Heys mark Joffy's 300th game with win at Chadderton
By STEPHEN HOWARD
First half strikes prove decisive
By Scott White
A cold November evening in Oldham probably isn’t the most exhilarating location to reach a remarkable milestone, but nonetheless, Chadderton’s Andrew Street ground was the stage for Jon Lyons’ 300th competitive game in charge of Heys, and whilst the game was not a real spectacle, it was fitting that Prestwich should run out winners and take home all the points to mark the occasion.
The game started with Mike Smith called into action almost immediately, tipping the ball over to deny his former club in the first minute.
A disjointed start to the game was livened up by a strong tackle from Liam Healey, but the home side were narrowly edging the early stages of the game.
The opening goal came on fourteen minutes, Rio Wilson-Heyes working himself into space to shoot, Jordan Hadlow could only parry his powerful drive, and Adam Farrell showed all his predatory instincts to force the ball home and make it two goal in two games
On twenty-three minutes Chadderton hit the bar and four minutes later, Smith made brave save to collect the ball from the feet of an onrushing Harry Pratt.
Then, on thirty-five minutes, during a sustained spell of Chaddy possession and pressure, Dom Slaven was booked for kicking the ball away. Chadderton wide man William Shawcross was a thorn in Heys side throughout, but Ayres and Wood were resolute at the heart of the Prestwich defence.
The sucker punch came for the home side three minutes later, Rio Wilson-Heyes saw his first cross blocked, but reclaimed the ball before curling over a ball to the far post where the industrious Brad Sixsmith was on hand to head home Heys’ second and his first goal for the Club.
There was just time for Heys to string together one of the best passing movements the game, the ball was worked well down the right flank, but Jacob Wood unselfishly tried to lay the ball off when he could possibly have got a shot at goal.
The first real opportunity of the second half came when a fine run from Sixsmith ended with him being pulled back by a home defender, but Chris Baguley’s free-kick was blocked and Chaddy marched up the field themselves, Smith making a good save before the loose ball was hoofed over the crossbar.
Carl Fitton found himself in space after some fine approach play from Heys on fifty-five minutes, Farrell playing the final pass, but the full-back didn’t realise that he had time to measure his cross and his first-time effort fell behind the Heys forwards in the penalty area.
Heys had two more chances, Sixsmith putting Wood into space, but his testing low cross was well cut out by the home defence for a corner, and Ian Rowlands went close with a header from the resulting dead ball kick.
The visitors were on top as the half passed the midway point, Mikey Itela replacing Liam Healey to give Heys some fresh legs, and then, completely out of the blue, Chadderton got the goal that opened up the game for a frenetic finish, and what a goal it was.
James Dwyer controlled the ball well outside the Heys area and then unleashed a rocket which flew into the far top corner of the net. Game on.
There was a nervous moment on seventy minutes when Slaven was spoken to by the referee for a foul, the lively Heys midfielder having already been booked.
Pratt spurned a great chance to level on seventy-six minutes before the second switch was made by Heys with Jamie Baguley replacing brother Chris.
Smith smothered another Chadderton chance before there were loud shouts for a Heys penalty when a Sixsmith shot was deflected over the bar, the attackers claiming it was off an arm.
Lee Grimshaw replaced Rio Wilson-Heyes and he made an instant impact, muscling his way into the home penalty area.
Though Chaddy continued to press to the final whistle, the only real notable incident was Sixsmith being cautioned for following through with a tackle late on as Heys ran out 2-1 winners after an industrious and hard-working performance.
Heys Line-up: Smith, Rowlands, Fitton, Healey, Ayres, Wood, Sixsmith, Farrell, Slaven, Baguley C, Wilson-Heyes. Subs: Itela (for Healey), Baguley J (for Baguley C), Grimshaw (for Wilson-Heyes), Holt (unused)