Mellor Firsts moved to fifth in the Premiership with an emphatic 5-0 win over Moston Brook at Wood Lane.

The visitors, on 41 points, seven ahead of Mellor, are still in third place in the table but have only one more fixture, compared to Mellor's eight.

Elsewhere Whalley Range kept up their title bid with an 11-4 away thrashing of relegation threatened Spurley Hey.

And in the Rhodes Cup Mellor now know that their semi-final opponents will be either Newton Heath or Old Ashtonians, who overcame South Manchester yesterday on penalties after a 3-3 draw.

That quarter final is scheduled for April 12th.

With almost a full squad to pick from manager Si Dalby kept with a back five and selected Dom Randle, Chris Coram and Adam Barlow as his midfield three.

Mellor had the wind at their backs in the first half and took the initiative straight away.

Paul Swann challenges

Bruce Clarke collides with Moston's keeper


After five minutes Mark Oldham's cute pass sent Bruce Clarke clear in the inside left channel and his clipped shot from range eluded the keeper but also drifted past the far post with no Mellor colleague to force it home.

Clarke's pace took him clear again soon after but he collided with Moston's keeper just outside the area.

After 10 minutes Clarke was in again, this time rounding the keeper and shooting from an acute angle.

The ball crossed the line before it was cleared by a defender but referee Pete Doyle couldn't tell from his angle and did not have the benefit of goalline technology.


Clarke rounds the keeper and his shot crosses the line but is cleared by a defender with the referee unsighted

Clarke leaps for a Peck corner


Moston's clumsy tackling produced a string of fouls which broke up the rhythm of the game.

But on 16 minutes a cross from the right went over Bruce Clarke's head to Matt Peck four yards behind him and the striker swivelled his body to execute a perfect volley, sending the ball crashing into the net to the keeper's right.

Peck had to stretch to fire in another shot from 22 yards a minute later but this effort was saved.

Clarke was in again on 22 minutes but an awkward bounce and the strong wind held up the bouncing ball and the keeper managed to bundle it away.

On 24 minutes Joe Dalby replaced Mark Oldham, who is suffering from a nagging rib injury.

Adam Barlow went to right wing back and Dalby took his place in the middle.

Craig Fairfield popped up with a shot from 23 yards after a throw in on the right but the ball went wide.

The visitors began to get a foothold in the game and Mellor had Fairfield to thank for several timely tackles and interceptions.

First he headed away a dangerous cross from the right.

From the resulting throw in he cleared again under pressure.

Jamie McGregor then had to dive full length to turn a long range shot around the post for a corner.

Fairfield had to make two further timely tackles to break up promising raids from the men in green.

As half time approached Peck ran across the area from right to left only to fire a shot just over the bar.

In injury time McGregor produced an excellent reaction save on his goalline to deny Moston after a corner.

The second half began with Peck gifting Clarke a great chance which he missed but was adjudged to be offside anyway.

Peck gives chase and is fouled by the defender on his left

Peck tries a volley

Peck fires in another effort but it is saved


Paul Swann then put Peck clear but he overran the ball which went harmlessly for a goal kick.

Peck was beginning to torment the Moston rearguard with his pace and trickery.

In the next attack he sent in a shot which the keeper just about managed to keep out diving to his left.

Moston offered a few threats of their own and a header hit the frame of McGregor's goal before going behind.

Swann's last ditch tackle then prevented an almost certain equaliser.

Joe Dalby's slide rule pass cut open Moston's defence but Clarke was baulked off the ball as he shaped to shoot.

Moston then contrived to miss a sitter as the ball slid across Mellor's six yard box and moments later McGregor produced another excellent save to deny them again.

Ben Beer's hurried clearance then rebounded off a Moston attacker and set up a shooting chance but the ball flew harmlessly high from 25 yards.

Jack Kelly then replaced Clarke and Jack Hilton came on for Barlow in a double substitution.

It brought almost immediate dividends as a Peck run opened up the Moston defence for Kelly to force a desperate save from the keeper. But the ball only rebounded to Randle who blasted home for 2-0.

Moston's keeper saved from Kelly but at the other end McGregor had to get down smartly to turn a low drive for a corner.

The visitors mounted a series of raids on Mellor's goal but the home side's back five coped well.

Meanwhile, Moston's keeper made a hash of clearing an awkward back pass but between them Randle and Peck 25 yards out could not take advantage and the chance evaporated.

Peck made another incisive run that ended with Randle's shot being parried by Moston's keeper.

Joe Dalby then surged into the area on the left and cut the ball back for Peck 15 yards out but the striker wanted to walk the ball in and a defender finally toed it clear.

The reprieve was short lived, Peck sliding the ball to Kelly who made no mistake for 3-0.

Moston began to tire and Mellor looked threatening with every attack.

Joe Dalby cuts the ball back presenting Peck with a shooting chance

Jack Kelly about to score for 3-0


On 88 minutes, with a ruck of players waiting for a cross, Peck drove a 30 yard free kick from the right straight over the keeper's head - Ronaldo style - and into the roof of the net for 4-0. A stunning piece of skill.

Mellor scented blood now and a minute later Kelly released Randle to run on and slide the ball under Moston's keeper for 5-0.

A good, solid performance with Fairfield, Swann, Randle and Peck the stand-out players.


Peck's Ronaldo-esque free kick goal for 4-0

Randle slides the ball under the keeper for 5-0


In Division D Mellor Fourths produced a great display to draw 2-2 with Hillgate Firsts. Rod Jordan scored direct from a corner and Chris Millward also netted.




















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Craig Fairfield
Dom Randle
Jack Kelly
Rob Jordan
Chris Millward