By Stephen Howard
MARK Drew headed an injury- time equaliser for Prestwich Heys as they drew 1-1 with Manchester Premier Division rivals Hindsford in the Atherton Charity Cup at Sandgate Road last Thursday.
It was nothing more than Heys deserved after they had enjoyed good spells of control during the game and hit the woodwork five times.
Hindsford for their part were resolute and showed they will be a force again this season as they bid for a fourth successive league title.
Heys, though, did plenty to suggest they will challenge them all the way in a game that was keenly contested.
The opening quarter of the game was even but it was Heys who came closest to opening the scoring when Erike Sousa and Phil Woodcock linked to good effect to create a chance for Paul Tierney whose shot on the turn hit the outside of the post.
Rob Sadler then did well in saving with his feet to deny Jackson before Ryan McGreevy fired a shot wide for Heys.
Treanor and Tierney then combined to open up the Hindsford defence and the latter’s shot was tipped round the post.
The deadlock was broken in the 32nd minute by the visitors when, after Darius Photiou was adjudged to have tripped the Hindsford man in the box, Chris Hopwood scored from the penalty spot.
Heys went straight on the attack in response and after Woodcock saw a shot parried by the keeper, Tierney, following up, saw his effort hit the bar.
The half ended in controversial fashion when McGreevy was upended just inside the box but the referee adjudged it to be outside. From the free-kick, Jon Lyons saw his shot hit the bar.
Heys made changes at half time with Chris Denham almost having an immediate impact when his shot was held low by the keeper.
However, Sadler then excelled with a fingertip save to keep out a long-range effort.
Heys began to apply pressure on the Hindsford goal as Danny Eyres and McGreevy linked effectively in midfield to pen the visitors back.
Gareth Walsh headed wide from a corner before a stinging 20-yard shot from McGreevy hit the post.
Moments later Heys hit the frame of the goal for a fifth time when Sousa shot against the bar after a Tierney shot was parried.
Psychologically, Heys’ fire appeared to dim from that point on and they were indebted to two good saves from Sadler to keep them in the game.
However, they kept plugging away and forced a corner from which Drew rose to head home a deserved equaliser.
The draw for the quarter-finals was made after the game and Heys were paired with Hindsford again. The match will be played on Wednesday at Hindsford, kick off 6.45pm.
The new Manchester League season starts this Saturday when Heys host Stockport Georgians at Adie Moran Park (2pm).
Meanwhile, Heys Reserves start their campaign away at Walshaw (2pm).
* Heys have announced that Trafford Services Ltd have become their new club sponsor. The company will back the club for the next two seasons and their logo will appear on both the first team and reserve kits as well around the ground.