Heys sink under second half AVRO salvo
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Bank Holiday misery for Heys
Heys early season malaise continued as they as they were sank by a powerful second half performance by table topping AVRO at Adie Moran Park.
For an hour, the two sides went toe to toe as they renewed their old Manchester League rivalry, on the semi-professional stage.
The first half was a breathless, frantic affair in which both sides attacked with abandon to go in level at the interval.
However, AVRO gained the lead early in the second half and ultimately Heys were overpowered by a faster, sharper and hungrier team.
In a similar way to how Heys and the eight new clubs who joined the League in 2016 breathed new life into the competition, upsetting the old order, this year influx of new clubs are doing similar with AVRO and Longridge leading the way.
Heys have now lost heavily to those two teams in successive League fixtures and whether they are suffering a hang over from last season’s play-off heartache or not, what is clear is that they need to improve quickly if they are harbour any such ambitions this time round.
The home side started brightly but it was the visitors who created the first opening when Ryan Hanson’s angled shot was held low by debutant keeper Callum Jakovlevs.
In the 9th minute AVRO took the lead. A free kick out on the right didn’t seem to offer much immediate danger but Kane Wallwork had other ideas as he whipped in a ferocious shot, from an acute angle, to beat the Heys stopper all ends up.
Within five minutes though Heys were level, some quick passing opened up the AVRO defence and Chris Baguley played in Lee Grimshaw, who rifled a shot past the advancing Jordan Latham in the visitors’ goal.
Remarkably, two minutes later, AVRO were back in front. Heys failed to clear a corner and as the ball broke Jake Pollard created space for himself before hitting a super shot from the edge of the area into the roof of the net.
Both teams were going on all-out attack with play frantically switching from end to end and in the 22nd minute Heys levelled for a second time. Chris Baguley again provided the assist with a corner to the far post where Dan Meadowcroft rose above everyone to head home.
It was the prelude for a good spell from Heys with Wood going close with a header and Kidd finding space but shooting wide.
The visitors remained a threat and only a last-ditch tackle kept out Mike Norton as the sides made it through to the interval on equal terms.
However, the pace of the first half continued on the restart and within 45 seconds AVRO were ahead again. Wallwork showed great pace down the left and his cross was met by the faintest of flicks by Pollard to wrong foot Jakovlevs.
Heys looked to respond again creating a couple of openings and forcing several corners but failed to capitalise.
On the hour, they were left facing an uphill task. Duncan Knott teased their defence but when his shot was blocked the ball broke to Hanson who drove home a powerful, low shot.
The response from Heys was somewhat muted and in the 68th minute AVRO scored a fifth. A low cross was whipped into the box and Norton nipped in to steer home.
Baguley went close with a shot after good work by Danny White but Heys were largely laboured in contrast to the strong running and sharp forward play of the visitors.
In the last minute, the humiliation was complete for Heys as AVRO added a sixth. Jakovlevs could only parry a close-range shot and Joe Bevan was quick to react to poke home.
The win put AVRO top of the table whilst Heys sit 15th. With three games in hand on the bulk of teams in the table they can haul themselves back up to the upper reaches, but they will need to find the form and fluency of last season soon.
If the defeat at Longridge could be passed as a bad day at the office, then this result was a wakeup call.
TEAM; Callum Jakovlevs, Danny Vincent, Lewis Adams, Chris Baguley, Dan Meadowcroft, Jake Wood (Capt), Danny White, Jordan Icely, Theodore Kid, Lee Bruce, Lee Grimshaw Subs: David Bondo, Carl Fitton, Max White, Rio Wilson-Heyes (for Bruce 66 mins), Michael Itela (for Grimshaw 70 mins)