West Didsbury & Chorlton – 0
Burscough – 3
FA Cup Preliminary Round – 31st August 2013
Ah, probably the greatest competition of club football in the world. Yes, sod the Premier League, the FA Cup is brilliant. The romance of the competition, that a team of misfits can take it from the Extra Premlinary round right through to the final at Wembley, it’s unseeded, and it’s fantastic. But screw the romance packages you experience in video montages on ITV, lets look at real romance. Real, sexy, romance. Romance that Adrian Chiles can only dream about. Romance that was alive and well in an area of South Manchester.
Romance exemplified by West Didsbury & Chorlton. You see, since they were promoted for their first time to the North West Counties Premier League, West Didsbury & Chorlton this season entered the FA Cup for the first time. Furthermore, they are also have something many teams (including Manchester United, who are little over a mile away from the Whites) don’t have – a 100% record. Beating Abbey Hey in the first game, West Didsbury & Chorlton welcomed Burscough on something described in some quarters as a cup run. I arrived at the ground close to the Bowling Green pub in Chorlton a bit ahead of schedule, thankfully in the cricket pavilion that dominates one side of the ground was a makeshift bar, with a TV and also a rather impressive mural detailing the history of the club in the past 100-odd years. After a quick pint (which was too quick, as you could take beer outside), I took my space on the half way line (which was a bit troublesome, due to a large floodlight between the stand and pitch), to watch the match. West Didsbury started brightly, as the weaker team they seemed keen to get the early goal, but after about 10 minutes Burscough got more into the match, and come the 20 minutes mark the home team were under immense pressure, with only poor finishing leading to the teams being level. The deadlock was broken around the half hour mark when Jordan Williams seized on a mix-up in the back to slot the ball past the keeper. No further action took place in the first half and it ended up 0-1 to Burscough.
I retried to the clubhouse, where a couple of Chorltonites were discussing‘s defeat earlier in the week to (which I had great delight I informed them I was a Bay fan). I took my beer outside for the second half. Again it was the same story, West Didsbury started brightly but soon Burscough came back into the game, and were 2-0 up on the 75 minute mark when a sexy near post corner was headed in by Paul Williams at the far post. Absolutely stunning goal. The home side pressed to save their undefeated record in the FA Cup but were punished when they left space at the back for Mark Beesley to score in the dying minutes. Final score 3-0 to Burscough, a well deserved win, and West Didsbury & Chorlton’s unbeaten record in the FA Cup has gone.
All in all though, I had a cracking day out in the third closest club to my front door. I must go again, the location was brilliant, the weather was lovely and the beer was outside. What better way to spend the last Saturday in August?