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.

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