POSTED: July 21 2020 20:49:10. By Keith Long - Programme

This is the last final of the Manchester Saturday Morning Fooball League season. The MSMFL is now its twenty fourth year. It was formed in 1989 with the amagamation of the Manchester Education Football League and the Christian Fellowship Football League.
The Manchester Evening News Cup was originally played for in Education League. It is now the the trophy that is played for by the ALL of the MSMFL clubs in ‘OPEN’ knockout competition.

Today’s competing teams are AFC MIddleton and Manchster Medics.
Both teams have been playing to a high level of consistency this season.
Indeed, Middleton (the Moonrakers) are unbeaten in all MSMFL competitions. They are the Division Three Champions and The President’s Shield Winners.
Medics have had a great second half of the season where they came within a cold stethoscope of taking Divison One Championship away from long time leaders Beechfield United. They have also won ‘the MEN’ twice in recent years.
With these ingredients we should be in for a top quality final game!

The STEELES Shield Final
Last week saw West Didsbury and Chorlton FC host the Steeles Shield Final between Beechfield United and North Manchester FC. In a fast and pulsating game Beechfield ran out 4-0 winners’. Kyle Mears scored first and second half goals, with Phil Heyworth and Jim Walsh also netting in the second period

The PRESIDENT’S Shield Final
On the previous Wednesday we were here for the President’s Shield Final between AFC Middleton and Greenside Rangers. Middleton edged the game with a 2-1 scoreline, but only after a well contested game. Middleton went ahead through top scorer Danny Murray on 22 minutes. Greenside clawed themselves back into the game and deservedly equalised on 36. Several chances then came Rangers way early in the second half but they were unable to score. With just 9 minutes remaining, a flowing move saw Sam Cooke sweep in a low cross from another defender, Liam Murray, for Middleton to take the honours.

MSMFL Finals – Presentation Day
This will take place after the MEN Cup Final from 12.30pm in the Club House at WEST DIDSBURY & CHORLTON AFC. The Cup Final, League Winners and Runners-up trophies, together with Individual Awards will be presented.

AFC Middleton ~ the divisional double will spur them on!

AFC Middleton was formed in June 2012 by former Zurich MSR players John Roche and Chris Beresford. They intended to be Joint Player/ Managers but eventually persuaded their old boss Steve Horan to take up the managerial stance on the touchline. Steve insisted that his protégés do all the leg work of getting FA affiliation, obtaining sponsorship and securing a place in the MSMFL. In true ‘Horan Style’, Steve then set about bringing the organization to Middleton that he has been famed for ‘many a season’. A perfectionist in the ‘Fergie-mould’ Steve and his lieutenant’s set about rapidly transforming the playing personnel. A policy of ‘quality, not quantity’ has seen the massive pre-season squad ‘pruned’ to a settled 20 settled players.

This squad and Steve meticulous approach took AFC Middleton to the quarter final of the Manchester FA Amateur Saturday Cup. The tie saw them matched with Old Stretfordians and ‘the new Middy’ produced their best performance of the season. For long periods they dominated the game but missed several great scoring opportunities, before eventually going down 3-2.

Despite this disappointment, Middleton have continued their relentless charge towards the MSMFL Third Division title. They have been playing some of their best football of the season in recent weeks beating runners up FC Dolce Vita 6-0, a performance Horan rates as ‘the best of the league season’. Last weekend ‘the moonrakers’ completed a remarkable first season in the MSMFL with another great football display beating George FC 8 -1 to maintain their 100% record.

A ‘Divisional Double’ was completed earlier in the month when Middleton won a hard fought 2-1 Presidents Shield Final over Greenside Rangers, a side which Horan rates very highly and believes could comfortably compete in the MSMFL First Division.

Manchester Saturday Morning Football League – Division 3
1 AFC Middleton
14 14 0 0 56 42
2 FC Dolce Vita
14 7 3 4 3 24
3 Greenside Rangers
14 7 1 6 16 22
4 Cassidys FC
13 6 2 5 1 20
5 Medlock Rangers
13 5 2 6 3 17
6 Manchester Ath FC
14 5 2 7 -22 17
7 George FC
14 3 2 9 -26 11
8 Redvales & Warthold Metro
14 1 2 11 -31 5

Table Standings @ Saturday 27th April 2013

AFC Middleton ~ Player Profile

Lee Grogan. Experienced ‘custodian’, a good handler and great shot-stopper. Very vocal, in the ‘Schmichael mould’.
Matt Lever. Was first choice early in the season but work commitments have limited his appearances of late.
Leon Allen. A great squad player who has replaced Lee and Matt when they have been unavailable. Has performed well and been unlucky not to have played more.
Ryan Lyons. Played in this season’s FA Cup for Chadderton FC. Snapped up by ‘Harry’ Horan when he recognized his consistency and attacking talent.
George Walker. Another player with who likes to get forward from fullback. This young lad is a promising footballer who is learning all the time.
Sam Cooke. Played upfront for FC Zurich and was the MSMFL’s top goal scorer. Reverted to defender on rejoining the club in December – has not looked back.
Kenny Tudor. Club skipper and powerful defender. Kenny has great aerial ability and quick feet, and weighs-in with some important goals.
Chris Beresford. A guiding influence on the clubs formation and pre-season.
He has played more games than he expected and performed exceptionally well.
Darren Gully. A tough tackling ball winner when in midfield or at fullback.
Darren always likes to get forward and has scored 4 goals this season.
John Roche. The managers right hand man and a consistent player who has played well in several positions this season.
Liam Murray. Liam has played well despite struggling with injuries throughout the season. Big things expected next term.
Mike Henson. Joined the club in December. Mike has the individual flair that has added an extra dimension to the teams attacking play in recent months.
Andy Only. The Club Captain has had tremendous season. Very competitive in the centre of the park, he drives his team mates forward. Should score more goals.
James Nutt. A typically unselfish holding midfielder. James has adapted his game to accommodate those players around him. A real team man.
Andrew Stafford. Andy as settled nicely into team by playing in a number of positions. This lad has real potential!
Paul Crowther. ‘The Crow’ has looked really sharp this season - when he’s played. Work commitment have hindered his appearance record.
Levi Morris. A talented young lad who is comfortable on the ball. He has given the manager many a selection headache with university commitments limiting appearances.
Danny Murray. Old fashioned centre forward who made a great start to the season which made him the clubs leading goal scorer. A chronic back injury has curtailed his form – but he is starting to look sharp again!
Chris Jepson. The club has lost Chris to North West Counties side Rochdale Town - where he has scored 25 goals. Still signed on – so could he return?
Additional Players
Andy O’Reilly A right full back who has found it difficult to establish himself due to Ryan Lyon’s outstanding form. Andy performed well in several games before suffering an injury against Cassidy’s that will see him miss the rest of the season.
Mike Instone Another outstanding squad player who has kept the rest of the squad on its toes. Mike has been unlucky to have had limited appearances but is greatly appreciated by his teammates due to his unselfish attitude.
Carl Brogden Only a handful of games this season for another Zurich old boy. He’s not fit at the moment but has made some useful cameo appearances
Chris Hall Has been so unlucky with injury this season and will have a major operation later in April. A player highly respected by his fellow teammates.
Lee Ellis Lee was leading goal scorer up to January. Missed the MFA quarter final and injury has led to few appearances of late. Needs to prove he’s ready to return.
Grant Jones A young centre back starting to fulfil his promise. Grant struggled until recently with injury but is now back playing. Looks to be back to his best.
Matthew Landregan Suffered from a niggling calf injury throughout the season but now returning to some good form, Came on as a substitute to inspire ‘the moonrakers’ to a 2-1, Presidents Shield victory and will give the manager a real selection problem if fully fit. A deadball specialist.
Steve Horan (Manager) Steve has had great success over the last ten years – in Saturday and Sunday football. He’s determined to make AFC Middleton as successful as previous clubs FC Zurich and Langley Celtic.
Bernard Crowther Paul’s dad is always around the club and is a big help to the boss Horan. He has a vast knowledge of the game and a wicked sense of humour.

Beechfield United ~ MSMFL Division 1 Champions & Steeles Shield Winners
Back Row - Left to Right. Paul Harrison (Coach), Steve McGrath, Dave Senigla, Kyle Wray, James Walsh, Dan Lee (GK), Wayne Davies, Chris Lucas, Max Leonard, Graham Rothwell (Manager) Front Row - Left to Right. Wesley Pierce, Kyle Mears, Phil Heyworth, Gareth Burns,
Steve McCune, Daniel Eckersley, Ben Donohue, Mike Heyworth, Dean Quinn,
Manchester Medics ~ guys who really know how to put a shift in!

It’s been another good season for Manchester Medics with the club finishing in the Runners-up position in the MSMFL First Division and reaching the final of Manchester Evening News Cup, the MSMFL’s premier knockout competition.

Several senior players from last season’s team have retired, with others emigrating to down under to Australia and New Zealand to continue their careers. So the club has welcomed new additions to the squad; Josh Hemmant, Peter Smith, Chris Murphy, Tom Wade, Tim Holland, Joe Fiske, Josh Gow and Ben Norris. They have also been able to call upon more regular appearances from the likes of Arrian Green and Jon Hopper, giving the squad with a nice mix of youth and experience!

The season however did not get off to the best starts, with early losses to other league title contenders. However there was a resounding 6-2 victory over Brushes, and a comfortable 4-2 win against Brownley to lift spirits. As the season entered late October the team stumbled again, throwing away half time leads, to drop points in two games from winning positions.

Since then however, the team has gone from strength the strength and were undefeated in the final 8 league games of the season. Indeed they took 22 from a possible 24 points, and nearly snatched the Division One championship from under the noses of Beechfield United.

The knock-out competitions have also been largely successful for the Medics.
They went out at the quarter final stage in the Steeles Shield going down 3-1 to Torpedo Chorlton. But it is the MEN Cup that the players relish playing in, having enjoyed successes in 2009/2010 and 2010/2011. They started with hard fought round one victory over Greenside Rangers with a goal from top scorer Dean Fulford (currently on 26 for the season). In the quarter final a magnificent performance, including a Josh Hemmant hat-trick, saw off Torpedo Chorlton 6-0. They were equally impressive in the semi-final against Parrswood Thursday, with a 4-1 victory putting them into another final, with the team keen for more success.

The team has relied on a large squad, including several goal keepers to ensure a strong eleven takes to the field each week. There have been a number of notable performances and goals scoring efforts throughout the season, and with 14 different goals scorers to date the team poses a goal scoring threat from all over the pitch.

There has also been reason to celebrate off the field, with Leon Taylor and Gavin McManus both becoming fathers for the first time.

As the league expands, and the quality within it improves year on year Manchester Medics have had to fight hard to continue towards league and cup triumphs, but remain more determined than ever the finish the season with silverware!

Manchester Medics ~ Player Profile

Ricky McGuire. A shot stopping machine. Sadly a victim of the unforgiving ICU rota.
Josh Gow. Like a cat on the 5 a side pitch, like a donkey in the bedroom.
Ben Norris. Has filled in on numerous occasions this season and made match winning performances.
Peter Norris. 31, and a wandering right back. GSOH, Aquarius, seeks older woman for fun times.
Sam Byott. A flamboyant left back, gets forward at every opportunity. Insists on proclaiming Arsenals imminent rise to success each week.
Mark Fox. 'Foxy' - Central defensive rock, strong in the tackle, commanding in the air.
Gavin McManus. Team leading centre back. Lethal from 12 yards.
Eidn Mahmoudzadeh. A versatile player who has featured in most positions this year, with goals and assists to boost. Sadly missing the MEN Cup final due to a scheduling error but will following on live text from the beach!
Tom Wade. "Scouse" utility defender. Tall (kind of), dark (with grey bits), and handsome (say no more!!)
Joe Fiske. Better looking and with superior hair than his older brother.
However falls short in the goal stakes, and with an even slower stepover.
Leon Taylor. Number 7, equally adept out wide or running central midfield.
The Ryan Giggs of Manchester Medics.
Ben Brown. Shy and retiring box to box midfielder, with an eye for goal.
Ricci Plastow. There are not enough superlatives to describe this midfielder. Many have tried but end up speechless... In horror at what they've witnessesd!
Arrian Green. Adds Channel Island composure to the Medics midfield. Just needs to add goals to complete all round game.
Jon Hopper. Often seen playing after enjoying his pre-match ritual of a 12 hour ICU shift.
David Fiske. Skipper and leader, pleased to have added a few goals
from outside the 6 yard box this season.
Peter Smith. New addition to the squad this year adding youth and energy to an ageing team. Comfortable at both right back and right wing.
Tim Holland. Utility squad player who can play across the midfield. Absent from the cup final as currently out on tour with the TA!
Dean Fulford. Dean 'The Beast' Fulford: Wears Barcelona socks and bright coloured boots because he thinks they make him play better...they don't.
Josh Hemmant. Marathon running, long ball throwing, goal scoring striker. And that's often after a heavy Friday night session!
Chris Murphy. A goal scorer from down under!

MEN CUP Semi- Final ReportS


Medics Semi Final against Parrswood Thursday was a hard fought affair. Medics had won a league encounter 4-1 the week before. So they were prepared for a Parrswood response. The game was tight early on, with chances limited, but with Medics enjoying more possession. Medics opened the scoring when captain David Fiske, (playing straight after a 12 hour A&E shift) netted with a right foot half volley. Medics then slowly took control of the game. They added a second goal when midfielder Leon Taylor beat the offside trap, when the defence stepped up following a corner, to latch on to a Ben Brown cross and slot coolly into the corner of the net.

Both teams came out in the second half knowing the next goal would be crucial, and it was Parrswood who reduced the arrears. James Flynn seize onto hesitation in the Medics defence to deliver a snap shot from the edge of the penalty area, which was deflected in off the head of team mate Jordan Smith. The game then settled down as both teams sought to create further chances. This time it was Medics going further ahead with defender Gavin McManus scoring his first goal from open play for several seasons. Having played the ball out from central defence, he continued his run, and picked up the ball on the left side of the box, before lofting the ball over the keeper into the far corner of the net. The quality of the goal delighted both team mates and the small group of supporters cheering the team on. Parrswood had to press forward if they were to get back in the game. But Medics stood firm, and added fourth, break away, goal in the closing stages, to set up a third final appearance in four seasons.


In Middleton manager Steve Horan eyes, this was the day when all the talking had to stop and his ‘revamped’ side had to show they could compete against the best in the league, in Graham Rothwell’s powerful, young Beechfield side. The Salford Lads had led the First Division for most of the season and many saw this as the North Manchester boys sternest test. Would Middleton be able to compete with the flowing football of United? Especially at Salford Sports village where their record is exemplary.

As it happened, ‘the moonrakers’ first half performance completely blew Beechfield away. It was a day on which Andrew ‘Teddy’ Stafford’s hat trick proved what his manager has been saying that he is the best finisher at the club.

The visitors made their intentions as early as the 2nd minute when Stafford turned in a Mike Henson cross. Middleton were so dominant and were very unlucky not to increase their lead when Henson rattled the upright and then minutes later James Nutt struck the foot of the post.

But on 38 minutes Middleton got the second goal they thoroughly deserved when Stafford’s shot was deflected in. Then, on the stroke of half time, Middleton took a commanding lead when ‘Teddy’ slotted home for his hat trick, after a beautifully weighted through ball from by Murray.

The Beechfield lads came out in determined fashion after a audible rocketing from their coach Rothwell. But, despite an early onslaught, the visitors rear guard
held firm and ‘the Moonrakers’ advanced to today’s final.

The MSMFL Division 1 ~ Season Review

For the first half of the season Worsley Town and Beechfield United looked the most likely to be champions, as they vied for first place. However an unbeaten run of 10 games by Manchester Medics catapulted them into contention. With two Saturdays of league fixtures left to complete, Medics had the chance to put real pressure on the long-time leaders in Beechfield. Indeed, on the penultimate Saturday, a 3-1 victory over bottom placed Parkside AFC took them to ‘top spot’ by one point. That left ‘Beechy’ with a trip to Turn Moss last week-end to face Torpedo Chorlton. They needed, at least, a draw to take them level, and force a play-off game. A win would give them their first title. The Salford outfit never looked in danger of needing another game and won comprehensively by six goals to nil.
Congratulations Beechfield United - MSMFL League Champions!

Parrswood Thursday can look back on their season back in the top division with some pride securing a fourth place spot. Likewise North Manchester FC will see success in the Steeles Shield as complimetary to estabishing their
‘new club’ credentials in the League. Previous champions Brushes Rangers Spartak will look to find additional talent to challenge again.
Dissappointingly we lost Manton Wanderers towards the end of the season. The club has always had a number of players who travelled long distances to play. Eventually this became difficult to sustain and they were forced to fold.

The change of name for Gorse Hill Athletic’s Saturday morning team to Parkside AFC did not bring them good fortune. The young side played well in parts of games but will finish in bottom position. They will be all the better for the experience and will look for success in the Division 2. Brownley Albion, a founder member of the MSMFL, will occupy the other relegation place. They will also re-group and regenerate (as they have always done), and go again next season. Opponents will relish this, as visits to their various homes in ‘Cheshire’ have, over the years, been ‘interesting’ - and competitive experiences.
Manchester Saturday Morning Football League – Division 1
1 Beechfield Utd
16 12 1 3 37 37
2 Manchester Medics
16 11 2 3 26 35
3 Worsley Town
16 11 0 5 26 33
4 Parrswood Thursday
16 10 0 6 -8 30
5 Brushes Rangers Spartak FC
16 7 1 8 3 22
6 Torpedo Chorlton
16 6 0 10 -18 18
7 North Manchester FC
16 4 4 8 -16 16
8 Brownley Albion
16 4 0 12 -31 12
9 Parkside AFC
16 2 3 12 -19 8

Manton Wanderers ~ all records expunged

Table Standings @ Saturday 27th April 2013.

The MSMFL Division 2 ~ Season Review

No fewer than five teams have occupied the top spot in this division during the season, which has, on reflection maybe been the most competitive out of the three divisions. Aldwyn Town, Hazel Grove Bulls and Fielden Park all led the field, but failed to maintain their challenge as the season progressed.

Todays finalists Ashton Rovers were confirmed champions after coming back from two goals down against Inter Mancunia to win 3-2 in their penultimate league game. On the same day West Didsbury AFC who are runners up, lost to today’s other finalist Heston FC, so avoiding the possibility of a play off game to determine who would be champions.

At the other end of the table, at the time of going to print, with one game to be played, it is just as competitive with either Denton Youth, Heston or North End FC facing relegation with Hewlett FC who are already destined for the third division.

Manchester Saturday Morning Football League - Division Two

1 Ashton Rovers
18 12 3 3 29 39
2 West Didsbury AFC
18 8 6 4 10 30
3 Aldwyn Town FC
18 8 4 6 7 28
4 Fielden Park
18 7 4 7 -13 25
5 Hazel Grove Bulls
18 7 3 8 -1 24
6 Heston FC
18 7 3 8 -2 24
7 Intermancunia FC
18 6 4 8 -1 22
8 North End FC
18 6 4 8 -10 22
9 Denton Youth
18 7 3 8 2 21 *
10 Hewlett FC
18 2 6 10 -21 12
* adjustment made
League standings @ 27/04/2013
Ashton Rovers ~ Champions West Didsbury AFC ~ Runners-up

The MSMFL Division 3 ~ Season Review

This season saw the MSMFL, for the first time, operate a third tier of football competition, with Division 3 comprising of five new teams and four existing clubs.
It would be fair to say that today’s finalists AFC Middleton, managed by Steve Horan (who previously managed FC Zurich) were considered favourites to dominate this division. And that’s the way it has turned out. So much so that they are undefeated, having not dropped any points, and need just 3 points from their last four games to take the top prize.
The Runners went to the final round of games, with FC Dolce Vita taking the prize. To date President’s Shield Finalists Greenside Rangers ae holding third spot, however Cassidy’s FC could overtake them, if they win their final game.
Unfortunately the course of the season saw the demise of Sporting Media, who struggled for players all season. Eventually they had to resign with only a handful of games to play.
As for the teams who will miss out on a trophy this year, their contribution has to have been to make the division highly competitive, and provide a very good standard of football throughout. Credit to Medlock Rangers, Redvales Metro and Manchester Athletic.
However a special mention must go to George FC who have been nominated for the FA RESPECT and Fair Play Awards.

George FC was formed in February 2011 by members of Carrington Rugby Union Football Club. They wanted to take the ethos of rugby into the soccer setting and use the fitness and training aspects of ‘football with the round ball’. The club joined the MSMFL for the 2011/12 season. During the season an event occurred that changed the consciousness of many involved in sport.

In March 2012 the Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart attack during a match at White Hart Lane. The 23-year-old star player collapsed 41 minutes into Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final at Spurs. His heart stopped for 78 minutes, and he had to be ‘brought back to life’ by medics and surggeons.

Following the incident George FC decided it was paramount that they worked to prevent such incidents having fatal affects at grass roots level. They began fund raising and purchased a defibrillator machine for the club and ensuring several club members were trained in its use. It goes with them to every game - should the worst occur. Since then they have purchased 4 more ‘defibs’ for other organisations (schools, clubs, pubs and workplaces) and will continue to raise money for as many of these life-saving machines as possible.

GEORGE FC back row, L to R - Mark Armstrong (defib trained), Andre Perkins, Lee Morrissey, Conor Garry, Matt Crier, Archie Reynolds, Ben Atkinson, Simon Hale (Manager - defib trained) middle row - Jean-Paul Lebon, Ben Slater, Hayden Leigh, Lungi Keswa, Matt Alderson,
Sewon Kang, Darren Denikiewisz front row - Haval Balata (club doctor), Ben White, Grant Hine, Julius Okorut

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