Sunday 8 December 2013
Village Manchester's second team take a 4-1 lead into the second leg of the Manchester City Central League Cup as they saw off Real Mancs in the first leg at Wright Robinson.
by Rob McPherson and Steven Holmes
The clubs are separated by seven points and two positions in the league but the tie is finely poised ahead of next week's second leg.
Village were able to name a fairly attacking team with Reece, Langford, Papademetriou, Holmes and Jones adding their flair to a strong defensive unit.
On the bench former player Kirkham was welcomed back to Village Manchester and took his place alongside David Edwards and Village's longest serving player, John Bridges.
Village won the league game against this opposition back in September but it was noted that Real Mancs had a raft of new players in their sky blue kit this time.
The team did not let this affect them however and it was not long until their attacking prowess paid off as Langford put Village 1-0 up. The winger, who had a great game terrorising the opposition full back (and indeed their whole defence!), picked up a ball from the midfield on the left hand side. He beat his man comfortably before rattling an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner. 1-0
Village looked comfortable so it was somewhat against the run of play that Real Mancs got an equaliser. Edwards brought down his man just outside the box. However, as Baker was getting his wall lined up, the referee - somewhat controversially - allowed the opposition to take the free kick early. With Baker understandably out of position the free kick taker had the easy job of slotting the ball into the mostly unguarded net. 1-1
The team responded maturely to this setback and didn't let it put them off their stride. With Hall, McPherson, Edwards, Stevens and Feis-Bryce protecting Baker's goal, Real Mancs rarely threatened.
Village were playing it well on the deck but there were a number of times when they were too eager to launch the ball forward or chose the wrong time to play the killer pass. It was ironic therefore that Village regained the lead from a simple ball over the top! Baker was able to claim an assist as he dispatched a long kick that dropped in behind the defence for Holmes to run on to. The energetic striker controlled the ball, made his way towards goal and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner as the keeper started to come out. 2-1
Half time soon came with Village having a slender advantage.
Half time: VMFC2 2-1 Real Mancs
Village started the half well and it was not long until they extended their lead. Assured passing and confident play down Village's left saw the ball reach Jones' feet. The City fan spotted Holmes' run and played the ball over. Holmes took a touch, lobbed the keeper and saw his shot nestle in the back of the net. 3-1
It was after this goal that things threatened to go wrong for Village. Real Mancs were awarded a penalty as McPherson was adjudged (some say it was a wrong call - most say the referee was 101% correct!) to have brought down an opposition striker as he was about to shoot. The striker dusted himself down to take the spot kick but luckily for the Village captain, the taker hit the outside of the post.
Ten minutes later Kirkham, who came on midway through the first half, received his marching orders as he used some choice (for choice read bad!) language when speaking to the referee.
Despite Village being down to 10 men, the team weathered the storm and added a fourth with 10 minutes to go. An incisive ball from Feis-Bryce played in Holmes down the right. Holmes made his way towards goal before playing a square pass across the edge of the box to Reece. The midfielder was shoulder to shoulder with a marker but his touch allowed him to get enough space to get the shot away to give Village a three goal advantage. 4-1
The final whistle soon sounded and Village can be pleased with a job well done. The two clubs meet again this Sunday for the second leg.
Full time: VMFC2 4-1 Real Mancs
Other cup results:
AFC Stockport 0-10 St James Community FC
Manchester Club Football 2-4 Everything You Need FC
SG Manchester 1-3 Audenshaw FC