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Sat 4th May Styal Res 2 Whaley Bridge Res 2; Northenden Vics 0 Styal 'A' 0
May 4, 2013, 7:23 pm

Norhenden Vics 0 Styal 'A' 0

A game of blood, grit and raw effort saw the determined Styal warriors pitted against the physically strong Northenden Vics, who sported a forward line of hefty bruising forwards all with the looks of seasoned heavyweight boxers and the shooting prowess of the Spanish Armada in thick fog. The referee (Graham Anderson), a sprightly and nimble figure manoeuvred his way around the action as if on roller skates as the dust rose as the frantic battle ensued with legs and arms flailing. The pitch was surrounded by Styal’s sizeable travelling contingent on the West side and Northenden’s entourage on the windward side mopping the dust from their eyes in the sunlight as they sensed an early goal.

Styal’s reorganised back 4 saw another appearance by long-time favourite Sim Cook. Despite the years taking their toll on body and looks his organisational skills set the defensive battlelines. The tactics, worked well as he gave the freedom to young Matt Coffey to display his tattoos to amuse the oncoming Northenden forwards destroying their rhythm and causing them to shoot wildly and nowhere near Styal’s goal. The Armada went to the long ball game. When the tattoo tactics failed to work, goalkeeper and local PC Matt Purvis fresh from arresting local TV stars arrived off his line in a timely fashion to thwart each attack and fix it for Styal. The battle continued to rage and in other areas of the pitch Styal came to life. Matt West was like a battering ram as he picked up the ball on the halfway line and Nick Wright, much quicker after his recent slimming world experience was a lively influence constantly irritating the Northenden left full back as he ran in behind, sometimes with the ball even, crossing clinically across the penalty area as the rest of his colleagues arrived a bit later than he expected; gasping for breath, before running back in the other direction.

Despite a scare when Northenden hit the post with a header it was Styal who finished the half with the best chance as Matt West worried the corner flag with an opportunity he had created for himself. The home ground divots pushed the ball as he was shooting towards a wide open goal.

The blood and thunder of the first half was followed by even more huffing and puffing from the Northenden team as they sought some second half plunder. Styal re-organised, Gareth Metcalfe moved across into the centre of the midfield to shore things up and between moves massage the legs of the essential, yet worn out Matt Cook; an inferior looking specimen to brother Sim. Adam Houldsworth pressed the mobile Vics midfielders like a man possessed and always threatened the areas somewhere near to the region of the goal, whilst on the other side the undersized Daine McCormick and even smaller Darren Fluery snapped away at legs and occasionally leapt to make waist high headers. Stuart Maddocks was composure itself, drifting in and out of tackles with the ball on occassions and caressing left foot passes down the lines giving the Styal forward’s the chance to create more and more opportunities to put their heads in their hands.

Styal’s chances were numerous and always squandered. Despite the marvellous endeavour and build up play, a divot, a threepenny bit head, a shot rifled off the shin or the large bottom of an opposition player made it impossible to score. The excitement was electric though. Both sides were undaunted by their inabilities infront of goal. Northenden who had the luxury of a substitute less than 50 years old that they could use, brought off their main threat. His long and tumultuous argument with his manager on the basis that he would have scored eventually faded into the afternoon as Northenden brought on another boxer with dubious feet. Despite everything, even in this game there was one special moment anyone there will not forget... A goalmouth incident, bodies everywhere and shots blocked by Styal legs. A Northenden forward shoots low and hard into the empty net;.. or so everyone thought. From nowhere and getting down in a way reminiscent of Gordon Banks in 1970 when he saved from Pele; this was Matt Purvis and the right arm of the law at it’s best, parrying the cannonball shot away at least 50 metres. This finally destroyed Northenden’s belief that they could score. Even having worn away at Sim Cook’s rigid rearguard, here was a final and unbreachable defence.

The thrashing action continued until the last moment, end to end action, a glorious spectacle, bright honest endeavour and not a goal in sight.

Northenden will go into their final 2 games hoping to make the runners up spot in the league. Styal’s final game of the season has finished in the way they have been all season. A gutsy performance by a group of players who have played for each other and given it everything.

Sat 27th April Gamesley 7 Styal 2; Styal 'A' 3 Broadheath 1
Apr 27, 2013, 6:38 pm

Styal 'A' earned the points against Broadheath with 3 well taken goals from Tom Marsden, Tom Allen and Adam Houldsworth. Matt Purvis again donned the gloves and performed well each time he was called into action to give the side a solid base.

sat 13th april Rylands 2 Styal 2; Styal Res 3 Pilkingtons Res 2; Styal 'A' 4 West Didsbury 1
Apr 13, 2013, 7:49 pm

Styal 'A' came off 1-0 up at half time after Sam Jackson fired an unstoppable free kick into the top corner of the net. Styal had dominated the first half but failed to build up a good lead. West Didsbury came out off the blocks in determined fashion but Styal were resolute at the back with Matt Coffey having a solid game in the centre of the defence. Styal scored again when Darren Fluery broke through and then for a 3rd time when the best move of the game ended with Elliott Abedian shooting into the bottom corner of the net.

West Didsbury scored from a dubious penalty and they pushed hard to get a second. However with about 10 minutes to go Lee Taylor who had led the line well was put in by Darren Fluery's pass and fired home to seal the points.

Sat 6th April Denton Town 0 Styal 6; Styal Res 7 Daten Res 1; APFC 1 Styal 'A' 0
Apr 6, 2013, 6:28 pm

Great results for the 1st and reserve teams.

The 'A' team went down to an APFC strike with 15 minutes to go in a tightly fought contest in Sale. Neither side managed to string many passes together and all the action came in set pieces, particularly corners where both sides scrambled clearances off the line. It looked like Justin Smith had saved a point for Styal in the dieing minutes but his shot went inches wide off the APFC upright with the keeper beaten.

Sat 23rd March Styal 1 Middlewich 1; Middlewich Res 3 Styal Res 1; Sale Town 3 Styal 3 AET Sale Town win 5-3 on pens
Mar 25, 2013, 7:40 am

Styal 'A' put in a good performance in an open cup tie at Sale played in a strong cold wind and often blizzard conditions. Sale edged the first half and came off 2-0 up. Styal mounted a great comeback in the second half with Danny Pearson and Matt Cook pegging the game back to 2-2 before Sale scored with a free kick leaving Styal 3-2 down. Styal were far from done though and every time they got the ball forward they looked dangerous. Matt West levelled things up and despite making more chances to win in normal time Styal couldnt convert them. Extra time again saw chances for both sides. Danny Pearson and Elliott Abedian hit the bar with efforts that looked goalbound and Matt Cook had a shot within the last seconds of the game that had beaten the keeper but went inches wide. The lottery of penalties in followed and Sale took their chance to win the tie.

Sat 16th March Knutsford 4 Styal 2, West Didsbury & Chorlton 3 Styal 'A' 0; Styal Res postponed
Mar 16, 2013, 9:49 pm

Sat 9th March Styal 3 Whaley Bridge 4; Billinge Res 1 Styal Res 0; Styal 'A' 1 Wendover 8
Mar 11, 2013, 5:27 am

Sat 2nd March Lostock 2 Styal 3; Styal Res 1 Rylands Res 1; Styal 'A' 2 Unicorn 0
Mar 2, 2013, 7:52 pm

A good result for Styal 1sts away from home whilst the resrves will be disappointed with just a point. Styal 'A' progress in the cup with goals from Matt West and Matt Cooke.

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