Heys make it three on the bounce with victory at Bacup
By STEPHEN HOWARD
Lee Grimshaw and Connor Smith strikes secure points
Writes Rick Barrett
Lee Grimshaw continued his fine run of goalscoring form to set Prestwich Heys on their way to victory at Bacup Borough on Saturday.
Heys leading scorer took his tally for the season to twenty by giving his side a 72nd minute lead before a debut goal for Connor Smith secured a hard earned but ultimately deserved win.
After back to back league wins Heys travelled in confident mood but on a sunny, spring afternoon found the early going tough as both teams fought to gain the upper hand.
Indeed, for the opening half hour, the game was largely a very tight midfield battle with nothing to choose between the sides.
However, with Dom Slaven looking lively and Danny White pulling the strings in the middle, Heys started to stamp their authority on the game.
It was the latter who had Heys first real sight of goal firing a shot wide in the 32nd minute before then whipping a dangerous free kick in, which eluded the Bacup back line, but also agonisingly proved out of reach of the Heys forward line, who could not apply the vital touch.
On the stroke of half time Danny White was involved again as he unleashed a shot from 18 yards which the Bacup keeper brilliantly saved as he dived to his right to tip the ball out for a corner.
Heys came out for the second half looking to increase the pressure on Bacup with some impressive play whilst keeping it tight at the back, with recent signing Kieran Sherlock in particular, standing out.
As they tightened their grip the chances began to come. On the hour a Danny White corner connected onto the head of Mark Ayres, but the ball went agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.
Four minutes later, the lively Brad Sixsmith dangerously drilled in a cross but the Bacup keeper managed to collect.
The key moment came on 68 minutes when Heys management made the first of two substitutions that would change the course of the game, taking off the hard-working Lee Bruce and bringing on Max White in the middle of the park.
The impact was almost immediate as in the 72nd minute, Max White hit a peach of a long ball into the 18-yard box to pick out the towering Grimshaw, who connected perfectly sending the ball sailing over the keeper and into the net.
With Heys now in the driving seat but Bacup still battling hard, the second key substitution came on 75 minutes when captain Jake Wood went off injured and was replaced by another recent signing Connor Smith.
With Heys playing with increasing authority an 81st minute corner almost brought them a second goal when the ball broke for Jacob Holt who's rasping shot was cleared off the line.
However, four minutes later Heys secured victory. Dom Slaven, who had been superb throughout, seized possession in the middle of the park, skimmed through the Bacup midfield before playing in Smith whose 20-yard shot took a deflection to wrongfoot the Bacup keeper and find the back of the net.
Heys remained solid to see out the game and make it three wins in a row to leave John Lyons and Ryan Hutchinson happy with a clean sheet and another good performance against a top seven side.
Heys have no fixture on Saturday with their next game on Tuesday 9th April where Cleator Moor Celtic are the visitors to Adie Moran Park, kick off 745pm.
TEAM: Michael Smith, Kieron Sherlock, Jacob Holt, Brad Sixsmith, Mark Ayres, Jacob Wood (Capt.), Daniel White, Dom Slaven, Lee Bruce, Lee Grimshaw, Will Shawcross Subs: Carl Fitton, Max White (for Bruce 70mins), Liam Healey, James Wolfenden (for Shawcross 82 mins), Connor Smith (for Wood 75 mins)