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.

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