Audenshaw Athletic v VMFC2
17 May 2015
Village Manchester Football Club progresses to City Central League cup final. VMFC take on Audenshaw Athletic at Wright Robinson sports college in cup semi-final.
Honorary manager Steve Clayton pulled together a strong squad of 13 VMFC regulars to take on a solid Audenshaw team. Choosing to play a 3-5-2 formation proved to work for Village thanks to solid performances all round and excellent work rates from the two wing backs.
Baker was between the woodwork with West, Kelly and Kidd making up the solid back three. Gibson was on the right with McNaught, Clayton and Cookson in the centre, leaving Fairbrother on the left. Bolgi and Golds made up the strike force.
The first 30 minutes saw Village take control of the game with good simple football and solid defensive structure. The centre midfield dictated the pace of the game with unrivalled performances from McNaught and Clayton.
Village took the lead with a goal from Bolgi after Clayton played a good through ball between Audenshaw's back four allowing the striker to finish in style. Soon after the second goal for Village was fumbled into the back of the net by Fairbrother after an Audenshaw keeper error from Clayton's free kick. Village looked confident and in control until a breakdown in communication saw Audenshaw strike back with a great goal from the edge of the area. Baker remained untested for the remainder of the first 45.
Half time Audenshaw Athletic 1-2 VMFC
A quick team talk from manager Clayton and a few words from captain West proved useful as the second half began slowly. Again, VMFC midfield dictated the pace of the game. Ten minutes into the second half Audenshaw upped the pressure and continued to press VMFC; a solid back three managed to limit their goal attempts to the edge of the 18 yard box with Baker confidently keeping his net clear.
Twenty minutes in and VMFC pulled one back with Holmes finishing a good run with a goal to the keeper's bottom left corner. The pressure from Audenshaw once again increased as Village kept their composure.
Shortly after, a contested decision saw Audenshaw awarded a penalty from an apparent push in the box when Wilson challenged for a header. The pressure was all on Baker to keep his net clear. Baker made a perfect save down to his right and the score remained the 1-3.
The 80th minute saw Audenshaw score again as a ball over the top of defence, which invited many off side claims from VMFC, was placed just out of reach of the keeper. The last 5 minutes of the game saw Audenshaw level the score as another long ball over the top of defence was slotted past Baker. Tackles were now becoming stronger as both teams pushed for the final goal.
Village remained calm under pressure and regained their structure to see out the 90 minutes with a 3-3 scoreline - a result which didn't reflect the effort and performance of a strong VMFC team, and one which could have been avoided if village could have finished some of their many chances throughout the second half.
The game was now down to penalties. A quick team talk from Clayton saw five volunteers take up the challenge of beating the Audenshaw keeper.
As both teams gathered in the centre circle, captain West won the coin toss meaning VMFC took the first penalty.
Paul Golds cooly finished his penalty by sending the keeper the wrong way. Audenshaw then pushed their shot wide of the post. Village now lead 1:0. The second penalty was taken by VMFC's own goalie, Jeremy Baker, who placed the ball in the back of the net out of the reach of the Audenshaw keeper. Audenshaw score from their second leaving Village to lead 1-2.
Number three for VMFC was Kieran Cookson who chose to go down the centre only to be denied by the keepers legs. The pressure was on as Audenshaw could now pull the score level. Baker responded with a great diving save to his right leaving Village leading 1-2.
Fourth up was Marc Gibson who calmly converted his chance by sending the keeper the wrong way; Audenshaw answered with a goal beating Baker and rolling into the side netting. Score 2-3.
Last but not least for VMFC was Stephen Holmes, understanding that a goal here would see VMFC through to the cup final. Without any hesitation Holmes finished the game by blasting the ball past the keeper and into the top left corner. VMFC win the game on penalties, score 2-4.
The club would like to thank all the players for the effort and great performance! And a special thank you and congratulations to Steve Clayton for his first solo management win. Fingers crossed he can lead the team to many more victories as Hamburg quickly approaches.
VMFC2 v Flash Gorton
MCCL Cup (second division) final
Wright Robinson College, Gorton
Sunday 31 May
The tension of penalties!