide on the left to dissect defence and goalkeeper and straight into the path of the St Johns striker who made no mistake with the finish.
1 – 0 St Johns
With this unexpected and undeserved bonus gifted to them the Division 1 leaders grew into the game and Didsbury’s passing game started to allude them with both Mackie and Hadfield gifting huge opportunities with more sloppy play at the back.
Didsbury struggled to get their forwards into the game and Corbett and Menghini both had the ‘sulking striker’ look planted across their faces for most of the first half.
When the ball finally did get worked upfield Menghini twisted inside and out to create Didsbury’s first opportunity which was followed up by both Whiteley and Lee having speculative efforts over the bar.
At the break Didsbury were still comfortably the better team but with nothing to show for it.
With Musson firing the lads up with a classic rally call there was surely only one team scoring next.
And that was St Johns
Some more hopeless defending that hasn’t been seen since an Under 13s game between Blackburn Celtic Juniors and Burnley Minis a gently floated corner to the near post was inexcusably left by Lee on the line and with Leighton nowhere to be seen the ball goes directly in.Sunday League at it’s finest.
2 – 0 St Johns.
This second goal seemed to spark both the team and the manager with a tactical switch to 3 at the back meant young Rick Peat took to the field in place of centre half Mackie.
With play becoming quicker and more direct Didsbury started to play far higher up the pitch and were duly rewarded when a clever free kick from Menghini went under the wall and into the bottom corner
1 – 2 St Johns
It was now all Didsbury with man of the match Matthew Harrison running the show in midfield. Dominant in the first half and fired up in the second he met a beautiful cross from Pavol Vasko on the front left of the opposition area.The header from this position was sublime, arrowing up and over the keeper into the top right hand corner.
2 – 2 and Didsbury on top.
With fresh legs in the form of Kilgour adding a real spark and pace in midfield Didsbury continued to build momentum knowing that there was no extra time coming.
Once more this season Didsbury’s final ball was not good enough with the St Johns keeper not registering a save of note at all in the closing stages with Rik Peats deflected effort cannoning off the post the closest Didsbury came to the winner.
With the clock ticking down and the skipper still fuming at his poor performance he decided to run half the pitch to stop poor Tricky getting kicked by the smallest man on the pitch.All while Gaz New looked on 5 yards away.
The final whistle blew and we were going to penalties.
After the last exit Harrison and Jaffray kept their hands well and truly down their shorts when the question on who wanted to take came up.The courageous 5 were Hadfield, Peat, Corbett, Menghini and Kilgour
Peat, Hadfield and Menghini all converting along with St Johns counterparts to leave the scores at 3 – 3.
Big Jim Leighton finally announced himself to the game with a fantastic save to put Didsbury in the driving seat.
Corbett converted the next along with St Johns final penalty.
This meant Kilgour could send Didsbury into Round 2.Weird skip at the start of his run up didn’t bode well, horrible dribbler to the right hand side.Keeper walks across and picks the ball up.
Into Sudden Death.
Pressure on Gaz New??You clearly don’t know the Welshman.Banged in to keep Didsbury in it.
With St Johns continuing to convert meant Jack ‘William’ Walllace needed score.It wasn’t to be, as he sunk to his knees and the tears rolled down his cheeks his team mates couldn’t look him in the eye.
Hung, Drawn and Quartered his ancestor may have been but that is an easy exit from this world compared to the intolerable pain that follows around a decisive penalty miss.
We can only hope Wallace drags himself off the 5th Av floor in the early hours of Sunday morning to put in a performance to get us the 3 points against Joshua Brooks
“Adam Musson at the far post… Musson leaps like Shearer…Goal... Musson wins it for Didsbury” Sadly that was the story of Mussinho’s Saturday night dream. Unfortunately, Sunday was not to be as successful. Before I begin on the actual events, this (still hungover) writer wishes to apologise for any inaccuracies. Any complaints can be made to the pub landlords of Didsbury.
AFC Didsbury turned up at the prestigious ‘Simon Field’, for the respected John Old cup final, to an absolute delight of a pitch. The start of the cricket season had been cut to a level only associated with the Camp Nou. Didsbury emerged from the changing rooms to a world record Didsbury sports crowd (30ish). Members of the crowd had come from as far as Leicester to witness this spectacle.
Didsbury started well with Matthew Harrison’s words of the previous week prominent in the minds of the Didsbury players “this pitch is your tapestry, it is time to paint”. An early Didsbury, over the top, caused panic in the Hulme ranks setting Didsbury trequarista, Harrison, free of the last Hulme defender. With the ball hanging in the Manchester wind, the Hulme keeper stormed off his goal line to intercept play. Like Steven Gerrard, the Hulme keeper fell flat on his arse. Fortunately for Hulme, the weather was with them and the ball continued to hang in the air giving the Hulme centre back time to recover the situation. This was to be a day of maybes for the Didsbury men.
Maybe if this writer had gone home earlier on Sunday, he maybe would not have felt so bad at work on Monday.
Didsbury started to gain momentum, playing the total football the crowd had come to see; spraying balls out wide and Gaz Lee sending crosses into the Hulme box. Hulme were not a team afraid to shoot, pinging a number of 30 yarders high and wide of James Leighton’s goal.
Then came the first (very) questionable refereeing decision of the day. The linesman gave offside from a throw in! He must have been reading the same rule book as Jonny Mackie!!
Even with the pleasant Hulme attacker courteously stating to any Didsbury defender in range that “he would bite their nose off”, Didbury’s defensive partnership of Colin ‘Marriott Gold Member’ McDonald and John ‘Wedding? What Wedding?’ Battersby stood firm. A Hulme free kick was blocked by the substantial wall of Gaz Lee and Adam Musson. Chances were still at a premium.
As half time was approaching, disaster struck… Neil Creasey’s right boot split. Fortunately, Ben ‘Knight in shining armour’ Jaffray had a spare pair of luminous yellow and purple boots waiting on the sideline. Was this to be when the magic started to happen? Unfortunately, the first act of the boots was to receive a yellow card for kicking the ball away (spooning a pass). Questionable decision number two. The goalless first half finished with the sight of Didsbury winger Rick ’50 minutes’ Peat carrying a dog off the pristine pitch. 0-0. Half time.
The Didsbury team talk was filled with Captain Battersby’s words of ‘How much do you want this?’, the second half would tell. The second half began as the first half had ended. Hulme continued to shoot from range. James ‘Brain the Beast Jensen’ Leighton produced a great save down to his right as a Hulme shot was arrowing for the bottom corner.
As the game began to reach its final stages, Rick Peat showed that he is more than just a lovely pair of feet. He started to play Mourninho-esque mind games with the Hulme full back. Upon the occurrence of a foul throw by said full back, Peat shouted “it’s because of his limp wrists”. Moments later the ball was played to the Hulme full back, who was still thinking of his limp wrists. Peat hassled and harried the defender and in a flash his lovely feet had taken up possession of the football and he was bearing down on the Hulme goal. One-on-one with the Hulme keeper. Could this be the moment the Didsbury faithful had been waiting for? Peat sidesteps to the right, to see an open goal waiting. But no! Peat is sent tumbling by the keeper’s outstretched leg! Penalty! Surely a red card… but no! The referee produces a yellow. What would the referee’s dog have done?
Up stepped Didsbury’s answer to Jan Age Fjortoft, Michael Corbett, in his stolen from school boots to place the ball on the spot. A born finisher this lad. Corbett shoots… but saved! #$@&%*! He will be burning those boots tonight… or did the image of an excited Musson celebrating in the showers enter his cerebral at the inopportune moment...?
Then the true turning point of the game. Disaster… Hulme score… the Hulme right winger found himself free on the right of the box. With a quality, well angled shot, the ball planted itself in the bottom left corner of the goal. Hulme 1-0. Didsbury, not known for giving up a fight, continued to press the Hulme defence. Harrison managed to catch one of the Hulme defenders on the ball. The ricochet fell to the feet of Luke Berte, who could only poke the half chance into the keeper’s arms. There was still time for Leighton to stake his claim for man of the match with a couple of good saves from a Hulme free kick and yet another Hulme 30 yard effort.
Time was nearing the end. Could Didbury’s Man United fans conjure up the spirits of 1999. Could Thomas Whiteley and John Corcoran conjure up the spirits of Istanbul. Could Wayne Rogers conjure up the spirits of… the Auto Windscreens Shield. Could Jaffray conjure up the… erm…
Suddenly Didsbury break… but no… the referee has other ideas, taking out Whiteley as the Hulme defence was looking bare. There was still time. Battersby hooked an effort towards goal. It was in… it was still in… Didsbury’s water boys Bermo and Dingo were on the pitch… No! The ball had narrowly sneaked past the post and nestled itself amongst the bushes. Didsbury continued to press but to no avail. Hulme had seen out a very close final. The Didsbury boys can hold their heads high after all they are “not losers but beaten finalists”. Who am I to argue with an ex-marine sniper!?
The day wasn’t over there. After attempting to park the bus against Hulme, McDonald then attempted to park his car…. The only thing bigger than the club made an appearance… Leighton’s credit card! The Didsbury boys saw out the day celebrating John Corcoran staying onside and consoling themselves that they will not be present at the event of the summer…!
Next up for AFC Didsbury… Moss Side.
To quote Mr Pacino… “That’s a team, gentlemen. And either we heal, now as a team, or we will die, as individuals. That’s football guys. That’s all it is. Now what are you going to do?”
Goals: Vasko, Lee Assists: Peat, Vasko Man of the Match: Vasko
Didsbury show up Halton as Juniors to reach first cup final
The sun was out on this momentous occasion. AFC Didsbury were attempting to reach their first cup final in their short but rich history. Thoughts of an open top bus through the streets of Didsbury were playing on the minds of the players. But were these dreams of glory due to be killed off by Halton Juniors and driven away by the ‘pimp my ride’ hearse parked in the car park? The importance of the day was further underlined by the emergence of two assistant referees. This was not a day for substitutes to be aimlessly waving the luminous flags.
Any thoughts of the legendary John Old Cup Final were quickly put on hold as Halton Juniors started brightly; closing down Didsbury possession and sending crosses into the Didsbury box. The pressure of the situation was almost too much for Didsbury’s biggest fan, Hannah Harrison, and Didsbury’s eternal mascot, Dingo, to bear as they started to pace up and down the touchline.
Didsbury’s midfield maestro, Neil Creasey, was obviously still getting over the fact that Stuart Pearce’s reign as Forest manager will not be starting in the Premier League. The new centre back partnership of John Battersby and Colin McDonald were standing firm, not giving the Halton strikers a sniff of James Leighton’s goal. The vertically challenged, Adam Musson, was even winning headers against Usain Bolt’s doppelganger.
Slowly but surely Didsbury’s midfield general, Tom Whiteley, and Creasey started to dominate the central areas allowing the trio of Gaz Lee, Rick Peat and Pavol Vasko to stretch the Halton defence. Didsbury’s lone front man, Matt Harrison, continued to work tirelessly up top, not allowing his opponents any time on the ball. The Didsbury machine was starting to purr and chances started to come.
First, Rick Peat (with his lovely feet) smashed the ball against the foot of the post. Didsbury’s belief was certainly starting to grow. Suddenly, with the ball bouncing around the box, Whiteley pounced, steering the ball passed the keeper and into the back of the net! Could Didsbury dare to dream? No! The linesman’s outstretched arm ruled the goal out for offside. Undeterred, Didsbury continued to attack with verve and panache. A Vasko and Harrison delightful one-two, reminiscent of Ronaldo and Rivaldo, split the Halton defence, culminating with Vasko placing the ball against the frame of the goal.
The woodwork had already stood in Didsbury’s way twice but finally the deadlock was broken. Peat played in Vasko with a charming through ball, allowing Didsbury’s Slovakian import to caress the ball past the onrushing keeper. 1-0! It’s moments like these when you wonder why Vasko has never received the call from Jan Kozak. The first half was called to a close after a Halton corner led to a body on the line double block by Battersby. Didsbury left the field buoyed by their performance, ready for more.
At the break, Halton brought on their star winger. The second half continued from where the first had ended. Didsbury continued to create chances. Gaz Lee’s pinpoint corner was blazed over by the size 24 feet of Battersby. The ball will be entering into orbit right about now. The second goal was coming.
Against the run of play, Halton broke. Musson, aiming for the ball, floored the Halton attacker with a trademark slide tackle. Yellow card. Surprisingly to the referee this produced a smile on Musson’s face as he realised he had equalled Ben Jaffray’s (Didsbury’s hard man) yellow cards for the season. From the resulting free kick, Halton blazed over. Didsbury weren’t having this all their own way.
Didsbury’s high pressing game almost reaped its rewards with Vasko charging the keeper down. The resulting ricochet fell to the feet of Whiteley near the halfway line. Hopes were high with Jonjo Shelvey’s goal fresh in the minds of the Didsbury bench. Unfortunately he shot narrowly over the crossbar. Again Halton broke and again Musson flew into the tackle. This time executing it well and winning the ball but leaving the Halton star in a crumpled heap on the floor. Off departed the winger into a sea of angry Halton fans. Realising the severity of the situation, Mussinho, substituted himself off for Wayne Rogers.
The Didsbury chances continued to come. A Creasey corner was side footed wide by finesmaster (hint hint) Battersby. Jack Wallace then found Creasey, who played in Vasko clear of the last defender. One on one… the keeper saves! However, the ball loops to the edge of the area for Gaz Lee to volley home past the stranded keeper. Think Zidane 2002 Champions League final. 2-0!
With the pressure off, Michael Hay on the Didsbury bench allowed himself a giggle as he remembered the bike incident of the previous week.
Halton continued to break, but McDonald and Battersby continued to show why Didsbury have the best defence in the famous Mikey Williams Premiership. With tiredness creeping in, Didsbury players continued to grit their teeth and dig deep. Full back, Jaffray, continuing to win challenge after challenge and making sure his marker remained comfortable in his back pocket. A final Halton attack ended when two forwards comically ran into each other, both immediately falling to the ground. The referee had seen enough. With three sharp blasts of the whistle, Didsbury had booked their place in the final! A truly sublime team performance.
Didsbury players left the field to chants of “Wemberly! Wemberly!” and happy in the knowledge that #GazNewOfficial can tell the girls of Didsbury he will be starring in a cup final. Now to book that open top bus…
Goals: Corcoran (2) Assists: Peat Man of the Match: Lee
Didsbury get a semi as they despatch MUSC in the quarters…
AFC Didsbury booked their place in the semi-finals of the John Old Cup with a hard fought 2-1 victory against last year’s winners and their long standing rivals Manchester United Supporters Club.
Going into the game, Manager Adam Mussinho was missing the holy trinity of Pavol Vasko, Neil Creasey and top scorer Mike Corbett. This grave situation was made worse by the late withdrawal of Captain, John Battersby, despite the pleas of his gaffer that he ought to battle through the pain barrier based on the sound logic that ‘You don’t play any better when you’re not injured anyway’.
Unable to take part in the game, Battersby instead reverted to his less familiar role of assistant manager and delivered a rousing team talk, which made hairs stand up on the back of necks and left a few of the players reaching for the Kleenex. Channelling the motivational skills of the legendary Vince Lombardi, he reminded the players that 2014 was fast becoming a ‘beautiful year’ for this maturing squad. The message was clear, rise to the occasion, seize the moment and a semi-final place would be ours.
MUSC demonstrated their traditionally unorthodox approach to the pre-match warm up by turning up 20 minutes late for kick off. For a team defending the prestigious John Old Cup, this felt like a lack of respect for the famous old trophy and a hungry Didsbury outfit were in no mood to forgive them.
Perhaps due to the relaxed warm up, MUSC were caught cold as Didsbury launched attack after attack in the opening 5 minutes. This pressure was rewarded when left winger Rick Peat displayed some really lovely feet, to dance around the right back and deliver a peach of a ball for John Corcoran to tap home from 5 yards.
The opening half hour saw wave after wave of Didsbury attack as Rick Peat and Gaz Lee caused havoc down the flanks. Only some shocking finishing from Messrs Corcoran and Whiteley kept the score line at 1-0.
The away side, MUSC, seemed content to sit back and soak up pressure and launch the occasional counter attack. With a couple of minutes to go until half time, a MUSC free kick was tipped over the bar by Didsbury’s underworked, but overpaid goalkeeper James Leighton. Sloppy marking from the resulting corner allowed MUSC’s vertically challenged forward to rise above the flat-footed Didsbury defence and head into the top right hand corner of the goal, drawing the sides level.
The 2nd half continued in a similar vein to the first, with new signing Gaz Lee repeatedly skipping past his marker and delivering numerous dangerous crosses into the box. Unfortunately for the home side, many of these chances were spurned with Corcoran being the main guilty party.
Midway through the second period, defender Wayne Rogers’s weekend bedroom exploits appeared to catch up with him as he was forced to leave the action complaining of an itchy todger. This forced Mussionho into a tactical reshuffle with Mackie dropping into centre back and @GazNewOffical and Mike Hay entering the fray.
The Didsbury missed chances seemed to spur on MUSC, who grew in belief and created a number of threatening set piece opportunities following some textbook cynical fouls from Tom Whiteley, Adam Musson and stand-in captain, Colin McDonald.
Just as the game seemed to be heading for extra time, the match was finally decided by a relieved John Corcoran. A free kick deep in the Didsbury half was beautifully flighted by Ben Jaffray towards his West Cumbrian compatriot Matty Harrison, who flicked the ball into the mixer. A panicked MUSC defender then played a weak back pass, which was intercepted by a grateful Corcoran who calmly rounded the keeper and slotted into an empty net. The final few minutes were uneventful as Didsbury ran the clock down with ease.
A second quarter final next week, this time against lower league opposition, means that belief is growing amongst the squad who have their sights firmly fixed on achieving Musson’s early season objective of reaching a cup final for the first time in the club’s history. Whilst it is maybe too early to book the open top bus, there is a growing feeling that 2014 may indeed turn out to be a beautiful year for Didsbury.
Goals: Corbett (2), Whiteley, Hay Assists: Vasko, Corbett, McDonald, Berté Man of the Match: Battersby
Didsbury dump Albert out of the cup
Stunning sunny afternoon, not a single cloud in the sky! Where could we be? Simon Field in Didsbury and two decent squads are up for the John Old Cup Round 1.
The pitch still seemed to be soaked but it did not affect the quality of the match and AFC Didsbury’s performance that has been quite good for the last few weeks and hopefully will remain until the end of the season.
Didsbury knew what to expect from their opponent as they faced each other in pre-season. Albert 1874 will likely join Didsbury in the Mikey Williams Premiership next season.
The home side started the match quite hectic and Albert’s quick passes and constant movements produced some chances and corners for them. They did not make it easier for Didsbury who could not get any decent passes in a row so after first 10minutes all the Didsbury fans were starting to worry about the result.
However, that did not last long! After a misunderstanding in the opponent’s defence, the keeper tried to save the ball, which was already a metre out. The ball ended up on Pavol Vasko’s right foot, who without bad feeling (despite knowing that the ball was out), set the ball to Mike Corbett who confirmed his reputation of “a killer” and didn’t give a chance for the defenders to stop his shot.
As the time was passing by the game was becoming more and more tough with some incidents on both sides.
After approx. 30 minutes, Didsbury midfielder Tom Whitelely found himself in front of the keeper “his favorite position” and surprisingly on this occasion delivered the ball uncompromisingly behind the keeper’s back.
He couldn’t celebrate his goal in a more appropriate style - diving into their midfielder… as if the game wasn’t already tough! = Personally it has my vote for the celebration of the year.
After the goal, Didsbury’s midfielders started playing some decent football, Berté didn’t disappoint, showing that he didn’t need more than 2 weeks to get back on track. Altogether with Colin McDonald, Neil Creasey and Whiteley, they played some really flowing football.
Albert did not give up, they tried to break through the Didsbury’s defence quite a few times but unsuccessfully as centre-backs John Battersby and Wayne Rogers stood firm, with Adam Musson and Ben Jaffray keeping it tight either side.
The Second half had a similar scenario to the first one as both teams played open football, which created space in the middle and made the football exciting.
Corbett ran into an open space where he collected an excellent pass that was sent through from McDonald and he delivered it to the top right corner!!! No spider’s web left in the corner!!!
Substitutions were made; Jonathan Mackie, John Corcoran, Gareth New and Mike Hay got on the pitch that brought some fresh air into Didsbury’s wings.
First it was Corcoran who had an excellent start and passed some good balls around and tested to see if the keeper was still paying attention but unfortunately his shot just missed the right corner.
Midfielder, Berté, sent a brilliant ball to Hay, who calmly rolled the ball behind the keeper’s back. In spite of a defender chasing the ball, he could still celebrate his first goal the season. Congratulations!
The opponents managed to modify the score but that just wasn’t enough this Sunday and it will take a few more Sundays for them to reach the calmness and patience of AFC Didsbury.
AFC Didsbury: Clucas, Musson (Owen), Battersby (C), Turner, Jaffray (Bermingham), Vasko, McDonald, Whiteley, Harrison (New), Berté (Hay), Corbett.
Goals: Corbett (3), Vasko Assists: Vasko, Whiteley, Harrison, Corbett Man of the Match: Corbett
Dominant Didsbury Dismantle Fallowfield
AFC Didsbury entertained fellow Premiership opposition, Fallowfield, in the preliminary round for the John Old Cup, in what many have dubbed the middle-class derby.
Being their first game in three weeks and their first at Simon Fields since December, Didsbury were understandably slow out the blocks, failing to keep hold of possession, perhaps trying to be too ambitious in their attempts to play the ‘beautiful’ game. However, the defence held firm, Fallowfield not having the cutting edge to punish South Manchester’s finest.
They were made to rue their missed half chances; first Colin McDonald rampaged down the left flank flashing a shot across goal, only to be denied by the right-hand post. Pavol Vasko then found space down the opposite flank and squared to Mike Corbett, who scuffed his first attempt before reacting quickly to bury the rebound. Semi-clinical.
Didsbury sniffed blood as they streamed forward and within minutes they had made it 2-0; patient build up across the defence and midfield dragged the opponents out of position allowing midfield general, Tom Whiteley, to find himself ‘between the lines’. Anyone who watches MOTD knows that’s how to beat teams. He duly capitalised by fizzing a ball to Corbett whose cushioned first touch took him through on goal, before he then beat the retreating centre half and wrong-footed the keeper from 18 yards. Tesco bags and Greyhounds arses all round again.
Delicately delivered crosses from everyone’s third-favourite right-back (potentially fourth), Adam Musson, and another unlikely source, left-back Ben Jaffray, caused temporary mayhem in the Fallowfield penalty area. Didsbury started to punish their opponents who began to submit, metaphorically apeaking of course.
They played their part in their next downfall as they failed in attempts to clear their lines allowing Matty ‘Garry Goals’ Harrison to bring the ball down with the elegance and grace of a lone swan parading the Cumbrian Lakes. He proceeded to jink his way past the opposing full back, who was left with no option other than to drag him down for a stonewall penalty. Corbett stepped up, giving the keeper ‘the eyes’ to send him the wrong way and completed a first half hat-trick, making it 3-0 at HT. Demoralising.
What the first half lacked was Fallowfield scoring. They rectified that to their credit after the interval, pressurising Didsbury possession and after missing a good chance within a minute they scored their opening goal soon after when the ball was worked to the far stick for their striker to slot home. Before that, they hadn’t really tested Didsbury debutant Gary Clucas, in the Didsbury goal but the home side needed to be wary of an unlikely fight-back, maintain focus and probe away in attack. What they needed was to restore their 3 goal advantage and afford themselves breathing space.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. A free-kick was launched into the Fallowfield box from deep, the ball dropped to Corbett, approximately 5.5 yards out who, with the goal gaping and under no pressure whatsoever, blazed over the bar. T**t
Despite the glaring miss, Didsbury continued to press high up the pitch limiting their opponents to long balls forward which were dealt with well by the centre-back pairing of Jon Turner, in his final game, and captain, John Battersby, both making mesmerising meandering runs forwards on occasion as the Fallowfield midfield and defence parted.
Further half chances fell to Mike Hay whose shot was well saved by the opposing keeper and Corbett unselfishly tried to tee up Gaz New up in the box however it was left to the Anglo-Slovak, Vasko, to kill the tie off.
Corbett laid the ball off to Vasko who nodded the ball into his stride and slotted home despite the amateur attempts of the Fallowfield full-backs to put him off. Ice cool.
The visitors continued to chip away and added a further consolation, making it 4-2, following a ricochet on the edge of the box, however Didsbury were, at this stage playing in first gear – noted by the number of pirouettes from the classy Luke Berté – controlling the game to the close.
A good team performance, given the soft underfoot conditions and rustiness following recent postponements, ensuring Didsbury remain on the road to Flixton. Incentive enough.
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Musson (Bermingham), Battersby (C), McDonald, Jaffray, Harrison, Creasey, Whiteley, New (Hay), Corcoran, Corbett.
Goals: Corcoran, Battersby, Corbett Assists: Corbett (2), Harrison Man of the Match: Corcoran
Didsbury look the more Athletic against Woodsend
Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it’s the ball that’s been hoofed in the air and...OMG, now it’s on the floor and it didn't even bounce.
Didsbury ran out deserved winners in a hard fought MASFL Premier Division league game at the weekend after a stop-start affair that reached boiling point on a couple of occasions.
Didsbury took the lead after some early pressure, with Neil Creasey and Tom Whiteley dominating the early stages, creating space and playing some neat soccer in the oppositions defensive quarter. It took 15 minutes of probing for Man of the Match, John Corcoran, to latch onto a Mike Corbett through-pass and execute a decisive shot into the inside-side-netting of the Woodsend goalmouth.
Continued pressure and some hard-fought midfield battles saw tempers start to flair, as Didsbury struck again through a rare John Battersby kicked-goal. The tall chap at the back is deadly with his Marv-like bonce but this time his right foot did the talking, and it said "I'll have some of that thank you very much squire", as the ball dropped to him just outside the 6-yard area.
The game then took an ugly turn, as a couple of incidents involving the Woodsend sweeper and the AFCD midfield led to some anger being vented in the direction of the referee. To his credit the referee maintained a firm grip on proceedings, and strongly suggested that the Woodsend gaffer consider a substitution. This opportunity was eventually taken after a series of breaks in proceedings more akin to the Superbowl than the MASFL.
Didsbury were visibly shaken by the confrontation, and were on the back foot for a spell. Woodsend capitalised, testing the Didsbury goalmouth on a couple of occasions. Athletic eventually found the net with a wickedly deflected shot, which left the Didsbury keeper James Leighton flapping like a Tesco bag caught in a greyhounds arse.
Before halftime there was time for more handbags, with the Woodsend No.7 reacting to a strong but fair challenge from Whiteley. The Didsbury man has a reputation for getting under the opponent’s skin and this game gave no reason to disprove the hypothesis. Luckily for Whiteley, his hero Adam Musson came to the rescue and diffused the situation by getting launched on his arse and bringing a humorous end to the melee'.
Halftime came around with the game delicately poised at 2-1.
The second half was a decidedly one-sided affair, with a switch of wingers for Didsbury and an injury to Athletic’s key-man.
The turning point came half-way through the second half. Didsbury's utility man Matt Harrison caught a ball from a launched clearance on the inside of his left foot and despatched Corbett for an attack down the left wing in one fluid motion. Literally, poetry in motion. This single act destroyed Woodsend's dreams and had the effect of a selfie with Usain Bolt on the Didsbury collective, who raised their game 2-fold and finished the scoring with a delightful counter-attack down the right-hand side, with Hay squaring to Harrison who drew three men before squaring to Corbett. The Darleck slotted first-time into the Woodsend goal, as if he was turning a key in a beautifully oiled lock.
The weather was perfection, the pitch was playable, and Didsbury were at it again. 3 points, 4 pints, and home for bed #smilesonfaces
Goals: Corbett Assists: MacHugh Man of the Match: Mackie
Didsbury fall at the first hurdle in this year’s John Old Cup, after a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Nello James.
The away side were gifted an early lead after some sloppy midfield passing by Mike Stiff. The ball was handed to a Nello James midfielder, who then found his striker in space and scuffed his shot in at the near post.
Their lead was then doubled after a corner was only half cleared and the ball fell kindly on the penalty spot, only for another Nello James striker to find the bottom corner through the crowd of players.
Didsbury managed to pull one back in the second half when a long ball was controlled by Kieran MacHugh, who unselfishly squared the ball for Mike Corbett to bag his 14th goal of the season.
Two minutes later, the game was effectively killed off by Nello James, when a long ball wasn't dealt with by Didsbury captain, John Battersby, and the Nello striker kept his composure to score.
The home side seemed to lack cohesion and their usual composure, and this was exploited with five minutes to go. Nello grabbed their fourth when the striker found space as Didsbury went to three at the back to chase the game.
Didsbury now find themselves with only the league to play for and as the title seems somewhat out of sight, the team must pull together to ensure that they still put on a string finish to their first season in the top flight.
Goals: Creasey, MacHugh Assists: Musson, Quaye Man of the Match: Harrison
AFC Didsbury dumped out of the John Old Cup by Woodsend Athletic
AFC Didsbury compounded their first defeat in the league in the previous week, by being dumped out of the John Old Cup in the first round by lower league 4th Division opposition Woodsend Athletic.
Woodsend Athletic went into the game in fine form unbeaten in the league picking up maximum points and scoring 46 goals in their opening 9 games. The goal threat was obvious in the initial stages, bombing forward using the pacy forwards to stretch the Didsbury defence. Early pressure culminated in a free-kick from 24 yards out and was superbly placed in-off the bar with Didsbury goalkeeper Hargreaves possibly unsighted by the low sun.
Within 20 minutes Woodsend had doubled their advantage after a counter attack down the left flank, which lead to the Woodsend number nine beating keeper Hargreaves once more, as he found himself with time and space inside the Didsbury box.
The two goal deficit seemed to eventually provoke a fight back from Didsbury and just before the half-time break, neat interplay and a wonderful cross field ball from the left wing allowed Didsbury’s captain, Adam Musson, to make the run from right-back and deliver a pinpoint cross, which Neil Creasey directed into the bottom right; 2-1 at half-time
Didsbury continued to apply pressure in the second half and a direct free-kick, from just outside the box, was sublimely curled into the far left by Kieran MacHugh to grab the equaliser.
The Didsbury comeback was short-lived however when a cross was only half-cleared and the loose ball drilled back towards goal straight at Hargreaves who contrived to let the ball squirm through his legs and gift Woodsend the win and passage to the next round.