March-ing into April
31 March 2016
The weather played a big part in the action on the pitch as the club saw two games cancelled and one game abandoned due to the severe conditions.
The first team’s game against Mace in Radcliffe on 6 March was called off as was the game on 20 March – a game against Maccabi 1 in Prestwich.
Sandwiched in between these cancelations the boys did actually get a game when they faced South Manchester in the sun at the GM Police Social Club at Hough End on 13 March.
Baker took his usual place in goal with a back four of Wilson, Cowell, West and McPherson ahead of him. McNaught and Sal were the two central midfielders with Munesti and Kukucka providing the width. Debutant Nunes started up front with D Hayes whilst Shaw was on the bench.
After a slow start the team started to put some good passes with the wide men looking dangerous. However, South Manchester opened the scoring when they countered and stretched the play before delivering a ball to the back post where a striker swept home.
As the game wore on Village got more and more into the game but they were to be their own worst enemies with two mistakes from Cowell and an air kick from Baker seeing the opposition score four. South Manchester also had the luxury of missing a late penalty. In consolation McNaught did well to adjust his body to steer home a finish after he collected Wilson’s shot which came off the bar.
The score line was harsh on the boys as the performance did not merit it but it is imperative that the mistakes are cut out to ensure the team gets the results their performances deserve.
The second team had two games during the month. First up they faced Yorkshire Terriers in Salford with the winners taking a good stride towards the top of the league.
Baker started in nets with Cole, McPherson, Ingle and Hammond in front of him. Hardstaff was the shield in front of the defence with Williams, Clayton and Golds just in front of him. New boys Said and Shaw started up front with Browning, Veris, D Hayes and Cowell on the bench.
Village started off well with some good runs and interplay and they looked comfortable at the back with Ingle, playing in his new position of centre defence, excelling in his role. It was unfortunate that some loose play from a throw in saw the opposition strike the first blow with the opening goal.
The heads did not drop and Golds brought the scores level. It was the team from across the Pennines that would take all three points though as they got the final goal of the game that made the difference.
On Easter Sunday the team faced Sale Spartans FC for the second time this season in a friendly. Cowell went in goal with Ingle joining a familiar looking back four of Kidd, McPherson and Cole. Hardstaff again played in defensive mid with Williams, Hammond and Golds ahead of him. Shaw and D Hayes started up front. Sykes, returning from injury, joined Browning on the bench.
The second team played some of their best football of the season in the first half with Shaw and Golds finishing off slick moves with composed finishes to go into the break 2-0 ahead. Sale got one back as they took advantage of some slack defending from a free kick but Shaw got Village’s third to keep the team in control. Williams then missed a fairly simple back post chance before the heavens opened up and threw all kinds of weather at us including strong winds, thunder and lighting and big hailstones. The opposition took advantage of the conditions as a cross was picked up by the wind and flew into the back of the net to make it 3-2.
The weather was getting ridiculous and the referee called the players off the pitch until conditions got better. But after 10 minutes the man in the middle gave up and abandoned the game which had approx. 70 minutes gone.
See the full set of photos here.
Looking ahead to April, the first team are hoping to get four games played. First up they face AFC Flixton in Urmston and follow this up with a home game against Miam Miam Celtic. Their re-arranged game against Mace will take place on 17 April with the month to be completed with a game against a yet to be confirmed opponent. All weather dependent!!
The second team face a trip to the Welsh capital as they take on Cardiff Dragons in the final GFSN League game on Saturday 23 April.
Words: Rob McPherson
Photos: Steve Joyce