Firsts and Fourths beaten, Seconds draw.
The Firsts lost to neighbours Govan for the first time since our Romiley rivals entered the League in 2002. The home game was switched to the university grounds to ensure it was played, given surface water at Wood Lane. It was a fast and exciting encounter and although both sides missed chances Mellor were twice as profligate as the men in red. Mellor started the more positive and on four minutes Terry Boon created the first opening, crossing for Craig Frisby to head just wide. Dave Whelan was promoted from the Seconds to fill the right back berth and on six minutes he combined brilliantly with Boon to allow the flank man to cross dangerously again, this time for Jamie Berrisford to head home. Govan missed a chance on 11 minutes and two minutes later Mellor keeper Gav Thornley almost spilled a routine catch over his goalline but just recovered in time. On 21 minutes Ben Beer should have doubled Mellor's lead, heading wide a Berrisford corner. A minute later Thornley made amends for his earlier lapse, coming out to block a one-on-one shooting opportunity.
On 28 minutes Govan hit the bar but three minutes later Mellor spurned another good chance. Whelan's run from Boon's pass led to Frisby setting up Carl Brindley but his back heel from three yards was blocked. On 40 minutes, however, Whelan conceded a free kick for a high boot and from the ensuing scramble Govan scored.
In the first minute after the restart Whelan was again having great joy on the right flank and his surging run and cross caused panic and the concession of a corner. On 51 minutes Gav Thornley was called on to fly kick clear but his effort cannoned off a Govan attacker and looped conveniently to another Govan forward who headed into the empty net. Berrisford replied with a long range shot which was saved and minutes later Jonathan Hunt had a good chance but couldn't connect properly. The shot was easily dealt with by Govan's keeper. On 58 minutes Luke Jubb replaced Brindley and soon had two chances to level. The first was brilliantly saved at full stretch by the keeper. The second flashed narrowly wide. On 70 minutes Danny Leibrick replaced Boon and two minutes later came the game's pivotal moment. Dave Whelan's snaking run into the area was ended with a trip and referee Roy Bowden pointed to the spot. The normally reliable Ben Beer's shot however was high. Liam Totterdell replaced Dave Moss on 76 minutes and Mellor besieged the Govan goal. There were scrambles and half chances but the ball refused to go in. Govan could have scored again on a breakaway. But the bulk of the action was in the away side's area. Even in the 90th minute Mellor created another good chance, Totterdell heading Mark Oldham's free kick just over. It was hard to identify a Mellor player who was below par. But good team play needs to be translated into goals.
The Seconds earned a very creditable 0-0 draw at Bedians. Paul Goodwin was Mellor's star man. The Fourths were also at Bedians, losing 3-2 to the league leaders, with goals from Pat Boyle and Sam Healey, who was Mellor's Man of the Match.
Ben Beer's header flashes wide
Ben Beer's crucial penalty miss
Ten Govan players in the area to repel Mellor in the final minutes
The club is trying to raise funds via a trip to Belle Vue dogs on Thursday March 4th. Tickets are £3 from me, £2 cheaper than normal. Text me on 07774 721287.