CHEADLE TOWN RESERVES 3 MELLOR 1
A spirited performance by Mellor Firsts was not enough for them to progress to the Stockport Senior Cup semi finals against higher league opposition Cheadle Town Reserves.
For Mellor to have a chance of winning this game every player had to play up to his potential and they did.
But the underdogs also needed to score first and had the opportunities in an evenly contested first half.
After the break the home side grew in stature and having gone ahead with a contested penalty Town's superior fitness ensured it would be a struggle for Mellor to get back on terms.
Cheadle Town Reserves had beaten Lancs and Cheshire side Hazel Grove 4-0 in the previous round.
But Mellor tested their credentials fully in an exciting first period.
After two minutes Jonny Cooke fired just wide.
Then a minute later a mazy 60 yard run by Matt Cotton ended with a Kevin Cooney shot deflected for a corner.
A Dave Whelan free kick on five minutes saw Cooney just unable to get enough contact on the ball to score when in a good position.
Dan Byrne then conceded a free kick with a rash tackle on the left and Cotton, who had an excellent game, had to head clear.
On 20 minutes Byrne lost the ball and when the cross came in from Town's right a forward set up a colleague for a shot on goal which cannoned off the post.
Whelan then fed Ben Beer whose teasing cross was saved.
On 22 minutes Town fired over a dangerous cross which bisected Mellor's six yard area but flew to safety.
Then Town launched another attack which ended in a forward missing the target at the far post with a relatively simple header.
On 28 minutes Dan Byrne got forward and set up another chance but this time Matt Jamieson's header was just wide.
A minute later Paul Swann played in Dave Whelan for a sizzler which cleared the bar from 22 yards by a foot.
On 32 minutes Cody Wharton got down smartly to save a cross-shot.
Jamieson immediately tested Town's keeper who saved.
On 40 minutes a flowing Mellor move saw the ball passed from Cooney to Cooke to Whelan and finally to Paul Swann who shot wide.
Town's right winger was causing Mellor a few problems and on 42 minutes he beat Jack Parr and surged into the area to fire low but Wharton smothered the shot.
Arguably Mellor's best chance came on 43 minutes. Jamieson slipped the ball to Cooney but agonisingly the striker was a toe's length away from the bouncing ball when the keeper snuffed out the threat.
Town started the second half with more purpose but Mellor still created chances.
On 52 minutes Cooke was sent clear but a defender caught him up and Cooke went down in a challenge. No penalty. Probably the right decision.
Town threatened with an overhead kick which hit the post on 55 minutes.
A minute later Adam Barlow replaced Byrne who had suffered a knock.
On the hour Granite headed clear only to an opponent whose fierce drive was well saved again by Wharton.
A minute later a cross brushed Granite's fingers and the referee pointed to the spot. Mellor protested in vain.
Wharton guessed wrong and Town were 1-0 up.
Ben Wade immediately replaced Jack Parr as Mellor searched for an equaliser.
But on 65 minutes a clever Town cross was headed home for 2-0.
The game was very open now and there were chances at both ends.
On 79 minutes Cooney, surrounded by a sea of green defenders, got his shot away from 23 yards and saw it curl beautifully into the left hand corner of Town's net to give the visitors hope.
On 80 minutes Granite fed Wade but he just couldn't get his shot away and was eventually blocked out.
A minute later Granite rose to a Cooney corner to head two feet high.
Wharton made another full length save on 84 minutes.
But a minute later Granite saw his defensive header fall to a Town player 25 yards out and his powerfully struck volley flew into the top right hand corner of Mellor's net for 3-1.
Cooney, who carried Mellor's greatest threat, tested Town's keeper again.
But in a final flurry Wharton made two more excellent stops, firstly denying a Town forward in a one-on-one, then a few seconds later going full length to turn the ball round for a corner.
News of the other teams follows below after the pictures.
Jonny Cooke fires over
Kev Cooney cannot get enough contact to score with a header
Matt Jamieson heads wide
Jack Parr threatens Cheadle's goal
Jamo waits for any mistake from Cheadle's keeper
Cody Wharton guesses the wrong way for a penalty
Ben Wade bears down on Cheadle's goal
Kev Cooney (hidden by the No. 4) scores for Mellor
The Seconds had an excellent 2-0 away win at the intimidating Old Trafford ground. Terry Boon and Bruce Clarke were on target.
The Thirds lost 2-4 in a local derby away to Stoconians Reserves. Rick Axford and Nick Broadway scored. Tom Bradley was the star man.
The Fourths lost 3-4 on Wood Lane against Cheadle Hulme Villa Thirds. Sam Jamieson netted twice and Jon Cosgrove scored then other. Mellor conceded a last minute penalty which was converted. Phil Brown was Mellor's top banana.
Here is Phil Welsh's report from yesterdays Fourths' game.
However, they got out of the blocks much better than Mellor who looked second best for the first 20 minutes. Despite playing on a decent Wood Lane pitch, our play was not good and we were second to the ball too often.
Danny Roberts, furrowing a lone path up front in the 4-1-4-1 formation, was uncharacteristically struggling with his first touch, along with a few others, including Paul Telfer who gave the ball away after 5 minutes for the first Cheadle goal.
As last man, stalwart Telfer, instead of thumping the ball out of play like he's been taught to do for the last 75 years of his career, attempted to pivot right and kick it with his left, resulting in the ball going directly to their striker, and Telfer looking more like someone who would be a first week exit on Strictly Come Dancing.
This time in the form of Rob Jordan, who attempted a pass rather than a clearance that went straight to a Cheadle player, thus leading to their second goal. Jordan was quiet in the first half, along with the usually bullish Si Moores. Both have great speed and ability but were very tentative. Following a couple of kind words from Phil Welsh, both played the latter part of the first half much more like their true selves.
We decided to go back to a 4-4-2 formation, pushing Danny Roberts up front with Dunc Bray and moving Mike White to right wing. This proved a good decision and in the second half Mellor came out much more positive and attacking. On 50 minutes the equaliser came with an excellent free kick from Telfer (who had a great second half) that was touched past the Villa keeper by Sam Jamieson.
Mellor were still in the game, thanks to some good defensive play from the centre backs, especially Adam Sidebotham, who was made to work much harder in the last half hour as Telfer pushed forwards to try and get an equaliser.
On 63 minutes, Si Moores was replaced by Kye Davidson. A formation change ensued with Kye moving to right back and Si Meats to centre half, enabling Telfer to move into central midfield. This paid immediate dividends, as two minutes later a corner from Danny Roberts was clinically converted by Jamo to make the score 3-3. Sam had a good game and provided a good attacking presence for most of it, only tiring in the last ten minutes.
On 75 minutes, Dunc was subbed, being replaced by Ant Brown. Ant slotted into right back pushing Kye into right midfield, giving Mike White a rare opportunity up front.
Mike Priest also replaced Danny with 10 minutes remaining. Unfortunately Cheadle moved into the ascendancy, our inexperience leading to an inability to properly clear the ball.
They laid siege to our goal in the last five minutes, and again man of the match Phil Brown came to our rescue.
As the match slipped into injury time, the Cheadle striker got a clear shot at goal ten yards out and a last ditch tackle from Telfer only succeeded in bringing him down for a stonewall penalty. Browns valiant dive failed to keep out a good pen, and the match agonisingly finished 3-4.
When in doubt, kick it out, is our watch word for the rest of the season.
Full backs and wingers must work together to cover each other and watch
the opposition wingers, and the midfield needs to cover the ground to
get back when the ball is lost.
Some photographs by Mark Jordan
Sie Moores gets in a tackle
Sam Jamieson and Jon Cosgrove hunt down the ball
Sie Moores tries an overhead
Mellor attack a corner