Friday, 6 May 2022


3rd May 2022 - Whalley Range 4 v 0 Wythenshawe Amateur Reserves - The final throes of the latest campaign are upon us with only a couple of viewing chances left before a full on immersion is taken into noise and nature. It has been an entertaining season and the two teams on show tonight had been viewed a couple of times each during the lengthy campaign.  Upon arrival I had a good chat with a few faces, acquired a brew and then found a quiet spot at the opposite side of the ground with STP Stu.  Good jaw wagging, decent weather and a great way to spend a midweek evening. It looked as though Whalley Range would romp away with this one, come the end of matters it seemed this was just the case. 

A settled start was soon upset with a marauding run forth by the home team's No 8 (Cedric Obama) who was unceremoniously tumbled for his troubles.  The free-kick was like a fruit-machine in Niggardly Norman's Golden Mile Arcade and produced sour bugger all - ooh me cherries.  A new surge soon followed, No 11 (Emmanuel Amole) hugged the wing, put in a low cross that brought about a neat dummy and a shot by No 10 (Tim Kinsella) that was all too tame.  Within seconds Obama was arse over tit once more and a free-kick was awarded.  No 4 (Jack Timmons) chose to have a pop with the bonus ball, but the shot was wide of the mark. This was looking like a long night ahead for the young Wythy lads.

The Whalley waves kept on crashing on the shores of a windswept Wythy Bank with the next dash and splash coming via a corner that was nutted back allowing No 6 (Jacob Wood) to head on target close in.  Like a rubber man on a jumping bean diet the keeper leapt, made a choice tip over and kept the onion bag from further molestation.  The corner that followed was... ahem... crap.

The pressure rose on the Wythy goal, No 9 (Daniel Heffernan) had a shot well saved and Wood put another header over the bar.  The one way traffic was temporarily halted by a rare advance for the guests with No 2 (Stelio Da Skida) battling like a bulldog with an annoying nob wasp niggling the old oriental eye.  Alas the bonus boot was hit straight at the keeper which led to a breakaway for the hosts.  The move was swift and cutting, Obama was the final component but after a comfortable chest down could only recklessly twat the ball and fracture the murky Heavens.

More shots came the same way with no success until another rapier move saw the ball go out wide and get instantly delivered with pace and accuracy.  Obama was in the right place at the right time and scored with what looked like his knee. A punt with the patella, the goal had been coming.

The unstoppable Rangers came forth over and over again, the nearest they came to doubling their lead was when Kinsella darted, fed Heffernan who shot on goal close in but was denied success by a top class save. Kinsella had his own pop on target next but the keeper was in the way once more.  Wythenshawe had their own attempt on goal that was closer to the local mosque rather than the onion bag and then Kinsella and Amole linked up at the other end with the latter only denied by a very alert stickman.

Another goal for the hosts looked very much on the cards and when No 7 (Walter Chiororo) let fly many onlookers thought the lead had been doubled only to see the ball hit the underside of the bar.  The ball was gathered outside the box by a determined No 5 (Dylan Smith) who stampeded through a mush of bodies and was unlucky to just run out of space.  

Wythenshawe looked destined to go into the interval only 1 goal to the bad but the Range's Amole had other ideas and pilfered the ball in midfield, played a gorgeous pass over the top that Kinsella pounced on and duly sent into the meshing.  It was a body blow for the mauled and mangled guests but they managed to keep the scoreline as it was (due to a few more saves and some poor finishing) and went into the interval with their manager still showering his squad with admirable positivity.

We had a brew at the break and I partook of some chips.  The serving hatch was billowing mists like an overcrowded opium den and when I looked inside I expected to see a couple of prostrate Chinese blokes away with the mystical fairies - by heck what an environment. Despite the cooking situation the chips and tea went down like ambrosia and nectar - the food of the Gods.

Back in position for period two and the Whalley Range machine rolled on.  Chiororo came close with a run and rattle but only the inside of the post was left trembling instead of the keeper's nervous system.  Wythenshawe continued to work away and to give credit where credit is due, I must say they did well to snaffle a short period of possession.  The ownership of the ball was all to no avail though as Chiororo came on again, had one look and fired home to bring the shutters down on the final result.  A chance to add a fourth came seconds later but the mittman, yet again, did the business on a night when he deserved much better than a 3 goal deficit.

Obama and Amole coupled up next (sexy buggers) with the latter player shooting (cripes) and the gloved one keeping his own area unpenetrated (ooh the promiscuity of some of these players).  The Range looked to add further offspring to their family of goals with Chiororo and Kinsella pairing up and being denied the birth of another net-bulging babby by the stubbornly reliable human contraceptive.  

Another block by the travelling No 1 (Sam Goodwin), a penalty shout at the other end (that looked a good call) and No 6 (Daniel Ahens) for The Ammies with an effort that was close enough to tingle the todger of hope made sure this game was non-stop action down to the wire. A few offside decisions scuppered any further invasions of the netting until a Whalley Range dash was halted by a crude tackle in the box and a penalty was given that was firmly fired home by Heffernan.  4 - 0 and after a few more attempts at goal, the referee saved the pummelled opposition from a further mauling on the ropes and called time on a good night's work for the home squad.  Despite a good team performance for Whalley Range the Man of the Match choice goes to Wythenshawe Amateurs' No 1 (Sam Goodwin) who really caught the eye with a string of magical saves, a good awareness under pressure and an obvious talent to take things to the next level - here's hoping and good on ya fella.

I was home for 9pm after the game, tucked up for 9.15pm with my good lady and reading a couple of footy magazines I picked up called 'Where's The Bar' - all good stuff.

FINAL THOUGHT - This was the 87th game of the season that I had viewed tonight and I am looking forward to a break. The match was thoroughly enjoyed though and after a few weeks away from the touchline I am sure I will be foaming to get back in the mix.  Wythenshawe Amateurs Reserves are laden with good prospects and have a solid foundation from which the first team can prosper.  Tonight they showed discipline and a sound temperament whilst coming up against many more experienced players and a team well drilled and looking to move on. Whalley Range will be moving up a level next season and a new challenge awaits.  On recent evidence they look set to make a few waves and really put in a good fight although they need to be more clinical in front of goal and not waste as many chances.  I hope to be back here on several occasions and may scribble another report - one has gotta keep doofing.

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