Firsts held, Seconds and Thirds win, Fourths beaten

 

Mellor Firsts underperformed against neighbours Hazel Grove but secured a point which puts them into second place in the Premiership.

With Cheadle Hulme Villa surprise 2-1 away winners at Rochdalians, Mellor go ahead of the North Manchester side on goal difference but have four games in hand.

The game was switched to Brabyns Park because of waterlogging at Wood Lane. Mellor were without regulars Danny Leibrick, Jono Hunt and Rob White but welcomed debutant Josh Granite, who started at centre back.

On eight minutes Chris Coram's long throw found its way to the far post and Ben Beer's shot from a tight angle flew back across the goal and out for a throw. Two minutes later Gav Thornley made a smart save from Grove's right back following a corner.

But a minute later, following another Thornley save the ball was hammered back through a crowded penalty area and in off Mark Oldham's shin to give the visitors the lead.

Mellor almost replied on 15 minutes, Paul Swann just being squeezed out at the near post. Swann was carrying the threat again a minute later, rampaging down the left and squaring to Adam Barlow who shot wide from 18 yards.

And on 17 minutes Swann's deep cross found Craig Frisby who headed too high from nine yards. On 18 minutes Hazel Grove took a free kick quickly 22 yards out with Mellor's wall half built. But Thornley was alive and turned the ball over his bar.

Mellor's passing was not at its best but on 24 minutes a slick move between Moss and Barlow saw Beer hit a post.

On 29 minutes Barlow used some ingenuity to throw the ball in against his own player's back (allowed in the laws) and cross dangerously but just too high.

On 35 minutes Mark Oldham fired a long range free kick harmlessly over.

Grove almost doubled their lead on 37 minutes when Ben Beer headed out only to see an opponent volley the clearance two feet wide.

Three minutes before the break a surprisingly quiet Jack Hilton made his own opening and almost chipped the keeper who made a comfortable save.

After the re-start Granite began to venture forward.

On 49 minutes he ploughed through two tackles to feed Hilton who shot over. Grove still threatened and might have scored on 55 minutes, exploiting a gap on Mellor's right but firing wide.

On 58 minutes Granite was officially moved into midfield with Mark Oldham switching from right back to centre back and Lewis Smith taking his position at the back.

Mellor looked more balanced now and man of the Match Granite's surging runs and clever passing started to make the home side tick.

On 63 Mellor should have equalised when Swann found Barlow in space but he lifted his lob over the keeper and over the bar.

Two minutes later Thornley saved Mellor again, waiting his moment to dive full length and smother a goalbound shot that cannoned back off the attacker and went for a goal kick.

On 69 minutes came the breakthrough. Coram surged into the area in the inside-left slot and was felled by an illegal tackle. Craig Frisby stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and hit the netting inside the keeper's right hand post for 1-1.

Immediately Carl Brindley replaced Hilton and Mellor pushed for the win. On 85 Frisby set up Brindley for a 20 yarder but it was straight at the Grove keeper.

Mark Oldham shot a foot wide a minute from time but for all Mellor's late pressure they could not find the killer goal.

The Seconds went to Gorst Hill Firsts and came away with all three points in an excellent 4-3 win. Matt Brady gave Mellor the lead on 14 minutes. Gorse Hill then went 3-1 up with strikes in the 31st , 38th and 43 minutes. But Mellor stormed back after the break with a Craig Fairfield penalty on 51 minutes and goals from Luke Jubb (72) and Matt Peck (88).

Manager Alex Wharton said: 'We kept our heads, played lovely football and deserved the win.' Mellor are up to third in Division Two. Lewis Jeffs was Mellor's star man.

The Thirds also toppled a First team, this time 3-1 away at Staly Lions, second in Division C. Mellor are fourth win 10 wins in 16 outings. Man of the Match Nick Entwistle scored all three including one penalty.

The Fourths lost 2-1 away at Chorltonians. Maciek Sobiegraj scored the goal.

In the second Mellor 100 Club draw Colin Scott won the first prize of £80 and John Bellis the second prize £40.

Craig Frisby sends the keeper the wrong way from the spot

Paul Swann is denied at the near post

Adam Barlow fires over

Jack Hilton shoots over

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PIC 1 Craig Frisby, penalty for the Firsts

PIC 2 Josh Granite Man of the Match for the Firsts on his debut

PIC 3 Luke Jubb on target for the Seconds

PIC 4 Nick Entwistle, a hat trick for the Thirds
PIC 6 Maciek Sobiegraj, another goal for the Fourths