MELLOR FOURTHS 1 MILTON THIRDS 4
Mellor Fourths' defensive frailties returned to see them lose 1-4 at home to a young Milton side.
In an exciting game, Mellor almost pulled it back to 3-2 with five minutes left.
In the same attack, Jon Cosgrove was denied by the crossbar and then by a brilliant one handed save from Milton's keeper.
The visitors then broke away to seal the game with a well taken fourth.
Mellor lined up with Stu Thorley at right back, Mike White and Si Meats at centre back and Shane Cliffe at left back.
Thorley was the Man of the Match, defending resolutely before moving to centre midfield after an hour and giving some coordination to the play.
Mellor went 1-0 down after six minutes following a Milton break on the left. Mellor had two chances to clear their lines before the ball broke to a forward who scored from close range.
It was 0-2 after 31 minutes. Si Meats attempted an overhead kick to clear but the ball hit an opponent immediately behind him and set up a clear run on goal which he did not spurn.
Two minutes later James Robinshaw halved the deficit, shooting home from close in.
Keeper Phil Brown then made two excellent saves to keep the score down.
But Mellor then enjoyed one of their two best spells of the game, pressurising the Milton defence for long periods.
It was 1-2 at the break. But on 47 minutes Mellor conceded a crazy third when a Cosgrove defensive header from a corner looped up and dropped in behind keeper Brown.
Sam Jamieson replaced Robbie Longworth on 56 minutes, Rob Jordan going into centre midfield to allow Jamieson to patrol the left flank.
A further re-shuffle four minutes later saw Thorley released from right back to go into centre midfield.
Rick Monton replaced him at right back and Sean Standen came off, allowing Rob Jordan to go up front.
The game was fairly even at this stage but Mellor failed to create too many clear cut chances apart from two breaks by Danny Roberts, one ending with a shot kicked off the line, the other with a drive that flew high and wide.
With 15 minutes to go Mellor went to three at the back, Meats, White and Adam Sidebotham who came on for Shane Cliffe.
Monton pushed on up the right.
The move saw Mellor create more chances and Cosgrove was desperately unlucky not to score.
Milton sealed the points with a late breakaway.
Nearby at Brabyns The Thirds lost 3-5 to Milton Seconds, having established a 3-1 lead.
Tom Bright(2) and Marcus McNulty were on target.
The games featuring the Firsts and Seconds, both away, were rained off.
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Below is a selection of excellent photos courtesy or Mark Jordan of Marple Bridge Photography
Mike White clears his lines
Shane Cliffe gets in a tackle
Jon Cosgrove goes up for a header
'' Never touched him, ref, ' says Jon Cosgrove
Shane Cliffe in the tackle again
Jon Cosgrove suffers for the cause
James Robinshaw scores
Stu Thorley beats his man in the air
Kev Murray on the attack for the Thirds
Kev Murray shoots
Marcus McNulty outpaces his man
Marcus McNulty gets his shot away
Mellor defend in numbers
Mellor apply the pressure
Scott Waters in mid air