MELLOR FIRSTS 1 SPURLEY HEY 3
After two fixtures blighted by the weather Mellor Firsts opened their league campaign with a 1-3 home defeat to local rivals Spurley Hey.
It could have been so different had Mellor taken two good early chances.
In the first minute Ben Wade, on his First team debut, surged down the right and squared the ball 10 yards out for Jack Hilton whose well struck shot flew too high.
On 14 minutes Hilton got his head onto a Danny Leibrick cross but the ball cannoned off the far right hand post to safety.
In fairness Spurley had two chances of their own between those incidents.
On eight minutes a Spurley forward beat Craig Fairfield and shot over.
Three minutes later Luke Smith made an excellent plunging save to deny the visitors a goal.
Mellor never really got into a rhythm and did not move the ball quickly enough.
Spurley by contrast were quick into the tackle and their two centre backs dominated in the air.
Spurley took the lead on 21 minutes. A corner was repelled but the kicker sent over another cross which a forward was allowed to control then turn to fire home.
Leibrick got round the back a minute later but his cross was too high.
The flying winger caused panic four minutes later and a defender was forced to head the cross over his own bar for a corner.
On 32 minutes Wade and Matt Peck swopped passes and Wade then brushed off a defender to square the ball for Peck to slide home for 1-1.
Six minutes later Mellor almost took the lead. Peck chested down a poor kick out from Spurley's keeper and sent in a rasping volley which the keeper, hastily readjusting, managed to parry away.
On 41 minutes Peck skinned his defender but opted to shoot on a tight angle instead of crossing for a colleague at the back stick and the keeper made a routine save.
A minute later Spurley regained the lead, a forward turning Craig Fairfield and lashing the ball powerfully into the net from 20 yards.
Spurley started the second half brightly but on 50 minutes Matt Peck had a good run which ended in a shot that was comfortably saved.
On 57 minutes Josh Granite, one of Mellor's best performers, broke down the right and his strong cross bisected the six yard box but Ben Wade could only make the faintest of touches with his forehead.
Spurley went 3-1 up a minute later, working a good position after Dave Whelan was dispossessed in midfield and firing home.
On 65 minutes Carl Brindley replaced Hilton.
Three minutes later Tom Byrne came on at centre back for Rob White, Ben Beer moving to right back.
On 69 minutes Mellor gratefully conceded a corner to divert a dangerous Spurley cross.
Spurley missed a further chance on 72 minutes shooting wide after a break on the left.
On 79 minutes Dave Moss replaced Peck, who injured an ankle after a heavy challenge.
By now Spurley were rarely troubled and the game petered out.
Wade, who caused Spurley a few problems and worked hard throughout, began to fade.
And the visitors were determined to hang onto their lead.
Hilton tries to reach a corner
Leibrick threatens on a flank
Ben Wade tries to head in a cross
Spurley clear a Mellor corner
Wade cuts the ball back for Peck to tap home for 1-1
Peck's volley parried by Spurley's keeper
Peck shoots with attackers at the far post.
Josh Granite pushes forward
Carl Brindley tries to work a cross
Carl Brindley's shot is blocked.
Mellor Seconds travelled to Moorside Rangers and were beaten 5-1. Dan Byrne scored for Mellor, whose top performers were Joe Maloney and Christian Hynes.
Mellor Thirds started life in Division B with an impressive 4-2 win away at Newton Reserves. Dom Randle scored all four and was given the Man of the Match accolade.
Mellor were 1-0 and 2-1 up but were twiced pegged back before taking a winning lead.