As the season drew to a close on a warm Summer's eve, you might have been forgiven for thinking that Davyhulme Park and AFC Didsbury would finish with a light-hearted affair down at Broadway Park fields. Both teams with little to play for other than pride (and a sub-plot involving AFCD striker Menghini looking to topple the opposition forward from the head of the golden boot rankings - an award more prestigious than the league and all the cups).
However, there has always been a healthy rivalry between the two sides and this contest proved that there is never nothing to play for.
The game was played out on a pitch resembling the near-death dream of Maximus Decimus Meridius, the long grass (/corn) swaying in the wind as manager Musson rans his hands through it as he paced the touchline. Didsbury used this to their advantage, as it meant you literally didn't need a touch, the ball stopped of its own accord irrespective of the weight of the pass being played.
Early pressure from Davyhulme, with their pacey forward making inroads into the box, resulted in what can only be described as not a penalty. Alas, there was, in fact, a penalty awarded. The Davyhulme front-man dispatched the spot-kick in no uncertain terms. The Didsbury stopper fingered the ball (ooOOOoo matron!), but the power behind the shot carried it home.
Didsbury were quick to respond however. After an equalising back-post header from their lanky centre-back, the big freak managed to make it two in two minutes with a near identical goal, this time from a wide freekick, jabbing it home with his size 13s. All this after asking his marker to do a better job this time round. John's never scored two goals in a game before; this became clear as he absolutely lost his shit from this point forward, playing like some kind of Johan Cruyff total-futbal meister. He had in fact realised that the length of the grass allowed him to run at an almost equal speed to the opposition, like one of those dreams you can't wake from, only Battersby is the one chasing you *shudders*. This enabled him to beak into the box and demand the ball every time Menghini was bearing down on goal trying to get his golden boot award.
As the half developed, a flashpoint occurred when the Davyhulme midfielder/centreback/goalkeeper kindly removed the Didsbury winger Matty Darlo's legs before trampling them into the ground (receiving a thoroughly deserved yellow card). Tempers bubbled over and the referee did well to calm the situation by distracting the players with his pokemon cards. Lloyd has always wanted the Charazard shiny and fought his way to the front of the queue only to find that he had been pipped by one of the opposition doing a swapsies. This left a sour taste to say the least. Half time.
The second half produced some enthralling end to end football, with both goalkeepers regularly tested. Goals were being scored too. Didsbury kept poking their noses in front but Davyhulme kept pulling them back to level pegging.
At 4-4, the breakthrough came from a Gaz Lee cross late in the day, being met by Menghini to bag his second and Didsbury's fifth of the match. Even though he had played eight games more than his colleague, Rossi's goal was not enough for him to top the goalscorer charts, and he finished the game wishing he was better at football.
AFCD took home three deserved points and finish the season languishing deep in mid-table mediocrity. Van Gaal, who we all agree is a nice bloke, managed to finish 5th and get to a cup final before getting told to wipe that homicidal grin from his fat head and take his shit football elsewhere. Musson will have to sweat it out over the next few days with an AFCD board meeting due early next week.
Words by Matt Harrison.
AFC Didsbury accepts no liability for the content of this match report, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, unless that information is subsequently confirmed in writing. If you are not the intended audience you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.