Mellor Firsts produced arguably their best performance of the season to put Newton to the sword.

The result flattered the home side who produced only four attempts on goal against Mellor's 20 plus.

The win owed a lot to Mellor's youth policy.

Joe Dalby headed the first. Bruce Clarke scored the second after a wonderful 55 yard run by Adam Barlow, all products of Mellor Junior sides in recent years.

Mellor were missing the two Byrnes, Matt Cotton, Dom Randle and Jamie McGregor in net. Sam Berry ably deputised in goal and Craig Fairfield did an excellent job at centre back.

He stamped his mark early on with two powerful interceptions which set the tone for Mellor's resilience.

Fairfield was rightly awarded the Man of the Match accolade. But there were other big performances from his back four colleagues, Peck, Hilton, Barlow and Clarke especially.

It was Mellor's crisp, one-touch passing that was the key to success, especially after Clarke came on as a substitute.

Mellor took the game to Newton from the off, with Matt Peck troubling the home side's left back every time he got the ball.

On eight minutes Dave Whelan's shot was saved at the expense of a corner.

Two minutes later Barlow almost found Whelan with a slide rule pass in the inside right channel but a defender cut it out.

The first big chance fell to Peck who outpaced a defender but his shot was saved by the Newton keeper's left hand.

Matt Peck forces a save from Newton's keeper


Ben Beer then used Peck as a decoy to reach the byline and send in a right wing cross which was cleared.

On 21 minutes another surgical run from Peck past three defenders ended with a cross shot that was saved.

Whelan then drilled a 22 yard free kick into the wall and in the next attack Swann fired wide.

Joe Dalby handed Hilton a chance but his shot flew wide.

Hilton shoots


Sam Berry in Mellor's goal was a virtual spectator although he came off his line twice as a sweeper-keeper to clear potential dangers.

On 30 minutes a surging Hilton run won a left wing corner. Matt Peck's flag kick found Joe Dalby, the smallest player on the pitch, unmarked in the six yard box and he thumped in a header for 1-0.

On 33 minutes Whelan broke through two tackles on the right and crossed but Jack Hilton was bullied out of it by a defender.

Joe Dalby scores with a soaring header


Hilton then produced a marvellous defensive tackle to break up a Newton attack.

On 37 minutes Newton put in their first real shot, from range which didn't trouble Berry.

Whelan broke down the left and fired in a terrific low shot which went a foot wide.

Peck's cross causes panic in Newton's defence

Hilton beaten to a header

More Mellor pressure


Barlow then fired in a 25 yard volley which the keeper saved with difficulty.

Peck danced down the right, got to the byline and saw his shot bundled away by the keeper

Mellor almost scored with their first attack of the second half.

Swann put Hilton away and his shot was knocked away by the keeper only for a sliding Whelan to hit a post with the follow-up.

One goal was never going to be enough and just after the break a long ball down the centre caused consternation in Mellor's back line for the first time.

Mark Oldham thought the ball would run to Berry but it did not and a Newton forward nipped in. A split second later he collided with Berry who was correctly penalised. Newton gleefully converted the spot kick for 1-1.

On 51 minutes Bruce Clarke replaced an injured Joe Dalby and gave Mellor a new perspective. His quick runs but more importantly his sharp link up play caused all kinds of problems 30 to 40 yards out.

Newton's goal briefly inspired them and on 55 minutes Berry had to tip over a long range shot.

Jack Hilton then worked a one-two with Clarke and galloped down the left for a cross which hit the top of the bar.

Hilton's low shot is saved by the keeper and Whelan hits a post with the follow up


Hilton was taking over from Peck as the tormentor in chief, this time on the left flank.

But it was on the right that Mellor's second goal was fashioned. Barlow broke inside his own half and outpaced a chasing Newton midfielder over 55 yards to whip over a low cross brilliantly slid home by Clarke from six yards for 2-1.

On 67 minutes Swann fed Peck who shot wide from 25 yards.

Mellor were dominating again now and Whelan engineered an opening on the left for Swann to fire in a cross which Newton's centre-back - appealing wrongly for off-side, put past his own keeper.

In the next attack Hilton's cross was deflected for a corner.

Newton broke a fired over from range again.

Mellor looked threatening with every attack.

They played excellent triangles on the left, with Swann, Hilton, Coram and Clarke linking well.

Lee Power then replaced Peck.

Whelan found Clarke who held the ball up well and fed Coram's whose shot came back off the bar,

Whelan then had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for a push by Clarke.

Power fired a shot just wide.

With five minutes to go Newton won a soft free kick on Mellor's byline.

The kick was fired in low and deflected into Mellor's net for 3-2.

Newton predictably tried to stage a late rally but Mellor's defence held firm.

In fact, with more care on the out-ball Mellor might have picked Newton off and scored again on the break.

Nevertheless, an excellent three points.

The Seconds hosted Heaton Mersey and won 8-1 to go fifth in Division 2.

Carl Brindley scored four and there were goals for Vickers, Cooke, Jubb and Leibrick.

The games involving the Thirds and the Fourths fell victim to the weather.

Bruce Clarke manhandled in the penalty














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Joe Dalby....terrific headed goal for the Firsts
Bruce Clarke...on target for the Firsts
Sam Berry in net for the Firsts
Carl Brindley....four for the Seconds
Joe Vickers....goal for the Seconds