Three games, three defeats
The Firsts hosted Rochdalians at Wood Lane and despite having three times as many chances, lost 1-2. The preparation was hindered by the non appearance of keeper Jason Wilde, Mike Sharpe having to deputise. But Mellor, with three at the back, began in positive mood and dominated the early exchanges. There was a confident handball shout on 15 minutes as Terry Boon's cross struck a defender's arm inside the area but referee Roy Bowden wasn't impressed. A minute later ben Beer headed a corner just over. On 17 minutes Mike Sharpe made a good save with his feet and the follow up shot was fortuitously deflected over the bar by Scott Cassidy. A minute later, against the run of play, Rochdalians took the lead. Mellor responded well and 10 seconds of pinball inside the visitors' area ended with Danny Leibrick shooting just wide. On 23 minutes a trademark Liam Totterdell run caused consternation in the Rochdalians' defence. He found Boon whose pull back looked like producing a goal but Leibrick couldn't get his shot away. On 24 minutes Boon found Craig Frisby in a good position but his volley went over. Sharpe was then called into action to make another good save but the momentum was with Mellor. On 36 minutes Boon had the ball in the net but was ruled offside. Watching referee Stu Smith thought it a good goal. But only a linesman could have approved it and referee Roy Bowden gave a free kick.
Jamie Berrisford replaced Scott Cassidy after six minutes of the second half. But two minutes later a split second of uncertainty between Mark Oldham and Chris Coram allowed Rochdalians to work a position and the ensuing cross found a player at the back post who slotted in for 2-0. Totterdell's runs were still causing problems but his passing with often loose. On the hour he was replaced by Luke Jubb. A minute later Coram found Frisby whose shot was well blocked. It was all Mellor now and a clever Dave Moss cross again found Frisby whose volley was straight at the keeper. Jubb got to the byline and crossed dangerously but no one was there to profit. Then Moss shot wide from a good position. With five minutes left Berrisford's chip found Jubb who somehow bent his neck to guide an excellent header inside the post. Carl Brindley replaced Danny Leibrick as Mellor poured forward in search of an equaliser. Berrisford set up Jonathan Hunt whose header looked a certain goal but flashed just wide. Rochdalians survived two corners and a Craig Frisby flick on from a long throw and then it was all over.
Luke Jubb guides a header in from nine yards
Late Mellor pressure but no equaliser
The Thirds were at Brabyns against Droylsden Seconds and lost 3-2. Mellor were 1-0 and 2-1 up But then Dave Wilkinson was sent off for a tackle as last man and the visitors used the extra man to score twice more. Chris Porter and John Callaghan were Mellor's scorers. The Fourths played Staly Firsts (who had beaten Mellor Firsts in the cup earlier in the season) and lost 3-1. Mellor were 2-1 down at the break, Jack Hilton scoring. The home side confirmed the points with a third goal 10 minutes into the second half. Danny Mather was Mellor's Man of the Match.