Town gain hard earned draw as Kilmartin sees red
Match report from Neil Turner
Worsley Town gained a hard fought 1-1 draw in the CFFL Shield against a disciplined and hard working West Didsbury.
The Dukes battled from a goal down to secure a point after an Andy Hewitt shot drew the game level.
The first half started at a decent pace as the greasy surface made for an entertaining opening 20 minutes. West Didsbury shaded the opening exchanges, as Towns defence and 'keeper were called into action a number of times. Mike Smith impressed, making a couple of fantastic last ditch tackles, whilst Fitton made a superb low save as the visitors pressed. Town also had a few chances as Eckersley and Lever came close with some early sighters, none of which could force a save from the Didsbury number 1.
West Didsbury are an extremely big and experienced side and looked to use the long ball and the set-piece game to their advantage. The Didsbury number 10 frequently peeled off to the left flank and some long raking passes found their way over to the tricky forward who was proving difficult to pick up.
From one of these exchanges Wolstencroft conceded a harsh free-kick after the ref deemed that he made contact with the player, who was himself a little surprised at the outcome of the decision. From the free-kick, the ball was swung to the far post and centre-back Neil Turner headed clear. The ball was recycled though, and a Didsbury striker was left unmarked and his stopping header cannoned back of the post.
Town hit back moments later with a chance of their own. Mike Smith did well to intercept a pass and he ran 30 yards before his excellent low cross behind the back four was diverted just wide by Ben Lever. Town came back into proceedings more and more after this and an excellent breakaway saw Eckersley and Lever link up after Hewitt broke up the play in the centre of the park. Eckersley skinned his man and played in Andrew Fletcher. Fletcher's first touch took him slightly wide, but he connected well with his shot that looked to be flying in, but the Didsbury defender dived in and charged down the shot superbly.
Scott Ryan, Turner and Smith continued to be put under pressure with some high balls but came out on top for the remainder of the half, before Ryan suffered a hamstring strain. He was replaced at half time, as player-manager Aaron Ramsbottom replaced him.
Town started the second half well and Andrew Fletcher almost opened the scoring after a great through ball from Eckersley saw him latch onto it, his first touch was exquisite and he skinned his marker, but the 'keeper thwarted his dinked effort with a superb save.
Moments later Didsbury themselves broke the deadlock, a long diagonal ball was played over the top of Turner and Wolstencroft and the pacy winger found himself through on goal, from an angle he smacked his effort goalwards and the ball crashed off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net. It was an excellent finish by the Didsbury man.
Ben Lever was replaced by Dave Kiely as the forward couldn't shake off a deadleg sustained in the first half. Kiely linked up well and was on hand with some quick thinking to help Town equalise. Town won a throw and he sprinted to the sidelines and launched a 20 yard throw straight to Eckersley, the midfielder took the ball on his chest and flicked it over a defenders head, his volleyed pass was met on the run by the excellent Andy Hewitt who cracked a 20 yard effort into the bottom corner.
After the goal Andrew Fletcher was brought off and Peter Kilmartin came on for his first appearance of the season. Kilmartin slotted into the full back position as Town reshuffled. He started well and good piece of play saw him release Ramsbottom down the right flank who managed to swing in a cross that looked to be heading to the feet of Alex Law, but the 'keeper came out and thwarted his effort.
Dave Fitton was called into action again as he superbly saved a low shot after a scramble in the box. Neil Turner also saved a goalscoring chance, when he threw his body into a diving header as the Didsbury frontman looked to volley home from close range.
The last meaningful action in the game was a sour note. Substitute Peter Kilmartin was sent off for a wild 2 footed lunge. The defender was rightly shown a straight red for the challenge.
The referee brought the game to an end, and on reflection, it was probably a good point for Town, who rode their luck at times.
S. Ryan (A. Ramsbottom)
A. Fletcher (P. Kilmartin)
B. Lever (D. Kiely)
Man of the Match: Mike Smith
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