Heys mark FA Cup return with victory
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Kidd and Wood goals sink Abbey Hey
Prestwich Heys made a winning return to the FA Cup with victory over Abbey Hey in the Extra Preliminary Round at Adie Moran Park on Saturday.
After a 35-year absence from the competition, Heys were good value for their victory over their Hallmark Security League Premier Division opponents. After a hard fought first half, Heys dominated the second period and the victory margin could well have been more handsome.
However, unable to ram home their superiority, Abbey Hey made a late rally to provide a nervous finish for Heys, who will now host neighbours Radcliffe FC in the next round on August 25th.
There was certainly an air of excitement and expectation amongst a healthy crowd of 188, as the game got under way and Heys did not disappoint, capping a lively start by going ahead in the 5th minute.
A Max White corner was only half cleared and when the Heys man whipped the ball in again, Theodore Kidd seized on defensive hesitancy to rifle home from ten yards.
However, home joy was short-lived as two minutes later Abbey levelled. A free kick to the back post was headed back across goal by the towering figure of Stephen Solademi and as the ball bounced in the six-yard box, Aaron Rodger headed home.
The goal allowed the visitors to gain a foothold in the game, stifling Heys early fluency, whilst threatening themselves. Solademi was a real threat in the air and perhaps should have done better with a 16th minute header that he put into the side netting.
Heys regathered though to twice go close through Kidd. He firstly fired wide from a corner before then breaking clear into the box only to see his low shot well saved by the outstretched boot of Abbey keeper Ross Heywood.
Indeed, Heys were beginning to assert a measure of authority on the game with Max White denied at close range by Heywood, who gathered his shot at the second attempt.
Abbey Hey were not without threat in a tight affair but it was Heys who were the more dangerous and only the post denied them an interval lead. Dom Slaven controlled and crossed superbly for Danny White whose first time shot cannoned off the upright.
It was a momentum Heys maintained on the restart and within three minutes they were back in front. A Max White corner was met by Jake Wood who powered a header into the roof of the net.
Brimming with confidence, Heys set about their opponents with gusto, Kidd broke into the box only for the legs of Heywood to deny him before the Abbey Hey stopper then dropped low to hold a Lee Grimshaw shot.
It was all Heys and after a scramble in the box Max White was next to be denied as his close range save was met with a stunning reflex save by Heywood.
Rio Wilson-Heyes then slalomed through the Abbey defence but lifted his shot over as Heys found the third goal, that would have seemingly settled the tie, elusive.
The visitors perhaps should have reduced to ten men 75th minute when Kidd, who had terrorised the Abbey defence throughout, dispossessed a defender, only to be pulled down as he looked to break clear. However, the match official deemed it only worthy of a yellow card.
Heywood continued to frustrate Heys and pulled off another fine close range save to keep out a Jacob Holt header in the 75th minute before then stretching to pluck a Wilson-Heyes shot out of the air.
Having been unable to kill the game off Heys faced a nervous finish as Abbey made a late effort to salvage a replay, the home side scrambling to defend two corners, late into five minutes of added time, before being able to taste FA Cup success.
Team: Michael Smith, Daniel Vincent, Carl Fitton, Max White, Conor Braithwaite, Jake Wood (Capt), Danny White, Jamie Baguley, Theodore Kidd, Dom Slaven, Lee Grimshaw, Subs: Jacob Holt (for Braithwaite 68mins), Lewis Adams, Isaac Iliidge (for Max White 73 mins), Michael Itela, Rio Wilson-Heyes (for Danny White 45 mins), Daniel Meadowcroft, David Bondo.