Firsts are mauled by Range, Seconds robbed, Thirds win
Whalley Range is never an easy place to go but the depleted Firsts found it more daunting than ever on Saturday and came away losing 7-1. Without Jonathan Hunt and Mark Oldham (suspended), Liam Totterdell (working) and also Danny Leibrick, they suffered a further setback when Scott Cassidy went off injured after only a few minutes. Jack Parr scored Mellor's consolation and was the side's Man of the Match. Below are some pictures from the game taken by Alan Simmons of Owl Media 07867 800046. You can see MORE Whalley Range v Mellor pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/burnagemetro
Whalley Range v Mellor: Gav Thornley in action
Carl Brindley and Chris Coram try to deal with a Range attacker
Dave Moss tries his luck
The Seconds were at home to Old Ashtonians whom they meet again in the Wray Cup on Wednesday April 7th. Mellor should have won comfortably but were pegged back to 2-2 through a last minute goal by the visitors.
Mellor might have taken the lead on 12 minutes when Luke Jubb slipped Ryan Yates through but the striker miscontrolled the ball 12 yards out and the chance went begging. Two minutes later the visitors' keeper did a David James' air shot and totally missed the ball but Matt Peck could not capitalise on the error. Mellor's movement was excellent but the passing was poor and time and again good moves broke down in promising positions. Luke Warburton put a corner behind the goal and Yates put a cross from the left behind when well placed. Luke Warburton and Chris Porter then combined brilliantly to set Paul Newman up but his pass was misplaced. Porter and Peck then swopped passes to create a threat but the move was snuffed out at the expense of a corner.
Mellor broke the deadlock on 31 minutes with a long range effort out of the blue from Warburton which sailed into the top left hand corner. Danny Mather then replaced an injured Newman. Keeper Matt Lloyd put his own side under pressure with a quick throw out which Ashtonians pounced upon but Mather got back to cancel the danger.
The second half was only a minute old when Ashtonians equalised with a far post header to a right wing cross. Warburton then set up Jubb who fired over and this began a pattern that continued throughout the half. Warburton was put clear but checked inside when he might have shot. Peck then mishit a shot but the ball came out to Porter whose rasping half volley hit the bar and flew over.
Matt Lloyd then made an important save low down to prevent Ashtonians from taking the lead but for the most part was a spectator as Mellor piled forward. A minute later Mellor should have gone ahead when Porter, on the byline, found Yates but the striker shot wide. In the next attack Mellor had a four on two situation but when the ball came to Mather his shot was blocked.
On 70 minutes Mellor finally went ahead, Mather breaking forward and Craig Fairfield taking over to drill the ball low into the corner.
Rob Jordan then replaced Yates, with Warburton going up front to partner Jubb. On 81 minutes Peck, a threat all afternoon, fed Jubb who miskicked and a defender cleared. A minute later Porter set up Jubb again eight yards out but this time the ball ran under his foot to safety. Peck then wriggled past a defender on the byline but shot into the side netting. Then Peck was put clear one on one but his attempted lob was well read by Ashtonians' keeper and parried clear. Jubb then slid Peck in again for another one-on-one but his shot was saved once more. The little winger had a third good opening in four minutes but this time drilled his shot a foot wide of the far post.
Mellor paid the price for their profligacy when Ashtonians equalised in injury time. There were some excellent performances, notably from Fairfield, Warburton, Dave Wilkinson and Porter, who was named Man of the Match.
The Thirds had a bare eleven and went down to nine before the end through injuries. But they came away from their clash against Milton in Brabyns with a 3-1 win. Man of the Match Steve Jackson, one own goal and a strike by Maciek Sobiegraj did the damage. The Fourths lost 0-5 away at Santos.
Luke Warburton raids down the wing
Ryan Yates miscontrols in a good position