Heys suffer heavy defeat at Longridge
By STEPHEN HOWARD
A frustrating afternoon beings first defeat of the season
Scott White reports
Prestwich Heys went down to a heavy 5-1 defeat at Longridge Town, but the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story of a frustrating afternoon in Lancashire.
The first half saw Longridge with the wind at their backs, with the home side edging the exchanges.
Jacob Wood was booked for an aerial challenge on eleven minutes, and the Heys defence was called upon minutes later to smother a decent opportunity for the hosts.
On twenty-two minutes, Longridge opened the scoring when a cross from the right was not fully cleared, and Paul Turner poked home at the post. Heys protested that there had been a foul challenge on Jamie Baguley when the initial cross came in, but to no avail.
In truth, Heys never really got going through the first half, attacking sporadically as the home side held the upper hand.
Danny Vincent made a vital interception on twenty-five minutes, and Longridge continued to press down both flanks.
On thirty-four minutes, Heys pieced together a decent move, Baguley, Rio Wilson-Heyes and Carl Fitton combining well, but the home defence snuffed out the danger.
Danny White was booked with ten minutes left as the game got a little heated.
Deep into added time, disaster struck as Turner controlled a long through ball before clipping home to double Longridge’s lead.
Heys had it all to do in the second half and started in stunning fashion when Jamie Baguley fired a superb drive into the bottom corner from just outside the penalty area from a Wilson-Heyes pass to reduce the arrears.
Three minutes later, Baguley fired a free-kick towards the far post where Wood connected well to head onto the crossbar, but the referee’s whistle had already blown.
The game was stretched now, and the home side should have scored when a dangerous cross evaded one striker, before a second fired high and wide.
There was controversy on fifth-two minutes when Theo Kidd was felled in the Longridge penalty area, the Assistant flagged for a penalty, but the referee ruled that it was a fair challenge.
Jacob Holt was then booked for an innocuous challenge in midfield, whilst a two-footed challenge from behind resulted in only a free-kick and a caution for the Longridge centre-half.
Four minutes later, Danny White had a gilt-edged chance to score, but delayed getting his shot in quickly enough, and desperate Longridge defending kept their goal intact.
Heys’ frustrations came to the surface on the hour mark when the referee first sent Ryan Hutchinson from the technical area, with Jon Lyons following him a minute later.
A minute later, Chris Baguley replaced Theo Kidd, and just before the seventieth minute, the game looked all but over when Longridge were awarded a penalty, which was converted by substitute Richie Allen.
Rio Wilson-Heyes made a fine run into the home penalty area, but his powerful shot hit the crossbar before bouncing to safety.
With just over fifteen minutes left, Lewis Adams came on for Jamie Baguley, but Heys struggled to threaten with the clock running down.
On eighty-one minutes, the game was effectively finished when a Riche Allen strike cannoned back off the far post, and Joe Melling was the first to react and fire the loose ball home.
Four minutes later, a lack of concentration in the Heys defence allowed Daniel Wilkinson a free header to make it 5-1 to the home side.
When things looked like they couldn’t get any worse for Heys, Jacob Holt was shown a straight red card for bringing down a Longridge striker advancing on goal.
Heys have a home friendly scheduled for Tuesday, Maine Road are the visitors, with a 7.45pm kick-off.