Pickering hat-trick as Heys hit LR for six
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Heys serve up another Adie Moran Park goal feast
Justin Pickering fired a hat-trick as Heys went on another goal spree at Adie Moran Park, with a 6-0-win over Atherton LR.
Whilst it was not Heys most fluent performance and they only occasionally hit the heights of their weekend showing against Garforth, further goals from Rio Wilson-Heyes, Lee Grimshaw and Jamie Baguley saw them record an ultimately comfortable win and score six goals for the second successive game.
The outcome may have been different had Atherton took some of the many chances they created, particularly in the first half, but Heys always appeared to have something extra in their locker and the extra quality they displayed in front of goal saw them to a victory that lifted them to fifth in the table.
In an otherwise even opening to the game it was Heys who created the first chance as good link up play between Jake Wood and Lee Bruce saw the former’s cross was almost bundled home by Pickering.
However, Heys were to open the scoring in the 14th minute. A great ball from deep by Mark Ayres released Jordan Icely, whose run drew the attention of the LR defence, before he picked out the overlapping Pickering who took the ball in his stride before driving a low shot home.
The visitors had however shown plenty of attacking intent and it took a great save by Heys keeper Michael Smith in the 19th minute, tipping over a Matthew Marsh shot before from, the ensuing corner, Jacob Holt cleared a header off the line.
Icely had a shot held low shortly after but LR were looking the more enterprising and Smith again came to Heys rescue in the 33rd minute, coming off his line quickly to smother a Lewis Coleman strike.
A great run and shot by Pickering forced LR keeper Ryan Kirkman to gather at the second attempt.
However, it was Atherton who were to create the last chance of a generally untidy half when Marsh played Nathan Randall in but, with Smith scrambling to make ground, the LR man screwed his shot wide.
Heys were somewhat fortunate to be leading at half time and they were almost caught cold within two minutes of the restart when Coleman picked out Marsh, whose fiercely struck shot was superbly repelled by the strong hands of Smith.
It was to prove a pivotal moment in the game as almost immediately Heys went up the other end to score. Wilson-Heyes, building on his strong weekend showing, danced across the edge of the penalty area before rifling a shot low into the bottom corner.
It was a goal that gave the hosts some breathing space and dampened the visitor’s spirits, but it took until the 68th minute for Heys to make their increasing control of the game count.
Michael Itela was the architect, finding Pickering, who advanced before drilling a shot low past Kirkman.
Two minutes later, Heys were celebrating again as Wilson-Heyes and Vincent combined down the left and when the ball was crossed to the far post, Grimshaw was on hand to head home.
To their credit LR didn’t throw in the towel and might have reduced the arrears when Hector Mukendi was presented with a free header, only to put it wide followed shortly after by Nathan Strong, who cut into the box, but he put his shot into the side netting.
The difference between the sides was emphasised shortly after as Heys struck twice in four minutes.
In the 80th minute Grimshaw fired low and although Kirkham did well to save, he could only parry the ball into the path of Pickering who gleefully lifted the ball into the net to complete his hat-trick.
Jamie Baguley then scored the sixth with a low shot that took a deflection on the way in but nonetheless underlined another clinical showing from Heys.
Team: Michael Smith, Jacob Holt, Carl Fitton, Danny Warburton, Mark Ayres, Jake Wood (Capt), Lee Bruce, Jamie Baguley, Jordan Icely, Justin Pickering, Rio Wilson-Heyes, Subs: Calum Jakovlevs, Danny Vincent (for Fitton 45 mins), Lee Grimshaw (for Icely 52 mins), Michael Itela (for Bruce 65 mins), Chris Baguley