Heys edged out by Longridge
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Leaders take the spoils
reports Steve Howard
On the 81st Anniversary of their formation Heys were not able to deliver the victory they craved as League leaders Longridge Town took the points in a hard-fought contest at Adie Moran Park.
However, there was much for Heys to take from the game. As Music master Elgar Lumsden had orchestrated a group of young men to begin to build the club, we now know back on that February afternoon in 1938 there were signs that the present-day conductors, Jon Lyons and Ryan Hutchinson are doing something similar in the present day.
The season has seen the emergence of a new, young Heys side and here they showed plenty of promise as they went toe to toe with a Longridge side that has led the table from the start of the season. Indeed, for good spells of this game Heys were the better team and were deserving of at least a point as reward for the endeavours.
On the day though the visitors also demonstrated the quality that has seen them take the Division by storm.
They took the lead in the 8th minute. A fiercely struck shot by Thomas Ince was not gathered by Heys keeper Michael Smith and as the ball reared off his chest, Ryan McKenna showed lightning reactions to seize on the loose ball and fire home.
It was harsh on Heys who had started brightly but their response was good. Moving the ball quickly though the midfield they pushed their opponents back
A Carl Fitton free kick was headed wide by Jacob Holt and James Dwyer fired over as he found space in the box following a Danny White corner.
However, in the 28th Minute Longridge broke to double their lead. Heys conceded possession deep in the visitors’ half and when Holt failed to cut out Christopher Turner’s raking pass, Richie Allen broke down the right. The former Salford City man then fired in a pin point cross for Jay Hart to smash home from close range with all the ruthlessness that has seen his side plunder 108 League goals so far this season.
Unbowed, Heys continued to play their football. Brad Sixsmith fired a free kick wide and although Aaron Fleming went close for the visitors the momentum was with Heys.
Lee Grimshaw showed some fine close control but alas could not keep his shot down.
It took some fine goalkeeping by Town stopper Lee Dovey to thwart Heys in the 40th minute. He first got down sharply to keep out a Dwyer shot before recovering quickly to gather at the feet of Sixsmith.
Longridge started the second half the better, but the first chance came Heys way as Man of the Match Will Shawcross played a great ball in for Cory Knight whose shot was held low down, at full stretch, by Dovey.
Allen had a chance to put the game beyond Heys on the hour but, unmarked, he headed tamely at Smith
Greatly encouraged the hosts continued to press, Knight’s pace took him into the box only for Dovey to gather his shot at the second attempt.
Shortly after, from a corner the ball broke for Jake Wood, but he sliced wide from six yards before Shawcross then curled a shot narrowly wide.
In the 70th minute, Heys persistence paid off. Shawcross played Knight in but he still had much to do as defenders and Dovey bore down on him but the Heys striker showed great dexterity to fire home.
Heys continued to press, a couple of corners inducing some moments of real panic in the Longridge defence with Holt and Shawcross both not being able to make firm connections, allowing the visitors to scramble clear.
Indeed, Longridge showed why they have been so impressive in the closing stages, using their experience and know how to see the game out to finally quell the spirit of Heys young lions.
Team: Michael Smith, Darius Photiou, Carl Fitton, James Dwyer, Jacob Holt, Jake Wood (Capt.), Brad Sixsmith, Danny White, Cory Knight, Wil Shawcross, Lee Grimshaw Subs: Rio Wilson Heyes (for Grimshaw 55 mins), Liam Healey (for White 55 mins), Chris Baguley (for Dwyer 75 mins), Lee Bruce, Sven Gibson.
Heys travel to Daisy Hill on Saturday in the League, kick off 3pm.