MELLOR 1 OLD ASHTONIANS 4
On the day Manchester City's title hopes all but evaporated, so too, arguably, did Mellor's.
There was no inkling of the final scoreline in a blistering first half when Mellor were by far the better side.
But after taking a second half lead individual errors cost Mellor dearly and gave Ashtonians the fillip they needed.
Mellor began with Jack Hilton on the right side, welcoming back from injury Dom Randle to play in the hole behind Ben Wade.
Mellor were fast out of the blocks.
Randle had a shot blocked on two minutes. Then in the next attack Mellor had two shots blocked in quick succession.
On four minutes a good move released Whelan on the right and Ben Wade missed his cross by a whisker.
Two minutes later Whelan set up Randle for a shot that flew just wide.
On seven minutes Ashtonians broke away and hit the outside of a post.
The Mellor pressure was relentless and on 10 minutes a corner to the back post was half cleared.
Coram retrieved the ball and put Dave Whelan in on goal but he was probably wrongly given offside.
On 19 minutes a flowing move saw the ball switched from Kev Cooney to Randle and on to Wade whose shot was blocked.
Ashtonians were playing a high line and Mellor pierced it again on 22 minutes. Cooney's shot was blocked and Wade tried to volley in the rebound but couldn't get a good enough connection.
Whelan's 22 yard free kick on 33 minutes tested the visiting keeper, who made a flying save to his right.
Cooney then broke away, opened his body and tried to roll the ball inside the far post but Ashtonians' keeper got a fingertip to the ball and sent it for a corner.
Mellor's star man Tom Byrne saved Mellor from conceding with a brilliant tackle on 39 minutes.
Cooney then tried his luck with a free kick but hit it straight at the keeper.
The breakthrough came five minutes after the restart as Coram's acceleration took him past the last defender, whose foul tackle from behind conceded a penalty, but no card.
Whelan slid the ball confidently inside the right hand post, sending the keeper the wrong way. 1-0.
But five minutes later Ashtonians were level.
Ben Beer's attempted clearance went straight to an opponent who crossed for a forward to outjump Rob White and find the net.
In hindsight maybe Cody Wharton might have cleared the danger with a fist.
Randle then got round the back and put an inviting ball across the six yard box with no Mellor player close.
Beer blocked a goalbound effort on 60 minutes.
But Ashtonians' tails were up and a combination of Coram and White was needed to clear off the line.
On 65 minutes Bruce Clarke replaced Ben Wade.
On 68 minutes an Ashtonians' cross-shot from the left was pushed away by Wharton but only to another man in red who scored with ease at the back post for 1-2.
Adam Barlow immediately replaced a tiring Randle.
Cooney had a dangerous cross cleared on 70 minutes.
Then a minute later his attempted scissor kick would have been the goal of the season but the ball flew wide.
On 78 minutes Ashtonians missed a good chance.
A minute later Cody Wharton was hurt as he made a great save in a one-on-one with an Ashtonians' substitute.
Coram had a fierce shot blocked on 84 minutes.
Then on 87 minutes Ashtonians missed a sitter from four yards out.
As we went into six minutes of injury time Ashtonians made it 3-1 with an unchallenged header.
Then, after Hilton had sent a header over the bar at the other end, Ashtonians centre back ran 80 yards to make it 1-4 and compound Mellor's misery.
Coram brought down for a penalty
Dave Whelan sends the keeper the wrong way from the spot
Dom Randle, back in action
A big chance for Kev Cooney
Ben Wade challenges
Dom Randle on the ball
Whelan's free kick is well saved
Hilton and Wade beaten by the keeper's punch
Cooney on the charge
The Seconds went to Chorlts and came away with a creditable 2-2 draw. Danny Hayes was Mellor's Man of the Match and Craig Fairfield and Carl Brindley scored.
The Thirds entertained Chorlts at Brabyns and lost 2-5. Dan Davies was Mellor's star man and the goals came from Kev Murray and Tom Bright.
The Fourths, boasting a line-up including Ryan Yates, Steve Jackson and Paul Newman sunk to an 11-0 defeat against Ashtonians away. Manager Phil Welsh tendered his resignation and Si Meats will take over.
Below are some pictures from the Thirds' game, courtesy of Marple Bridge Photography
Tom Bright attacks for the Thirds
Rick Axford in the tackle
Kev Murray shoots
Dan Davies goes up for a header