Thirds and Fourths crash after red cards

The weather again meant a blank week for the Firsts and Seconds. The Thirds and Fourths travelled to away fixtures but came away empty handed. The Thirds looked certain to earn all three points at Parrs Wood Celtic after a blistering first half display. Dunc Bray gave Mellor the lead on six minutes. His first shot hit an upright but when the ball came back to him he slotted it into the bottom right hand corner. It was all Mellor, with Sam Parker seeing a lot of the ball on the right flank and causing constant danger. On 15 minutes Bray might have doubled the lead, lifting a long clearance from Phil Brown over the keeper but also over the bar. On 25 minutes Parker tricked his man inside the area but the keeper saved. Time and again Mellor got round the back but the final ball was not good enough. On 29 minutes a thunderbolt Craig Fairfield free kicked from the edge of the D was parried by the home keeper, who caught it at the second time of asking. On 34 minutes an excellent interchange between Parker and Fairfield saw the flank man cross but Martin Jackson (on his first game back since his long spell in Australia) fired wide. On 39 minutes John Callaghan got to the goalline but his cut-back was blocked.

The danger was that a goal for the home side would lift Parrs Wood's spirits and so it proved. Chris Porter left a gaping hole on his left flank for the opposition winger to exploit and his cross was turned in five minutes after the break. On the hour Parrs Wood broke again on the right and set up and unmissable chance which the striker promptly blazed wide. Steve Jackson replaced Porter on the left wing and within a minute a flare up between Dunc Bray and a Parrs Wood midfielder (after an alleged elbow from the home side's man) saw both players see red.

Ten-a-side seemed to suit Parrs Wood more than Mellor and they began to dominate. On 69 minutes Craig Fairfield, who had an otherwise superb game, misjudged a defensive header and put a Parrs Wood striker clean through for an easy goal. Rick Monton replaced Ant Brown at right back and Matty Wyatt came on for Sam Parker on the right. But many Mellor heads had dropped and the home side scored twice more to run out comfortable 4-1 winners. Scott Cassidy in central midfield was Mellor's star man.

The Fourths went to Irlam Steel and lost Gary Brown to a red card after 30 minutes, as his mistimed tackle upended a runaway forward on the edge of the box. Irlam took full advantage and won 3-0.

Bray's shot hits the post just before he scores

Bray lifts the ball over the keeper but also over the bar



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PIC 1 Dunc Bray, a goal and off