Sunday, 29 April 2012

Firsts crushed at Whalley

After the euphoria of last week's Cup semi-final win, Mellor Firsts slumped to an 8-2 defeat at Whalley Range, whose win means they are now one point away from landing another Lancashire & Cheshire Premier League title.

None of the Mellor hierarchy could recall when a First team last shipped eight goals.

It reminded me of the episode in February 1961 when Manchester United were slaughtered 2-7 at Old Trafford by Sheffield Wednesday in an FA Cup tie. 

The headline in that evening's Manchester Evening News was UNITED IN NINE GOAL THRILLER.

Mellor, missing the flinty resistance of Paul Swann and Craig Frisby started confidently enough.

But on five minutes, after a dubious touchline call near the half way line, Range won a corner and the high looping cross was headed in unchallenged by a Range forward.

Within two minutes Mellor were level with one of the goals of the game. Brindley won the ball on the right and fed Matt Jamieson who thumped in an unstoppable shot from 22 yards.

Matt Jamieson scores

On 14 minutes Adam Barlow wriggled past an opponent and fired a shot goalwards but it was saved.

Five minutes later Whalley broke away down the left and a forward looking suspiciously offside ran on to make it 2-1.

Mellor were still well in the match and on 24 minutes Danny Leibrick sent Brindley clear and his cross bisected the six yard box with no Mellor player there to provide the killer touch.

Danny Leibrick on the attack

The game was virtually up, however, a minute later when Fletcher could not hold a shot and the ball broke clear for a Range forward to make it 3-1.

Mellor's close one and two-touch football was tidy enough but too many longer passes went astray.

The leaders had their tails up and hit Mellor's right hand post three minutes later.

On 31 minutes it was 4-1.

Barlow then fired a free kick wide.

On 40 minutes Fletcher made an excellent save, palming away an audacious attempt to chip him.

Mellor started the second period brightly.

On 47 minutes Mellor's Man of the Match Barlow had another good run which ended in him shooting too high.

A minute later Leibrick fed Whelan whose shot was saved.

On 54 minutes Dave Moss replaced Steve Smith.

A minute later, against the run of play, a Range forward out-muscled Matt Cotton and slipped it through to a colleague who fired in for 5-1.

On 61 minutes Carl Brindley fired over.

Carl Brindley shoots too high

Range were now dominant again and on 70 minutes a Range forward rolled Ben Beer and drove the ball home for 6-1.

Dom Simpson then replaced Brindley and Jonny Cooke came on for Leibrick.

Dom Simpson threatens down the left

Simpson might have scored his debut Mellor goal on 75 minutes but struck the right hand post after Jamieson's shot had been smothered.

The ball squirmed back to Jamieson on a tight angle and his powerful shot hit the post again.

The striker pierced Range's defence again, however, on 80 minutes, firing home on an angle from 23 yards for 6-2.

But Range added two more in the closing seven minutes.

The teams are due to meet again at Wood Lane on Wednesday.

Mellor Seconds, fielding a very young side in a friendly, beat Cheadle Hulme Villa Seconds 4-3.

New face Danny Urmston and Rob Jordan gave Mellor a lead but it was 2-2 at half time.

Ian Arnfield and James Robinshaw added goals in the second period against one for Villa.

Among other trialists were keeper Will Brown, Tom Dunning, George Sherwood, Will Parry and Harry Perkin.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Mellor Firsts Swann into Cup Final

Mellor Firsts reached the final of the Rhodes Cup for the first time in 25 years after a pulsating 5-2 win over Old Trafford.

Mellor started well and dominated the semi final at Gatley. Their heroes were Paul Swann and Matt Jamieson who scored two each. Dave Whelan weighed in with the other goal.

Mellor got off to a flying start on 12 minutes when Paul Swann flicked on a Chris Coram long throw and the ball dropped into the net, despite an unsuccessful attempt by Matt Jamieson to add a touch.

A linesman flagged for offside. But referee Mark Verigotta, after a brief consultation, rightly overruled the assistant, as Jamieson had failed to connect.

Swanny heads in number one

Mellor caused an anxious moment again two minutes later, thanks to a second Coram long throw but Trafford scrambled the ball clear.

The men in red then had a good spell, dominating possession for the next ten minutes. 

But they failed to trouble Fletcher in Mellor's goal.

On 28 minutes Steve Smith broke up play and slotted an excellent 30 yard forward pass which led to Matt Jamieson feeding Paul Swann who thumped home from 16 yards for 2-0.

Swanny belts home number two.

Mellor's success was due in no small part to the tigerish tackling of the midfield and back four.

Smith put in two meaty tackles early on and Craig Frisby won virtually everything thrown into the air.

Frizzer eases a Trafford forward off the ball

Mellor were tight onto their opponents across the back four.

On 33 minutes the Trafford left back was yellow carded for a heavy tackle on Dave Whelan.

Danny Leibrick then swopped wings and began to torment the Trafford left flank.

Leibrick on the charge

On 39 minutes he cleverly flicked a pass over the full back and fed Dave Whelan who shot too high.

Two minutes later Leibrick left the full back trailing again, slotting a pass to Rob White who fired wide.

White then foraged forward again,  playing a one-two with Leibrick and shooting over,

The second period started with two dangerous raids down the left by left back Adam Barlow.

He put in dangerous crosses that came to nothing.

On 57 minutes a Trafford player got the wrong side of Rob White but the right back recovered to make a telling tackle.

A minute later Trafford had the chance to hit back but their header from a free kick was straight at Tom Fletcher.

On 59 minutes Swann headed over from a deep diagonal Matt Jamieson cross.

A minute later Leibrick had a run in on goal but appeared to be pulled back by a defender. The ball broke to Dave Whelan who headed wide.

On 61 minutes Trafford pulled a goal back after a short corner,

But a minute later Matt Jamieson did well to force the Trafford keeper into a smothering save only to see the ball ricochet to Whelan who slotted home from 22 yards for 3-1.

Jamo forces the keeper into a save, leading to Mellor's third goal

On 70 minutes Leibrick fed Jamieson who drove home for 4-1.

The result looked assured but a minute later Trafford made in 4-2 from another short corner.

Frizzer attacks a corner

Whelan immediately had a shot saved.

But on 72 minutes Jamieson was in again, stroking home for 5-2 after good work by Whelan.

Jamo blasts in number five

Four minutes later Coram hit a post. On 79 minutes Carl Brindley replaced Whelan.

On 82 minutes Jamieson rose to head a Leibrick cross just too high.

Jamo heads over

Mellor were now  in cruise control but White had to be alert to kick an effort off the line.

On 89 minutes Dom Simpson replaced Jamieson and Jonny Cooke came on for Leibrick.

Three minutes into injury time Fletcher made an excellent save, leaping backwards to grasp a header.

That was the final drama and Mellor were home and dry, with Coram named Man of the Match, closely followed by Swann.

A happy dressing room

Mellor Seconds lost 2-4 at home against Hollingworth. Andy Given and Luke Jubb scored.

Keeper Will Brown was Man of the Match.

Mellor Thirds won 5-0 against Santos in their final game. Parker (2), Broadway (2) and Rick Axford scored. Broadway was MoM.

additional photographs by Alan Simmons and Geoff Garnett. You can see a selection of photographs at the League's Flickr site.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Thirds' Title Hopes Dented

The game billed as the Division C title decider saw Mellor Thirds lose 2-1 at Bedians who can now win the league if they win their games in hand.

Mellor dominated the match at Millgate Lane but were limited to a lone Tom Bright strike. Even then the ball was cleared from within the goal but had crossed the line.

The importance of the match seemed to affect Mellor, who never reached their full potential, despite exerting enormous pressure on the Bedians' defence.

Bedians started the stronger and Billy Riley had to be alert to block an early chance for the home side on four minutes.

Six minutes later Tom Bright volleyed a good chance three feet too high after a Sam Parker flick.

Mellor frustratingly then wasted two corners, dropping them behind the goal from the flag kick.

Tom Bright works a shooting chance

Mellor had far more possession but Bedians were dangerous on the break and on 17 minutes ex Mellor player Stuart Wright got beyond the defence and was upended by Steve Baguley for a penalty, duly converted.

Four minutes later Parker fed Bright whose shot was again too high.

Bedians' goal was under siege and on 28 minutes Andy Kuehl fired in from long range but the Bedians' keeper took it comfortably.

Kuehl's long range strike

On 30 minutes Parker wriggled free on the right but his shot hit the side netting.

Mellor's under worked keeper Immy Roberts then came out to clear a long ball but it fell to a Bedians player whose 40 yard shot towards the empty goal hit the crossbar.

Sam Healey then headed over from a Parker corner.

                                                                       Parker on the attack

Mellor began the second half with increased urgency. They had two shots blocked on 50 minutes and a minuter later Parker was denied by a fine save.

On 62 minutes Bright made the breakthrough, forcing the ball home after a Rick Axford corner.

The build up to Mellor's goal

It should have been the platform for a winning finale and Marcus McNulty almost provided a second after a stunning run down the middle past three defenders.

But on 66 minutes a weak clearance saw Bedians score again from 22 yards.

Matt McNulty replaced brother Marcus on 68 minutes and three minutes later a Tom Bright header from an Axford corner was headed off the line.

Bedians' goal under siege

It was all hands to the pump now for Bedians as Matt McNulty headed yet another corner against the angle of post and bar.

On 80 minutes Ian Arnfield replaced Bright but despite several more frantic scrambles in the home side's six yard box Mellor could not find an equaliser.

Steve Whelan was Mellor's star man.

Steve Whelan

Mellor Firsts drew 4-4 at home to South Manchester after leading 4-1 with just 20 minutes left. The visitors played the entire match with 10 men after arriving short.

Mellor's goals came from a Matt Jamieson penalty, Carl Brindley and Jonny Cooke (2).

The Firsts play Cheadle Hulme Villa away on Wednesday and they are also Mellor's opponents in the Rhodes Cup Final if Mellor can eliminated Old Trafford in the semi. Villa beat Rochdalians 4-1 in their semi.

The Seconds beat Whitworth Park 2-0 in a friendly. Joe Maloney and James Robinshaw scored.

The Fourths lost 0-1 to Strets in their final league game of the season, finishing eighth in Division D.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Mellor Seconds defeated Moston Brook Thirds 6-2 in a friendly at Wood Lane on Saturday April 7th.

The visitors led 2-1 after 25 minutes. But Mellor came back to dominate the rest of the game.

Mark Oldham scored a hat trick. There were further goals from Paul Newman and Carl Bradbury and one own goal.

The side featured a number of new players; Harry Perkin, Joe Maloney, Chris Proudfoot and George Sherwood.

Mark Oldham makes in 2-2 from 20 yards

It's behind you! Paul Newman's shot goes in off the bar

Andy Given on the charge

Moston's keeper denies Luke Jubb

George Sherwood threatens on the left

Mark Oldham complete his hat trick

Moston's misery is complete as a defender scores an own goal for 6-2

Sunday, 1 April 2012

That's T-Oldham

A terrific 23 yard strike from Carl Brindley earned Mellor Firsts a gritty 1-0 win at home against AFC Oldham.

Mellor remain in fifth spot in the Premiership just behind AFC Oldham but with games in hand.

The game almost began disastrously for Mellor when Ben Beer suffered a painful foot injury after being fouled in the first 30 seconds.

But the big defender recovered to play a vital role in a wonderful defensive display.

On five minutes Dom Simpson blazed a half chance high and wide.

Oldham missed their best chance of the game two minutes later, shooting wide from six yards.

On 20 minutes a frantic scramble in the Oldham area saw two Mellor shots blocked.

A minute later Matt Jamieson's clever free kick was headed over by Paul Swann, who nearly had his head kicked by a defender.

The game was then deadlocked as both sides cancelled each other out.

Dom Simpson on the chase

It was a game where a mistake or a piece of brilliance was going to cause the breakthrough. It came on 57 minutes when Carl Brindley found himself in space and lashed a shot inside the keeper's right hand post.

Three minutes later Danny Leibrick appeared to be brought down in the box but the referee waved away penalty shouts.

The goal had given Mellor impetus and belief and no matter how much effort Oldham showed Mellor were equal to it.

On 69 minutes an Oldham player pierced Mellor's defence on the left and ran on only to put his shot wide.

But generally Mellor were in control.

On 70 minutes Jonny Cooke replaced Dom Simpson and on 85 minutes Luke Jubb came on for Brindley.

Mellor ended the game the stronger but could not add to their lead.

Danny Leibrick threatens

Oldham under pressure

Paul Swann heads over

All eyes on the ball

The Seconds had a friendly against Moorside Rangers and won 4-1 with goals from Man of the Match Will Parry (2) and Chris Proudfoot (2).

There were good performances from Perkin, Sherwood and Robinshaw.

The Thirds stay at the top of Divisoon C after a gritty 2-1 home win against Old Strets . The biggest threat to Mellor is probably Bedians six points behind but with three games in hand. Two goal Kev Murray and Steve Baguley were joint nominees for Man of the Match.

The Fourths lost 0-2 away at second placed Staly Lions. Nathan Fitzpatrick was Mellor's star man.

There are no games next week because of Easter. But fans might be interested in a cup semi final Marple v Cherry Tree at Woodley next Sunday at 10.30am, featuring many current and ex Mellor players.