Heys bow out of the FA Cup
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Record crowd and the BBC camera's watch Radcliffe take derby spoils
Prestwich Heys bowed out of the FA Cup with heads held high on an historic day at Adie Moran Park.
The Preliminary Round tie was streamed live across the nation by the BBC, whilst attracting a crowd of 513, a record for the ground.
However, Heys could not deliver the fairy tale ending to their day in the spotlight but could take much from their performance against their local rivals, who play two divisions higher.
Whilst early in the game that gulf threatened a miserable afternoon for the Heys, they battled back well and had their moments before Radcliffe secured the victory.
The visitors made the short four-mile trip to Prestwich on the back of a strong start to the season, winning their first two games to top the Evo Stik League Division One. Managed by former Manchester City player Jon Macken, ex Chelsea man Frank Sinclair with Kevin Campbell, formerly of Arsenal assisting, Radcliffe started firm favourites and made an impressive start.
In the first two minutes they forced three corners with Heys keeper Michael Smith making a fine save at the foot of the post to keep out a Shelton Payne effort.
Looking quicker and sharper of mind Radcliffe continued to press and Smith again denied Payne in the 9th minute. However, from the ensuing corner the visitors took the lead. Tommy Lent’s header was blocked, and Ben Wharton was quick to react to fire home.
When George West fired just over the bar shortly after it looked like being a long afternoon for Heys but as they began to settle it was clear they could cause problems for the Radcliffe defence.
Rio Wilson-Heyes broke down the left before pulling the ball to the edge of the box for Chris Baguley whose shot went over the bar.
Gaining confidence, the hosts forced three corners in succession with Jake Wood seeing a goal bound header blocked and then just failing to connect with a ball that flashed across goal.
Radcliffe remained a threat and in the 30th minute came close to adding to their lead when George West cut inside before curling a shot towards the bottom corner, but Smith pulled off a stunning save, stretching full length to push the ball round the post.
However, it was an increasingly rare moment of danger as Heys began to find holes in the Radcliffe rear guard. Wilson-Heyes broke into box to find Baguley but his shot was held low by keeper Ollie West.
A further run of three successive corners again had the Boro defence scrambling before Wilson-Heyes ended a great passing move by forcing West to drop low and save.
Radcliffe carved out the first chance of the second half when Wharton beat Smith to a cross but was unable to steer his header goal wards.
However, it was Heys who were the more enterprising and Kidd capitalised on an increasing uncertainty in the Boro defence in the 58th minute as he disposed a defender before picking out Baguley, but he hit his shot over the bar.
Baguley was at the hub of Heys best work and there was perhaps no coincidence he was unceremoniously clattered shortly after and forced to leave the field in the 63rd minute.
Three minutes later, Radcliffe increased their lead. After their claims for a penalty were waved away when the ball struck Danny Vincent the ball broke for Elliot Rokka whose near post shot came off the post before falling invitingly for Wharton to poke over the line.
Heys now faced an uphill task but nonetheless continued to ask questions as Kidd got in behind the Boro defence only for Martin to come out and smother his shot in the 73rd minute.
Had that gone in the scene may have been set for a grandstand finish but the two-goal cushion gave Radcliffe the breathing space to close the game out although in the very last-minute Martin was again called into action to tip a Max White free kick round the post.
Radcliffe were deserved winners but there was little to choose between the teams over the ninety minutes, on a landmark afternoon.
Team: Michael Smith, Darius Photiou, Danny Vincent, Max White, Dan Meadowcroft, Jake Wood (Capt), Danny White, Dom Slaven, Theodore Kidd, Chris Baguley, Rio Wilson-Heyes Subs: Lewis Adams (for Meadowcroft 56 mins), Carl Fitton, Lee Bruce, Lee Grimshaw (for Slaven 70 mins), Jordan Icely (for Baguley 63 mins) Mike Itela, David Bondo.