Rio hat trick as Heys win in Lancashire Trophy
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Trio of stunning strikes sees off Bacup
A stunning hat-trick from Rio Wilson-Heyes catapulted Heys into the last eight of the Lancashire Challenge Trophy at Adie Moran Park.
In a hard-fought encounter between two evenly matched teams, Wilson-Heyes scored three goals of the highest calibre to thwart a Bacup side who went mightily close to pulling back a two-goal deficit in a thrilling second half.
Indeed, the events of the second period were in stark contrast to the first forty-five minutes. Although hard fought, with both teams showing plenty of endeavour and some good passages of play, chances were at a premium. Good defensive work or poor final balls meant that neither side created an opportunity of note until the 38th minute.
It was Bacup who created the opening when a low cross from Micah Evans broke to Darcy O’Connor whose shot was cleared off the line for a corner by Jacob Holt.
Mark Ayres failed to get a good connection on a Justin Pickering centre on the stroke of half time, but that was as close as Heys got in the opening period.
The second half was to prove an altogether different affair.
It was Bacup who were first to threaten as Anthony Hall broke into the box and picked out Evans, but his shot flashed across the face of goal.
Heys responded with a Pickering corner that came off the back of Holt’s head before looping over. It was the prelude to a good spell for Heys and in the 58th minute they opened the scoring in stunning fashion.
As the ball broke outside the area Wilson-Heyes was on hand to let fly with a vicious left volley that flew over Henry Turner in the Bacup net to nestle in the top corner.
Buoyed by the goal, Heys looked to press home their advantage and in the 67th minute they added a second with another super strike by Wilson-Heyes. Jake Wood was the architect with a strong run down the flank before pulling the ball across the penalty area for Wilson-Heyes to let fly with a thunderous shot that moved in the air to beat Turner all ends up.
However, Bacup’s response was swift. Within a minute they were back in the game. The impressive Hall cut into the box to before being brought down. The wide man, who had a spell at Heys last season, stepped up for the penalty kick to send Michael Smith the long way.
The direction of the game suddenly changed. From looking set for victory, Heys now found themselves on the back foot on the back of some slick attacking play from the visitors.
Matthew Dell pulled a shot wide before Isaac Curness broke clear only to see his shot pushed to safety by Smith.
There was another good chance for Bacup in the 76th minute when, as Heys struggled to clear, the ball broke to Bobby Carter whose close-range shot was superbly saved low down by Smith.
Holt headed hover from a corner for Heys, but the general direction of play was towards their goal and they had an amazing let off in the 89th minute as a Laquan Esdaille header came off Wood, stood on the line, before hitting the post and bouncing back into play before being cleared.
Indeed, Heys went straight up the other end and almost scored themselves as Brad Sixsmith showed good control to fashion a chance that forced Turner to stretch and tip around the post.
In the 94th minute, Heys could finally relax as they scored their third and Wilson-Heyes completed his hat-trick. Collecting the ball on half way, the Heys wide man skinned the full back before cutting inside and curling a super shot into the far corner.
In a game of fine margins, his finishing proved the difference as Heys booked a last eight home tie with Bamber Bridge on December 4th.
TEAM: Michael Smith, Jacob Holt, Carl Fitton, Dom Slaven, Mark Ayres, Jake Wood (Capt), Liam Healey, Jamie Baguley, Lee Bruce, Justin Pickering, Rio Wilson-Heyes Subs: Danny Warburton (for Bruce 80 mins), Brad Sixsmith (for Slaven 57 mins). Leighton Egan (for Pickering 57 mins), Michael Itela