Wednesday, 9 May 2012


A Mellor side lifted a Cup at Trafford FC's ground for the fourth consecutive year.

But last night's Rhodes Cup triumph over red hot favourites Cheadle Hulme Villa outshone the previous successes by the club's Seconds and Thirds at Mellor's lucky venue.

Villa had beaten Mellor three times already in the 2011-12 campaign.

They knocked Mellor out of the Stockport Senior Cup in November. And only three weeks ago won comfortably 5-0 at home in the league.

But football, as we all know, is a funny old game.

On the big occasion Mellor produced a wonderful performance that blended grit, discipline and ingenuity.

It was a night for heroes and everyone stepped up, none more so than Craig Frisby, playing with a grumbling hernia, who was not only a colossus in defence but danced through Villa's back line to score a wonder goal.

Alongside him as Mellor's joint Man of the Match was Ben Beer who also never put a foot wrong all night at the back, despite a constant aerial bombardment.

But there were big performances all over the pitch.

Barlow and Swann keeping the flanks tight. Leibrick a greyhound on the right. Whelan clever and patient on the left. Coram linking play astutely. Smith and Cotton breaking things up in midfield and Matt Jamieson never giving Villa's defence a moment of peace.

Mellor FC 2011-12

There was drama from the fourth minute when Jamieson surged into the Villa area and a defender handled the ball. Penalty.

Jamieson, who usually blasts spot kicks to the keeper's left, changed tactics and slotted a perfect kick high into the net on the other side.

Jamo scores from the spot

Villa responded immediately and forced two corners.

They held the ball up better than Mellor and dominated territorially.

Villa threatened down both flanks and put in telling crosses.

But the men in blue were dangerous on the break, especially Danny Leibrick on the right.

On 16 minutes Paul Swann got to the byline but his cross was too close to the Villa keeper.

A minute later Cheadle broke down the left and Tom Fletcher had to make a good save, plunging to his right to palm the ball away.

Villa had a free kick in a dangerous position on 25 minutes but Mellor's wall did its job.

Frisby made an important defensive header on 30 minutes to clear a Villa free kick.

Two minutes later his attempted clearance was charged down by a Villa forward and a threatening situation was only averted at the expense of a corner which came to nothing.

Mellor were under the cosh but posed problems on the counter.

On 34 minutes Matt Jamieson worked a good position but his cross to the far post saw Dave Whelan out muscled by a Villa defender.

A minute later Ben Beer conceded a corner to nullify another Villa attack.

Matt Cotton reached the byline on 37 minutes but his cross was too high.

On 41 minutes a defensive error by Villa let Dave Whelan in on goal. He took the shot on early but his powerful drive flew wide.

Dave Whelan lets fly

The Villa keeper had to be alert to tackle Matt Jamieson five yards outside his area as the Mellor striker bore down on goal.

Mellor started the second period brightly. Whelan was tackled on the edge of Villa's box and then Matt Cotton had a shot blocked.

Villa's keeper clears from Matt Cotton

On 48 minutes a thunderous Jamieson free kick from 30 yards hit the top of the Villa bar and went over.

Chris Coram almost found Jamieson in a good position on 52 minutes but his pass was cut out.

Villa then carved out a good opening only for a forward to slash a volley back across goal and away to safety.

On 55 minutes a Leibrick free kick squirmed away from friend and foe in the Villa area. Frisby retrieved it and jinked past two defenders to stroke the ball into the far right hand corner for 2-0.

Mellor celebrate Frisby's goal

The initiative seemed to have swung towards the underdogs.

But in seven minutes Villa were level at 2-2 after two unstoppable long range strikes.

The momentum was now with Cheadle and it seemed they would go on to win.

On 65 minutes Mellor had the ball in the Villa net again but the goal was ruled out for pushing.

Two minutes later Villa hit Mellor's left hand post with another 25 yard effort.

But on 70 minutes a Mellor move down the left ended with Dave Whelan firing a shot from 27 yards into the top right hand corner of the Villa net to trigger delirious scenes among the Mellor faithful.

Dave Whelan under there somewhere

Jamieson broke clear two minutes later but after a powerful run his shot was comfortably saved.

On 74 minutes Villa set up a chance but a forward volleyed over from a good position.

On 82 minutes Dave Moss replaced Cotton, who had worked himself to a standstill.

On 85 minutes Frisby headed wide from a corner.

Villa continued to pile crosses into Mellor's area but the back line were rock solid.

Fletcher came out to punch away one cross as two Villa forwards waited to pounce.

The referee announced five minutes of added time as anxiety levels rose for both sides.

But Mellor kept calm and continued to play their triangles out of defence to earn a fully merited if, at the start, unlikely victory.

Happy days !

Here is some video, without sound.

Happy and proud manager Si Dalby

More photographs will be added to this blog when I receive them from the League's official photographer so pop back soon. But here are some celebration pictures.
Championes, championes, o-lay, o-lay, o-lay

Ben Beer and Craig Frisby

Adam Barlow and Matt Cotton

Team photographs courtesy of
Alan Simmons
WGTB Golf Competitions
Mob. 07867 800046

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