Mellor Firsts lose top of the table clash, Seconds hammer Stocs in the Cup, Thirds win and go top of Division C

Mixed fortunes for Mellor teams yesterday. The Firsts' eagerly awaited clash with Whalley Range at the top of the Premiership ended in disappointed as the visitors ran out 3-0 winners to open up a three point gap. Mellor remain second on goal difference. With three other games ending in draws the loss of points could have been more significant.

The Seconds travelled three miles to Hillcrest Road to lock horns with Stoconians Reserves in the Stockport Senior Cup. The home side are near the bottom of Division B and Mellor were the clear favourites. But they made heavy weather of the win on a grassy and bumpy surface that did not suit their passing game.

Mellor took the lead on nine minutes when Steve King's cross found Ryan Yates six yards out and his bullet header gave the keeper no chance. A minute later Stocs hit the post with a header and on 18 minutes equalised when a cross from the left eluded defenders and attackers only to be thumped home by a man in maroon at the back post 15 yards out. Five minutes later an upset seemed on the cards when Stocs took the lead in controversial fashion. A free kick was awarded and referee Geoff Gregory was pacing out 10 yards when a Stocs player took it and scored easily with Mellor's keeper Stu Ridgway lining up his wall. But the ref had not pointed to his whistle and allowed the goal.

Stocs' joy was short lived. Two minutes later Kev Murray's challenge on the home side's centre back resulted in him handling the ball in the area. Stocs claimed a foul but the referee waved away protests and Yates thumped home the penalty.

A minute later King slipped a pass into the Stocs' area and as the keeper and a defender dithered Kev Murray nipped in to toe end the ball into the net for 3-2.

Mellor were ticking over nicely with Terry Boon and Steve King linking well and Danny Hayes and Man of the Match Danny Leibrick attacking down the left. But Stocs were still dangerous and on 30 minutes Stu Ridgway saved well at the expense of a corner and from the flag kick Stocs should have scored with a header that flew wide.

Terry Boon forced the first of a string of good saves from Stocs' keeper on 32 minutes. Murray might have inflicted more damage on 35 minutes but looked as if the sun had blinded him as he shaped to head home from six yards.

Mellor began the second period with the wind and Murray lashed wide from Yates' pass in the first minute. On 55 minutes Paul Goodwin headed off the line for a corner and again, from the flag kick, Stocs squandered a glorious chance.

Murray shot over from a Boon cross on 65 minutes and soon after Matt Peck replaced Yates up front. Stocs missed another chance on 73 minutes. Alex Wharton replaced the injured Goodwin at right back on 78 minutes and two minutes later Matt Peck's blistering drive from eight yards was turned over for a corner.

Mellor were dominant now and Murray fired over from a Leibrick cross, then Peck shot too high from a good position.

With five minutes left Stocs missed their final chance to force extra time, blazing wide after a melee in Mellor's box.

They were immediately punished as Boon released Peck who ran on down the middle and coolly slotted the ball past the keeper for 4-2.

In the last minute Murray finally got his sights right and rifled in a fifth from 20 yards.

The Thirds went top of Division C with a 3-1 away win against Aldermere Reserves. Rivals Staly Lions lost1-0 away at Bedians, who now leapfrog them into second place. If the league confirm Mellor's three extra points for the game Droylsden failed to fulfil it will mean Mellor are three points clear of the Didsbury side with a game in hand. Ian Arnfield (2) and Andy Given scored for Mellor. Matty Wyatt was Man of the Match.

Ryan Yates scores with a header

Yates doubles his tally from the spot

Kev Murray nips in to give Mellor a 3-2 lead

Matt Peck slots home for 4-2


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PIC 1 Kev Murray, two for the Seconds

PIC 2 Ryan Yates scored two for the Seconds

PIC 3 Steve King, strong in midfield for the Seconds

PIC 4 Steve Smith, solid performance for the Seconds
PIC 5 Ian Arnfield, two for the Thirds