OLD STRETS 2 MELLOR 2

Coming back from 2-0 down is always an achievement but Mellor will consider this two points dropped.

The visitors' second half domination included a missed penalty, a blatant handball in the area not seen by the referee and a golden last minute chance squandered.

Strets are having a poor season with only one win in seven.

But the glue-pot pitch favoured their direct style rather than Mellor's normal intricate passing game.

Mellor began brightly and Danny Leibrick almost got Ben Wade away in the first minute but the striker was denied by a desperate last ditch tackle as he bore down on goal.

In the opening exchanges Ben Beer repeatedly stole the ball off Strets' winger and Chris Coram was only fractionally too long with three raking passes to Leibrick on the left.

Jack Hilton picked up a knock on eight minutes but was able to carry on after treatment.

On 15 minutes Cody Wharton in goal made the first of a string of good saves which was to earn him the Man of the Match accolade.

He plunged low to his right to turn away a fierce drive.

Wade was frustrated by Strets' high line and was ruled offside three times in the first 16 minutes.

On 22 minutes Paul Swann tried to exchange passes with Leibrick on the left but the winger's return ball was short and a Strets player nipped in to set up a counter attack that ended in a strike for 1-0 to the home side against the run of play.

On 29 minutes Mellor were undone again by a long ball over the top which exposed Cody Wharton, rounded by a Strets forward who then almost muffed the opportunity by squaring the ball to a colleague who scored.

On 32 minutes Wharton executed a full stretch tip over the bar from a chip after a corner was only partially cleared to the edge of the area.

A minute later Ben Beer was fouled on the right wing. Leibrick floated over a free kick and Paul Swann emerged from a crowd of players at the far post to nod home for 2-1.

Mellor dominated possession but Strets threatened on the break and Wharton had to be alert to make another fine diving stop on 38 minutes to nullify a 25 yarder.

On 44 minutes Wharton saved again after a defensive error.

A second misjudgement a minute later let in Strets' Number 10 but he fired wide from a good position.

Mellor then broke away and Leibrick's cross shot was turned away for a corner.

The short flag kick went to Coram whose vicious cross was headed out from under the Strets' crossbar.

Mellor began the second period in determined mood.

On 47 minutes they were awarded a soft penalty for a foul on Jonny Cooke.

But Ben Beer's spot kick to the right hand side of the goal was clawed away by the keeper.

On 55 minutres a double substitution saw Adam Barlow replace Cooke and Matt Jamieson came on for Wade.

The changes invigorated Mellor who began to turn the screw.

But Wharton still had to produce one more save on 56 minutes, dropping down to smother another 25 yarder.

Strets survived a series of corners but on 63 minutes Adam Barlow was on hand to bundle in the equaliser.

Mellor should have gone ahead on 67 minutes. Barlow fed Matt Jamieson who crossed for Jack Hilton but the striker's header from four yards out lacked power.

On 70 minutes came the handball shout, a Strets defender using his forearm to clear the ball. But the referee was unsighted.

Perhaps it confirmed the case for linesmen in the Premiership, which was outvoted by clubs earlier in the season despite Mellor's support.

Luke Jubb replaced a hobbling Mark Oldham on 71 minutes, Beer going to centre back and Barlow to right back.

On 90 minutes Strets wasted a chance, heading over the bar.

But the best opportunity of the match fell to Danny Leibrick in the second minute of added time. The winger was put clear but didn't open up his body enough and side footed the ball wide from eight yards.

The top six teams in the L&C Premier Division are all on 17 points. If Mellor win their two games in hand they can go joint top of the division, so tight is the table.

Mellor's three other teams had their matches rained off.

Staly Lions 2-2 home draw with Milton Reserves means they leapfrog Mellor Thirds to top Division B but only on goal difference from the same nine games.

Remember training resumes at Werneth on Tuesday, at 7pm.

Please also remember to pay your membership fee if you have not done so.

Ben Wade is denied by a last ditch tackle

Take One: Paul Swann about to head Mellor's first goal

Take 2: It's in.....

A corner flashes across Strets' six yard box, eluding Byrne, Wade and Hilton

Second half pressure

Adam Barlow bundles in the equaliser

 

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Paul Swann...a headed goal, then a black eye
Adam Barlow....off the bench to score the equaliser
Cody Wharton....Man of the Match