Manchopper in….Prestwich

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Result: Prestwich Heys 2-2 Royton Town (FBT Manchester League Premier Division)

Venue: Adie Moran Park (Tuesday 25th August 2015, 6.30pm)

Att: 68 (approx.)

A first foray of the season into the Step 7 FBT Manchester League Premier Division, saw me heading up towards Bury, to Adie Moran Park, home of Prestwich Heys FC. Heys, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the North West Counties League last season due to the cocks at the FA, once again have their sights firmly set on the pyramid system and I felt it was time to see just what they had been doing to reach it.

So, giving myself a good two hours to get through Manchester and onwards, it quickly attempted to unravel as I first managed to buy the wrong bus ticket, the jobsworth driver refusing to change it, the journey taking almost twice as long as it should, meaning a missed connection and a walk over to Shudehill Interchange for a further bus to Whitefield, where Heys’ Adie Moran Park is located. AMP is the second “ground” I’ve seen Heys play at, as I’d also seen them play a friendly against Lancs Amateur League side, Prestwich FC at the site of their former Grimshaws home. Though, I only lasted a half before boredom set in and I left for Abbey Hey!

From Sandgate Road

From Sandgate Road

Turnstiles

Turnstiles

After being joined by Dan, we boarded the 96 service and, within a further half hour, we’d arrived at the reservoir down the road from Sandgate Road,  the former name of the ground. A short walk later, and we were at the gates of Heys. Dan hadn’t bargained on there being an entrance fee for the game, so I bailed him out on the condition of a programme for a future game! After paying said entrance fee of £2, plus a further quid for the “Touchliner” programme, I had gained access to the ground.

Welcome...

Welcome…

Prestwich Heys AFC

Prestwich Heys AFC

Stand.

Stand.

Adie Moran Park is a fully enclosed ground, bordered by concrete walls and turnstile. There is one covered standing area, which is situated to the immediate right of the turnstile, behind the right-hand goal. The clubhouse/food bar and changing rooms sit down the left hand touchline, with the clubhouse in particular, though small, a rather smart construction. The rest of the ground is open hard standing, though there are seats available from in front of the clubhouse, if you do want to sit. There is also indications that seating is on its way, as there a few red ones on the far touchline, awaiting construction. Now for the history of the Heys…

History Lesson:

Prestwich Heys AFC were formed back in 1938 when a meeting at Heys Road Boys’ School led to an “old boys association” being formed. One man at the meeting was to go under the press guise of “Touchliner”, so there’s the connection with the programme, I guess!

Despite WWII, the association flourished with the football arm, Heys Old Boys AFC, being particularly strong, winning its first honours in 1943, whilst competing in the Prestwich & Whitefield League, in the shape of the Woodward Shield, which was repeated for the next three seasons. The side went on to progress through the Bury Amateur League and into the South Lancashire League, winning three titles here in 1960, ’61 & ’64. The club, now known as Prestwich Heys, also lifted the prestigious Lancashire Amateur Cup in 1967, followed by the one and only Lancashire Combination Grand Slam during 1970-’71, with all four trophies being brought back to Grimshaw’s Park.

Old pic of Heys' former Grimshaws home

Old pic of Heys’ former Grimshaws home

As Heys,the club began to gain a reputation as a strong side, reaching the last eight of the FA Amateur Cup, including defeating Sutton United the week before the latter hosted Leeds United in the FA Cup. But, the 1970’s also brought restructure, with professionalism entering the lower leagues and Heys gradually entered the ranks of the semi-pro’s after winning the 1972 Manchester Amateur Cup. A such, a move from the Cheshire County League to the new North West Counties League was undertaken.

Clubhouse

Clubhouse

Adie Moran Park.

Adie Moran Park.

Adie Moran Park in action.

Adie Moran Park in action.

Later ground grading issues would see the club drop to the Manchester League for 1986, the club won its first silverware for 15 years, when they won the 1988 Manchester League First Division. Just a few years later, the Bury Council forced out of their Grimshaws home to move to their current home on Sandgate Road.

After relegation in 1996, the club bounced back with the First Division and Murray Shield double, largely built on by he record 19 straight wins from the season start. Following a 2003 Goldline Trophy & Gilgryst Cup success in 2003-’04, 2004-’05 saw Heys finally win the Premier Division, which they retained the following season and again during 2006-’07, meaning a hat-trick of titles was attained. This was also joined in the cabinet by the Goldline Trophy, won at the Reebok Stadium via a penalty shoot-out win over another strong amateur side, Charnock Richard. Talk about buses…

Then, tragedy struck, when manager/chairman Adie Moran died on holiday aged just 43. This, as you’d expect caused a number of changes on and off the pitch as the next few seasons went on, but Heys have began to become a strong side again of late, winning the 2015 Kenyon Cup and competing up at the top of the table frequently and, as stated earlier, pushing for a return to the NWCFL, which looks almost certain to happen for 2016-’17, as the FA waive the top-5 finish rule.

Here come the sides...

Here come the sides…

....before exchanging pleasantries

….before exchanging pleasantries….

We're underway

….and getting us underway.

Through the net.

Through the net.

Back on to the game at hand and the teams entered the pitch as the sky looked as though it was becoming a little more threatening. With a decent crowd in attendance, the game got underway, with 1st placed Heys and 2nd placed Royton going at it hammer and tongs. Neither side could really get on top, with both having a couple of good early chances. But, just as it looked as though Heys were gaining an advantage, Royton attacked at pace and a long range effort should have been kept out comfortably by the ‘keeper, but to his horror, he dropped the ball over his head and into the net. 0-1.

The same player then missed a golden chance from a handful of yards, when he scuffed with an open net gaping, and Royton dominated the remainder of the first period, but were unable to find a second, but came mighty close, when a rasping drive was excellently tipped over by Heys’ custodian. 0-1 at the break, and this is when things took a  turn for the mildly bizarre, as Paul Scholes had took time out of his evening to head down to the first half of a Manchester League contest. Just shows, as that tongue-in-cheek article about meeting women at football said, you never know who you might see and when!

Match Action

Match Action

Match Action

Match Action

Lesser spotted half-way flag!

Lesser spotted half-way flag!

Me and Scholesey!

Me and Scholesey!

With Scholesey leaving in the rain, me and Dan headed into the clubhouse where I purchased a large hot dog for £2.20. It was a touch pricey at first glance, but the thing was huge and red hot, so was worth the price, just! Anyway, after a short break, the players emerged, once again, into the North Manchester drizzle for the second period.

Within seconds of the restart, Royton were punished for not making their earlier dominance pay, when Heys drew level. A low ball into the middle was slid home from close range by the onrushing forward. One-a-piece, and all to play for. Well, for a short while it was anyway, as Royton, pretty much, went down the other end and retook the lead. After winning a free-kick out wide, the set-piece was swung in and the ball only half cleared to the edge of the area, where the Royton #6 collected the ball, took a touch, before unleashing a low drive in via the inside of the post. He enjoyed it and ran off to the corner flag, punching it over and all his teammates were soon huddled over him. 1-2.

#6 celebrates his goal

#6 celebrates his goal.

Match Action

Match Action

Match Action

Match Action

Martin Love smashes the penalty.

Martin Love smashes the penalty.

With the intermittent rain still in the air, it appeared Royton were once again beginning to gain the ascendancy in the contest, as Dan seemed to feel too, when I asked him who he thought would score next. “No change”, was his reply. But, oh, look at that. Penalty to Heys. Sub Martin Love stepped up and smashed it high into the top corner of the goal to draw his side level and create a grandstand finish with 10 to play.

But, as it was, despite both sides trying to endeavour to find a winner, neither could quite manage it and the referee, who I thought was ok but a bit too fussy overall, brought the contest to a close, with the draw a fair result over the ninety after both sides had treated the healthy crowd, for a Step 7 game, to a fine evening’s entertainment.

On the way out

On the way out

Ever present on  my visits!

Ever present on my visits!

Dan and I exited the ground and headed down to the main road to catch the 135 service to Piccadilly, which appeared to be driven by Jesus. Jesus wasn’t very charitable though, and took £3.10 off me. The bastard. Anyway, soon we were back in the Gardens and I bid goodbye to Dan who headed on his way, whilst I was asked by one woman to help a Chinese woman who was looking for Stratford, but being confused by Stretford. My only thought was how lost they must be then, as I only know two Stratfords, and both are a fair distance from Manchester!

So, she headed on her way to find Stratford, whilst I, for once, knew where I was headed for and was soon heading back in the night for home. Thanks to Prestwich for a good game hosted and I’m sure they’ll be a fine addition to the Counties league very soon.

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RATINGS:

Game: 8- End to end, pulsating contest.

Ground: 7- Definitely one of the better Step 7 ones about.

Fans: 6- A fair few out for the game

Programme: 5- Quite a simple offering, but at least they both to produce one.

Food: 6- Nice, but a touch costly.

Value For Money: 5- Cost more getting there than it should, cheap entrance & programme, pricey food.

Manchopper in….Leyland (Lancashire FA Headquarters)

Result: Blackpool Wren Rovers 5-2 Prestwich Heys (Lancashire FA Amateur Shield ‘sponsored by Thornton Sports’ Semi Final)

Venue: The County Ground (Wednesday 19th February 2014, 7.30pm)

Att: Around 140-150 (headcount)

A slightly different take on my blog for this one, as with their being no club to feature as a home club, it becomes more or less a match report, and a description of the ground & town, which I unwittingly saw a large amount due to me getting lost…again!

After beginning my journey at Urmston Train Station at a little after 5pm, I switched trains at Deansgate, and was soon on my way upwards to Lancashire, and the town of Leyland. Leyland plays host to the headquarters of the Lancashire County FA, who have a relatively large complex in the town, featuring a couple of 3G surfaces, (though it may have been the same one from different angles whilst lost), and a grass pitch, which was to be in use today. I arrived at Leyland Station at around ten-to-seven, and had around 50 minutes to kick-off. I was bemoaning my decision therefore to get this train, and not the one due about 20 minutes later, as I knew where I was going. Or so I thought…

After heading down the main road and through the town centre and past a Wetherspoon’s which I planned to visit when I had found the ground entrance, I approached the ‘British Transport Museum’ which had floodlights clearly visible tucked in behind it. However, as I started to walk up the road towards the lights, it became clear to me there was no way in this way, so I continued on. And on. And on. And on some more. For 45 minutes, I traipsed around the dark streets and back alleys of the town, desperately lapping the ground many times, the floodlights mockingly remaining in view, yet out of reach.

At 7.20pm, I finally found the entrance, through a car park. As I approached the turnstiles, I crossed the road to see right next to it the Transport Museum I had seen a half hour earlier. It could have been oh so much easier, but it wouldn’t be a manchopper trip without getting lost in some way. If you live near a football ground, and you do ever see someone walking past your house, ranting at their phone screen, it is more than likely me!!

After paying £5 entrance, and receiving a team sheet which still advised the game was at Bamber Bridge’s home, Irongate, where the tie was originally planned to be staged  until the weather forced a switch, I entered the ground just as the two teams exited the tunnel. Wren Rovers from the Squires Gate area of Blackpool, and Prestwich Heys, from the Bury area of Manchester. Wren Rovers ply their trade in the strong West Lancashire League, so where considered favourites by many, despite having just come off the back off a long period of inactivity due to the weather. Prestwich Heys play in the Manchester League and hadn’t played on grass for a while, with previous few weeks of game being played on various 3G venues.

A look around the ground shows a large brick building on the left of you as you enter, and the players tunnel and refreshment bar on the right. Next to these, and behind the right-hand goal is a small stand, almost perched up against the wall of the Museum directly behind it. Behind the left hand goal was a small terraced area and a 3G pitch which was in use tonight, so created illuminations that would make the Blackpool side feel right at home. The far side opposite you as you enter, is a rather impressive, smart all seater stand bearing the letters LFA in white seats amongst a red seat background.

After a minutes silence in memory of the late, great Sir Tom Finney, the game began at a frantic pace, Wren Rovers starting on top and they really should have took the lead after five minutes when Ric Seear, fired wastefully wide from close range. Even he looked shocked and bemused by his miss as he covered his face with his hands.

The afro-sporting Heys right-winger Erike Sousa then stung the hands of Wren Rover ‘keeper Andrew Speight, and Heys were made to pay for this miss soon afterwards as a good team move from a Wren Rovers corner ended with Oliver Crolla finishing with aplomb past Heys’ ‘keeper Rob Sadler. At this point, I realised that Wren Rovers’ number 5, looked remarkably like Shane Watson, the Australian batsman, although maybe this was just the lights? I later found out this was Ant Pearson, and he prefers to be known as Pirlo!!

A few minutes later, the impressive Ric Seear attempted a delightful chip over Sadler but the ball dropped narrowly wide of the near post, but this miss only served to help Seear get his radar right, as a minute later he repeated the trick, only for the ball to find the far corner on this occasion. It was a terrific bit of skill by the front man.

Heys tried to fight back against an ever more dominant looking Rovers, with Paul Tierney’s backheel being held on the line by Speight, and then Mark Drew had to be denied by the Rovers ‘keeper, diving away to his right, as Heys began to seize the initiative back from the boys from the seaside. And with 10 minutes of the half remaining, their pressure told. Shaun Johnson was played in by Jon Lyons, and had time to pick his spot, which he did, despite appearing to panic slightly, from 20 yards.

It got even better for Heys. On the stroke of half-time, the Manchester side won a corner on the left-flank after a free-kick was deflecting just wide of the far post with the ‘keeper rooted. The corner was beautifully whipped in and centre-back Luke Hodson rose highest to power a header past Speight from 8 yards. 2-2 at the break.

With drizzle beginning to fall, the players made their way to the dressing rooms, and the fans made the trip to the refreshment bar for some hot stuff. Behave. I decided to get a hot chocolate, for 50p (it was quite small), and a bag of Aero Bubbles, orange flavour, for £1. At this point, word got round about Stoke City’s Charlie Adam being in attendance tonight. Not sure why, but must have been from his Blackpool days?

The second half began with questions to be answered. Were Wren Rovers starting to struggle with lack of match fitness, could Heys complete a comeback, and an upset? The answer was to be no on both counts.

Three minutes into the second period, and Rovers regained the lead, as a mistake in midfield gifted possession to them and the ball found its way to Lee Tobin who proceeded to within 20-yards of the Heys goal before firing in an effort reminiscent of Heys’ first.

It was all Rovers from this point, and Tobin almost added to his tally soon afterwards when he found himself unmarked 12-yards out, but he was thwarted by a wonderful save from Rob Sadler in the shadow of the museum wall, however the let-off was only temporary for Heys, as Crolla received the ball on the right, cut inside and unleashed a superb effort from range past the helpless Sadler, for a knockout punch his namesake Anthony would have been proud of, if it was an actual punch of course….

Out of bad puns, and back to the game. With Heys now pouring forward and throwing the proverbial kitchen sink and more at Wren Rovers’ back line they were hit on the counter with just under 10 minutes to play, as Seear added the icing on the cake when he was released clean through, and he slotted past Sadler via the post to make it 5-2 and send his side into the final. Despite the best efforts of Heys’ defence on the line, the assistant gave the goal to no complaints.

The scoreline was somewhat harsh on Heys, who weren’t three goals worse than their opponents on the night, although the result was the correct one as the better side won through. No complaints from either team, who both put on a great display of football to show great credit to both their clubs, and the leagues they were representing. A shout here for the referee too, who I thought was exceptional, he got everything right for me.

I was soon back on Leyland Station Platform 2, and getting wetter by the minute as the rain teemed down, before I got on the train to Buckshaw Parkway, where the wind was whistling through like sound of a phantom conductor whistling. It was eerie to say the least, and I was happy to be on the train to Deansgate, before any ghost trains came through!

*The final will be between Blackpool Wren Rovers and the winners of the tie between Thornton Cleveley’s and Rochdale Sacred Heart, in another clash of West Lancashire League vs Manchester League. This tie is to be played this Wednesday (26th Feb), a 7.30pm kick off.

My Blackpool Wren Rovers M.o.M.- Oliver Crolla

My Prestwich Heys M.o.M.- Mark Drew

RATINGS:

Ground: 8- Simple, yet effective and tidy. Nice set up.

Game: 9- I really enjoyed the game, two teams going at it, but a little one sided second half.

Food: 7- Small Hot Chocolate, but Aero Bubbles in orange helps the rating!

Fans: N/A- Not a home ground so I can’t give a rating.

Programme: 1- Token team sheet, nothing more, and venue was still wrong. Boo.

Value For Money: 8- Good value all round really.

Referee: 10- Really impressed. One of, if not the best refereeing performance I’ve seen this season. 

TEAMS:

BLACKPOOL WREN ROVERS: 1.Andrew Speight, 2.Lewis Cook, 3.Nick Greenall, 4.Conn Methven(c), 5.Anthony ‘Pirlo’ Pearson, 6.Danny Pickering, 7.Mark Fiddler, 8.Mickey Clark, 9.Ric Seear(2),10.Oliver Crolla(2), 11.Lee Tobin(1). SUBS: 12.Kurt Bradley(p), 14.Nick Corless(p), 15.Ryan Willetts, 16.Fran Donaghy(p), 17.Steve Creelman.

PRESTWICH HEYS: 1.Rob Sadler, 2.Darius Photiou, 3.Phil Woodcock, 4.Shaun Johnson(1), 5.Gareth Walsh, 6.Luke Hodson(1), 7.Erike Sousa, 8.Jon Lyons(c), 9.Paul Tierney, 10.Mark Drew, 11.Chris Mackay. SUBS: 12.Greg Wills(p), 14.Martin Love(p), 15.Conor Landers(p).

OFFICIALS: REFEREE: Mr. Mike Barlow. ASSISTANTS: Mr. Paul Turner & Mr. Ian Claridge. FOURTH OFFICIAL: Mr. Peter Simm.

Manchopper in….Platt Lane (Manchester Gregorians)

Result: Manchester Gregorians 2-3 Prestwich Heys (FBT Manchester League)

Venue: Platt Lane Complex (MCFC Academy,The Maine Pitch) (Saturday 14th December 2013,2pm)

Att: Around 16 at a count!

For today I had two choices. Either attend another game at Trafford, as they entertained Blyth Spartans, or travel the short distance to Fallowfield, just past the ‘Curry Mile’ to Manchester City’s Academy Complex at Platt Lane, for Manchester Gregorians’ Manchester League game with Prestwich Heys. I have been planning to do another Heys game this season to catch up with ex-Trafford man Chris Mackay who now plies his trade with the club, after missing him earlier in the season, at Old Alts. In keeping with my word that I gave on Twitter the previous day, I was off to the complex situated not too far from City’s old home, Maine Road.

Beforehand, I had discovered, again on Twitter(if you haven’t figured by now, I am something of an addict of the social media site), that FC United‘s Development side were entertaining Hyde’s at a Manchester College Campus in Ardwick. So, this was where my day of football was to begin, after getting horribly lost due to my f*****g phone’s GPS again. I have come to the conclusion that GPS stands for ‘Generally Pretty Sh…. well, you get the picture!

Arriving in the Campus, where Ardwick FC play, around 30 minutes late, I met up with my usual companion Dan Watkinson once again who would be heading to the Trafford game later in the day. I was also  pleased to see none other than Bruno Silva playing goals, however this turned into something of a horror, when he received the ball, tried to beat the striker bearing down on him with a bit of skill, but this went horribly wrong, and the striker nicked the ball of him and walked it into the empty net. Oops!

This was 1-0, and was how it remained until after half-time, when the same striker planted a looping header beyond the reach of Silva, to double his and his teams tally. FC dominated for much of the remaining 35 minutes, but endured a nervy last five, when they conceded a penalty, and the big, strong mountain of muscle wearing the 11 shirt confidently planted the penalty beyond the United keeper. However the Young Rebels saw out the game to take the points. After getting the bus back to Piccadilly (Ardwick is very easy to reach on bus btw), I bid farewell to Dan and headed off on the short trip to the Blue half of the city.

Upon arrival, you are met with one of the grass pitches adjoining the pavement, and opposite the bus stop, which is directly outside the ground. After walking round to the car-park entrance, you walk straight on past the indoor training facilities, and onto a small path alongside a 3G and the academy pitch. The 3G was to be where the game would be played, the clue being both sides were on it. After the teams had come out,  I had a small catch-up with Chris, who was starting the game on the bench, and observed the minutes silence, which was figured was for another league’s secretary. Chris made his way to the bench, whereupon I had a look round the ground to observe fencing surrounding it, which is commonplace in amateur football on these surfaces, and the indoor 5-a-side complex alongside it, where the dressing rooms are also located. The pitch, known as the ‘Maine Pitch’ actually played very well, but then considering where it is situated, this was of little surprise. So, a little bit of history is called for I think….

History Lesson:

The current Manchester Gregorians F.C. dates from 1959, though there was an Old Gregorians team who pre-dated them, playing sporadically throughout the 1940’s and 50’s. The current club was formed by pupils of the local St. Gregory’s R.C. High School in Ardwick Green, which is located very close to the City Centre. They began by taking on the name of Old Gregorians AFC, playing in the Manchester Junior Catholic League. In 1962, the club stepped up to the Lancashire Amateur League,  where it was successful throughout it’s time, including one season in particular, 1977-’78, when all six of the club’s sides won their respective divisions, the League Aggregate Trophy for most successful 1st and Reserve sides, and the League Trophy for most points per game taking into account all matches played by all its teams.

They remained in the Lancashire Amateur  League until 2005-’06 when they switched into the Manchester League,  dropping the ‘Old’ prefix from their name, becoming simply Gregorians AFC. The club has continued to be successful, winning the league in 2008-’09, whereupon they added the ‘Manchester’ prefix to their name attaining the name they currently carry, and the Northern Counties FA Senior Cup whilst representing the Lancashire County FA in 2009-’10. They also finished as runners-up in 2010-’11 and finished in 8th place in the last campaign.

The game began with little happening, but Gregorians slightly on top, until somewhat against the run of play, Heys broke on the counter started by goalkeeper Andy Jones, the ball was moved forward quickly to release ex-Manchester United player Paul Tierney, who squared the ball to young debutant Lewis Temple who fired confidently high into the net. Seconds later it was two, as the lightning-quick Erike Sousa broke down the right. The winger fed Tierney who rounded Gregs’ keeper Allen Mills before firing in from the tightest of angles.

By now, Heys were well on top, and appeared comfortable. However,  they gave Gregs a lifeline just two minutes later. They won a corner on the right which was whipped in, and Ric Gunby rose highest to head past Jones. 2-1, and that was how it remained until the break, despite Gregs’ impressive Matt Dodwell heading wide as they grabbed the initiative and Danny Eyres forcing a decent stop from Mills down the other end.

At half-time, the spectators headed for  the 5-a-side complex, to escape the perishing, forceful wind. The facilities inside consisted of three vending machines, one offering hot drinks, the other two a variety of snacks. I resisted the temptation of the sweet snacks, but got some much needed warmth off of a hot-chocolate, which was of good quality. I also took a Platt Lane leaflet to commemorate my visit due to the lack of a programme, which wasn’t unexpected. As the teams re-entered the field, the hardy bunch of fans, with 10 at least travelling from Prestwich, headed back outside into the wind, which at this time resembled something out of a disaster movie. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it was quite gusty!

Heys began the second period strongly, with Temple denied by Mills but the home side began to use the conditions, and with the wind at their backs you could hardly blame them, with Matt Klemperer proving a constant threat with his presence, providing a good foil for Dodwell, and in the 70th minute, the midfielder finally got the goal his performance deserved, when in a move very similar to Heys’ first the home side broke from a corner,  with Mills instigating the attack.  Dodwell received the ball on the left, stepped inside and fired past Jones leaving the visiting  ‘keeper no chance with a splendid strike. (I have somewhat made this description up with a bit of help from Heys’ report, as I actually missed the strike itself due to helping to take down the banner on the back of their dugout. This is what good deeds do to you!)

It now seemed as though all the initiative sat with the home side, and Heys introduced all three subs at their disposal, Darius Photiou, who  impressed me at Old Alts earlier in the season, Martin Love, who scored a screamer in the same game, and Chris Mackay, who scores from half-way on occasion. So, something had to give, one way or another!

It seemed as though it was Gregs who would take the points as Tom Ward broke clear and only a superb save by Jones with his legs kept him out. This seemed to dispirit the home side somewhat, and with just two minutes left Heys were awarded a golden opportunity  to take the points when Martin Love progressed into the box and was felled by a clumsy challenge, and the referee had little hesitation in pointing to the spot. This was much to the delight, and somewhat disbelief of the Heys faithful, as the ref had had a bit of a shocker so far, getting quite a lot wrong, and generally talking to players for much longer than he had to, sometimes going into a full-blown conversation. Cue the usual’ We’re here to watch the football, not you’ shout, which on this occasion, was more than justified!

Anyway, as it was, Love dusted himself down, stepped up and fired hard and low past Mills and into his bottom right-hand corner. It was a great spot-kick under pressure, and left the keeper with almost no chance. Heys had further chances to add gloss to the scoreline, when both Sousa and Mackay broke clear and had one-on-one chances but on both occasions Mills denied the wingers with two great saves, to ensure the deficit was just one goal. The whistle blew, and I bid my goodbyes to the Prestwich fans and Chris, who had the audacity to say I’d put him off with a shout as he was running through. I must put more pressure on players than Sir Alex Ferguson did in his time at United! Just kidding Chris!! 🙂

As I grabbed the 111 back to Chorlton and another bus onwards to Urmston, I was able to catch the last few minutes of the Trafford game too, which incidentally finished in a 2-1 success for the ‘North’. 170 minutes of football in one day. I was happy with that!!

My Manchester Gregorians M.o.M- Matt Dodwell

My Prestwich Heys M.o.M.- George Powell

RATINGS:

Game: 9- End to end, it was action packed all the way through.

Ground: 6- Not much to it really, but for what it is, it’s tidy and a quality surface.

Programme: N/A- although the club are looking at producing one later in the season & possibly next season too.

Fans: 10- The couple of Gregs fans/volunteers were very friendly and welcoming.

Food: 7- Well, drink really. Good for a vending machine.

Value For Money: 10- Just £6 all day. £1 for the chocolate, £5 for  transport

Referee: 2- Wasn’t great….Yeah….

TEAMS: (only Prestwich Heys available, other than those Gregs players named above)

PRESTWICH HEYS: 1.Andy Jones, 2.Mark Powell, 3.George Powell, 4.Rick Winstanley, 5.Phil Woodcock(c), 6.Gareth Walsh, 7.Erike Sousa, 8.Jon Lyons, 9.Paul Tierney(1), 10.Lewis Temple(1), 11.Danny Eyres  SUBS: 12.Brad Lyons, 14.Martin Love(p)(1), 15.Chris Mackay(p), 16.Darius Photiou(p) 17.-