HESKETH BANK travelled to South Manchester for the 1st round tie of the Lancashire Amateur Shield against Manchester Premier League side Wythenshawe Amateurs.
The match was played at Manchester Health Academy due to Wythenshawe’s ground being unavailable due to the last cricket match of the season.
Manager James Smith was once again forced to make a couple of changes to his team due to injury with Sean Royle making his first start for over a year at centre half and Peter Henerty starting in place of the injured Bob Milton.
Hesketh Bank adapted to the conditions quickly to a difficult playing surface with long grass and created a couple of good chances within the first 3 minutes with the home keeper being forced to save from Daniel Birkby and Jordan Smethurst.
This early pressure resulted in the first goal with defender Adam Thompson heading home a corner from Smethurst after just 8 minutes.
The visitors increased their lead with leading scorer and captain Birkby finishing well from a cross from fellow striker Richard Burns.
However a mistake by Kevin Cox a minute later gave the home side a guilt edge opportunity to reduce the arrears which was gladly taken.
Despite this Hesketh Bank continued to dominate and both Birkby and Burns missed chances before Burns restored their two goal lead 6 minutes before the interval knocking in the rebound following the home keepers save from Birkby.
The second half began quietly but Wythenshawe had more possession and after 59 minutes they added their 2nd goal of the game with a low shot from just outside the box giving keeper Paul Sergeant no chance of saving.
This seemed to inject some urgency into the visitors and on 65 minutes Birkby increased the lead finishing well from a great through ball from Stephen Greenwood.
Then 12 minutes later he secured his hat trick with a shot from the edge of the box with the home keeper failing to save. Wythensawe hit back in the 83rd minute to make the score 5-3 but Burns scored twice within 3 minutes to give a final score of 7-3.
They are due to play Millom this coming Saturday at home with an earlier than usual kick off of 1.30pm at Millom’s request, but this fixture is in doubt at present.
Millom’s LFA Shield match was cancelled last Saturday due to the M6 being closed.
This fixture normally takes precedence over league matches so please check for updates on www.heskethbankafc.co.uk