River Plate Reds 1 - 3 AFC Didsbury
AFC Didsbury: Hargreaves, Musson (C) (Rushton), Johnson, Battersby, Bermingham (Eaves), Wallace, Creasey, McDonald, Jaffray, Harrison, MacHugh.
Goals: McDonald, Johnson, Wallace
Assists: Jaffray, Creasey
Man of the Match: Colin McDonald
Didsbury labour to victory against an improved River Plate Reds side
Didsbury came from behind whilst toiling in the heat and remain hot on the heels of league leaders Lass O’Gowrie with games in hand.
Unseasonal warm weather at Wythenshawe and a pitch coated with sand; if you squinted you could have mistaken it for a game of beach football! Didsbury started methodically and were carving out chances early on and testing the River Plate goalkeeper, Matt Harrison coming closest to opening the scoring with a drilled effort.
However it was not to be a repeat from two weeks earlier of a high-scoring win and River Plate capitalised on some hesitant defending on the edge of the box and they were rewarded with the lead when the lone striker stole possession and slotted home from close range to open the scoring.
Didsbury responded well and it wasn’t long before they were level and Colin McDonald on his return from a shoulder injury hit a strike from all of 30 yards from the inside left channel and left the Reds goalkeeper with no chance.
The heat played a part in slowing the tempo of the game in the second half and Didsbury’s fitness work came to the fore and allowed them to dominate most of the possession. As River Plate dropped deeper a corner was not properly cleared and centre-back Paul Johnson drilled a screwed volley into the ground from 12 yards which beat the goalkeeper and put Didsbury in front.
Didsbury exerted further pressure and when Neil Creasey blocked a clearance from the Reds goalkeeper the ball fell kindly to Jack Wallace who hit a strike low and hard into the right hand corner to seal the win and a vital three points.
Words by David Hargreaves
Picture by Luke Rose