CHESHIRE & MANCHESTER SUNDAY FOOTBALL LEAGUE – DIVISION TWO
SUN 11 OCT 20, 11:00
Three wins in a row as Davyhulme Park approached their toughest game of the season so far, against a strong Ladybarn side that will definitely be pushing for promotion at the end of the season. Ladybarn came into the game in second position, with four wins out of five. They also boast a number of ex-Davyhulme Park players, which always adds something to this fixture.
Ladybarn took kick off and it was evident that they had the height advantage, so Davyhulme would be vulnerable from set pieces.
Davyhulme didn’t manage a fast start like they have in recent weeks, instead Ladybarn were the driving force early. They dominated possession and looked the most threatening, although Davyhulme managed to withstand the pressure. Taylor made some fantastic saves to prevent them taking the lead. The most notable being a freekick taken by ex-Davyhulme Park full back Rick Peters, hit with real power it deflected off the wall but Taylor adjusted to push it round the post.
It wasn’t until the 29th minute that the deadlock was broken, and arguably against the run of play. Singh had taken responsibility to drive the team forward. After a number of one-two’s, Singh had pushed forward from left back to the edge of the Ladybarn box when he was taken down. Gee setup to take the resulting freekick, which was around 25 yards out and slightly off centre of the net. He got plenty of power behind his shot but it was down the keepers throat, and should’ve been a simple save. Instead he seemingly caught the ball but threw it over his shoulder to give Davyhulme the lead.
The game continued in the same vein, with Ladybarn looking the more threatening. The pressure and possession finally came to fruition as Ladybarn found the equaliser. A neat ball through the Davyhulme defence saw a tight offside call correctly go in favour of the attacking team, putting the Ladybarn striker through one-on-one. He made no mistake and Taylor’s clean sheet was snatched away with a clinical finish to level the game.
Shortly after the restart and the Davyhulme goalscorer would leave the pitch in the worst way. Recently back from a hamstring injury, he challenged for a ball in the air but was knocked off balance and landed awkwardly onto a straight leg. The ball was put out of play, so Gee could receive treatment, and he was duly replaced by Jack Irlam.
As the half was drawing to a close Ladybarn’s first half performance got the reward that it deserved, as they took the lead in the 44th minute. The referee’s performance had raised eyebrows through the half, and an incorrectly awarded corner would be worked well by Ladybarn and end up in the back of Taylor’s net. They took the corner short, worked the ball to the edge of the box where former Davyhulme midfielder David Drinkwater curled a ball through the packed box into the far post, leaving Taylor with no chance.
Half Time: Davyhulme Park 1 – Ladybarn 2
The beginning of the second half saw Davyhulme Park come alive, and turn this match into a much tighter affair. Ladybarn won the first half in every sense of the word, but Davyhulme upped their level to dominate the second.
There was a definite pattern to the second half, with Davyhulme seeing a lot more of the ball and the new midfield trio; Leigh Burke, Ryan Burke and Jack Irlam dictating the pace of the game. There was also a lot more fouls, stoppages and time wasting, with the referee failing to get a grip of the game. On a number of occasions the Ladybarn squad kicked the ball away and extended stoppages as much as possible but remained unpunished.
Davyhulme continued to pile on the pressure, without creating any clear opportunities to get back into the game. The final ten minutes of the game turned it into a classic, and Ladybarns time wasting would come back to bite them.
Ladybarn had shuffled their defence over as Davyhulme Park had possession on the left wing, they quickly work the ball inside to Leigh Burke, he turned out and again moved the ball quickly to Ryan Burke. Second half substitute Shawn McRae had tucked inside his full back, dragging him in with the movement and left Ryan Burke with the charge on the outside when he received the ball. A couple of touches to set the ball out, and he slotted home in the 84th minute with the Ladybarn keeper seemingly diving out of the way.
The game now level at 2-2 and only three minutes later, in the 87th minute, Davyhulme were to complete the turn around.
Jack Irlam took a quick freekick short to Ryan Burke on the half way line, before receiving the return pass. A triangle in midfield, with Irlam playing forward into Leigh Burke on the half turn. His first touch took the ball inside, his second rolled the ball inside the full back and into the path of Ryan Burkes forward run. He played the ball first time, back across the front of the Ladybarn goal for Jonathan Sharkey to unnecessarily smash into the top corner.
That wouldn’t be the end of the drama though. The game had been growing in intensity, which had been allowed to fester by the referee with both teams growing more frustrated. Davyhulme’s wild celebrations after scoring their third, also they had begun employing their own time wasting tactics which were only adding to the intensity.
Eventually this came to blow, with the Davyhulme vice-captain Kyle Watson and Drinkwater getting involved after the referee had blown for a foul. The scuffle resulted in a red card for both players and the teams had to see out the remaining minutes with only ten men.
Full Time: Davyhulme Park 3 – Ladybarn 2
A game of two halves, with Tom Taylor keeping Davyhulme in contest in the first half allowing the rest of the team to match his levels in the second and complete the comeback.
WHAT IT MEANS
The win places Davyhulme Park amongst the early leaders of Division Two. Sale United are the early favourites with four wins from four, but there are now five teams on twelve points.
HOW WE LINED UP
GK: Tom Taylor
DEF: Ryan Hanlan, Kyle Watson (C), Stephen Harper, Martin Singh
MID: Callum Bennett, Leigh Burke, Phillip Gee
ATT: Ryan Burke, George Partington, Nathan Sharples
SUBS: James Baddley, Jack Irlam, Shawn McRae, Joe Nodding, Jonathan Sharkey
Davyhulme Park will travel to Prestwich and take on Manchester Maccabi’s newly formed second team. In this unusual season, they’ve only managed to complete three fixtures with their only loss coming against Ladybarn.