manchesterfootball.info’s Tony Bugby begins his ‘Ten Tier Challenge’ which is to watch a match at every level of the pyramid from the Premier League down to North West Counties League, first division south where he kicked off the challenge. Look out soon for an in-depth feature on each level.
MAINE ROAD 2, WYTHENSHAWE AMATEURS 3
Irish legend Glenn Whelan was upstaged by a young wannabee as Wythenshawe Amateurs maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with victory at Maine Road.
Left winger Eddie Brown caught the eye with a hat-trick as Amateurs came from 2-0 down to snatch a dramatic victory.
And it was Brown, 20, who was recently released by Bolton Wanderers, who was a class apart and a cut above the cut.
Brown made seven first-team appearances for Wanderers in their troubled 2019-20 season but was released having last season been plagued by a serious hamstring injury.
It was clear Brown can play at a much higher level, but he is turning out for Amateurs to rekindle his love for the game and performances of such quality will do precisely that.
Brown lined up in the same side as Whelan, 37, a player at the opposite end of his career.
He has had an illustrious 640-match career primarily with Sheffield Wednesday, Stoke City and Aston Villa and not forgetting 91 caps for Eire.
Midfielder Whelan, released by Fleetwood Town in the summer, has joined Amateurs, who are managed by his friend Shane Goldrick, while he looks for another club and possibly a move into coaching.
Whelan played centre back at Maine Road’s Brantingham Road where he was calm and assured as you would expect a player of his calibre.
Yet the evening did not start well for Whelan and Amateurs who found themselves 2-0 behind by the 21st minute.
Big and bustling centre forward Reece Lyndon put Maine Road ahead in the fifth minute with a neat finish after good approach play by Jamie Roe.
And the 28-year-old journeyman, making only his second appearance following a move from Chadderton, won the penalty which was confidently netted by Sajad Elhassan, a former Stockport County junior and has had a spell playing in Finland.
Lyndon was clattered by goalkeeper Adam Morley-Watson and needed lengthy treatment. He soldiered on until half-time but did not reappear as he was left concussed and with a suspected broken nose.
Amateurs were a threat throughout the opening half as Louis White struck an upright and had another effort well saved by Bruno Da Silva while Sam Dickov, son of Manchester City legend Paul, was twice denied by the keeper.
They kept knocking at the door which finally opened two minutes before the break when Da Silva misjudged claiming a long diagonal ball and Brown was left free to shoot into an empty net.
The game firmly swung the way of Amateurs as Brown struck again in the 70th and 72nd minutes.
Brown bent in a lovely shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner for the equaliser and moments later scored the winner with a bullet close-range header from a corner.
Amateurs had Francesco Frangillo sent off with 15 minutes left after picking up two bookings in quick succession, both for late challenges.
But the 10 men held on without coming under any undue pressure as they followed by their win against Barnton two days earlier when they also came from behind as they again displayed abundant character.