Firsts, Seconds and Fourths all draw - Thirds through to the Whitehead Cup Final

Mellor Firsts drew 2-2 away at Stretfordians. Keeper Gav Thornley was delayed and striker Craig Frisby started in goal with assistant manager Phil McGreal (who claims he was Man of the Match) up front for the first 15 minutes.

McGreal put in Mellor's only meaningful shot in the first half, grazing a post from just outside the area.

Mellor were 2-1 down going into the final minute. But Frisby scored a late equaliser from Chris Coram's long throw to salvage a point. Adam Barlow scored the other direct from a corner kick and also hit the post with another corner.

The Seconds drew 0-0 against promotion seeking rivals Santos Firsts. It was a close game and a good performance by Mellor, despite missing six regulars from last week's line up.

Stephen Smith was Man of the Match with excellent supporting performances from Lewis Jeffs, Dave Wilkinson and Matt Lloyd.

The Thirds won through to the final of the Whitehead Cup with a 2-1 win at Brabyns over last year's Cup Winners Irlam Steel.

Mellor won this trophy the year before beating Chorltonians 1-0 at Trafford FC.

The game started cagily with both teams sounding each other out. The first near miss came on 16 minutes when Mellor's Man of the Match Matt Molden flicked on an Ian Arnfield free kick and hit the bar.

On 26 minutes Arnfield chased a lost cause into the right hand corner, harried the defender into a mistake and set up Matt McNulty whose cross should have been converted by Tom Bright but his connection was poor.

On 31 minutes Sam Healy went up for a free kick and a collision ensued with the Irlam Steel keeper. The ball fell to McNulty who tucked it into the net from eight yards.

McNulty almost set up Ian Arnfield on 42 minutes but his header from seven yards was wide. Before the break there was a flare up after a tackle by Sam Healey and the Irlam number 5 appeared to strike the Mellor player. He was yellow carded.

The second half was only three minutes old when Irlam Steel equalised with a long shot that keeper Ridgway will be disappointed not to have kept out.

Arnfield, hobbling after a heavy tackle, was then replaced by Nick Entwistle, with Rick Axford pushing up front.

On 56 minutes Entwistle ran through two tackles and shot over from the edge of the box. Then on 61 minutes Tom Bright won the match with a wonder strike, latching on to a long pass in the inside right channel and smashing the ball in from 25 yards off the far left hand post.

On 69 minutes Rick Axford worked a great opening but his close range shot was beaten away by the Irlam keeper. Christian Hynes then replaced Mo Roberts, also felled by a heavy tackle.

Irlam almost equalised again, sending a dangerous ball right across the six yard box. Stu Ridgway then saved superbly low to his right to turn away a free kick from the edge of the box.

Mellor were dangerous on the break and should have scored again had they used the ball better. Adam Axford replaced Tom Bright with three minutes to go as Mellor packed the midfield to see the game out.

The Fourths drew 0-0 in the league at Brabyns against Staly Lions FC Reserves. Clive Szmit had a second half penalty saved.

 

Iram's defence survives a dangerous moment

The build up to Mellor's first goal scored by McNulty (out of picture)

Tom Bright smashes in the winner

 

 

 

 

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PIC 1 Craig Frisby, last gasp equaliser

PIC 2 Steve Smith, Man of the Match for the Seconds
PIC 3 Matt Molden....Man of the Match for the Thirds
PIC 4 Tom Bright....great strike forn the Thirds' winner
PIC 5 Clive Szmit...had a penalty saved for the Fourths