Firsts go back to second in the table, Seconds and Fourths beaten

 

Mellor Firsts, missing five regulars, produced an excellent performance to beat neighbours Hazel Grove 2-1 away. The win, coming after a 3-0 midweek victory away at Stoconians, puts Mellor back into second place in the Premiership and keeps alive the club's hope of runners-up spot.

On a hard and bumpy Torkington Park surface the first half was sometimes frenetic, always physical and lacked pattern as both teams slugged away at each other.

Mellor produced the first moment of class when Jack Hilton and Carl Brindley swopped passes at speed and Hilton was through only to see his shot saved just like Joe Hart on Berbatov at Wembley.

A minute later Gav Thornley produced a high quality save of his own, denying a Grove forward from close range in a one-on-one showdown.

Four minutes later, however, Grove went ahead with a 25 yarder which found the bottom right hand corner.

On 25 minutes Jack Parr suffered a bang in the face which left him partially blinded in one eye. He stayed on to play an important role, his full sight eventually returning.

On 35 minute Grove fired over from a good position as they began to dominate. But the new look back four of Christian Hynes, Dave Whelan, Craig Fairfield and Paul Swann covered and harried well.

Five minutes before the break a Paul Swann free kick found Craig Frisby who fed Jack Hilton and the striker laid the ball off for Carl Brindley to blast an equaliser from 14 yards high into the roof of the net.

Manager Si Dalby's half time talk carried the hope that Mellor's fitness against older opposition would provide an edge. And so it proved.

On 52 minutes Frisby, deep in defence, set Brindley scurrying away against trailing defenders and his superb 35 yard effort agonisingly rippled the side netting with the keeper struggling.

Adam Barlow's jinking runs were causing problems and on the hour he set Swann free for what looked a certain goal but the full back was just offside.

Mellor were threatening now and on 65 minutes a Grove defender had to head over his own bar for a corner following an Alex Young cross.

Five minutes later Frisby headed wide at the far post from four yards following a Barlow corner.

But on 76 minutes Barlow set up Man of the Match Brindley on the edge of the box and this time, rather than using power, he feathered his shot into the top right hand corner for a decisive 2-1 lead.

The win again owed much to Jack Hilton's selfless running as the lone striker.

The Seconds, also depleted by injuries and absentees, lost 2-0 away at Moorside Rangers, effectively ending their slim chances of promotion. Lewis Jeffs was Mellor's star man.

The Fourths also lost, 2-1 away at Irlam Steel with a goal inevitably from Maciek Sobiegraj.

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On Wednesday Mellor Firsts won 3-0 at Stoconians.

Mellor again played five in midfield and Jack Hilton alone up front. Chris Coram put Hilton away after five minutes and he ran in on goal only to shoot too high.

On 22 minutes Matt Peck wriggled free and had his shot blocked at the expense of a corner.

On 35 minutes a Coram free kick was headed back across goal and Craig Frisby's header looked a certain goal but it hit the back of a defender's head and was scrambled clear.

Stocs hit the side netting on 37 minutes but a minute later Mellor took the lead when Barlow fed Hilton who sent a delightful chip into the far top right hand corner for 1-0.

Barlow's pass on 41 minutes sent Paul Swann away and he was fouled in the box for the second time in consecutive matches, picking himself up to despatch the penalty for 2-0.

After the break Man of the Match Hilton was denied first by the keeper then by the bar. But on 57 minutes the keeper made a howler and let the ball slip through his hands leaving Hilton free to head over the line for 3-0.

Brinners' Winners. Well, the first goal anyway.

Adam Barlow tries a dribble

Mellor on the attack

Craig Frisby puts his header just wide

 

 

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PIC 1 Carl Brindley, two goals and Man of the Match for the Firsts

PIC 2 Christian Hynes, solid First Team debut
PIC 3 Lewis Jeffs, Match of the Match for the Seconds
PIC 4 Maciek Sobiegraj...a goal for the Fourths