November 2016 reviewed
30 November 2016
It was a tough month on the field for both teams as neither side was able to register a victory in November.
Following a very successful October, the first team were knocked out of three competitions and saw their only league game postponed due to the weather.
First up the boys faced Manchester Celtic Adults 1 in the Manchester County FA Saturday Amateur Cup last 32. Things started off well for Village as they took a 2-0 lead into the break thanks to cracking goals from M&M - Mooney and Mbano. After a reasonable but unremarkable first half, they let this lead slip in a lethargic second half however as the game ended 2-2, with Celtic equalising with poor goals that should not have happened. The game went to penalties; Manchester Celtic were the ones to hold their nerve better and won the shootout 4-2.
Hollingworth Firsts were next up as Village travelled to Dukinfield on Remembrance weekend Saturday for a Lancashire & Cheshire League Whitehead Cup tie (the Cup for divisions A and B). Following a perfectly observed minute’s silence the action got underway and both sides matched each other well with the half time whistle sounding with the score at 1-1 thanks to Mooney’s second goal of the month. It was a second half to forget for Village though as, despite another Mooney strike, Hollingworth found the net four more times to knock Village out 5-2.
The lads were supposed to face Bury Amateur AFC 3rd the following week but the first real spate of bad weather saw the game postponed thanks to a waterlogged pitch.
The first team concluded the month with a Lancashire & Cheshire League Rhodes Cup match-up against Parrswood Celtic 1 (Rhodes Cup is for all L&C divisions). It was always going to be a tough game as the opposition were five divisions above our boys. However Village put in a spirited performance with goals from Ezenekwe and Mbano giving the team hope. It was not enough though as the quality opposition scored five to knock Village out of the third cup competition in as many games.
Eyes turn towards December where fingers are crossed that games will go ahead despite the anticipated nippy weather.
The second team had just the one match to play in November as they travelled to Peffermill Sports Complex in Edinburgh to face HotScots in the GFSN League.
The Scottish team have been in formidable form over the past few years and they would be hoping to use the fact that the game was at home, and that the Village lads had just had a five hour journey, to their advantage.
And they were the team to get off on the front foot with their strength and smart play causing Village some trouble. It was disappointing though that the two goals that separated the teams at half time came from a close offside (or lack thereof!) call and a clumsily conceded penalty.
HotScots added a third after half time but Village showed that they could be a force when some great link up play between McNaught and Hammond released David Hayes who calmly and cleverly poked the ball past the onrushing keeper to reduce the deficit.
It showed the second team players that if they kept things calm and played the simple ball then inroads could be made - and they did start to look more dangerous. However, as the boys pushed on to try and grab a goal that would make the game closer, HotScots broke and scored two more to win the tie 5-1.
Words: Rob McPherson
Photographs: Steve Joyce