2018 in review: Men’s team – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

2018 in review: Men’s team

With the festive season now upon us, it is the perfect opportunity to take a look back at some of the high points of a year that turned out to be somewhat of a rollercoaster for West. The year started with a 6-1 loss away at City of Liverpool, but fortunes quickly turned around as Steve Settle put a losing streak behind him as we ended the season with only 6 losses in the next 22 games. Highlights of that run included a thrilling 2-1 win over Congleton towards the end of March, a victory over bogey team 1874 Northwich by the same scoreline a month later, and – of course – the derby day victory over South Manchester rivals Maine Road on the penultimate game of the season.

2018/19 hasn’t had quite so many highs, with a string of poor results leading to Steve Settle resigning from his role, the win away at Squires Gate being his final victory as manager. With the club now in the relegation spots, back to back victories mean the club can look into 2019 with some optimism – manager David Powell will be hoping the new years brings the same uptick in form it did last January.

Here, we’ve picked out 4 games that have defined the positives of the past 12 months. Hopefully our 2019 review will have some even greater highs to celebrate. Regardless, we’d like to thank you for your magnificent support over the course of the year, and look forward to welcoming you down to Brookburn Road for the rest of our league campaign and beyond.

West (Shaw 69, Steer 75, Woods 85) 3 – 2 Winsford, Saturday 13 January

A draw appeared the least likely outcome as both sides insisted on claiming all three points, and West held their nerve and struck decisively with another goal of high quality five minutes from time. Shaw played Bailey through in the right channel, and his ball back inside was met by Woods, who deftly beat Green to spark another round of fevered celebrations from the bumper crowd. Before this game, West and Winsford’s head-to-head record was completely even, so it was no surprise that the outcome hung in the balance right up until the 94th minute, but after Hodges claimed a last-ditch Blues corner, West could celebrate an invaluable three points

West XI
Hodges, Tinker, Coo, Middleton (Steer 53), Bayunu (Eiselt 72), Potts, Mason, Sergeant, Bailey, Shaw (Affleck 86), Woods. Not used: O’Donnell, Whyment.

Squires Gate 1 – 2 (Bailey 85, 89 pen) West. Saturday 10 March

West won on the road for the first time in almost three months as Tom Bailey’s late brace floored Squires Gate. This was the third game in a row in which they scored in the final five minutes – and they looked to snatch a win in a frantic final few moments. It appeared that their chance had come and gone when Shaw glanced Bailey’s cross wide from the edge of the six-yard box, but when Massamba was sent flying in the penalty area, Bailey coolly beat Fletcher from the spot to secure a hugely satisfying three points.

West XI

Ashley, Affleck, Tinker, Eckersley, Olapade (Whyment 65), Bayunu, Steer (Massamba 76), Sergeant, Bailey, Shaw, Woods. Not used: Reader, McKenzie, Slaven.

West 4 (Rogers 5, Woods 13, Kay 45+1, Rydings 65) – 3 Maine Road, Monday 7th May

West survived a late Maine Road comeback to claim a first win at Brookburn Road against their neighbours, whose relegation to the First Division was confirmed on a sweltering afternoon in M21. A club record crowd saw West race into a three-goal half-time lead through Mark Rogers, Ashley Woods and Matty Kay, and though Declan Rydings immediately responded to Ben Davison’s goal after the interval, Road leading scorer Jack Coop scored twice late on to ensure a frantic finale.

West XI

Ashley, Olapade, Rydings, Eckersley, Rogers, Middleton (Botchey 76), Steer (Dickenson 67), Kay (Whyment 64), Bailey, Woods, Mason. Not used: Reader, Eislet.

Whitchurch Alport 0 – 2 (Coombes 12, Gavin 32) West, Saturday 15 December

David Powell’s reign as West manager got off to a perfect start with an accomplished win over Whitchurch Alport. He only had two days and one training session to prepare for the visit to Yockings Park, but this was an extremely promising display in atrocious conditions. West pressed high to seize control of proceedings and were inventive in attack, rewarded with two goals inside the first 35 minutes. And they were resolute after the break to restrict an increasingly frustrated home side to half-chances, keeping only their second clean sheet of the campaign.

West XI

Burgess, Sergeant, Pearson, Andrews, Eiselt, Eckersley, Leather, Gavin, Kilheeney, Shaw (Langford 85), Coombes (Woods 59). Not used: Potts, Botchey, Tsegaye.

Match reports by Robert Lee.