Heywood St James 2 Springhead 4: Unlucky Jimmies Relegated Despite Gritty Display

April 29, 2012

Mike Wetherilt scores from the spot

BY DENNIS BOOTH: Heywood St James AFC First XI suffered a double defeat last week and, as a result, were relegated from the Bridgewater Office Supplies Manchester League Premier Division.

After the 0-1 defeat at the hands of West Didsbury and Chorlton the previous Saturday, Jimmies hosted Oldham-based Springhead last Saturday and, despite a plucky performance, Jimmies again had little luck losing 4-2.

With only one league game remaining Jimmies are rock bottom and will return to the First Division.

A Mike Weatherilt penalty and a late Chris Nuttall cracker came too late in a game that saw splendid performances by the goalkeepers -the Springhead keeper in particular saving great efforts from Callum Heap, Simon Carney, Nuttall and Weatherilt.

Jimmies suffered a severe blow when key player Jordan Gill had to leave the field after 30 minutes with what is thought to be damaged knee ligaments

Sandwiched between the two league games, Jimmies entertained Prestwich FC in the semi-final of the Kenyon Cup and, after a very close contest, Jimmies ran out narrow 2-1 winners.

Prestwich had plenty of the ball early in the game but were guilty of poor finishing when goal opportunities arose while Jimmies also found it difficult to find a way past the Prestwich centre-backs who were physically strong and dominant in the air.

In the 40th minute and out of the blue, Jimmies took the lead, Scott Hardy’s fierce low drive beating the Prestwich goalkeeper.

Prestwich, spurred on by their vociferous number four, began the second half with all guns blazing and it came as no surprise when they drew level after 62 minutes from a well struck free kick.

With a final place at Gigg Lane awaiting the winners both sides strove for a winning goal and it arrived after 75 minutes of frantic cup football and it fell to Jimmies!

Dave Collins’ powerful header from close range was clearly over the line before being hacked clear and was signalled a goal by the vigilant assistant referee.

The goal was enough to put Jimmies into the Kenyon Cup Final against AFC Bury which will be played on Tuesday night (6.30pm start) at Gigg Lane.

Next Saturday Jimmies play their final league game at home to Avro.

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