It is almost 20 since Stopfordians were in the First Division and last played Mellor first team. Mellor’s relegation at the end of last season brought the teams together once again on Saturday, and for the first half hour it looked as though there might be an even contest.
Stops moved the ball round confidently and narrowly missed an opportunity to clinch an early lead. The game moved from end to end and the Stopfordian camp could be forgiven for believing they might be in with a chance. But by quarter-time Mellor had eased into the lead, and halfway into the second quarter their superior speed and ability took hold, building up a substantial lead by half-time.
Peter Woodhead scored for Stops with a perfectly placed shot following a pinpoint feed from Paul Bowden. A second goal from Peter Woodhead might have been given, but the referee was unable to verify that it had crossed the line.
In the second half Mellor were in complete control, but Stops continued to chase and look for scoring opportunities. Peter Woodhead was rewarded with an undisputed second goal, but too many of Stops’ attempts were shots from a distance that rarely troubled the Mellor goalkeeper.
Stops’ workrate was evident as the midfield frequently had to get back into the defensive half of the field to stop breaks from the opposition, but a team of Mellor’s calibre will always make its mark if allowed too much freedom.
The next game is a cup fixture against Norbury at home, and provides an opportunity to work on a more aggressive defensive performance…and to score a few goals.