by Matthew Durrant · 19/03/2019
Only one game managed to see off storm Gareth, but our Junior section are still all very much go - with a final now awaiting, and sales of goose fat in Chorlton through the roof, here's Nick Syrett's ever excellent Junior weekly round-up
“Gareth” might sound like a soft and cuddly Uncle, but the storm that he brewed up this week only had a small pocket of South Manchester jumping for joy. Whilst Hardy farm somehow passed a pitch inspection friday afternoon, any further overnight rain would render the pitches suitable only for one thing. Bozz’s heavy investment in Goose fat for his inaugural bog Snorkeling event on Pitch 4 was given an early green light to go as the deluge commenced at 0200am. The Balmy month of February has turned to a barmy March, and only Bozz’s new found passion in this niche sport has benefited these conditions. Saturday’s games were understandably all written off to the elements. Sunday didn’t fare much better bar this little gem from the U17’s. Like Excalibur rising from the Lake, this sparkling glimmer of hope shone forth..
U 17 Cup semi final away v Sale United U18s
“A cagey first half saw us dominate without really making an impact in the final third, Sale’s only threat coming from long balls over the top but Leo (Ederson) was on his toes.”
0-0 at half time, nails were being nibbled.
“Although it was frustrating, we knew we were the better team and if we kept playing our football we would prevail to a deserved victory.
Shohaib hit a 30 yarder which bounced back off the bar with their keeper stranded. On 65 minutes we were presented with our chance to break the deadlock. We were awarded a clear penalty. Up steps Joey Demby Harris only to hit the post! Oh no, is it going to be one of those days?
The character shown by the team was immense and they were not accepting defeat.
On 70 minutes Finn Hughes made a defence splitting run and was fed a through ball by Mo Forjani. Finn finished it in the bottom corner with so much confidence. 1-0 with 20 minutes to go. Do we shut up shop?- Absolutely not. On 75 minutes Mo swings in a beautiful cross to find Sami Zaman at the far post and bang. It’s 2-0. Sami getting his reward for working so hard down the left all game
We conceded a corner on 81 mins and our keeper lost the flight of the ball in the strong wind and suddenly an undeserved Sale are back in it. You could hear them getting fired up for a final 9 minutes to save the tie, only for Sami to latch onto another great pass. Within seconds of Sale scoring, West are 3-1 up with a cool finish from Sami. Sale had no more to give and we played out the final 8 minutes without a problem.
A truly spirited performance in difficult conditions now onto the cup final. So deserved by a great bunch of lads ? “
In their first season, the U17’s have reached the Cup final. Well done all. Date and location TBC-stay tuned.
News of Bozz’s “Test event” from Sunday on Pitch 4, has, like Bozz, yet to surface. If anyone sees the “Beast” stumbling around the Hardy farm pitches covered in mud and pondweed, do not be alarmed.
In other news, I forgot to mention the efforts from the clubs junior management teams and x1 willing parent who came down to help out on our tidy up day the other weekend. Swaggering round like Nick Knowles from a BBC fix ‘em up show, Tim Manley directed his willing troops around the car park and portacabin of Hardy farm to smarten the place up. Luke sang Fishermans songs as he and Andy fixed holes in the nets that their sons had created with some fierce shots, litter was picked and and weeds persuaded to move to Didsbury in the short term as a crew of handy types made the place look less like a teenager ran the joint. Thanks all - see picture above.