AFC Didsbury: Westall, L Darlington, Bolas, McDonald (C), Jaffray, Agyeman (Kennedy), Kilgour, Harrison (Williams), Ferguson, Menghini, M Darlington.
GOALS: Ferguson, Menghini ASSISTS: M Darlington, Kilgour MAN OF THE MATCH: McDonald
FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE MENGHINI
11.00pm, Saturday 17th December, Bowlers Exhibition Centre. Fresh from walking in a Leighton wonderland, a raucous Didsbury travelling contingent were treated to a majestic ringwalk from midfield stalwart, Tom Whiteley, to the Ini Kamoze classic - Here Comes the Hotstepper.
Fast forward less than 12 hours later, and a bleary eyed changing room were subjected to a rendition of said song, from Icelandic Viking Thunderclap lover, Colin McDonald.
Gaffer, Adam Musson, followed with an inspirational pre-match team talk comprising of a weary mumble and shrug of the shoulders, and the stage was well and truly set for our second game of the season against a youthful Poynton FC.
With Musson’s whimpers ringing in their ears, Didsbury started sluggishly and struggled to adapt to the mud bath of a pitch. For the first 15/20 minutes, Didsbury were boxed in; unable to find a way out of their own half with Poynton looking the livelier of the two teams, although stand in goalkeeper Westall remained largely untroubled.
Enter Dr Pete Kilgour. After Eugene’s somewhat lackadaisical attempt to track his man from a Poynton goal kick (*), Kilgour delivered a burst of expletives in Agyeman’s direction, reminiscent of Roy Keane at his fiery best (Nigel De Jong in last week’s match report, now Roy Keane. Moving on up PK).
The tempo was immediately lifted by Didsbury and the excellent Kilgour/Harrison combination in midfield started to take the game by the scruff of the neck. ‘Lazy’ passes/tackles were met with growls from Kilgour and added sarcasm from the watching Matt Kennedy.
Moments later, Didsbury were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Poynton area and Agyeman wrestled the ball from an angry Matt Darlington, seeking to make amends with the still snarling Kilgour.
Agyeman’s ensuing free kick floated over the crossbar, resulting in three points for Wigan, apologies, a Poynton goal kick (**). Heads were scratched, cheeks were puffed out and half time appeared to be approaching with little in the way of goalmouth action.
But, neat work down the Didsbury right resulted in Matt Darlington whipping in a fine cross to the back post which was met by the rising Adam Ferguson, who climbed above his marker to send a looping header back across goal, over the Poynton keeper and into the back of the net. 1-0 Didsbury.
Unfortunately, for the orange shirted heroes, Poynton deservedly equalised shortly after the restart. A speculative shot from the edge of the area arcing over the stretching Westall and creeping under the bar. 1-1. Half time.
The half time team talk was delivered by man of the match McDonald, whilst a severely hungover Musson looked on despondently.
Rallied by the skipper, Didsbury demonstrated grit and determination throughout the second half in a number of battles all over the pitch. The returning Ben Jaffray comfortably shackled the 14 year old Poynton winger, substitute Stuart Williams saved Didsbury’s bacon with a last ditch sliding tackle and an angry Lloyd Darlington argued with the referee on numerous occasions.
As in the first half, clear cut chances were few and far between. However, a glorious opportunity was presented to Agyeman following neat interplay by Didsbury in the middle of the park.
Agyeman, cutting in from the right hand side, raced onto a through ball and with the goal at his mercy proceeded to kick the ground and miss the ball completely, much to the delight of the Poynton defence. Agyeman hobbled off immediately with an injured ankle and bruised ego to be replaced by Kennedy (***). A penny for an undoubtedly livid Kilgour’s thoughts.
With the game seemingly drifting towards a score draw, Didsbury’s leading goalscorer stepped up.
Kilgour knocked a ball into the feet of the nimble footed Ross Menghini and after riding a tackle from the Poynton defender who bellowed for offside, Menghini delivered the second knockout blow of the weekend; sublimely tucking the ball past the goalkeeper’s outstretched right hand.
Cue delirium on the pitch, which awoke Musson from his slumber on the sidelines. 2-1 Didsbury. Full time.
A fantastic way to end the calendar year for the 1s. Bring on 2017.
All together now – Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to see, Didsbury win away…
Words by Warren Bolas
(*) Sorry Eugene. (**) Apologies again, Eugene. (***) Making this hard to avoid a TFC nomination, Eugene. We still love you.
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.