MELLOR 2 POYNTON 1
Mellor won the Stockport Senior Cup for only the second time in their history, beating the much fancied Poynton at Edgeley Park in front of a raucous crowd.
The victory was built on magnificent defence in which Craig Fairfield (voted Man of the Match by Stockport FA officials), Dave Whelan and Paul Swann excelled.
But it was a game in which every player had to perform to get a result and they did.
Manager Si Dalby retained the 5-3-2 formation that had earned Mellor a final berth.
The unlucky players to miss out were Mark Oldham, Bruce Clarke, Joe Dalby, Jack Kelly and keeper Sam Berry, all on the bench.
There was drama in just the third minute when Dave Whelan's long pass sent Jack Hilton clear.
The collision with Poynton's keeper might have been deemed a penalty (bringing an inevitable red card).
But referee Roger Andrew was unconvinced and waved play on.
On 10 minutes Hilton got behind Poynton's defence again and his dangerous cross rebounded awkwardly off a defender into the keeper's grateful arms.
Paul Swann sent Hilton galloping away on 14 minutes but the striker was offside.
Poynton were dominating possession and Mellor were sitting deep hoping to hit the Cheshire League side on the break.
Hilton and Peck were working hard with limited service.
When Mellor did get the ball they played their familiar passing game, making good triangles.
But space, especially in the midfield, was at a premium.
Fairfield heads clear
Barlow and Coram harried and tackled and gave Poynton's midfield no respite.
Jamie McGregor made a big save on 17 minutes keeping a header out with his leg after the ball nicked off Swann.
Barlow then almost got Peck away but the pass was cut out.
On 30 minutes Barlow conceded a free kick on the right and the dangerous cross was header over by a Poynton attacker.
Poynton sent in another questioning free kick on 36 minutes but a Mellor head cleared the ball as a foul for pushing was awarded.
Peck was almost in on 41 minutes but was adjudged to have handled the ball.
Dan Byrne then linked well with Peck and the ball moved on to Hilton who forced a corner, well defended.
On 43 minutes Whelan took a corner from the left. The ball came out to Coram whose centre was headed clear to Dom Randle.
The midfielder hooked the ball to Craig Fairfield who smashed an unstoppable drive inside the far post from the edge of the penalty area for 1-0.
In the next attack Dan Byrne and Swann combined to set up Hilton but his shot from rangle went wide.
Mellor started the second period in bouyant mood.
After 47 minutes Beer found Peck who rounded his man but was fouled.
Poynton cleared the free kick.
Two minutes later Whelan sent a 60 yard pass downfield which was headed by a Poynton defender to Randle.
The midfielder surged towards the box only to be tackled but Jack Hilton nicked the ball from a defender and shrugged off a second red shirt to drill the ball home low past the on-rushing keeper for 2-0.
Peck,, back on the edge of his own area then initiated a brilliant counter attack that saw Randle and Hilton combine to fashion another chance which Hilton drilled straight at the keeper.
On 55 minutes Poynton worked a shooting chance but fired wide from 25 yards.
The men in red then brought on a pacy right winger who began to create problems in Mellor's rearguard.
On 67 minutes Poynton took a throw on the right and the ball was played back to the thrower whose underhit cross was helped on past Paul Swann for a Poynton forward to turn home from seven yards for 2-1.
Poynton's tails were up and suddenly Mellor were under the cosh but Coram, Randle and Barlow gave the back five as much protection as possible and the defenders ensured that McGregor was relatively untroubled.
On 75 minutes Mark Oldham came on for Ben Beer who was suffering cramp.
Poynton missed a golden chance to level on 83 minutes, a forward blasting over after being slid through in the inside right channel.
Joe Dalby then replaced Dan Byrne but went to right back, with Oldham moving to the left back position.
On 85 minutes McGregor made good save as Poynton began to throw more bodies forward.
Whelan then attempted an outrageous 60 yard shot on goal from a free kick which went about a yard wide.
On 86 minutes Bruce Clarke came on for Randle, with Hilton moving into midfield.
With the clock showing 90 minutes Swann then stuck out a leg to break up a threatening Poynton move, suffering a bout of cramp in the process.
He was able to carry on after treatment.
Roger Andrew played five minutes of injury time and there was a flare up which led to a flurry of yellow cards, with culprits on both sides.
But soon after the final whistle blew to signify a momentous victory and spark delirious celebrations in the Mellor camp.
Ole, ole, ole
Bruce Clarke (left) and Joe Dalby
You can see a wide selection of photographs from the final courtesy of Matt McNulty by copying and pasting the link below into your browser.
The goals can be seen on video by doing the same with the links below.
Si Dalby celebrates with his squad