New season review: December 2015
31 December 2015
It was a relatively quiet month of football for the club as only three matches were played in December.
The first team kicked the action off by playing their one and only game of the month – a fourth round tie against Snipe Inn FC in the Manchester County FA Sunday Amateur Cup.
The game was played in the new surroundings of Nicholls Football Centre in Ardwick on 6 December but the weather was typically old as the match got underway in heavy rain.
The opposition were an unknown quantity for Village but the club knew that they would be in for a tough test as there is a good standard of teams in this competition, the prelimnary round for which started with over 130 teams. After the opening exchanges you could see that Snipe Inn were quick and good on the ball and they were dangerous without really troubling the goal too much. Village held their own and tried to make inroads into the game and into the opposition's half. Snipe Inn were quick to snuff them out though before Village got too close to the goal.
The opposition went into the break 1-0 up as they flashed home a goal to take advantage of their superiority. Clayton urged his players to up the desire and tempo in the second half and with only one goal separating the teams the game was still very much up for grabs.
Bartlett continuously looked threatening and Brodie looked lively as he came on for his first team bow. Village were soon two down though as goalkeeper McGregor made an uncharacteristic mistake as he was slow to get down to a tame shot which squeezed past him. The team continued to work hard though and with a change of formation they started to have more of the ball.
Unfortunately they were unable to make any real impact as Snipe Inn saw the game out fairly comfortably. VMFC was out of the Cup in the fourth round; however this is the furthest we've got in this competition for a while!
There was no football the following weekend as the club travelled to Blackpool for the Christmas Do, involving secret Santas, funny girls and flying handbags.
The following weekend the second team travelled to the East Midlands to take part in AJ Memorial Tournament at PlayFootall Nottingham.
The tournament, which consisted of four teams, kicked off with a speech and a minute’s applause to reflect on the life of AJ. The first semi-final saw Nottingham BallBois face Yorkshire Terriers and it was the hosts that were successful as they saw off their visitors from Yorkshire. The other semi-final saw Village Manchester play a combined Nottingham Lions/GFSN team. Village started off slowly but eventually took the lead when Gibson expertly drilled a ball into the back of the net. The Nottingham Lions/GFSN team quickly got an equaliser and the game went to penalties. It was Village who emerged victorious as they expertly despatched their penalties with goalkeeper Baker guessing right and saving two opposition penalties.
The final was between Nottingham BallBois and VMFC and Village started the game much better than they had in the first. The game ended goalless though and it was again down to penalties. As in the semi-final, Baker provided a goalkeeping master class as he again repelled two of the opposition’s penalties to see the club crowned winners of the AJ Memorial Tournament.
A more detailed review of the AJ Memorial Tournament can be found by clicking here.