Three wins and a draw.

 

Mellor Firsts kept their first clean sheet for nine matches and took all three points with a convincing 3-0 home win against Stretfordians.

After a 0-5 midweek pasting by Ashtonians, manager Si Dalby decided to put the accent on defence by selecting striker Craig Frisby as midfield protection for the back four, leaving partner Jack Hilton as a lone raider.

The ploy worked as Mellor soaked up the visitors' pressure and gave themselves a platform for victory when Paul Swann slotted home a 25 minute penalty.

The first drama came in the ninth minute when Adam Barlow's dangerous free kick was glanced away by a defender for a corner.

Hilton's work rate had to be excellent and it was. But he was well supported by Swann and Barlow, with Mellor's Man of the Match Chris Coram orchestrating the midfield.

Swann's surging runs were a constant threat. When he again raced into the area on 25 minutes he was checked and although he tried to stay on his feet he went down two strides later and the referee pointed to the spot, amid Strets' protests.

Swann slotted the ball right footed to the keeper's left as the man in yellow chose the wrong way.

Strets almost equalised on 29 minutes and probably had the best of the exchanges up to half time. Their best chance came on 39 minutes, a header over from a corner.

The game was decided in a pivotal six minutes immediately after the break.

On 49 minutes Jack Hilton found space and saw his rasping shot well saved. But the ball came out to Chris Coram who lashed it back into the top right hand corner of the net from 22 yards.

Two minutes later another Hilton shot was deflected but hit the bar. Mellor were rampant and on 51 minutes Adam Barlow's free kick was met by a glancing Craig Frisby header which sent the ball low into the bottom left hand corner of Strets' goal for 3-0.

It was Mellor's signal to turn on the style and Coram, Moss, Barlow and Swann in particular wove patterns with clever one touch passes.

Barlow was causing Strets constant problems on the right and on 61 minutes he wriggled free and crossed for Hilton whose shot would have made it 4-0 but for a last minute block to produce a corner.

On 70 minutes Strets missed an easy chance with a back post header. A minute later Carl Brindley replaced Frisby and Matt Jamieson came on for Moss. Soon afterwards Alex Young replaced Hilton.

Strets mounted a late rally and Gav Thornley made two excellent saves to deny the visitors. On 84 minutes Strets' keeper kept out a Matt Jamieson drive with his feet and with a minute to go Carl Brindley fired over from a promising position.

Overall 3-0 did not flatter Mellor.

The Seconds played Gorse Hill at Brabyns and took a point in a 3-3 draw. Mellor were 3-1 down at one stage but rallied, thanks to fine performances from Man of the Match Lewis Smith and Matt Lloyd. Jack Parr (2) and Lewis Smith were the scorers.

The Thirds recorded their seventh consecutive win with a 5-2 victory over Govan at the University Grounds to end their league programme. A Whitehead Cup Final awaits of course.

Adam Axford, Ian Arnfield, Steve Baguley, Man of the Match Jon Cosgrove and one own goal were the scorers.

The Fourths were among the goals too, winning 4-3 at home to Hooley Bridge. Man of the Match Maciek Sobiegraj (2), Clive Szmit and Withold Kovriegie scored.

 

A Mellor cross is headed away in the first half

Mellor on the attack in the first half

Paul Swann gives Mellor a half time 1-0 lead from the spot

Jack Hilton's goalbound shot is deflected for a corner

 

 

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PIC 1 Chris Coram...a goal and Man of the Match for the Firsts

PIC 2 Lewis Smith, a goal and Man of the Match for the Seconds
PIC 3 Jon Cosgrove....a goal and Match of the Match for the Thirds
PIC 4 Clive Szmit...a goal for the Fourths
PIC 5 Withold Kovriegie...a goal for the Fourths