MELLOR FIRST 0 LANC & CHESHIRE LEAGUE X1 5
Mellor Firsts made their first ever appearance in the annual play-off for the Bedians Cup and were beaten 5-0 by the Lancashire & Cheshire Inter League X1.
The scoreline was a harsh reflection on the game which Mellor shaded in the first half.
Mellor might have gone in 2-1 up at half time instead of 2-0 down to the only two shots that the League side mustered on goal in the first period.
The men in orange, by contrast, hit the post and had a shot kicked off the line by the L&C keeper, who was by far the busier of the two men between the sticks in the first period.
Under lights, on an immaculate surface at West Didsbury's ground Mellor started with 4-4-1-1, playing Jack Hilton up top and Dom Randle just behind in the hole.
The League side began by knocking the ball around assuredly, playing it to and fro across the back line.
But whenever they tried to penetrate they found Tom Byrne and Dave Whelan solid in the centre-back positions and well supported on the flanks by Rob White and Dan Byrne.
In midfield Jack Parr chased tirelessly to break up play and Chris Coram sprayed balls around with time that other players didn't seem to possess.
There was hardly an incident worthy of note until out of the blue on 16 minutes the League went 1-0 up with a long range effort that flew over Tom Fletcher's head from at least 25 yards.
A pass to Dom Randle is cut out
On 19 minutes Matt Peck danced into the area and attempted to cross, the ball seemingly blocked by a hand but the referee waved away penalty appeals.
Peck began to cause havoc down the right and the League side invariably brought across a second defender to counter his forays.
On 27 minutes Mellor had what they thought a stonewall penalty shout rejected, Jack Parr being bundled over in the penalty area by a defender who got none of the ball whatsoever.
Danny Leibrick didn't get much change out of the L&C's right back
Mellor began to take the game to the L&C side and Peck was causing consistent problems to their left flank.
Randle was neat and tidy and Hilton was making good runs and putting the L&C defence under pressure.
On 30 minutes Peck crossed to Hilton whose snap shot from 10 yards came back off a post.
Matt Peck terrorised the L&C's left flank all evening
On 35 minutes Peck got away again and this time his cross was almost turned in but a defender managed to divert the ball for a Mellor corner.
Peck was the provider again on 39 minutes, setting up arguably Mellor's best chance of the game. Dom Randle should have scored but his shot from eight yards hit the keeper's legs and flew to safety.
On 41 minutes Hilton had to leave the field with a shoulder injury after a heavy challenge and was replaced by Dave Moss.
Mellor were still reorganising when the League X1 broke forward and Fletcher failed to gather a through ball, allowing a forward to make it 2-0.
Peck comes inside looking for support
At half time Steve Smith replaced Parr and Jonny Cooke came on for Leibrick.
On 48 minutes the L&C keeper made a terrible hash of an attempted clearance and the ball broke to Randle who made the angle for his shot but then - off balance - put the ball wide.
Peck again, trying his luck through the middle
Fletcher made a relatively easily save, low down on 55 minutes.
On 60 minutes Hilton (as a roll-on, roll-off sub) came back on for Randle.
Mellor fashioned a good move on 61 minutes which ended with Dave Moss setting up Steve Smith whose powerfully hit shot was held by the L&C keeper.
The League side then went 3-0 up, breaking down the left and firing over a cross to produce a tap-in from three yards.
They added two more goals on 79 and 88 minutes as Mellor's fight ebbed away.
Mellor, however, to their credit kept playing tidy football and one terrific move down the left involving a cheeky back flick by Peck and a swopping of passes with Dan Byrne was one of the top memories of the night.
The L&C scorers were Adam Kay (3), Dom Hallam and Billy Russell.
Dom Randle tries in vain to latch onto a through ball
Peck goes round the outside
Peck looks to square the ball
Peck again trying to weave his magic
A last ditch tackle stops Jack Hilton
Leibrick takes on the full back again
Mellor denied at the expense of a corner
Mellor's best chance but Dom Randle's shot hits the keeper's shins