Heys edged out at AVRO
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Stunning strikes by Danny White and Carl Fitton but Heys return pointless
Heys winning run came to an end as they were edged out by title chasing AVRO at the Vestacare Stadium.
After four successive victories, Jon Lyons and Ryan Hutchinson’s team were made to pay for some poor defending in a goal laden first half.
Indeed, all five goals came in the first twenty-five minutes of a game in which Heys were perhaps fortunate to still be in at half time but one where in which they came back well to almost grab what would have been a deserved point.
The clubs are rivals from their Manchester League days and the early exchanges were typically fast and furious, and it was AVRO who drew first blood, taking the lead in only the 3rd minute.
From a corner, Heys failed to clear and as the ball broke, Joseph Rathbone fired in a shot that took a slight deflection into the bottom corner of the net.
Indeed, Heys were struggling to get a foothold in the game in the face of some slick, high intensity play from the hosts but when they did finally get the ball down, they levelled in superb fashion in the 12th minute.
The goal was made and scored by Danny White. His run into the box was temporarily halted but the Heys Captain regained possession, worked some space and then delivered a super curling shot into the far top corner.
Buoyed by this Heys began to enjoy more possession but they were then rocked by two goals in three minutes by the home side.
Both owed much to some poor defending. In the 20th minute, a corner saw Sam Rathbone rIse unchallenged to head home.
Heys were guilty of failing to pick up their man again in the 23rd minute when from another corner Joseph Rathbone ghosted in undetected at the far post to head into the net.
It looked like Heys were in for a long afternoon but remarkably two minutes later they were back in it.
The goal was another stunning effort and from an unlikely source in Carl Fitton, who had scored only once in his previous 93 appearances.
However, when the ball broke some 25 yards out, the left back delivered the strike of a seasoned finisher with a super shot into the top corner.
As the game continued at relentless pace Regan Jarrett broke clear for the hosts but shot across the face goal before Mark Ayres headed wide from a free kick for Heys.
However, it was the hosts who continued to hold the upper hand and in a strong finish to the half they might have taken the game away from Heys. That they didn’t was down to Heys ‘keeper Michael Smith who first got down well to save, one on one, with Jarrett who he was to deny again, moments later, in similar fashion after Ayres lost his footing.
On the stroke of half time, AVRO then squandered a glorious chance as Jake Pollard, in oceans of space, fired wide with the goal gaping.
Eager to make the most of their late off Heys made a bright start to the second period. Some fine play, in which Dom Slaven was prominent, ended with Brad Sixsmith shooting just over.
The home side then came within a whisker of increasing their lead when a header from Kane Wallwork came off the bar.
Heys responded with some more slick play and on the hour Will Shawcross was denied when his volley was acrobatically tipped over the bar by AVRO stopper Jordan Latham.
Indeed, it was Heys who were playing with more purpose and with home nerves becoming more frayed there was sense that they may take something from the game.
AVRO, to their credit were dogged in the defence of their lead. Indeed, it not until two minutes from time that their goal was seriously threatened when Man of the Match Shawcross’ jinxing run found Liam Healey in space, but he alas pulled his shot wide.
TEAM: Michael Smith, Darius Photiou, Carl Fitton, Brad Sixsmith, Mark Ayres, Kieran Sherlock, Danny White (Capt), Dom Slaven, Lee Grimshaw, Lee Bruce, Will Shawcross Subs Paul Rocha, Liam Healey (for Bruce 67 mins), James Wolfenden (for Slaven 79 mins), Connor Smith, Mark Baguley
Heys wrap up their home fixtures with two games over Easter. On Saturday, they host Garstang (3pm) in a fixture designated “Old Boys Day” with the club inviting anyone with past connections with the club to join the for a reunion.
On Easter Monday, AFC Darwen are the final visitors of the season for a 3pm kick off.