West supporters’ six-a-side tournament review – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

West supporters’ six-a-side tournament review

Last month, 21 teams took part in a supporter-organised six-a-side tournament on Hardy Farm. Tournament organiser Tom Hostler gives us a rundown of the day’s events.

West fans came out in numbers on a fine Saturday afternoon to contest the third edition of the supporters’ six-a-side tournament on Hardy Farm, with Fog Lane Albion crowned this year’s champions.

Echoing the growth of West’s fanbase more generally, the tournament nearly doubled in size since its last edition in 2019, with 21 teams entering this year, split across four groups in a World Cup-style set-up.

Group A was by far the closest, with goal difference being the deciding factor in DF Massive and Fog Lane Albion sneaking through to the semis at the expense of Bobby Chorlton FC. Whalley’s Rangers, 2018 champions Windsor Wanderers, and St Michaels completed the group. DF Massive, featuring Sam Heathcote in net and Matty Cook outfield were understandably the favourites, and cantered into a lead in the group, but the loudest cheer of the day was for Whalley’s Rangers’ 1-0 smash-and-grab victory against them, with Whalley’s keeper putting in a man-of-the-match performance to secure their only win. Shout out to the very unlucky Bobby Chorlton FC (one half of the West U18s championship winning team), who lost out on going through on goal difference: Their 3-0 win over St Michaels in the final group game was celebrated wildly by Fog Lane, as Bobby had required a 4th goal to overtake the blues and go through.

Group B saw the Vets’ over 35 team top their table with an undefeated record and an impressive 3-0 win over Dutch Uncles, who came in second. There’s always one team who turn up to a tournament covered in tattoos and playing head-to-toe in black and this role was fulfilled admirably by DuffDogs, who finished 4th on goal difference behind Dontai’s Infernos in 3rd. The wooden spoon prize of the tournament went to the gracious Burton Road Nomads, who finished with 0 points and a -9 goal difference, although to be fair, it was the first time they had played together, with a squad made of individual West fans otherwise without a team. Thanks for signing up guys!

Liam Delaney and Callum Jones’ Cheese Butty Boys were the only team to come through the group stage with a perfect record, winning all four of their games in Group C. Raised by Wolves came 2nd with 7 points, three clear of both Foodball for Foodbanks and Mayo Chicken FC (who lost the “lunchtime derby” against Cheese Butty Boys 1-0). Finishing the group was Chorlton Tuesday, the only team not to score in the competition, but they did pick up a point from a draw against Raised by

Group D’s two standout teams both went through with 10 points, Mr Ben and the Innocent Men topping the table on goal difference, no surprise as they were the top scorers in the group stage with 10 goals. Second place was North Chorlton Saint Germain, who’s game was more based on a solid defence, with only 1 goal conceded. The youngest and oldest teams in the tournament were evenly matched, with the vet’s over 45s drawing 1-1 with the other U18 team Chorlton Park Rangers, with both teams finishing on 4 points. Bottom of the group was Beech Inn Boys: despite losing 3 games they did pick up a point in an exciting 2-2 draw with Chorlton Park Rangers.

The quarter finals were next, with Raised By Wolves standing strong against Mr Bens’ fearsome attack as they won 1-0 to take them through to the semis. A stalemate between West over 35’s and Fog Lane Albion was decided on penalties, with Fog Lane progressing 2-0, which at least meant that keeper Greenie could take the Golden Glove home with zero goals conceded in normal time. DF Massive dispatched Dutch Uncles 2-0 despite a spirited late fightback from the yellows, and North Chorlton Saint Germain edged out Cheese Butty boys on penalties 4-3.

To avoid a replay from the group stages the opponents for the semis were drawn out of a hat, and Fog Lane Albion were the first team to step foot into the finals, beating North Chorlton 1-0. In the other semi, DF Massive took the lead but Raised by Wolves stayed in the game and secured a late equaliser to take the game to penalties. Goalkeeper Sam Heathcote saved one for DF Massive but Raised By Wolves keeper went one better and saved two from the spot to take them through to the final.

Watched by a significant crowd, the final between Fog Lane Albion and Raised by Wolves was played at a ruthless tempo considering the teams’ exertions, with both teams clearly looking to take home the trophy after normal time. There was a couple of early chances for Fog Lane but some robust defending presented a couple of decent set piece opportunities for Raised by Wolves. The final was decided with a moment of magic from Fog Lane’s striker, squirming away from two challenges before firing a perfectly placed shot in off the far post. The Albion hung on despite some late pressure from Wolves to secure the trophy.

Thank you to all the teams that took part, as well as all our referees for the day. See you next year!