Firsts held in last gasp equaliser
The Firsts looked to have put last week's reverse behind them by winning at Bedians. But a last kick equaliser from the home side meant the points were shared. Craig Frisby scored Mellor's goal. But the side again missed a host of chances and should have wrapped the game up well before the last minute.
The Seconds hosted Hazel Grove's First Team in the Stockport Senior Cup at Wood Lane and for an hour gave them a mighty fright. Mellor should have led at the interval instead of going in 1-0 down. And that scoreline remained until the 68th minute. But in the last 22 minutes, Mellor made several individual errors which were punished, eventually losing 5-0. Alex Wharton and his side can take comfort in the fact they played some excellent football, especially going forward. And in winger Matt Peck they have a rare talent who could be an asset to the Firsts in years to come.
Grove caused the first anxious moment, firing in a low right wing cross which was saved with some difficulty by Jason Wilde. Mellor were often troubled by the deep cross to the far post. And in the 14th minute the tactic caused concern again. A forward's return header dropped in the six yard box but was scrambled to safety by Dave Wilkinson, under pressure. A minute later came a delightful right wing move involving Matt Peck and Luke Warburton which led to Peck crossing only to see Kev Murray spoon his shot high over the bar from eight yards. Three minutes later Matt Rogers' backward header was not hard enough and a Grove forward nipped in to shoot. Wilde saved the effort but the rebound was driven home by another attacker for 1-0. On 25 minutes another excellent move saw Rob Jordan crash his shot against the Grove keeper's left hand post. The rebound came straight back to Jordan but from 12 yards he put his shot over the bar.
Grove often caught Mellor's back line with the long ball over the top. But generally Mellor's defence was coping well. On 30 minutes, however, a clumsy tackle by Rob Jordan conceded a penalty. Wilde plunged to his left and smothered the kick. On 37 minutes Ryan Yates collided with the Grove keeper like two Hummers crashing head on. Yates suffered a bleeding nose and needed four minutes of attention. Before the break he had the chance to exact revenge but his free kick fell tamely into the keeper's grasp.
On 52 minutes Paul Goodwin replaced the injured Matt Rogers. Mellor had their best spell of the game and several times Peck and Yates cut open Grove's defence but often the inter-passing wasn't quite good enough and the danger evaporated. The one time when the passing was perfect Peck got round the back and his cross caused panic in the Grove defence and led to Murray having a shot saved at point blank range by the Grove keeper. In the ensuing scramble Murray had another chance to poke the ball home but was crowded out. On the hour Mellor earned another free kick in a good position but Yates' shot - though powerful - lacked direction. On 65 minutes Grove hit a post and three minutes later went 2-0 up after a goalmouth scramble.
Steve Jackson replaced Rob Jordan as Mellor went looking for a goal but as the game became stretched gaps began to open in Mellor's defence and Grove hit a third. Maciek Sobiegraj replaced Murray and soon after a Paul Goodwin misplaced clearance was pounced upon for Grove to make it 4-0. Before the end the visitors added a fifth to give the scoreline a deceptively lopsided look.
The Fourths were in Brabyns against Old Strets and lost 1-2. Danny Roberts scored Mellor's goal and despite also missing a penalty was named Man of the Match.
Clash of the Titans (and I don't mean their shirts). Ryan Yates about to collide with the Hazel Grove keeper and earn himself a bleeding nose.
Kev Murray comes close but is crowded out in the six yard box
Ryan Yates' free kick goes high and wide
A number of players are now ineligible for selection because they owe sign-on fees or fines. They include: Z Bowyer, T Bradley, C Brindley, C Fairfield, S Jackson, J Kirkman, S Meats, S Parker, C Porter, A Purcell, M Wyatt and G Thornley. If you feel there has been an error please contact G Dearsley immediately.
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.