St Johns Greens 2 AFC Didsbury 2 *** St Johns progress after winning 6-5 on penalties ***
AFC Didsbury: Leighton, Hadfield, Mackie (Peat), Battersby (C), Jaffray, Lee (Wallace), Harrison, Whiteley (Kilgour), Vasko (New), Corbett, Menghini.
Goals: Menghini, Harrison Assists: Vasko Man of the Match: Harrison Sloppy Didsbury Dumped out of Cup…Again
Kilgour and Wallace can expect the phone call from the Pizza Hut ad team as once again Didsbury succumbed to some abject finishing and suicidal defending to crash out of a cup against far inferior opposition on penalties.
The game started brightly with Didsbury’s passing game in full flow and St Johns chasing shadows for the first 10minutes.What seems to look like a copy and paste from almost every match report over the past 2 years:
“Didsbury’s pressure didn’t actually result in the opposition keeper making a save”
Meant Didsbury’s opening dominance evaporated and allowed St Johns to grow into the game.
Nothing could have made them grow into it more than the worst back pass this club has seen from captain Battersby.He managed to pull off a 1 in 20 through ball from wide on the left to dissect defence and goalkeeper and straight into the path of the St Johns striker who made no mistake with the finish.
1 – 0 St Johns
With this unexpected and undeserved bonus gifted to them the Division 1 leaders grew into the game and Didsbury’s passing game started to allude them with both Mackie and Hadfield gifting huge opportunities with more sloppy play at the back.
Didsbury struggled to get their forwards into the game and Corbett and Menghini both had the ‘sulking striker’ look planted across their faces for most of the first half.
When the ball finally did get worked upfield Menghini twisted inside and out to create Didsbury’s first opportunity which was followed up by both Whiteley and Lee having speculative efforts over the bar.
At the break Didsbury were still comfortably the better team but with nothing to show for it.
With Musson firing the lads up with a classic rally call there was surely only one team scoring next.
And that was St Johns
Some more hopeless defending that hasn’t been seen since an Under 13s game between Blackburn Celtic Juniors and Burnley Minis a gently floated corner to the near post was inexcusably left by Lee on the line and with Leighton nowhere to be seen the ball goes directly in.Sunday League at it’s finest.
2 – 0 St Johns.
This second goal seemed to spark both the team and the manager with a tactical switch to 3 at the back meant young Rick Peat took to the field in place of centre half Mackie.
With play becoming quicker and more direct Didsbury started to play far higher up the pitch and were duly rewarded when a clever free kick from Menghini went under the wall and into the bottom corner
1 – 2 St Johns
It was now all Didsbury with man of the match Matthew Harrison running the show in midfield. Dominant in the first half and fired up in the second he met a beautiful cross from Pavol Vasko on the front left of the opposition area.The header from this position was sublime, arrowing up and over the keeper into the top right hand corner.
2 – 2 and Didsbury on top.
With fresh legs in the form of Kilgour adding a real spark and pace in midfield Didsbury continued to build momentum knowing that there was no extra time coming.
Once more this season Didsbury’s final ball was not good enough with the St Johns keeper not registering a save of note at all in the closing stages with Rik Peats deflected effort cannoning off the post the closest Didsbury came to the winner.
With the clock ticking down and the skipper still fuming at his poor performance he decided to run half the pitch to stop poor Tricky getting kicked by the smallest man on the pitch.All while Gaz New looked on 5 yards away.
The final whistle blew and we were going to penalties.
After the last exit Harrison and Jaffray kept their hands well and truly down their shorts when the question on who wanted to take came up.The courageous 5 were Hadfield, Peat, Corbett, Menghini and Kilgour
Peat, Hadfield and Menghini all converting along with St Johns counterparts to leave the scores at 3 – 3.
Big Jim Leighton finally announced himself to the game with a fantastic save to put Didsbury in the driving seat.
Corbett converted the next along with St Johns final penalty.
This meant Kilgour could send Didsbury into Round 2.Weird skip at the start of his run up didn’t bode well, horrible dribbler to the right hand side.Keeper walks across and picks the ball up.
Into Sudden Death.
Pressure on Gaz New??You clearly don’t know the Welshman.Banged in to keep Didsbury in it.
With St Johns continuing to convert meant Jack ‘William’ Walllace needed score.It wasn’t to be, as he sunk to his knees and the tears rolled down his cheeks his team mates couldn’t look him in the eye.
Hung, Drawn and Quartered his ancestor may have been but that is an easy exit from this world compared to the intolerable pain that follows around a decisive penalty miss.
We can only hope Wallace drags himself off the 5th Av floor in the early hours of Sunday morning to put in a performance to get us the 3 points against Joshua Brooks