Firsts, Seconds and Thirds all win. Fourths lose at league leaders


Mellor Firsts ended a four game winless run by taking three points away at Hooley Bridge to keep alive their hopes of a runners-up spot.

Mellor were 2-0 up through goals from Man of the Match Paul Swann and Carl Brindley. But the home side scored a late consolation.

The Seconds produced a workmanlike performance against Aldermere Firsts at Wood Lane to take the spoils by the same 2-1 margin.

With more clinical finishing the margin of victory might have been wider. Mellor were solid in defence with Dave Wilkinson and Craig Fairfield commanding.

But the game was really won in midfield where Man of the Match Jack Parr excelled and Nick Entwistle and Steve King caused the visitors regular problems on the flanks.

Chris Porter too had a fine match up front and was unlucky not to claim the Man of the Match award. His pace was a constant threat.

There was little drama in the opening exchanges. But on 20 minutes Andy Kuehl fed Chris Porter who was denied a shooting chance but cleverly laid the ball back for Steve King to find the bottom right hand corner from 22 yards.

Two minutes later Mellor might have doubled their tally when Jack Parr found himself free in the area but he chose to shoot - high and wide - from a tight angle when Chris Porter was better placed in the middle.

Mid table Aldermere have a minus 14 goal difference and their shaky defence showed why.

It didn't help their cause that they carried their sponsors name: Fairy.

But on 40 minutes they popped up with an equaliser much against the run of play.

It was important for Mellor to respond quickly and they did. Within a minute Porter fed King who wriggled free on the left, reached the byline and thumped over a hard and low cross which the keeper fumbled into the path of Chris Porter for a tap-in from two feet.

A flowing move on 44 minutes saw Porter set up Nick Entwistle who laid the ball back for Andy Kuehl to fire in a cross which missed the far post by a whisker.

After the break Porter continued to worry the visitors' defence. On 49 minutes he put Luke Jubb in but the keeper saved well.

Two minutes later the same two players combined but this time Porter broke into the area and might have scored but his effort sailed just wide of the far post.

On 55 minutes the largely redundant Matt Lloyd in Mellor's goal saved well low down with his legs. But the action was mainly at the other end and on 57 minutes Porter was clean through again only to be denied by a last ditch intervention as he pulled the trigger.

Steve King then fired in a direct free kick which hit the angle of post and bar with the keeper nowhere.

On 65 minutes King's pin-point cross was headed over by Jubb, seven yards out.

King was now the focal point of most of Mellor's attacks and on 67 minutes he created another opening, crossing into the danger area where two Mellor players failed to make contact.

On 75 minutes Paul Newman replaced Jubb and five minutes later Thierry Somao came on for Porter.

Somao promptly shot wide from a promising position and on 88 minutes King again put in a teasing cross which seemed to give Entwistle a certain goal but he had controlled it with his hand.

So Mellor recorded an eleventh win in 19 outings to stay in the Division 2 promotion race.

A confident Third team followed up last week's Whitehead Cup semi final win by drubbing local rivals Govan 4-0 at Brabyns.

Mellor took the lead after 10 minutes when a long forward ball from Adam Axford was left by the offside Ian Arnfield. The confused Govan keeper carelessly kicked the ball out of his hands thinking a free kick had been awarded. Rick Axford pounced on the mistake, coolly lobbing the ball over the defence and the scrambling keeper into the net.

Five minutes on, after playing a one-two in the midfield, Rick Axford swivelled on the edge of the penalty area and smashed the ball home into the corner of the Govan net for 2-0.

Mellor continued to press and forced a corner after a well worked move. The ball was floated in and only half cleared. Matt Molden laid off to Adam Axford whose strike rebounded off a Govan defender back to his feet.

He calmly knocked it past the lofty centre half and smashed the ball across the face of goal with the ball ricocheting into the back of net off the leg of a Govan man.

Mellor added a fourth after a Rory Delap style throw by Matt Molden was palmed into his own net by the hapless Govan keeper!

In the second half Mellor pushed on and remained solid at the back but failed to capitalise and score again.

Rick Axford failed to complete his hat-trick, hitting the post after beating one defender and turning past the keeper. Headers from Sam Healey and Rick Axford also hit the woodwork as the half wore on.

Solid defending from the back four kept out the Govan strikers (when they managed to stay onside).

A fifth straight win for Mellor leaves them five points off the top and four points off second, with a game in hand on Staly who head the table.

Wins in the remaining two games, one of which is away to Govan in two weeks, could see Mellor pushing for promotion if other results go their way.

The Fourths traveled to Division D leaders Fletcher Moss Reserves and almost caused a shock against the side who have lost only once all season.

Mellor were the better team in the first half. But defensive frailties meant the home side earned a comfortable 4-1 win in the end. Maciek Sobiegraj scored for Mellor. Bully Kovriegie was MellorŐs star man.




Steve King drills in from 22 yards

A horrified Aldermere keeper gifts Chris Porter the winning goal

Chris Porter denied by a last ditch tackle

Steve King's free kick beats the wall but hits the angle of post and bar

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PIC 1 Paul Swann, scorer and Man of the Match for the Firsts

PIC 2 Jack Parr, Man of the Match for the Seconds
PIC 3 Rick Axford....two goals for the Thirds
PIC 4 Maciek Sobiegraj....on target again for the Fourths