GOALS: Smith (2), Menghini (2) ASSISTS: New, Smith, Kilgour (2) MAN OF THE MATCH: Smith
Easy Like Sunday Morning
A depleted Didsbury squad of 12 arrived at the University Sports Ground on a glorious Sunday morning tasked with earning yet another 3 points. We thought it would require hard work, we thought it would require skill…actually all we needed was Gaz New in the team! According to Gareth, Didsbury have not lost a game this season when he has played and his record survives to fight another day.
Indeed it was the stumpy winger who turned provider for the first goal to get Didsbury on their way. After a slow opening ten minutes, Matt Harrison picked up a bobbling ball in the centre of midfield, drove forward in distinctive style and stroked a pass out wide. There stood New, gently caressing his hamstrings, priming them for a burst down the left wing. Leaving the right back for dead, the ball was fizzed in towards the near post with venom, and Kieran Smith muscled his way across the front of the first MVFC defender to connect with the cross and thump Didsbury into the lead. 1-0.
After this, Didsbury started to dominate proceedings with many of the flowing moves starting with the full backs, Charlie Wedl and Jonathan Mackie, and working their way through the channels. However, the numerous cutbacks and crosses bore no fruit and so, in frustration and anger, a borderline selfish Ross Menghini took it upon himself to double the scoreline. Picking up the ball on the edge of the box, he worked his way forward, dummying past not one, not two, but three defenders using the same move and smashed the ball home to edge closer to the Didsbury all-time season scoring record.
It’s fair to say that Menghini would be nowhere near that record without a little help from his friends and yet again, he had to rely on the brilliance of his team mates to serve up his second of the afternoon on a silver platter. More Didsbury pressure pushed the creaking MVFC defence back to the edge of their box and a whipped cross from the right was only half cleared. It found Pete Kilgour lurking on the edge of the ‘D’ and although his first touch was stuck beneath his feet in the dense mud, it was clear news of his long distance striking prowess had reached the opponents as they rushed to close him down. What happened next can only be described as the best scoop seen since Karel Poborsky’s in Euro 96, as the ball was calmly lifted over the onrushing players to land in Rossi’s lap. Menghini did the rest and 3-0 was just reward for Didsbury’s first half effort.
It must be said however that Didsbury, despite all their pressure, did leave themselves open to chances created on the break by their plucky opponents. In particular, the heavy set MVFC number 10 was the orchestrator in most of their attacks and blessed with the sort of close control John Battersby could only dream of, his best moment came when he shuffled away from Jack Wallace with a cheeky Cruyff turn anyone would have fallen for. Calm, wise old heads at the back in Chris Bishop and Battersby averted most of the danger but an excellent save, down to James Leighton’s right, sticks in the mind as a real piece of defensive quality.
The second half failed to live up to the excitement of the first as legs tired and minds wandered. Smith, not to be outdone by his strike partner, scored his second of the afternoon by cushioning a cross field pass on his chest, steering the ball towards goal and slamming home a half volley. Eugene Agyeman arrived sometime during the second half and came on to rapturous applause. He didn’t disappoint by promptly gliding down the right and nutmegging the entire left side of defence. His afternoon didn’t last long though, as his hamstrings gave up, the ghost and he had to be replaced. On the sidelines, concerns turned to whether he would be fit for the end of season sprint race between him and New. Note should be made of an excellent contribution in the second half by one of Didsbury’s newest recruits in James Plowright – always comfortable in possession, most of his raking balls forward were followed with an outburst of ‘BANG’ just to give the ball that extra oomph.
Another day, another dollar for the Didsbury dozen. Momentum is starting to build….
Words by Pete Kilgour
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