Hallmark Security League First Division North 
26/12/2018, 3:00 pm
AFC Darwen
2 - 3
Prestwich Heys
WEC Group Anchor Ground
First Team

Match Report





Darwen put a lot of effort into today’s game on a difficult surface, but high flying Prestwich played the better football, created more chances, and merited their late winner. Anthony Hodges was back in the side after several weeks absence, but was fated not to finish the match.

Heys had the first shot on target in the thirteenth minute when Jordan Gidley had to dive to his left to push away a Lee Grimshaw strike. Two minutes later Grimshaw was through again but lashed a shot wide with only the keeper to beat. The ball was whipped to the other end where Elliot Pond just failed to get contact to tap the ball home from a low cross into the box.

On twenty four minutes Shawcross beat the offside trap and with Gidley coming out to narrow the angle, put the ball past the keeper but wide of the post. On the half hour Heys goal minder Michael Smith failed to hold a ball into the area and Corey Harrison pounced on it, firing across the goal line.

Slightly against the run of play, the home side took the lead with less than five minutes of the half left. Corey Harrison raced down the wing, cut inside and struck the ball towards the far post. Both a defender and Elliot Pond slid in and the ball was in the back of the net. It was not clear whether it was an own goal or not, but the goal was credited to Harrison.

On the stroke of half time Prestwich levelled with a fortunate goal. The ball was booted high upfield from deep in the Prestwich half. It came down about twenty five yards from the Darwen goal, bouncing off several players, before deflecting to the feet of Alfie Belcher. He slightly mishit a low drive that just beat the outstretched arm of Jordan Gidley.

Half Time: AFC Darwen 1 Prestwich Heys 1

Two minutes after the restart, Elliot Pond put Nicky McNally through, but he seemed to be impeded on the edge of the box, but the referee waved play on, much to the annoyance of the Darwen crowd. The ball was again booted upfield and a Prestwich effort from thirty yards out flashed wide of the home post.

Twenty minutes in, a Lee Grimshaw header from a free kick bounced off the crossbar. A minute later Prestwich hit the bar again with a deflected effort by Max White. Another free kick saw Grimshaw rise highest to get a glancing header on target, which Jordan Gidley manage to push round the post for a corner.

With twenty minutes to go Darwen were reduced to ten when Anthony Hodges retaliated to a personal attack by a Heys player and was red carded by referee Rob Denton.

Grimshaw’s headers had been a danger to Darwen, and he finally found the target from a corner in the seventy sixth minute.

Five minutes later he was through on goal, but Jordan Gidley raced out to the edge of the box to block away the danger. With three minutes of normal time to go, Danny Taylor fed Elliot Pond, but the striker did not make good contact with his shot which was pounced on by Michael Smith in goal.

There was a long stoppage due to a leg injury suffered by Prestwich defender Max White. On the restart the ball was thrown back to keeper Smith whose clearance was intercepted by the home side. Danny Taylor and Elliot Pond exchanged passes before Pond was sent through to slide the ball in to level the match.

It seemed that Darwen were headed for a fortunate draw, but Prestwich went down the other end with Gidley blocking another Heys effort away. From the resulting corner Jacob Holt powered a header into goal to win the game for the visitors.

Full Time: AFC Darwen 2 Prestwich Heys 3


REFEREE: Rob Denton

ASSISTANTS: Kevin Horn, Tim Eagles


Prestwich Heys: Belcher (45), Grimshaw (76), Holt (90+8)

AFC Darwen: Harrison (41), Pond (90+5)


Prestwich Heys: Sven Gibson

AFC Darwen: Nicholas McNally

YELLOW CARDS: Gibson, Shawcross (Prestwich Heys), Holt (AFC Darwen)

RED CARDS: Hodges (AFC Darwen)


Prestwich Heys

1 Michael Smith

2 Dominic Butler

3 Carl Fitton

4 Max White

5 Sven Gibson

6 Jacob Holt

7 Alfie Belcher

8 Bradley Sixsmith

9 Lee Grimshaw

10 Jamie Baguley (Capt.)

11 William Shawcross

12 Liam Healey (replaced Sixsmith, 85 minutes)

14 Chris Baguley

15 Ryan Hutchinson (replaced White, 90 minutes)

16 Jonathan Lyons

17 Rio Wilson-Heys (replaced ??, 90+8 minutes)

AFC Darwen

1 Jordan Gidley

2 Jon Fraser

3 Anthony Hodges

4 Matt Farnworth (Capt.)

5 Nyle Ellis

6 Sam Holt

7 Leon Creech

8 Jamie Edwards

9 Elliot Pond

10 Nicholas McNally

11 Corey Harrison

12 Jack Prince (replaced Ellis, 83 minutes)

14 Karl Turner (replaced McNally, 75 minutes)

15 Danny Taylor (replaced Harrison, 79 minutes)