Kidd strike gives Heys winning start
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Heys edge out Bacup
A 21st minute Theodore Kidd goal gave Heys a winning start to the new Hallmark Security League Division One season as they defeated Bacup Borough at Adie Moran Park.
The close season signing from Atherton LR pounced from close range in the 21st minute to give Heys a lead in keeping with the early run of play.
However, having bossed the opening half hour, the remainder of the contest proved a tight affair with little to choose between the teams in a hard-fought opening day encounter.
Kidd was one of three debutants in the Heys starting line-up, alongside Isaac Iliidge and Conor Braithwaite as the home side made an encouraging start.
Rio Wilson-Heyes was at the hub of some enterprising attacking play and had the ball in the net in the 8th minute with an explosive volley only for a linesman’s flag to halt celebrations.
With the play almost exclusively in the direction of the Bacup goal, the visitors defence showed great resilience, but they were unlocked in the 21st minute when Heys went ahead.
Wilson-Heyes swung in a cross that eluded the Bacup defence, dropping at the feet of Kidd, ten yards out and the striker showed good control and calmness as he swept the ball home.
The response from Bacup was good. Having been on the defensive for much of the half, they demonstrated their attacking ability and almost levelled on the half hour as Michael Gervin played in Matthew Dell whose angled shot clipped the top of the bar.
Encouraged by this the visitors began to look the more purposeful side and it took a stunning save by Heys keeper Michael Smith in the 44th minute as he tipped a point-blank range header from Adrian Bellamy onto the bar, before the ball was scrambled to safety.
Jake Wood went close with a header in the opening moments of the second half as Heys looked to re-establish their earlier control, but Bacup too sensed there was something for them in the game as Gervin saw a fierce goal bound shot blocked.
Indeed, as both sides wrestled to gain the initiative it all became a little bit untidy. With defences on top, there was little goalmouth action, but the increasing tension, as the crowd wondered who would crack first made for a fascinating contest.
On a hot afternoon, both teams rang the changes, looking to add fresh impetus and it was Heys who temporarily looked to be emerging the stronger as Kidd saw a shot a deflected wide and from the ensuing corner Dom Slaven fired over.
However, Bacup responded with a couple of chances themselves as Dell curled an effort wide and then Bobby Carter was denied by Smith, as the Heys keeper came off his line to block a shot.
Play quickly switched to the other end with Michael Itela getting into the box for Heys but Bacup ‘keeper Lewis Monaghan got down well to smother his shot.
Both sides continued to press and probe as Heys introduced experienced centre half Dan Meadowcroft into the fray to bring a defensive reassurance that enabled them to see the game through and gain a hard earned three points.
Team: Michael Smith, Daniel Vincent, Carl Fitton, Isaac Illidge, Conor Braithwaite, Jacob Wood, Michael Itela, Jamie Baguley, Theodore Kidd, Dom Slaven, Rio Wilson-Heyes Subs: Dan Meadowcroft (for Kidd 84mins), Lewis Adams, Jacob Holt, Lee Grimshaw (for Illidge 61mins), Danny White for Baguley 61 mins).