Mellor Firsts 1 Lostock Graylam 1 in a friendly
Mellor entertained Cheshire League high flyers Lostock Gralam at Wood Lane on Tuesday July 28 and were unlucky to have to share the spoils in a 1-1 draw. The result was even more impressive because keeper Gav Thornley played the full game with a leg injury that made him virtually immobile. Fortunately his defence protected him expertly and he only had two shots to save in the whole match. His opposite number was by far the busier as Mellor sought to add another impressive scalp to their pre-season list.
Manager Stu Cumpsty again went 4-4-2 with Scott Cassidy and Chris Coram at full back, Craig Frisby partnering Mark Oldham at centre-back, Palmer and Moss in centre mid and Sharpe and Jubb up front. Boon and Porter raided down the flanks. The visitors almost made a wonder start as their number 11 evaded four tackles in a surging first minute run only to be forced to lay the ball off and the threat disappeared. Mellor quickly found their rhythm and after 10 minutes a lovely interchange of passes between Palmer and Porter put the flank man through but his angle was narrowing all the time and he could only manage to hit the side netting.
A great dummy on 31 minutes by Palmer put Porter in again but he was blocked off as he shaped to shoot. On 40 minutes a superb threaded pass from Dave Moss found Porter lurking in a danger area again but this time he just failed to control the ball. Gav Thornley punched one corner away but was otherwise untroubled.
The second half began with drama as Scott Cassidy's first minute cross was misjudged by the keeper and Sharpe, almost on the line, bundled the ball home. After 10 minutes of the second period Terry Boon had a long range shot smothered by the visitors' keeper. Soon after Craig Fairfield replaced Porter and slotted in at left back with Coram moving forward. It was the start of a series of substitutions that also brought into play Dave Whelan at centre back for Oldham, Jack Parr in centre mid and up front Maciek Sobiegoraj and Lee Thornley for Sharpe and Jubb. Lostock came more into the game in the second period but Mellor coped well. Frisby was in the right spot to kick a goal bound shot off the line but at the other end Palmer tested the keeper to the full with another long range effort. It looked as if Mellor would hold on for an impressive win but in the last minute a 25 yard shot was only parried by Gav Thornley and a visiting forward gleefully thumped in the equaliser from four yards. A fully fit Thornley would certainly have gathered in the loose ball.
It was yet another morale boosting performance with Mellor more than matching Lostock physically and looking to play keep-ball all over the pitch. The way players are happy to retain possession in tight situations, even it in means passing backwards is a sign of growing maturity.