Georgians hang on for derby win

Tuesday 3rd September 2013
Wythenshawe Amateurs 2 Stockport Georgians 3
FBT Manchester League Premier Division
At: Wythenshawe Club, Longley Lane
Kick-off: 6-15 pm
Admission: none; Programme: none
Weather: sunny spells

For someone who prefers to arrive a good hour before kick-off, imagine the relief I felt just 14 minutes from the scheduled start of the Manchester League derby when the street name sign on the Farmers Arms told me I was about to turn left on to ‘Longley Lane’. And four minutes later after some toing and froing, I was parked up in a side street after discovering the small car park at the Wythenshawe Club was full. Panic over as I walked through the gate into the ground and huge sigh of relief, though not early enough to obtain the line-ups before the game commenced despite trying.

It was Peter Ford, on Facebook’s Non-League Grounds of England Wales and Scotland, who initially highlighted the game, and the two clubs’ websites and Twitter feeds whetted my appetite for a game between two unbeaten teams. Even so, I did make a late decision to head up the M6 to this corner of south Manchester. Peter did indeed make the trip along with ‘KYM’ and ‘DavyC’ as well as ‘Sale Holmfield’ whose presence I wasn’t aware of until reading his review on the Non-League Matters Forum.

I said that Barnet’s new Hive ground (see Saturday’s report) has a traditional layout for a lower-league ground and, in a different way, so does Wythenshawe’s ground – a classic part-roped, part-railed pitch on one side of a cricket ground. The surrounding greenery on a nice late summer evening added to the general pleasantness of the venue, located around six miles south of Manchester city centre. I’d wanted to visit for a long while as my wife was born at the local hospital.

Apart from the hospital connection, I felt some kind of familiarity with the home club. Did they feature on my old 1970s Bartholomew Football Map of England and Wales, or perhaps cropped up when I’ve reached the history of clubs that competed in the FA Amateur Cup? Peter Miles’ article dismisses the former idea ( as I can’t find my copy which used to be proudly displayed on my childhood bedroom wall.

What I do know, briefly, is that the club was originally founded as Wythenshawe Lads Club in 1946 and Wythenshawe Amateurs FC was established four years later. They are long-standing members of the Manchester League and used to compete in the FA Vase and its predecessor the FA Amateur Cup.

Both sides could rightly boast an unbeaten record; Wythenshawe (six points from four games) by virtue of three draws and Stockport Georgians (11 points from five games) by virtue of three wins.

Attacking the west end in the first, Wythenshawe (in blue and white) got the game underway and certainly were the brighter side. They almost took a 22nd minute lead when Mark Hughes’ corner was knocked down to Alan Dolan who saw his shot blocked on the line.

In a ‘first half or two half’, Stockport started to dominate as the interval approached, taking the lead in the 34th minute. Tyrone Turner put Michael Taylor clear on the right and the skipper lobbed Paul Hughes, the Ammies goalkeeper who hesitated as he left his line.

With much appreciation from myself, one Georgian official approached me during the interval to provide me with his team’s lineup.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 53rd minute. Stuart Torkington crossed from the left and Turner sent a looping header over Paul Hughes from the edge of the area.

Wanting to sample the view from the far side, I waited for a break in play before scurrying behind the goal. From my new vantage point near the away dugout, I saw what we thought was Georgians putting the outcome beyond doubt with a third unanswered goal scored just after the hour mark. George Langford's accurate pass split the home defence to present Sam Noar with a perfect change which he fired into the far bottom-left corner of the net.

Game over? Well, no as the Ammies staged a spirited late comeback.

David Wright powered home a header direct from a corner in the 71st minute to reduce the deficit and same defender saw a well-struck free-kick thump the Georgians bar. Then with a minute plus stoppage time remaining, Dean Preston scrambled home a second for Wythenshawe to set up a ‘grandstand’ finish.

The Ammies couldn’t complete their comeback and the three points took Georgians to the top of the Premier Division table.

My ‘teamsheet woes’ continued after the final whistle as the Wythenshawe lineup proved elusive, that was until back home when the website provided me the 16 names I needed.

Wythenshawe Amateurs (blue and white stripes / blue / blue and white hoops): 1. Paul Hughes, 2. Dean Preston, 3. Lee Preston, 4. Chris Howard (capt), 5. Aaron Flynn, 6. David Wright, 7. Adam Stuart, 8. Mark Hughes, 9. Pat O'Brien, 10. Gavin Stewart, 11. Alan Dolan. Subs: 12. Adam Walker (for Lee Preston, 60), 14. Anthony Osbourne (not used), 15. Matt Newell (not used), 16. Danny McDonald (for Mark Hughes, 74), 17. Paul Hayes (for Stewart, 60).

Stockport Georgians (red / black / red and white hoops): 1. David Cash, 2. Sam Halligan, 3. Stuart Torkington, 4. Paul Beresford, 5. Jake Bramwell, 6. Luke Seaton, 7. George Langford, 8. Tyrone Turner, 9. Michael Taylor (capt), 10. Sam Noar, 11. Sam Partridge. Subs: 12. Ryan McNally (for Noar, 69), 14. Stuart Rayes (not used), 15. Thomas Russell (for Taylor, 62), 16. Carlos Royo-Barcena (for Langford, 80).

Referee: Daniel Deakin
Assistants: Chris Goodwin and David Brown

Attendance: 64
Duration: first-half: 46:41; second-half: 48:52

0-1 Michael Taylor (34)
0-2 Tyrone Turner (53)
0-3 Sam Noar (64)
1-3 David Wright (71)
2-3 Dean Preston (89)

Wythenshawe Amateurs: Chris Howard (YC, 45+1), Paul Hayes (YC, 77)
Stockport Georgians: Sam Partridge (YC, 28), Michael Taylor (YC, 28), Tyrone Turner (YC, 90)