BURY AMS FIRSTS 1 MELLOR SECONDS 2
The progress of Mellor Seconds continued with a fourth consecutive win, a thrilling 2-1 success away at Bury Amateurs Firsts.
The North Manchester side had beaten Whalley Ranges Res 4-1 at home and promised to provide formidable opposition.
But Mellor started at a high tempo, moving the ball well on a heavy and tufty pitch at Drinkwater Park and gained the initiative early on.
If they needed an omen it came in the shape of a giant heron which flew over the pitch like the albatross in the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, predicting doom for the home side.
Playing up a pronounced slope in the first half Mellor's first chance came on three minutes when from a free kick Luke Jubb fed Lee Power who fired over from the edge of the area.
Two minutes later Jubb created another opening for Power who shot wide from 20 yards.
On eight minutes Jubb, who was excellent throughout, was in the action again, taking Power's pass and crossing for Jonny Cooke who was denied at the price of a corner.
A minute later a Power cross was almost put into his own goal by a Bury defender.
It was all Mellor and on 12 minutes Power and Pearce combined to set up Carl Brindley who missed the target.
Mellor then almost paid the price for falling asleep at a Bury free kick which was quickly taken and Andy McFall had to make a good save.
The whole Mellor side was working hard and none more so than Brindley who several times tracked back deep into his own half to snuff out a threat.
On 17 minutes the ball moved from Pearce to Brindley to Jubb and the playmaker's on-target drive was well saved.
Three minutes later Cooke fed Jubb whose chip just floated wide.
Bury threatened only on the odd break.
But on 23 minutes they almost took an undeserved lead, McFall going to his left but saving with his outstretched right foot.
On 27 minutes Moss hoisted a long ball to the edge of Bury's area. Brindley battled hard to protect the ball and laid it to Jubb whose pass to Power allowed the striker to drill home high into the roof of the net for 1-0.
Lee Power fires home number one
Power's second from the spot
On 41 minutes Jubb was tripped in the box and Power scored a second from the spot, high to the keeper's right.
Three minutes later Jubb slotted in Brindley in the inside right channel and he got his shot away only to see it saved.
A second half revival from Bury was expected and they didn't disappoint.
On 49 minutes a big defender headed over from a free kick, as a warning.
Craig Frisby then did the same to a Jubb corner at the other end.
But it was in his own box where Frisby's heading prowess was to prove vital as Bury switched more and more to long crosses and throw-ins.
A period of pressure on 62 minutes saw the home side peg a goal back. Two shots were blocked but a third squirmed through a forest of players to find the net for 2-1.
Luke Jubb on the ball
A heron flies over
It was game on now and Mellor had to show resilience to keep Bury at bay.
Danny Leibrick replaced a hobbling Cooke on 65 minutes.
He might have provided a precious outlet had Mellor found him with better passes.
Once they did spring the break but Leibrick opted to pass inside instead of running at his lone defender and the chance was lost.
Brindley had a similar break on 77 minutes, fed again by Jubb but his well struck shot flashed a yard wide.
Mellor were under the cosh but time and again Man of the Match Frisby's head rose from the crowd to clear.
Mellor's final chance fell to Power on 84 minutes, courtesy of Jubb but his effort was cleared.
Despite their pressure McFall did not have a major moment of danger, such was the shield erected in front of him.
Mellor Seconds are now in fifth with six wins, five defeats and a draw.
Next up Old Trafford away.
The Firsts drew 2-2 away at Chorltonians. Dave Whelan scored a penalty and Dom Randle netted. But there was controversy over a defender who allegedly tipped anotherWhelan shot over the bar with his hand, The referee saw the incident but deemed there was no contact.
The Thirds won 4-3 at home to Aldermere Firsts. Fred Keyte, James Hanson (pen) Jack Kuehl and Mo Roberts scored.
The Man of the Match award was shared by James Adamson and Chris Oyston.
The Fourths' game was rained off.