AFC Didsbury: Rogers, Jaffray (Hadfield), Kendrick, Battersby (C), Wedl, Lee (M Darlington), Harrison (Kilgour), Benson-May, Vasko (Agyeman), Peat, Menghini (Smith).
Goals: Vasko, M Darlington Assists: Jaffray, Smith Man of the Match: Kendrick
Didsbury’s stuttering start continues
The first away game of the season brought around a St John’s team who, in the previous season, had put Didsbury out of the cup on penalties and in turn gave them a chance for revenge. There was an air of optimism and determination in the air; Wayne Rogers had been handed the number 1 shirt and everyone wanted to erase the memories of the previous week’s game.
The pitch was immaculate and Didsbury started the brightest and created a couple of guilt edge opportunities early on. The ‘Decathlon Duo’ linked up as Rick Peat floated a ball in from a free kick for eventual MOM Matt Kendrick to flick narrowly over the crossbar. The former of the duo also managed to get on the end of a drilled cross after some beautiful link up play between Ross Menghini and Gaz Lee down the right flank. But he bottled it, sending the ball past the far post. To be fair though, they were both tough chances.
The second half started with Didsbury flying out of the blocks, everyone pressing, everyone challenging and holes were starting to appear in the back four of St Johns. Rossi should have been having a field day against the burley centre half but amazingly found himself getting outpaced (you missed this off your fines list JB). The boys in orange were unable to capitalise on their dominance and the pace began to slow, which suited the opposition.
Changes were made (again) and the impressive and physical Kieran Smith held the ball up superbly before setting up Matt Darlington to head the ball past the St Johns Keeper and score his first competitive goal for the club. At 2-2, if there was going to be a winner it was only ever going to be for Didsbury. The pressure was mounting and the away side were committing men to the attack. A poor challenge on the touchline lead to another set piece that brought about the last real chance of the game. The ball was delightfully caressed in towards the back stick when Didsbury captain, John Battersby, got up brilliantly, out muscling his man but disappointingly heading the ball over the bar. He missed what looked like a nailed on winner from a yard out and this would have surely rewarded Didsbury with the three points they were hoping for.
The full time whistle went with the score at 2-2. The game went someway in making up for last week’s poor performance and, unlike the last game, Didsbury could perhaps count themselves unlucky not to take all three points. Positive changes were definitely visible after the previous 90 minutes; the centre back pairing of Kendrick and Battersby looked strong and assured (despite missing two open nets between them) and chances were being created. Overall the performance had improved but we know there is more to come from the team that debunked the myth of Moss Side last year. Onwards and upwards.
Words by Rick Peat
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.