AFC Cringlewood 1
AFC Didsbury 0
MAN OF THE MATCH: Bishop
Following last year’s award winning match report detailing the apparent connection between Wednesday’s and bad things happening, I feel it is important to note that this fixture was also played on the most testing of days: Wednesday. That can be the only reason which can explain our second defeat of the season to our fellow AFC-ers.
Now, I don’t feel like I had a particularly bad Wednesday. I taught one lesson – on the causes and consequences of social deprivation within a city in a High Income Country (HIC), namely Manchester – and had the rest of the day to mentally prepare for the trip to, when constructed, the largest council housing estate in Europe, Wythenshawe. I managed to get 4 bottles of wine and a bottle of gin, plus promise for another gift which hadn’t arrived yet (colouring crayons?!), from my Upper Sixth class who finished school on that day so in fact I would say I had had a very good day.
Upon arrival at the University pitches I recoiled in astonishment at the sheer volume of individuals who had managed to battle their way through the traffic from work and reach Wythenshawe so promptly. There I am, regularly having to field self-gratifying, witty remarks about finishing work at 3pm every day and having week after week of holiday, as I laugh through gritted teeth plotting something equally mind-numbingly tedious to snort back at a team full of office-based accountants. To then find a car park full of either teachers (although morale is low and we are all quitting aren’t we, Mr Lee?) or my fellow-employed-brethren already in full kit?! Plenty of swears (I know my mum could read this).
Looking past that and the mental anguish that it will invariably cause me, the game was a fairly close affair but as you know we lost 1-0 and Mackie, despite having a very good game, scored their winner. A nonchalant flick over the advancing BJ – there’s a joke in there somewhere – was all that could separate the sides.
It certainly wasn’t a classic, both sides failed to keep hold of the ball for any length of time and mostly a long punt down field seemed the most threatening any side could be, other than the potential of spotting Gaz New on the periphery of a student night out, guns out in all their majesty. To say it was a disjointed affair would be both accurate and inaccurate at the same time. I don’t condone drug testing in amateur football but there were certainly some of us who took the ‘playing on grass’ notion much more seriously than others.
The battle of the AFC’s really came down to decision making in the final third, or the quality of the final ball and it was missing for the entirety of the fixture. Chances fell to Matt Darlington and Rick Peat in the second half but ultimately Didsbury failed to equalise whilst Cringlewood did their best to make the most of poor service but were content to see the clock down and take the not-so-all-important three points. Chris Bishop and Jonny Mackie in particular sweeping up in semi-efficient, sometimes hazardous fashion.
Other action of note included Whiteley turning up with Kenners and music blaring out of his VW convertible, the identification of the lesser-spotted Rick Peat, the Hulme v. St John’s Greens game looking more interesting across the field and the fact Liam Hadfield made it onto the field and should really have been sent from the field for, what can only be described as, an amateur professional foul.
The chat on the side between substitutes, followers and worshippers was actually of greater interest than the football. As I sat there, reacting horrifically to a combination of the quality of service to our forward line and the particular type of grass/pollen around that evening, I started to ponder how frequently this would be the case. This aspect of the beautiful game, being a subsititute, is one I’ve not known too well from experience but is one I’m starting to accept, grasp and enjoy with each passing fixture. I think I even questioned whether the football was entirely necessary.
At that point, I knew what I had to do. I’ve only 3 bottles of wine and half a bottle of gin left now. Some Wednesday’s aren’t always that bad.
Words by Mike Corbett
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