Moss Side 6 - 4 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Mackie, Johnson, Battersby (C), Jaffray, MacHugh (Quaye), Bishop, Creasey, Harrison, Berté, Corbett.
Goals: Corbett (2), Creasey, Harrison
Assists: Creasey, Berte, Corbett
Man of the Match: Corbett
A goal-laden encounter between the unbeaten favourites and newly
promoted Didsbury ended up in a ten-goal blockbuster.
A huge build-up to the game came from the fact that Didsbury were pitted against a Moss Side outfit who have gone nearly ten years without losing a competitive league fixture, something Didsbury were desperate to remedy.
Pre-match nerves were soon soothed when man-of-the-match, Mike Corbett, capitalised on a sloppy back pass, rounded the keeper and slotted home to put Didsbury into a deserved lead. Didsbury did not hold onto the lead for long though, as a routine set-piece from Moss Side was not dealt with and the scores were level.
Shortly after, came the goal of the game. Neat one-touch football between Neil Creasey and Matt Harrison set Creasy loose in the box, and he took the ball in his stride to back heel it into the path of Corbett, who finished emphatically into the far corner.
Then, came drama. The impressive Luke Berté was set free and bearing down on goal, when the Moss Side keeper callously tripped him up. An obvious penalty, and despite denying a clear goal scoring opportunity, the referee decided to keep his cards in his pocket. Unperturbed by the controversy, Creasy stepped up to despatch the penalty and Didsbury were 3-1 up. Dreamland.
However, nightmares followed, and mistakes led to two goals being conceded before half-time, and it was 3-3 at the break.
The myth of Moss Side gone, Didsbury started the second half strongly, and Harrison got on the score sheet when he was found by Corbett at the near post, and he calmly put Didsbury back in the lead.
The threat of set pieces from Moss Side however remained and from then, two finishes of the highest quality, put them in the lead for the first time in the game. With no option left but attack, Didsbury stuck free-scoring centre back and captain, John Battersby, up front. The plan almost work, but Battersby’s footwork did not match his positive positioning or movement and two chances went begging.
Moss side scored a sixth, and the score could have been worse but a penalty given away by Mackie was skied.
In the end, a gallant defeat, one that will go down as a glorious failure but ultimately one that will be a disappointment for the travelling side.
Words by Ollie Quaye