Mellor Firsts kept their title hopes alive with a workmanlike 3-1 away win against Chorltonians to complete the double over the men in green and black.

The win also saw Mellor climb above Chorlts and within three points of leaders AFC Oldham.

Rob White came in at left back for Dan Byrne, with Jack Hilton the lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation.

Mellor started purposefully but Man of the Match Matt Cotton had to be alert in the first minute to snuff out a potentially dangerous situation.

On three minutes Dave Whelan, another top performer, almost broke through but the keeper saved his shot as two defenders bundled him to the floor.


Whelan gets his shot away


Matt Peck looked lively but on six minutes he was scythed down by Chorlts' left back who was lucky not to see yellow.

Two minutes later Cotton ghosted into the area and managed to get a shot on the turn onto a Kev Cooney free kick from the right wing but the goalkeeper was equal to it.


Cotton's shot on the turn


Mellor were now turning the screw and winning all the 50-50s. Whelan fed Hilton whose shot was blocked.

On 11 minutes Paul Swann was clean through only to be denied by a last ditch tackle.

On 15 minutes, in their first real attack, Chorlts scored.

A long throw from the right near the corner flag was flicked on and a Chorlts forward poked it home at the far post, where right-back Ben Beer might have been quicker to spot the danger.

The lead lasted just four minutes. After some great work by Kev Cooney the ball broke to Matt Peck who drilled in a sweet right foot shot from 16 yards into the far corner.

On 20 minutes Chorlts had a sharp chance but fired over.

Two minutes later an error in Chorlts' back line saw Kev Cooney clear in the inside left channel but his powerful drive flew wide.


Kev Cooney breaks away.....

but fires wide


Ben Beer then came onto a clearance and fired a powerful shot two feet over from 25 yards.

Peck caused problems inside Chorlts' area on 26 minutes and the ball came to Hilton six yards out with the goal gaping but he just couldn't find his balance for a solid strike and the chance went begging.

Cody Wharton then made his first meaningful save on 27 minutes.

Mellor were still controlling the game without causing Chorlts' back four too many problems.

But on 44 minutes, following a corner, a snap shot by Kev Cooney came back off the post and Tom Byrne, cool as you like, slotted home from 14 yards.

Matt Cotton attacks a corner


Chorlts began the second period as if they meant business.

But the game was effectively over a minute after the re-start when a half clearance fell to Chris Coram on the edge of the box and he hit a delightful right footer inside the far right hand post. A rare right foot goal for the skipper.

Chorlts then mounted a spell of sustained pressure which Mellor's defence largely coped with fairly comfortably.

Cody Wharton was called upon to punch clear twice and was once bundled over when trying to catch under his crossbar, triggering a free kick.

Matt Cotton also executed vital headers to clear his lines.

Mellor were a threat on the break and on 55 minutes Kev Cooney broke away, drew a defender and chipped to Jack Hilton who floated his shot just too high.


Hilton puts on the pressure



On 65 minutes Ben Wade replaced Paul Swann and Mellor switched to 4-2-4.

Chorlts were winning all the headers in the back division and midfield and every time Mellor knocked a high ball forward it came straight back.

Cooney seemed to be doing more work in Mellor's defensive third than in Chorlts' half. But his support of an impressive Rob White was important.

Peck relieved the pressure on 70 minutes with an incisive 45 yard run but Chorlts' full back got back at him at the vital moment and conceded a corner as Peck tried to shoot.

Chorlts' number 8, already on a yellow, then might have seen red for legging up a Mellor midfielder.

On 73 minutes Steve King replaced Cooney.

Two minutes later a cross from the right squirmed under Wharton's body and alarm bells rang but Mellor cleared the danger.

Wharton redeemed himself four minutes later with a fine save.

Peck then had a chance to score but his shot from the edge of the box was straight at the home keeper.

Chorlts squandered a sharp chance, shooting wide on 82 minutes.

King then fed Wade whose shot lacked power.


Cooney feeds Hilton whose shot is too high



On 89 minutes Hilton combined with Wade who shot just wide from 18 yards.

The referee then played five minutes of injury time, notable only for another fine defensive header from Matt Cotton

Mellor were well worth the win.


Hilton climbs for a header


Mellor Seconds lost 1-3 at home to Castleton. Man of the Match Joe Dalby scored.

The Thirds drew 3-3 against Abacus Media after being 3-1 up with three minutes left.

Rick Axford, Kev Murray and Tom Bright scored.

The Fourths, looking for their first league win, lost 3-4 away at fellow strugglers Milton.

The home side went 3-0 up. Mike White reduced the arrears before half time.

On 65 minutes Milton made it 4-1. But Sie Moores and Jon Cosgrove scored to create a nervy final few minutes for the home side.

Si Meats suffered injury a knee in this game and awaits news of how bad it is but remains upbeat.



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Matt Cotton...Firsts' star man
Matt Peck...great goal for the Firsts
Rick Axford,....a goal for the Thirds

Sie Moores...scored for the Fourths

Mike White...scored for the Fourths